Black and white photographs of abandoned places

17 black and white photographs of abandoned buildings and places by fine art photographer Keith Dotson.

There's something sad and spooky about abandoned places. Even when they're empty, you almost feel like you're trespassing on someone's privacy, no matter how long it's been since they left.

These are places people once cared about. People lived here. Or worked here. They swept the floors. They shared their meals together here, and slept here. Maybe babies were born here. Maybe someone died here. People probably prayed here, and made love here, and had arguments here. Now it's empty, dilapidated, dishonored, vandalized, collapsing.

Maybe the thing that's saddest about abandoned places is that they remind us of the transience of our existence, and that even things that feel permanent — things that feel so important to us — someday will fall to ruins.

But these are still places of beauty. The textures of age and the deliciousness of their well-crafted antique materials make these old places a magnet for photographers. Even with peeling paint and missing windows, their grace still remains. As they fade and slump, green plants sprout from cracks in the cement, birds nest in their drafty rafters, and once in a while, an intrepid photographer decides to immortalize them with a shutter click.

An abandoned church in Adams, Tennessee, a black and white photograph by Keith Dotson. Click the photograph to buy a print.

Big, Abandoned School Building in Clarksdale, Mississippi. Click to buy a fine art black and white print of this photograph.

White column with creeping ivy on the abandoned Quinn Chapel in Louisville

Abandoned farmhouse and barren trees on the Texas Panhandle. Click the photograph to buy a print.

Beautiful, abandoned row house in North St. Louis

The abandoned Gem Theater in Cairo, Illinois. Built in the 1930s and closed in 1978.

Abandoned farm buildings on the Minnesota prairie

Ruins of Smitty's Red Top Lounge, Clarksdale, Mississippi

The dark interior of an abandoned - and supposedly haunted - house.

One of many abandoned buildings in the depopulated town of Cairo, Illinois. 

Old wooden horse corral in the Utah desert


The supports for a highway that's long since gone

Empty storefront in downtown Memphis

French-Starr Piano Building in downtown Nashville, which isn't technically abandoned, but the top two floors are pretty much left unused.

House on a collapsing pier, Charleston

Victorian woodwork on an old house in Charleston. Click the photograph to buy a fine black and white print.

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