Empty spaces – what are we living for
Abandoned places – I guess we know the score
On and on, does anybody know what we are looking for…
Another hero, another mindless crime
Behind the curtain, in the pantomime
Hold the line, does anybody want to take it anymore
The show must go on
The show must go on, yeah
Inside my heart is breaking
My make-up may be flaking
But my smile still stays on
-Queen, The Show Must Go On
NOTES FROM THE PHOTOGRAPHER
My name is Ariston Santos De Leon and I am a Photographer who lives in Maryland with my wife Rhiannon, our two rescued dog, and a bird. We love this state and what it gives us. By day I’m a public school teacher, but my free time is devoted to photography.
I have been fascinated with Photography, even at a young age. I was amazed how we can capture a moment in time that will forever pass. How a single photo can speak volumes to an audience. How an image will stay with you with the rest of your life.
About a year ago, I purchased an interchangeable lens camera and my wife encouraged me to head over to Falls Road and take photographs of an overpass that had covered in graffiti. From that moment I was hooked. My love of these places that were forgotten began that day. Places that not many people see on a regular basis. I was introduced to the world of Urban Exploring.
Urban doesn’t automatically mean “city.” Urban Exploring means photographing man-made structures that are abandoned. Baltimore once had a population of almost one million people. But because of shifts in the economy and industry, the city lost nearly half of its population. The city still had the buildings, but in time lost much of the population. Baltimore has over forty thousand abandoned buildings and it is an urban explorer’s dream.
When I enter an abandoned building I think about the past purpose of the building, the people that worked, lived, visited, or died. It’s like opening a time capsule and finding clues of the past. I think about all the small mundane things that people took for granted. Hospital beds, old televisions, books, albums, old bibles are just a few of the many artifacts that I find when I go.
As a photographer, I want to capture that story in an image. I want to capture the beauty in the ugliness. The way light bounces of things that are not considered important enough to be remembered. I want people in the outside to look inside and see what I see, to see the vibrancy of colors that are decaying, how Mother Nature is reclaiming what is hers’. It’s a journey into the history using no words. I invite you to join me on this journey and see the history and the importance of our past.
Girl, put your records on, tell me your favorite song
You go ahead, let your hair down
Sapphire and faded jeans, I hope you get your dreams,
Just go ahead, let your hair down. –Corinne Bailey Rae
De Leon Photography
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