Attempting to create a sense of time passed…

I have always been fascinated by ruins, abandoned places, ever since I was quite small. In all the years that I have been taking photographs, I have endeavoured to take images of these sites without people. I have never wanted tourists in modern dress in amongst old stones. Also, in some places I have found myself affected by a palpable sense of atmosphere, sometimes desperate sadness, a real feeling of a presence of those departed.

I recently saw some images taken by the very accomplished photographer Cole Thompson (, which inspired me to have a go at creating images that might give a sense of the lost past. I don’t want to copy what Cole has done, but rather to try and extend my creative repertoire. It’s going to take time for me to get my photographs to reflect my vision, but at least it’s a start! Instead of always trying to eliminate tourists from my shots, have a go at harnessing them to reflect my ideas…. Armed with ND filters, I was able to use a slow enough shutter speed to create the first attempt at the effect I was looking for. I had hoped to do this in the ruins at Kayakoy in Turkey, but there weren’t enough people. It fell to Tyneham, Dorset, on a Bank Holiday weekend…

So here it is, out of 40 shots I got one that was getting there…



  1. In case you’re interested, this guy has a blog on abandoned places:

  2. Suzanne

    Fascinating – and how intriguing to want to see people at ruins. Like you – I’m always trying to eliminate the people from my photographs. I’ll follow your progress with this concept with a great deal of interest. 🙂

    • Thanks, Suzanne! I had to smile at myself.. I usually want no-one around, and wait impatiently for a moment when I have a clear view. On Sunday, I was willing groups of people to walk into shot!

  3. You are well on your way Sue! And no better inspiration than Cole Thompson! Love his work!

  4. Allan G. Smorra

    Nice effect, it really plays well against the ruins. Time marches on!


    I am utterly fascinated by ruins also. Your image is paranormal : )

  6. Pleasingly spooky – I look forward to seeing more.

  7. What I see is a stooped and aging man with long hair, a beard and a cane. Is he really there? Was he once there? Very nice effect, Sue.

  8. Ghostly, in a good way. Love ruins too, and this processing suits this shot very well. Maybe this can be your next project when you run out of ‘ones’

  9. Love your haunted ruin Sue!!

  10. poppytump

    Brilliant Sue …. I can see you are going to really explore this technique a lot ….

  11. This is an amazing photograph Sue, and I feel just the same about not wanting people in the shots and also being drawn in by the atmosphere, the desolation at times. Powerful this…

  12. I laughed out loud, Sue! You’ve pinched my ghost(s) 🙂
    Very clever!

  13. I just looked at Cole’s work. I HATE the ghosts of Auschwitz. It’s brilliant but it spooks me. But I love The Lone Man.

    • The Ghosts of Auschwitz is brilliant photography, and, I think appropriately sombre and respectful in it’s intentions. I don’t find it easy to look at, but that’s surely the point.

  14. Pingback: Practising….. | WordsVisual

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