Urbex photographs of the nightmare that was Lancaster County Lunatic Asylum

Lancaster Moor Hospital

Growing up in Lancaster, the old Moor Hospital used to terrify me. Originally known as the Lancaster County Lunatic Asylum, it was a large complex of imposing Victorian buildings, purpose built from the early 1800s onwards to house people not deemed fit to live with the rest of us. I dread to think how many people were taken there against their will for the flimsiest of reasons, and what kind of “treatment” they endured.

Today the site is being renovated. Already you can buy a luxury home at The Residence, as it is now is known, for upwards of £300k.

The photos above and below were taken by a team of urban explorers going by the names of Ben, Beardy, Travis and Chard in 2013, before the renovations began. I love their work. You should check out more here.

Lancaster Moor Hospital Lancaster Moor Hospital Lancaster Moor Hospital Lancaster Moor Hospital Lancaster Moor Hospital Lancaster Moor Hospital Lancaster Moor Hospital Lancaster Moor Hospital Lancaster Moor Hospital Lancaster Moor Hospital Lancaster Moor Hospital Lancaster Moor Hospital Lancaster Moor Hospital Lancaster Moor Hospital Lancaster Moor Hospital Lancaster Moor Hospital Lancaster Moor Hospital

See more photos of the Lancaster Moor Hospital, and other locations, here.

Urbex photographs of the nightmare that was Lancaster County Lunatic Asylum

Soviet bus stops

This is started as a great idea for a photography project, and is now a Kickstarter backed book, Soviet Bus Stops:

Photographer Christopher Herwig first discovered the unusual architecture of Soviet-era bus stops during a 2002 long-distance bike ride from London to St. Petersburg. Challenging himself to take one good photograph every hour, Herwig began to notice surprisingly designed bus stops on otherwise deserted stretches of road. Twelve years later, Herwig had covered more than 18,000 miles in 14 countries of the former Soviet Union, traveling by car, bike, bus and taxi to hunt down and document these bus stops.

The local bus stop proved to be fertile ground for local artistic experimentation in the Soviet period, and was built seemingly without design restrictions or budgetary concerns. The result is an astonishing variety of styles and types across the region, from the strictest Brutalism to exuberant whimsy.

Soviet Bus Stops is the most comprehensive and diverse collection of Soviet bus stop design ever assembled, including examples from Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Ukraine, Moldova, Armenia, the disputed region of Abkhazia, Georgia, Lithuania, Latvia, Belarus and Estonia. Originally published in a quickly sold-out limited edition, Soviet Bus Stops, named one of the best photobooks of 2014 by Martin Parr, is now available in this highly anticipated, expanded smaller-format trade edition.

See more details here.

Soviet bus stops

And now for some photos of colossal statues

From Wired:

Enormous statues have been erected around the globe for centuries, omnipresent memorials to historical figures and events. Fabrice Fouillet’s series Colosses—a collection of photographs of the world’s most imposing monuments—makes these familiar sights downright strange through a simple shift in perspective. It’s not the size and scale that interests him, but their place in the surrounding landscape. The result can be dizzying and disorienting.

“I was first intrigued by the human need or desire to built gigantic declarations,” said Fouillet. “I was not especially looking for the ‘spectacular’ in the series—even if the dimensions of the statues are—but I wanted to explore how such huge monuments fit in the landscape despite their traditional social, political, or religious functions.”

Fouillet frames these sites from the sidelines, capturing the perspective you don’t see in postcards. He frames Dai Kanon in Sendai, Japan, from a few blocks away, for example. Christ the King in Świebodzin, Poland, is framed from behind. In some cases, he shoots wide enough to include mundane details of life and the people living in the shadow of these looming monoliths. Laundry flaps in the breeze beneath the imposing facade of Ataturk Mask in Izmir, Turkey, and a Coca-Cola machine sits just down the hill from Grand Byakue Kannon in Takazaki, Japan. Fouillet appears to be toying with our notions of the sacred and profane.

And now for some photos of colossal statues

The lives they lived

In this beautifully designed piece, the New York Times takes time out to remember some of those we lost in 2014. Read it here.

(Pictured are Ophelia DeVore-Mitchell, Gabriel García Márquez, Maya Angelou, Pete Seeger, Massimo Vignelli and Philip Seymour Hoffman)

The lives they lived

Fred Lyon’s photography of mid-20th Century San Francisco

From Boing Boing:

In the 1940s and 1950s, photographer Fred Lyon, now 89, magnificently captured the enticing noir decadence of San Francisco’s Barbary Coast and the majesty of the rest of the city. Known as “San Francisco’s Brassai,” Lyon’s work can be seen on his site and in a new monograph, San Francisco, Portrait of a City: 1940-1960.

Fred Lyon’s photography of mid-20th Century San Francisco

The chosen one: contact sheets and outtakes

From Wired:

A new photo exhibit from the storied Magnum Photo agency allows the public to view the contact sheets of 20 renowned photographers going back to the first days of the agency. That means viewers can see the shots that were taken before and after the photos that they’ve come to know so well.

The exhibition displays prints of the photos alongside the original session’s contact sheets—the pages of un-enlarged thumbnail prints that photo editors use to make selections. It’s a rare look at the shooting process of some of the last century’s best photographers.

Contact sheets have long been a staple of the photo process for publishers around the world. They’re often created as transfers made from direct physical and chemical contact with the negatives. As a result the original format dimensions are retained—a 35mm shot remains 35mm in size. They made for handy organizational and retouching tools, but they’re something of an artifact in the age of digital photos, functionally replaced by an SD card or Photoshop session.

Their borderline extinction is unfortunate since they can be quite revealing. For one, they show a more complete picture of a photographer’s process than the final, chosen shot on its own. Guy Le Querrec’s sheet from shooting Miles Davis in 1969 shows how many ideas he tried, flipping the frame and trying different compositions (it also shows that it was impossible to take an uncool picture of Miles Davis). Seeing the arc of a photo session with James Dean shows that it took a lot of posing to get those pictures with his trademark allure.

The chosen one: contact sheets and outtakes