Photography, Schools Out

Schools Out

Today I went to a place near by to get some photos. It is a school that has been closed.  I don’t know how long it has been closed for.  I noticed it a couple of weeks ago and decided to go down there today to find out if it was closed.  I wasn’t totally sure it was but thought the graffiti all over every surface was a good indication.

I was happy to see that the doors were open and we, my daughter and myself, were able to go inside.  It was weird wondering around the place.  We kept hearing strange noises and getting scared.  I think the fact that there are no children there any more is also weird.  I think  you can’t walk into a deserted school and not hear in your head the sounds of the children playing.

The sign on the door to the room above said something about Technology and we decided it was the Wood Work Room.  I like the way the light from the windows drifted across the cement floor.

I haven’t done this for a long time, showed the original image.  I don’t know if there is a lot of difference, but the one above is a 3 image HDR image processed in Photomatix Pro.  With layers piled on top of each other, one blur layer, a vignetting was applied, I also desaturated the image and turned the temperature down on it.  I thought it should be cooler as it is closed.

I took lots of photos of the school and there are some other ones I want to photograph as well.  I don’t necessarily want to do ones that are closed, or closed for good, but I thought I might try taking some photos at the school that my daughters go to.  Of course this can’t mean that I will be giving you photos of old schools for the next few weeks, but I have decided to start a new thread, is that what it is called?  So once a week, I will explore the concept of these schools.  I think this is a much better way of doing it.  It might be a Saturday thing, or it might be during the week, haven’t decided yet.

My inbox is filling up with emails from posts that many of you have done.  I have so many, but I can’t get to many of them.  It takes forever for the pages to load, so I might have to leave them all for now and start again, I hope you can forgive me.  I try and look at some each day, until I can’t stand it anymore.  One week to go and it should be back to normal.



  1. Great find! I love how you made the colorful graffiti on the windows stand out more, and the light across the floor. Empty schools feel strange, even if they’re not abandonded…It’s like they hold all that youthful angst and energy inside the walls themselves…

    • That is so true. I think when you walk into a school, all those fears, stresses, and every other feeling that we associate with school. Funny how they never go away. Thanks Marie.

  2. you’ve really enhanced the mood of this shot, I find it hard to imagine an end effect so I really admire your artistry!

  3. Greatt Image, reminds me when I walked the halls of my elementary school when it was closed awaiting demolition. I could hear all the sounds of “school”

    • Did it bring good or bad feelings? I have never been back to any of the schools I went to, though I know two of them are no longer there. Sad to think that I can’t go back.

      • It was OK. I was a Police Officer and had to check the school each night for vandals, etc. So I could go into any room and the memories would come back. I was there in the late 50’s and early 60’s. They were pretty innocent times. The kind you can never get back.

  4. Having a slow internet link is the pits! Can tell ya all about it too. I imagine myself walking down the halls of the empty school, easy to imagine how you hear voices in there. As though the building absorbs and resonates the lives of those who have occupied it.

    • It is the pits, but hopefully tomorrow it will be back to full strength, I can’t wait. We are in an area that seems to be forgotten by everyone else, so we are often last on the list.
      I agree, it was so strange being there, it was as if I was sneaking around and being there when I shouldn’t be, which I was, but I couldn’t shake the feeling I would get into trouble.

      • We are indeed last too. The cable company won’t run a line here, not enough residence sper mile they say. Poo on them!

      • It is so annoying how some bureaucrat or company can decide what services you will or won’t have. Much of Australia is very lucky to have telephones because the telephone company was owned by the government and they made sure lines were put in everywhere, then it was sold and is now privatised. Privatisation has destroyed our country and our services. Sometimes the government should remember who they represent and who they are meant to be helping.

  5. I like how the broken furniture (?) on the floor also looks like writing – there is still writing being done in the school. And of course I love the treatment you’ve given the image – it’s really given it a tough feel that’s totally right for the subject.

  6. petit4chocolatier says

    Great shot! Your photo says so much; especially the eerie stillness of no students.

    • They really are, kinda scary too because you would have no idea if anyone was hiding or not. I don’t think I would have gone in if I had been on my own. Thank you 1000.

  7. saymber says

    All that’s missing are shadow children – that’s what came to mind as I looked the picture. Don’t know what it is about your pictures that makes me think of ghosts lol. Is your internet still screwed up? Hope all gets back to normal soon for you!

    • It seems to be becoming my theme, the idea of ghosts and things that aren’t there anymore, don’t get me wrong I love it.
      Yes internet is still on a go slow, hopefully tomorrow we will be back to full strength again.

  8. Leanne, We have lots of rural schools being closed down where I live, all in the name of amalgamation and efficiency. They are very ghost-like, and eerily quiet. I too, have taken photo’s but none quite as good as yours. I too, also take my youngest child, my daughter along when photographing. Thought you might like to know that you have a fellow photographer/artist/blogger/mother in little ole New Zealand who shares some of your interests in old abandoned buildings..

    • That is wonderful Angela, you aren’t so far away, I have also heard you live in beautiful country, am hoping to get there one day.
      I think this school was closed for exactly the same reason, it is the high school and over the road from it is the primary school, closed for the same reason no doubt. Sad really. We had two school we are, they closed one and combined them both, now the population has grown so much and the school is bursting at the seams. You have to wonder what our pollies are doing some times.
      It is great to take the girls with me, company and a bit of extra security. Nice meeting you Angela.

  9. lost in sweden says

    Oh my god! I was in A closed school like this too during the summer! It was an old army base and so weird to be at… I wanted to make a post about that too, thanks for the reminder ;)

    • I look forward to seeing the post. I have so many blogs to catch up on. They are so weird, but I think it is like anywhere, where there are usually lots of people. Always strange to see them empty. Thanks

  10. At the risk of repeating myself: These abandoned environments are truly exciting – and how I wish that I could find some around here – to photograph! But maybe it’s actually a good sign for the area here that there are no abandoned places?!

    • Yes, I think it would be a good sign. We are seeing too many closed signs and for lease signs around here. Times really are changing. Thanks Truels.

    • We don’t celebrate Halloween here, some kids try, but it just isn’t something done, never has been. The school is kind of creepy, bit scary and you never know what you will find. They have locked it all up now, so you can’t get in anymore.

      • wannabephotographer87 says

        Oh wow I didn’t know that! Yeah I think the Irish brought Halloween to us a long time ago, but that’s all I know haha! Well I’m glad you got into the school when you could :)

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