Thursday, February 22, 2007

Fort Ord Mob Scene

Fort Ord is an abandoned Army base just north of Monterrey, California. The base sat unused since the military moved out in the mid 1990's. With over 4000 buildings, the place was begging to be visited by urban explorers and night photographers. Sadly, most of us who thought we were so in-tune with abandoned locales in the Bay Area waited until only a year ago to begin exploring and photographing "Ord".

The bulk of Fort Ord has been systematically demolished over the past year and a half. However, a lesser-known part of the fort, the East Garrison, remainded completely untouched until earlier this month. In late January, Monterrey photographer Steve Anderson informed many of us that the East Garrison would soon be sealed off and demolished. Fortunately, the last days (nights) of public access coincided with a weekend of clear full moon skies.

(photo by Andy Frazer)

Over a period of four nights during the first weekend of February, many Bay Area night photographers decsended on the East Garrison. This mob included Rikki Feldman, Joe Reifer, Jon Haeber, Steve Walsh, Troy Paiva and myself. Many of the photographs from that last week can be found on the Flickr Fort Ord Pool.

(East Garrison Theater, by Rikki Feldman)

I've written a few times about the importance of nurturing your social network in order to keep your photography motivated and inspired. But don't underestimate the importance of keeping on top of late-breaking news through your networks. In this case, if fellow Flickerite Steve Anderson had warned us of the sudden fate of the East Garrison, none of us would have probably had a chance to shoot it on that last weekend. I can think of many other examples of some of my favorite night locations that I only learned about through these sort of networks. In fact, I can trace most of the best night locations in the Bay Area back to night photographers who were featured on this blog (most notably: Troy Paiva, Rikki Feldman, Steve Walsh and Joe Reifer).

Also, I can't close without thanking the person who gave us a Flickr introduction to Fort Ord, and our first amazing tour of the base: Flickr member Wizmo.

P.S. I have no idea why the hyperlinks are showing up in a different color in this post.


Blogger Jonathan Haeber said...

Awesome! I got a mention in your blog. I'm truly honoured.

1:02 AM  

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