The Outsiders: The Forgotten Outsider, Installment No. 1

The first installment of my new series, “The Outsider” has been completed. I decided to kick off the first shoot at a location that is very near and dear to my heart. This was probably the last time I’ll have the chance to explore around this place while it was somewhat was what it was first like when I first found it and created at it. The town used to be a quaint, vibrant community, the first African American settlement in Colorado. When the dustbowl occured, it wiped the town out turning into the ghost town it has become. It’s now in the process of being stablized and turned into a museum so that people can continue to learn about the historic community. 

I was a little surprised when I first got there, it had been a few years since I was last there, at how much it changed in such a short amount of time. Something that really shouldn’t shock me too much as its an abandoned structure that certainly has seen it’s fair share of human footprint through out the years. There used to be 4 structures standing. Now, you’ll only find the main house to be accessible. The other 2 have been fenced off, one is crumbling at its frame, the other appears like it’s already being transitioned into preservation. From pictures I have seen from it, it looks like it’s been well-preserved. The third, has been dismantled completely, used to be a garage of some sort. 

I didn’t arrive at the location with a set plan of what I was going to shoot exactly. Even though it wasn’t my first time there, part of me was prepared for it not to be as it had previously imagined it. I wanted to try to shoot several different self portraits and definitely wanted to try to document as much of the structure as it was too. I went around the outside of the house first to try to investigate from the outside to see if there was anything obvious on the inside that would be too sketchy to enter and to make sure no one else was inside either. 

The inside was filled with heat and locusts. Grafiti was painted all over the standing walls. The rooms was small and comfy. Light leaked through the roof throughout. Some left over furniture was completly rusted over. You could find sparse remnants of old lightbulb fixtures, glass shards, and emptied cabinets. I just was able to get one portrait done in the structure because of how tight together the rooms were. (And my 50mm lens decided otherwise). 

The rooms held a thick, hot air. I wanted to get as many images as I could with how the space in that moment. It changed ever so slightly everytime I visited it and this time would more than likely the last time I would experience it as authentically as I could before it was transititioned. There were different parts of the rooms that stayed the same as the first time and other’s, the ones that frequented a lot more foot traffic, were all but a distant memory in my mind as the first time. 

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