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Vale Banksia College

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Banksia College was a high school that I went and photographed over 12 months ago.  It was closed a few years ago and the vandals got into it.  Not much left when I went to take photos.

It is no longer there and has been pulled down.  The school is just a memory now, so today I thought I might revisit the photos I took of it.  They are art images, and when I look at them now, they are a bit heavy handed, perhaps I will try redoing them one day, but not today.

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113 Comments Post a comment
  1. Jackie Saulmon Ramirez #

    I bet it was a nice building at one time.

    March 14, 2014
    • I think it was, a bit unusual, it was three stories and the building had a lovely curve to it.

      March 14, 2014
  2. Wonderful photos!

    March 14, 2014
  3. I really like the blue stairs!

    March 14, 2014
  4. I reallyu like the lighting in this series, especially the interiors. Not hevay-handed to me. Interesting to see you have graffiti vandalism Down Under.

    March 14, 2014
    • Thank you, the lighting was just what was there, which is nice too. Oh yes, we have that down here, everywhere, unfortunately. I just don’t understand why people want to be that destructive.

      March 14, 2014
  5. They have a depressing feel to them. I hope that, apart from quite a pleasing entrance, there wasn’t much in the college worth preserving. And that a BETTER use is being made of the space.

    March 14, 2014
    • That is good I think, I like that feeling, the feeling of loneliness too, I hope. There really wasn’t after the vandals got in there, it would have cost too much to restore it. It has been pulled down now, the land will go to some developer to split up and sell for houses. So the school will be replaced with heaps of modern homes with no personality for young families, who when it is time for their children to go to school, will have to go a long way because yet another school has been closed. I will get off my soap box now. Thanks Colonialist.

      March 14, 2014
      • That was the sort of scenario I was afraid of. Yuck.

        March 14, 2014
      • Yuck, double yuck, triple yuck. You have to wonder sometimes. We had two schools in our area, the state government decided to close one, we didn’t need two, now the only one we have is bursting at the seams. Guess what they did with the land where the previous one was?

        March 14, 2014
      • As I looked at these photos memories of my girls standing on the stage there, from graduating primary school, to plays and productions they might have been involved in one way or another or through friends, the excitement they felt, the sense of community gathering there came back to me.
        And the artist gatherings for the arts shows we conversed about and were put on there.
        These photos were to me quite sad when juxtaposed with that memory.

        March 14, 2014
      • It is very sad, and I know exactly what you mean, it is quite strange. I just can’t believe they have torn down what seemed like a perfectly good school. Thanks Christina.

        March 14, 2014
  6. amazing!!

    March 14, 2014
  7. Go Urbex!! :)

    March 14, 2014
    • I had to look that term up Pieter, never heard it before, but I really like it, and I think I will have to add it my dictionary. Thank you.

      March 14, 2014
  8. They are incredible. I need a thesaurus for commenting on your work…glorious, beautiful, rich, deep, intriguing, mysterious…I love them! :D

    March 14, 2014
  9. The shell of what was once was a place alive with human activity is now a perfect site for light to rearrange itself in the decay of the past.

    March 14, 2014
  10. I really like the feel of these photos – excellent work. Our local primary school closed a couple of years back. It was a great little school community with a wonderful, caring and inclusive atmosphere that was replaced by a ‘super school’ with all sorts of bullying and behavioural problems. Ah, progress.

    March 14, 2014
    • You have to wonder sometimes where the sense is, and why such decisions are made. We picked a primary school for our children that was small because we didn’t want them to feel overwhelmed and so they wouldn’t get “lost”, it was a good decision, but governments don’t tend to look at things the same way. It is such a shame. Progress, you have to ask, for who.
      Thank you for sharing your story.

      March 14, 2014
  11. BPics #

    Really nice

    March 14, 2014
  12. There is a point at which tagging becomes more than just vandalism. A critical mass, if you will, beyond which it becomes textural, and aesthetically interesting, even pleasing. I would love to shoot in this place, even more if some of the artists were present.

    March 14, 2014
    • I don’t like tagging, I like graffiti, but I don’t like people just tagging everything, it is just putting their name over everything, I am not a fan. I like it when they are true artists and do some wonderful things, even simple things, then the taggers come along and scribble their name over it. Sorry, I am not a fan of it. It would be interesting, sadly it is gone now, the ground getting ready for new houses. Thanks for your thoughts David.

      March 14, 2014
  13. I look at what is, and immediately imagine what was.
    Sharp contrast; lonely shadows.

    March 14, 2014
    • I have to say, I feel a sense of loneliness when I look at them, it just doesn’t seem right that a school would be that empty. Thank you Mary.

      March 14, 2014
  14. Reblogged this on Ideas .

    March 14, 2014
  15. Great, moody images Leanne….I don’t think they are heavy handed, I think the shots suit the subject and the lighting.

    March 14, 2014
    • Thank you Sue, I am glad you find them okay, I did these around the time I was exploring this sort of processing.

      March 14, 2014
  16. It’s sad to see places get damaged when abandoned.

