Back in the 80s while on a country ride with his wife Robert Marsala was attracted to an old building and pulled over. He always travels with a camera and just began shooting. Ever since then he's been on an exploration of structures that once bustled with life, but have been left behind as the world changes. "It took me. I am along for this ride," he chuckled as he explained his passion for this type of photography. It is no easy task to enter abandoned structures and Robert takes his work seriously. With an understanding of the chemical hazards, he dresses with protective gear, and remains alert to signs that a structure may not be safe. Marsala's photographs capture an eerie beauty that speaks of a past not that far behind us. Once active factories sit abandoned with spilled chemicals, chipping paint, and moldy walls. Asylums tall and empty with cavernous hallways, now peppered with graffiti, are transformed into art. The photographs are both historical reminders of our past and reminders that life continuously changes. That nature will consume what people leave behind and make it her own.
Marsala uses a digital camera with an infrared chip, "Visible light is what we all capture with cell phones, any type of camera, even film based cameras. Infrared photography has been around a lot of years. With the advent of digital chips, manufactures were able develop chips that are sensitive to the light that falls beyond the visible spectrum,"he explained. There are filters that you can remove which allow the photographer to capture any wave length of light that they desire. "I have a dedicated camera that shoots in the infrared spectrum," he explained. There is an element of surprise when shooting in infrared. The naked eye cannot see in the infrared spectrum, "I have an idea of what will be rendered when I go to process the images, but I will say more often than not there is something in addition to it, that I am always surprised by." For example there may not be a cloud in the sky that you can see with your naked eye, but on the infrared spectrum the sky is full of billowing little clouds. "Time wears on everything, and without intervention, nature slowly reclaims man-made structures and returns them to a state of disorder," Robert Marsala from his book of photography, In a Different Light, Photographs of Abandonment. There will be an opening reception for Marsala's work this Sunday at Gallery 53 in Meriden. For more information about the show CLICK HERE
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