Last weekend, some friends and I finally had the opportunity to check out an abandoned elementary school in the small, rural town of Zebulon, Georgia. I knew someone who knew someone, and was able to get permission and the keys to the building — the best of both worlds! We were also told that there was supposedly a ghost that haunted this school — predominantly in the auditorium — but I can tell you (very thankfully) that none of us encountered it.
I’m most of the way through processing my photos from this location, but the three below have surfaced as my favorites.
Unlike the last two abandoned buildings I’ve explored, this one has been locked up and the windows boarded up, so there was really no graffiti to be found. While this allowed for a more pristine environment, the windows being boarded up did mean that the place was pretty dark. With very few exceptions, shooting hand-held here would have been close to impossible. (As much as I hate lugging my tripod around, I keep finding myself at locations whose environments pretty much require it.)
The photo above is my favorite, and I actually knew it would be the moment I walked into this room. There was wonderful natural light coming in from one of the few windows that wasn’t boarded up, and this bare lightbulb was just hanging there — begging to be photographed! And then there’s the chair rail and the texture on the wall…. I’m not a people photographer (I wait for people to get out of my pictures :-)), but I so badly wanted to photograph someone here. If I ever do a portrait shoot, I know where I’m going to do it!
Lastly, there’s this shot of the old, rusty pencil sharpener and a wonderful growing bokeh down the length of the weathered chalkboard. All of the rooms were painted different colors. Clearly, this was one of the blue rooms, which contrasted nicely with the brown of the pencil sharpener.
If you’d like to see more photos from this excursion, please check out my Zebulon Abandoned School set on Flickr.