Witch Hazel Road Home.

The Home.

The Home.

As we approached this home, we quickly realized it had collapsesd in on itself. This place was heavily damaged because it was entirely open to the elements.

The place did contain an interesting array of shoes, however. As we explored around, I kept finding random shoes of all sizes and genres scattered about.
The stairwell.

The stairwell.

A random boot.

A random boot.

Another shoe.

Another shoe.

The living room was quite a state.

The living room was quite a state.

Definitely one of the smaller places we explored, but it was still interesting and we had a beer and some lunch out back in the grass after looking around.
Last St. Phillips house will be up in the next few days!
– Matt

Old Broad Cove Road Home (part 2)

Here are the second half of the edited photos, they spread throughout the rest of the home.

We ended up finding a chest full of old newspapers, dating as far back as 1966. They were carefully placed back into the chest upon browsing with gloves on.

The chair and window light.

The chair and window light.

Newspaper from 1966.

Newspaper from 1966.

Mug from 1977 graduating year.

Mug from 1977 graduating year.

Outside in the shed.

Outside in the shed.

Outside in the shed.

Outside in the shed.

Leaving, looking back at the house as we walk down the path.

Leaving, looking back at the house as we walk down the path.

All in all, a fantastic exploration!

Old Broad Cove Road Home (part 1)

It has been some time now since the last exploration journal entry… but it is summer again and the exploration season has begun!

The location and exterior of the home on Broad Cove Road.

The location and exterior of the home on Broad Cove Road.

This past week I had the great opportunity to be interviewed for the Memorial University Gazette by Catherine Burgess for my 5th publication for this series. Besides that, Catherine also suggested two new houses in St. Phillip’s to explore, along with where abouts they were. All in all, I was pretty inspired by the new interest in my series. If you are interested, you can read Catherine’s awesome article here.

A few days after the interview I got in contact with both Pete and Eliot, and planned to set out one morning to explore both the houses Catherine suggested, but also found another along the way. I will probably display all of the St. Phillip’s photos in 3 or 4 parts with some narrative.

The first home was very exciting because it was well off the road and very forested. This both protected it from the elements, along with intruders looting the place or destroying it.

Light-switches upon entering the home.

Light-switches upon entering the home.

An open drawer and shelf in a bedroom.

An open drawer and shelf in a bedroom.

A box of belongings in one of the bedrooms.

A box of belongings in one of the bedrooms.

A mobile hanging from the ceiling in the living room.

A mobile hanging from the ceiling in the living room.

At this point in the exploration Pete was roaming around and Eliot had settled in with his medium format camera setting up carefully crafted photographs. I was yet to explore off the main part of the house and into other rooms.

The Kitchen.

The Kitchen.

A mug on a shelf in the kitchen.

A mug on a shelf in the kitchen.

Utensils left in the drawers.

Utensils left in the drawers.

Part two will go up tomorrow!

Argentia Military Base.

The view from inside one of the more interesting bunkers onto the outside shelter wall.

The view from inside one of the more interesting bunkers onto the outside shelter wall.

5:00pm on Sunday evening: I meet with Pete at Hava Java in downtown St. John’s. Over a couple of coffees on the outdoor chairs we decide it will be that night we head out to the Argentia Base. I strike up my old notes on the Base and we scout it out on Google Earth. All looks well, and we decide on meeting at 3:30am that morning.

3:45am Monday morning: I pick Pete up, and we head to the store to get some food and a cup of coffee. I had spent most of the night researching the history of the Military Base and didn’t sleep, so coffee was a must. By 4:30am we are on the highway and our journey begins…

5:30am Monday morning: We arrive to our destination. As we gear up and get ready, we catch the sun coming up. The fog is just burning off the water, and its shaping up to be a great day.

The runway ruins shot early in the morning. Slight fog on the hills in the background.

The runway ruins shot early in the morning. Slight fog on the hills in the background.

Pete heading towards the runway ruins. Apparently this held the guide lights for the onshore landing strip.

Pete heading towards the runway ruins. Apparently this held the guide lights for the onshore landing strip.

Pete insisted on climbing out the ruins to the first section of the guide lights for the onshore landing strip.

Pete insisted on climbing out the ruins to the first section of the guide lights for the onshore landing strip.

We wander on, down the long roads that lead around the Argentia Base.

