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The Colors of Goodbye

If you know me, you know I’ve spent more than thirteen years exploring the upper midwest with my friend Terry, photographing ghost towns, abandoned places, and roadside attractions for a number of websites, GhostsofNorthDakota.com chief among them.

One of my favorite things about the thousands upon thousands of photos we’ve taken is the color palette–these tiny rural communities have all the expected colors of the prairie, the green you’d expect of the prairie grasses and the blue of the sky, but also the earth and rust tones of decaying manmade structures.

in a moment of inspiration one night, I decided to try something different. Instead of admiring the photos as they are, I wanted to highlight just the colors. So, I picked a few photos and started by selecting a thin slice of the image, from left to right, all the way across the photo, taking care to pick a particularly colorful cross-section. Then, I stretched the slice to take up the entire frame, creating a spectral pattern of color bars, sampled from each photo. I thought the result was beautiful, and I can imagine a day when I’ll want to blow some of these up and hang ’em on the wall.

Hope you enjoy “The Colors of Goodbye.”

Nekoma, North Dakota
Nekoma, North Dakota
Standing Rock State Historic Site
Standing Rock State Historic Site
Ambrose, North Dakota
Ambrose, North Dakota
Balfour, North Dakota
Balfour, North Dakota
Bartlett, North Dakota
Bartlett, North Dakota
Ghost town Lincoln Valley, North Dakota
Ghost town Lincoln Valley, North Dakota
Kief, North Dakota
Kief, North Dakota
Knox, North Dakota
Knox, North Dakota
Ghost town Nanson, North Dakota
Ghost town Nanson, North Dakota
Stardust 17 Drive-In Theater, Grafton
Stardust 17 Drive-In Theater, Grafton

 

By Troy Larson

Publisher, photographer, producer, husband and father. Cat person. Dog lover.

11 replies on “The Colors of Goodbye”

I love your passion for your work, Troy. You always give us a different angle on each piece of work you do. Keep up the good work!

PS–Have you kept track of how many miles you guys have made? I’m sure many! 🙂

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I love the colors of Kief and Balfour. I live just miles from those little towns and pass them quite often. In fact, my mailing address is Kief, even though I don’t live in town. I used to drive bus for Butte School and Kief was on my route. I was also in the cafe in Balfour when they tore down the elevator. Such a sad passing.

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Really neat idea. As one of the earliest contributors to you – you used a couple of my shots from Sanger ND early on – I still get a lot of pleasure following your journeys across ND. Great work, guys!

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I’ve been following your travels for some time now. While I live in California, I was born in Minnesota but I grew up in Devils Lake and also had family in York. I have lots of good memories in the Devils Lake and Ramsey county area. Thank you! Love the recent colors!

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Thank you for sharing your photography with us. I sure enjoy them. Have you photographed any old buildings around Napolean or Burnstead, North Dakota and all that area? That is where my family lived. I plan to buy at least one of your books.

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Hi Troy,

The animation on the Corner Store in Verendrye (Ghosts of North Dakota) is very nice. Thanks for that. Roy and Millie Howe, the proprietors of the store, were my mother’s favorite uncle and aunt. She stayed with them in Verendrye for a few weeks in the summer as she grew up. As far as I know they got the store in about 1938 and sold out in 1957/1958 and moved to Minot. Thanks again

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