Where once you stood lies naught but sticks and stones,
yet some recall that you were once a magnificent home,
nestled in the quiet woods of Northern New Jersey.
In Autumn some four year ago, I made your acquaintance.
Timidly stepping through your broken door,
I set foot on creaky floors and beheld your magnificent ruin.
The second of your kind that I visited with serious intention,
camera in hand and prepared for anything I came to you,
and you taught me things that cold day.
You told me that Nature is an unyielding mistress,
she will take back that which man tore from her.
You showed me how fickle both shadows and man can be,
that beauty can be found even amongst decay and rubble.
To you Old Amber, Old Friend I raise a glass!
In thanks for the lessons of lens and curiosity you taught,
and to fare thee well as we may never meet again.
Taken to the dirt, soon to be lost to time.
Thank you for the lessons and experiences,
I will miss you, dear friend.
Old Amber was one of the first abandoned places I photographed while living in New Jersey, a love I have been unable to pursue here in South Carolina due to a lack of places to visit (that aren't old trailers or highly policed.) It was a once beautiful mansion nestled in the woods of Walpack and it taught me a lot about composition and lighting as I tried to figure out digital vs film photography. A friend informed me today that it was recently torn down and my hear aches a bit, though I knew it was inevitable given its increasingly dangerous state of decay. Maybe one day, when I go home again, I'll visit the site one last time.