The roads were long, and we spent a massive amount of time roaming around.  Most of the bunkers were located just off access roads, and not too far into the woods

The roads were long, and we spent a massive amount of time roaming around. Most of the bunkers were located just off access roads, and not too far into the woods

One of the first bunkers we encountered. This one took a bit of work to get inside. The doors were massive and extremely heavy.  Apparently this was an ammunitions bunker.

One of the first bunkers we encountered. This one took a bit of work to get inside. The doors were massive and extremely heavy. Apparently this was an ammunitions bunker.

Pete taking a snap of a blast door on one of the bunkers.

Pete taking a snap of a blast door on one of the bunkers.

Inside one of the explosives bunkers.

Inside one of the explosives bunkers.

Above ground bunker.

Above ground bunker.

Explosives warning inside one of the bunkers.

Explosives warning inside one of the bunkers.

Some sort of pump station/ power plant.

Some sort of pump station/ power plant.

Inside some sort of pump station/ power plant.

Inside some sort of pump station/ power plant.

We found a pitch black drain hole.  Thought about it for a minute, grabbed our respirators and a headlight, then headed down.  It was creepy, misty, and strange.

We found a pitch black drain hole. Thought about it for a minute, grabbed our respirators and a headlight, then headed down. It was creepy, misty, and strange.

Of course, we did stop for a little break about midway through our expedition to grad a bite and a drink. At this point we had been on the go almost 6 hours.

Pete and myself taking a break at about 9am. We had been on the go for over 6 hours at this point

Pete and myself taking a break at about 10am. We had been on the go for over 6 hours at this point

All in all, we did a massive amount of roaming, but it was COMPLETELY worth it. It was a great day all around.

On the drive home it was tough fighting the 38+ hours with no sleep to stay awake, I even had a 20 oz gas station coffee I was so desperate.

I believe this is the beginning of more long day trip expeditions, it’s really a blast.

– Matt

Crew Feature #2: “Pete”

Pete the Urban Explorer.

Pete the Urban Explorer.

Pete

Although to this date I have only been on a few explorations with Pete, he is by far one of the most advanced peeps I have ever been on expedition with.

Pete’s love is first with urban exploring, and then photography follows. The result is a more pure photo documentation approach. He captures all the features and documents his expedition with a straight forward gritty approach.

This character is my go to guy. Whenever I have a truly difficult or dark and dirty exploration coming up, I get in contact with him. I know I can count on him to have my back. Not only that, Pete even snaps a few shots of me exploring some of the places. Photos which will be fantastic to include within my book publication to help the viewers understand my work.

You can check out Pete’s photos of the Genetics Lab we explored here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ffreshness/sets/72157620294623127/

Cheers to terrifying explorations.

Crew Feature: “Eliot Wright”


Eliot on exploration inside the Rubber Factor.

Eliot on exploration inside the Rubber Factor.

Eliot Wright

Eliot is a great friend of mine, and my mentor in the world of photography. In my early days of photography he answered many of my questions and helped me along the way with the technical questions I encountered. It was normal for him to spend hours in the chemical darkroom perfecting his black and white prints, and I was always grateful to spend some time in there with him. To this day, I still admire his pursuit of the arts.

Eliot in his home darkroom.

Eliot in his home darkroom.

Eliot was my foil character on the beginnings of this entire project, and he helped push me into shooting with an end goal in mind. Even though he only accompanied me on a few expeditions, he is by far the most important person in the success of this project.

To close this entry, here is a photo from over a year and a half ago when myself and Eliot snowshoed to the top of the southside hills to shoot photos of the sunrise.

Eliot on top of the Southside Hills. January 31, 2008.

Eliot on top of the Southside Hills. January 31, 2008.

Eliot Wright, is most definitely living the photographic life.

Cheers to good times.

The Crew “Feature”

With regards to my crew:

This book would not have been possible without the help of many people.

Most of my excursions and explorations involved teaming up with others. Sometimes it was as simple as a light-hearted adventure during the morning hours, but other times it was an extremely co-ordinated nighttime infiltration with lights and flashes. Each place I visited came with it’s own set of guidelines and challenges to overcome.

The first feature will be Eliot Wright. This will probably be the longest installment of the features.

Look forward to profiles on each of my fantastic crew!



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