Over Troubled Water


This decades-vacant power plant was one of my last shoots of the year. I don’t know much history of the building, but the town it sits in was once a hotbed of industry, now largely desolate and abandoned.

img_0056 img_0047 img_0041

I think it’s obvious by the state of decay and the number of tags that this place has been empty for a pretty long time. I’ve looked through a few older photo sets from other photographers, and some sections of the building aren’t even accessible anymore. It’s in rough, rough shape.

img_0079 img_9894 img_0095 img_0092 img_0090 img_0086

I kept getting a weird vertigo-like headrush while trying to shoot the building’s gorgeous exterior. Something threw me off balance about the way the water below me was rushing by. That, and the sound of it drowning everything else out reminded me of the roar you get in your ears right before passing out.

img_0084 img_0080 img_9948img_9905

Inside, we were able to access two main floors. The first was pitch black and filthy. There were about ten oil drums crowded together in the middle of the room, and holes in the concrete floor. In case I wasn’t clear earlier, we were over rushing water…rapids. I wasn’t really in the mood to end up in the drink, so we spent little time here, and headed upstairs.


Upstairs there was way more light, and way more things to shoot. It was also safer. I loved this wall…the colors, the door, the vines, the shredded curtains, and the view of the neighboring warehouse building. I didn’t love the tagging though, and I spent a lot of time in Photoshop trying to remove as much as I could. There’s no way I could scrub it all. I think I got everything particularly offensive, but if I missed anything…sorry.


A tagger named Tim has gone a thousand percent nuts in here and scribbled his name over every surface he could manage. Tim is a marvel of modern physics, because I’m not entirely sure how he was able to reach certain heights or places in here without actually taking flight. I scrubbed his name where I could, because he’s annoying, but you might still find it if you look. It’s like I Spy!


Look at this beautiful old door!


img_9973 img_9967img_9955img_9952img_9949img_9943 img_9936 img_9932 img_9929 img_9926 img_9923 img_9917 img_9916

Robert, my good friend and one of my shooting partners that morning, climbed those weird stairless stairs to get to the control panels on the upper level. (“It’s not that far to fall.”) I wrapped up my set, then sat to watch him get a few detail shots. I’m interested to see the alternate perspective he got from up there.

img_9914 img_9910 img_0016 img_0011

After my crew finished here, we wanted to visit another nearby spot, an old hospital, which will be my last set of 2016. In the meantime, I’ve been busy working on my annual portfolio book for the year, wrapping up a few wedding albums for my lovely clients, being sick (again), the holidays, and dealing with the start of an already miserable New York winter. Until next time!


  1. Another great series Amanda…I have worked on a few of mine from here (not finished by a long shot) – but your images have a more definitive sense of gloom to them – capturing a certain aspect of this spot. Nice detail work…I miss a lot of that doing the ultra-wide shots…I agree, the rushing water was most unnerving. All the best for you during this holiday season and I am looking forward to your hospital images.

    • Amanda

      Thanks! I’m sure there are a lot of details I still missed, it was so visually busy in there. Can’t wait to see your set when it’s done. Hope you and Laura have a great holiday!

  2. Sue

    Marvellous set of images, Amanda…..and I, too am impressed at your dedication to cleaning the images of tags.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: