MODERN RUINS

These images are all from road trips of my past, when I had a camera that made square photographs with analog film, before digital and Instagram. This was from when I drove a car all the time, and my girlfriend Brig wouldn’t mind if we wandered off the main road and allowed curiosity to be the compass, before GPS. It was before my travel companion became my wife and before we moved to New York.

By revisiting these images I’ve traveled back in time in a sense, and they look different now. Originally I was drawn to the textures and colors of decay, and the long shadows of the late afternoon sun.  I made these photographs to try to capture something I saw as beautiful and fleeting, and to preserve it before it was gone. So now I look again at the images after 20-some years and I think I’ve succeeded in a way, because I see in them a memory of my wife and me as our younger selves.

I think it’s okay to look back once in a while as long as we remember to keep moving forward… or even sideways, off the main road.

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Abandoned Mansion, Yarmouth, Nova Scotia 1991
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Desert Auto, Baja, Mexico 1992
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Cactus Shrine, Baja Mexico, 1992
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Desert Auto, Baja, Mexico, 1992
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Dream House, St, Mary’s Bay, Nova Scotia, 1991
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Green Room in the Dream House, Nova Scotia, 1991
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Dream House Toilet, Nova Scotia, 1991
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Crossroads, Baja, Mexico 1992
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Still Life of Cow, Baja, Mexico, 1992
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School Bus Carcass, Baja, Mexico, 1992
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Still Life of Horse, Baja, Mexico 1992
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Wreck of the Pepper Truck, Baja, Mexico 1992
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Cadillac Ranch, Texas, 1990
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Junkyard Tractor, Harmony, Pennsylvania 1990
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Junkyard Engine, Harmony, Pennsylvania 1990
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Car Door on a Barbed Wire Fence, Baja, Mexico 1992
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Seascape with Burnt Car and Wildflowers, Nova Scotia 1991
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Wonder Trailer, Nova Scotia 1991

ASHES to ASHES ~ 2017

“Ashes to Ashes”  is an ongoing project I’ve been working on, photographing strangers on the streets of New York on the day after Mardi Gras, the first day of Lent; Ash Wednesday.

 “Ashes to ashes and dust to dust” is a reminder of our fragility, and of the preciousness of the time that we  have here. Thanks to each person who shared their ashes with me.

If you like these, you can see more of my work here: thomlang.com

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CHILDREN of the PAST

A photo that I shot a few years back is on the cover of a new book, Children of the Past: Archaeology and the Lives of Kids, written by Miner Lois Huey. I made this photo at The Cave of the Hands in the Patagonia region of Argentina (see more photos here). You can learn about Cave-Roaming kids, Hinter-Gatherer Kids, Farmer Kids, Colonial Kids, and more! The book is available on Amazon.

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Below is the un-cropped original photo. You can see more of my stock photos available at Getty Images, as well as Alamy.

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THE VAMPIRE’S CABINET

Ever peek into somebody’s medicine cabinet at a party?  Maybe you should (it could save your life)!

This was a few years back (quite a few) after shooting pool at a bar downtown (way down), I somehow ended up at a little after hours get together at a 5th floor walk-up apartment. It was a nice little party. Everyone was polite and dressed real nice, and there were drinks (a tall pale stranger was mixing some strong Bloody Marys) and snacks, too. Thinking back, maybe the vibe was a little formal (everyone all dressed in black), but this was downtown after all. Things were going just fine until I slipped into the loo in search of some dental floss (to free a piece of celery from between my teeth).

Well, when I opened the medicine cabinet this is what I saw. I needed just a split second to snap this photo before I slipped out of the window and down the fire escape. 

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This photo can be licensed through Getty Images. Check out my WEBSITE to see more.

SPONTANEOUS HUMAN COMBUSTION

“It happens sometimes. People just explode. Natural causes.” – Agent Rogersz

Inspired from a scene in the 1984 film Repo Man, I made this photograph with the help of two of my nephews (and pyromaniacs-in-training). Thanks Colm – Good work,  Isaac.

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I’ve been fascinated by the idea of spontaneous human combustion since I first learned of it while studying beer and sci-fi movies in college. But it turns out that it might not be just science fiction. There have been about 200 cases reported dating back 300 years. That’s quite rare, but apparently it happens sometimes. Similarities in the recorded cases of SHC have been noted in the book Medical Jurisprudence published in 1823:

  • The victims are often chronic alcoholics.
  • They are mostly elderly females.
  • The body has not always burned spontaneously, but some lighted substance has come into contact with it.
  • The hands and feet usually fall off.
  • The fire has caused very little damage to combustible things in contact with the body.
  • The combustion of the body has left a residue of greasy, stinky ashes.

The current scientific consensus suggests that most if not all cases have overlooked external ignition sources. Yeah, right.