    March 14, 2014
    • It is such a waste RoSy, they could have done something with it long before it got like this, it could have been an amazing community centre. Too short sighted our governments can be. Thank you.

      March 14, 2014
  17. These photos look great. I love the way you’ve captured the grafitti.

    March 14, 2014
  18. Seeing this vandalism makes me sick. Such a waste of a beautiful building and school.

    March 14, 2014
    • I couldn’t agree more with you, it is horrible.

      March 14, 2014
  19. One of your best sets ever Leanne. You have made this place seem like it has a life of its own. Love the darkness and starkness of all of it.

    March 14, 2014
    • Thank you, it is quite eerie, and I do like that, there is something missing, and of course we know it is the people.

      March 14, 2014
      • So true. In fact I am willing to go out on a limb and say that you may have manipulated the environment in some of the shots to make it appear as if people were recently there. That’s the feeling I get anyway.

        March 14, 2014
      • I didn’t manipulate them that way, but I made the most of the destruction, graffiti, etc, to show that. If that makes any sense.

        March 15, 2014
      • Yes it does. In any event, you made it work…..

        March 15, 2014
      • Thank you.

        March 16, 2014
  20. All great shots and a wonderful location. They fit your style and they work for me. I think that they give more of the atmosphere of an abandoned place – something that I feel that i loose too often in my abandoned work – Not my call, but I’d be most happy with these images.

    March 14, 2014
    • That is fantastic Robert, I have been waiting to hear what you thought of them, it is something that I know you like to photograph. I did a lot of work to these, to try and help get that feeling, I didn’t want them to look cheery, but rather sad and lonely. Perhaps that is the thing I am good at, making things look sad and alone. LOL. thank you.

      March 14, 2014
  21. These photos are amazing, I mean I can imagine it as a high school but I think your shot adds character. To me it looks a bit artsy and I love photographs that that kind of has that edge. Your Perspective is flawless in these shots.

    March 14, 2014
    • Wow, great comment and response to the images, thank you.

      March 14, 2014
  22. Jen #

    Leanne, I really like these a lot. The darkness suits them, as do the almost-monotones you went with. There’s just enough vibrancy—but it’s…well, not menacing, but not sunshine and lollipops, either. It’s very well suited to the subject matter. 5419 and 5459 are my favourites—the old equipment is askew and tossed about as if by a storm. These are just terrific—to my mind you’ve done them perfectly!

    It is fascinating to me that the building was torn down do quickly. Was it a public danger or was the land already spoken for?

    March 14, 2014
    • Thank you Jen, I like what you have said, and it was the look I was going for, I like how lonely the building looks too.
      It has been closed for a few years, but was only torn down this year, so it did take a while. I don’t think they knew what to do with it. I have heard houses will be built on it, sadly.

      March 14, 2014
  23. You captured the vandalism along with the light and shadows and brought an empty building to life.

    March 14, 2014
    • That is certainly the effect I was hoping for, so thank you, glad you think I got it.

      March 14, 2014
  24. Leanne, this series is unreal! I don’t think they’re heavy handed at all. In fact, I think the style suits the images quite well. I love these kinds of buildings.

    March 14, 2014
    • Thank you Shane, I sometimes think the blurring is a little heavy, and perhaps I should have made it less, which is probably the only thing I would change.

      March 14, 2014
  25. Love the light. Great photo.

    March 14, 2014
  26. Wonderful photos, Leanne. What once stood proud and majestic has been destroyed by human anger. I’ll never understand why people derive pleasure from destruction. Anyway, I have to ask, do you go to these places alone?

    March 14, 2014
    • I will never understand it either Linda, it is too weird. Thank you Linda.
      No, I would never go alone to these places, you just never who might be there. I’m not scared for myself, but I don’t want anyone stealing my gear.

      March 14, 2014
      • Then we think alike! I do know people who would go alone and you just never know who/what is there! :)

        March 14, 2014
      • No way, I like my camera too much, it is insured, but still, who wants the hassle, especially when you think about the type of people who would live in them. I might be being paranoid, but I don’t care, always go with someone. Then there is the safety aspect, what if you fall in a hole, or the roof caves in on you, you want some else there that can get help.

        March 14, 2014
      • Ah, it’s not paranoia, it’s just plain old common sense! ;)

        March 14, 2014
      • That’s what I think. :)

        March 14, 2014
  27. Love your photos! They are so good!

    March 14, 2014
  28. Leanne, you capture the light beautifully. Superb exposures.

    March 14, 2014
  29. Love this!

    March 14, 2014
  30. lmarea3070 #

    Do you ever get scared going into places like this?

    March 14, 2014
    • Oh yes, I do, I would never go in by myself, and try to make sure I go in absolute daylight. My health, and my gear, aren’t worth risking for a good shot.

      March 14, 2014
      • lmarea3070 #

        Do you get permission to go to these places?

        March 16, 2014
      • No Lisa, I don’t think you would be given permission. It is a kind of trespass sort of thing and hope you don’t get caught. Not good I know, not something I do very often.

        March 16, 2014
      • lmarea3070 #

        Yeah, I’m planning one when I go to NY this summer. Wish me luck! Also, how much equipment do you bring?

