How do you say "No Entry" in French?

Do you only shoot the "big things" when on a trip, or do you look for hidden gems that only getting lost can deliver?

I love doors and entryways, and I am always looking around for interesting ones to photograph. I found this one while wandering in the old town area of Montreal, Canada.  Wandering is good, and in my opinion has a lot of benefits.  If I had chosen only to visit the major sites in Old Montreal, there is no way I would ever have found things like this.  Getting off the beaten path, even slightly, can really change things up in a good way!  You pretty much have to see the big things, but when you are done, toss out the checklist and wander!

Danger Keep Off

Don’t you love it when you find stuff like this by accident? 

We were celebrating a family members’ birthday yesterday, and were out in Marble Falls, TX, which is a small town up in the hill country, about an hour outside of Austin.  We went out to eat lunch, and of course I brought my camera along on this little outing.  The restaurant was perched high above this river and had an outdoor deck that offered an expansive view of the area, which I just had to investigate.  When I got out there, I saw this decayed structure and just had to get a photo of it.  To answer the obvious questions: 1) No, I did not try and get into/onto this thing, and...2) Yes, it was killing me not to.  Maybe next time.  Besides, the “Danger Keep Off” applies to other people, right?

The benefits of wandering

I like to wander - wandering is productive.  A bit of distraction is useful.  I know that sounds counter-intuitive, but I think it is a productive use of time.  It frees the mind when you are not focused on something.  I can clear my head, take random shots, and just "be" instead of "do".  When I wander, I am not looking for the "big shot" - I can just enjoy the simple pleasure of taking pictures.  And sometimes when I wander, I find myself downtown on the top of an empty parking garage, expanding my view and taking photos like this one.  They aren't big, impressive or beautiful photos necessarily, but they are still important to me nonetheless.  It is not a dramatic sunset, or the crashing of a big wave on a rocky coast, or an expansive landscape filled with the beauty of nature.  No, it is none of those things.  It is just a simple, weather-worn door atop an empty, deserted garage - and I love it.

My City of Ruins

My City of Ruins from jimnix on Vimeo.

I love Austin.  It’s a great town, through and through.  For a while I have been thinking about a slideshow sort of thing as an homage to this town I love, but I wanted to do something different than just “here’s my favorite shots of Austin” (which I reserve the right to do later!).  Our town motto is “Keep Austin Weird” and there is plenty of weirdness here, which I also love and appreciate.  Diversity is good.  So after some deliberation, I decided to show the lesser seen parts of Austin - graffiti, grit, some urban decay and things of that nature.  Musically, I am a big fan of Bruce Springsteen, and it didn’t take me long to realize I wanted the slideshow to be set to his song “My City of Ruins”.  Now Austin is far from a city of ruins - in fact, quite the opposite with all the new construction and continued urban growth here - but it’s a damn fine song and it just fit.  

I have some others ideas in mind that I may explore as well, so please let me know your thoughts by leaving a comment on the blog, or sharing with a friend, or “liking” it, or whatever you see fit.

So, here it Austin.  I hope you enjoy viewing this as much as I enjoyed creating it. 


One of many shots I took of this dying old building in downtown Austin.  I do enjoy shooting these gritty, urbex sort of shots.  Some folks out there get a chance to do this a lot, and I can see how this type of photography can get a grip on you.  It's pretty fun, and the details and textures you can find are pretty impressive.

OKC Decay

I was driving in downtown Oklahoma City, OK and looking for a place to park so I could visit the Memorial, when I saw this abandoned old building.  I quickly swerved into a spot and got out the Nikon.  I like gritty, urban scenes and this place was interesting.  I could not get in but definitely got some shots of the exterior and some through those broken windows.  I only had a few minutes though because it was nearly sunset and I wanted to get to the Memorial, so I fired off some shots and got back to my real mission that day!


Does this mean anything to anyone?  I have no idea what FROX is.  Just curious.  Hopefully it isn't a "bad" word.  I was meandering in downtown Austin, which I like to do, and saw a building that appeared to have just stopped midway through the construction phase.  Perhaps the developers ran out of cash.  It was surrounded by high fences and all that, so despite my desire to get in there and poke around, I decided it was best not to. However, there was a parking garage next to it, which gave me a nice vantage point.  I climbed 7 or 8 flights of stairs (see, camera work is good exercise!) and got the shot.  Let me know if this means anything to anyone!

Perfect participation

Through photography I have become a fan of graffiti, or "street art".  Whatever you want to call it, I find it interesting.  This is one I found over in East Austin on a recent solo photo walk.  I just like the details and textures.  I have several of these which I will share as I find them sorta fun!

Urban decay

Stuff like this is cool to take pictures of.  I was walking around the East side of Austin and drove by this old dilapidated building and just had to stop.  It really caught my eye.  I do not know the history of this shop, or even the area of town, but can tell you that the East side of Austin is undergoing a massive transformation. Years ago I wouldn't dare go to that part of town, but now there are businesses, shops, restaurants, and even condos available in the area.  The main attraction is the proximity to downtown.  It's really close, and with our core downtown area experiencing so much growth (and high costs) it was natural to expand in this direction. There are a lot of interesting and funky spots to explore in Austin, including the East side.  It goes along well with our town motto "Keep Austin Weird".  If you head over there, be sure and bring the camera!