        March 17, 2014
      • Be careful Lisa, don’t go alone, and only take the bare essentials that you have to. I took one camera, one lens and my tripod. If I was going to get robbed, then they weren’t going to get much. Sometime paranoia is a good thing, it can’t hurt anyway.

        March 17, 2014
      • lmarea3070 #

        Yes I have a group of people coming with me!

        March 18, 2014
      • That is good to hear. Take care, and have fun.

        March 18, 2014
      • lmarea3070 #

        I just found this:

        http://www.abandonedplaygrounds.com/st-johns-orphanage-for-boys-decaying-and-abandoned-in-goulburn/

        I don’t know if it’s near you.

        March 19, 2014
      • Unfortunately not, it is up near Sydney, so about 800 kilometres away, or around that. What a shame, it looks really cool.

        March 19, 2014
      • lmarea3070 #

        Oh, well. :-(

        March 20, 2014
      • :(

        March 20, 2014
  31. Reblogged this on dunjav.

    March 14, 2014
  32. Loooove these photos! I love looking at photos of abandoned buildings. As sad as they can be sometimes, I always find something beautiful about them as well. I love thinking about all the stories the buildings must hold.

    March 14, 2014
    • I don’t think you are alone in looking at abandoned buildings, many people feel the same way, and photographers seem to love photographing them. Thank you.

      March 14, 2014
  33. Beautifully captured Leanne. Fantastic light.

    March 14, 2014
  34. I just love these kind of places, totally beautiful. MM 🍀

    March 14, 2014
    • I do too, we don’t have many of them here, if they can be knocked down so more houses can be built, then that is what happens.

      March 15, 2014
  35. Too bad another purpose could not be found for the school, considering the level of thought put into the architecture.

    March 15, 2014
    • I feel the same way, I can’t help thinking that it would have been a great community centre, where they could have a gallery, for artists, and then there were all those classrooms that classes could have been taught in. Apparently houses are more important.

      March 15, 2014
      • Locally, we had a school building in the south part of Colorado Springs from the 1890s that sat idle after being closed in the late 1960s. It sat empty for a long while, with a lot of projects to redevelop the building. Many of those projects did not advance from the drawing board. But in the late 1990s, the building was sold and redeveloped as loft-style apartment building. It may not be the best repurposing, but at least it didn’t get torn down.

        March 15, 2014
      • Yes, I think you are right, at least it wasn’t torn down. I suspect they knew if they left the building long enough that vandals would get in and just destroy the place, which is pretty much was happened. It was probably cheaper to tear it down. I live in an area that has a rich artistic history, but you wouldn’t think so when you see what our local council does for the community. It is so sad, that the artistic history isn’t carried in the present and the future.

        March 15, 2014
  36. Great post. I love abandoned, run down places with grafitti on the walls. :-)

    http://psychosomaticallyinlove.wordpress.com/2013/12/23/the-ruin-of-baba-2/

    March 15, 2014
    • There is something about them that so many photographers like, me included. Thank you. :)

      March 15, 2014
  37. Reblogged this on Scott Warner Photography and commented:
    Some hauntingly beautiful images here…

    March 15, 2014
  38. Ooo, I really love your editing on some of these. The lighting really makes things interesting, too.

    March 15, 2014
  39. AdLibber #

    It’s raw and honest. Evokes a sense of nostalgia in an artful and insightful way. No apologies. Just things the way the are now and memories intact. Hauntingly beautiful pictures.

    March 15, 2014
  40. I absolutely love these photos! Each one has such a story behind them, you can imagine each one as it once was compared to the state you shot them in. Amazing! :)

    March 16, 2014
    • Thank you, I really like what you have written here.

      March 16, 2014
  41. JT #

    Hi Leanne, I would say leave them as they are. I love a bit of Urban Exploration myself and would have loved to have visited the school before they pulled it down. The only thing I would say that you were a little heavy handed on is your watermark, it really distracts from the image.

    Some of the pictures do have a little bit of soft focus going on, but really great shots and editing.

    Ben

    March 18, 2014
    • Thanks Ben, I might try doing some more of the ones I took, see what I get. I know I had some of the outside that showed the building more, but it looks like I never did anything with them. I never said where the images were taken on my blog, I didn’t want to be responsible at the time for people going there, but since it has been pulled down I didn’t think it would matter. I don’t go to places like this much. I find the challenge of them not really what I am looking for.
      The watermark is distracting, but it is unfortunate that I have to put them on images like this. Thanks again.

      March 18, 2014
  42. I love how you incorporate darkness in your photos. It’s a strong effect and it works really good on abandoned places like this one.

    March 19, 2014
  43. Once again you have found beauty in the roughness … love it. My pick has the be the one with the stove.

    March 21, 2014
    • I like that beauty in the roughness. Thank you, I loved looking back on this images.

      March 22, 2014
      • They are truly beautiful … there is more to beauty than … pretty flowers. *smile

        March 22, 2014
      • I think I agree with you there Viveka. :)

        March 22, 2014

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