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Abandoned Ruins Of Cleveland Ohio 

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  #1  
Old 02-15-2014, 02:30 PM
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Abandoned Ruins Of Cleveland Ohio

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Most travel photographers aim to capture cities with with beautiful images of sun-drenched landscapes or majestic skylines. Photographer Seph Lawless (a pseudonym) prefers to explore the darker corners of cities and document the "poor, abandoned and forgotten" places of America. The slideshow above collects his photos of abandoned schools, asylums, hospitals and houses from Cleveland, East Cleveland and northern Ohio, weathered structures and decaying buildings that have been reclaimed by nature.

"I was drawn to the [beauty] of these ruins, very similar to people's fascination of Ancient Greece," Lawless told Weather.com. "The earliest journal entry I wrote was: 'To find beauty in the most grotesque things is a gift'." The quote has become a slogan of sorts for the underground urban exploration community, according to Lawless.

But beyond a personal fascination with urban decay and ruins, Lawless feels a duty to share these images of derelict and neglected neighborhoods.

"It's not only important, it's imperative that these poor, abandoned and forgotten areas of America are seen," said Lawless. "These areas are still inhabited by some of the country's most disfranchised Americans. Since most Americans are comfortable living in denial in the suburbs keeping their head in the sand as these problems persist, I decided to use social media to shove these images into as many faces as I could in the most creative way I could."

Lawless has found that social media (he has more than 70,000 followers on Instagram and almost 30,000 fans on Facebook) gave him the opportunity to take his message globally. "Instagram has given me a reach beyond my wildest imagination," he said. "I don't consider this social media anymore. It's a social moment."

Perhaps it's because urban explorers and photographers, such as Lawless, are becoming active in social media that a growing number of people are becoming fascinated with urban exploration and urban ruins. But the fascination may also stem from exploring the unknown and the forbidden (trespass laws may apply for some abandoned properties).

Lawless himself has had to deal with authorities and the legal consequences of urban exploration. "I've been arrested over 50 times," he said. "Police and city officials are not fans of my work."

The photographer, whose first published collection of photos and written work, Autopsy of America, was released by Amazon, has traveled to almost every state in the U.S. to document abandoned buildings and structures, but there are a few cities that stand out for Lawless as particularly memorable.

"I enjoyed exploring Gary, Indiana," Lawless said. "To me it's an American city that really epitomizes the horrific effects globalization has had on American cities. Almost 70 percent of the population left, leaving a crumbling shell of a once thriving city. Now [it's] a ghost town where you can walk and drive for miles without seeing a single person — just empty stores, buildings, schools and churches. It's apocalyptic. It's very surreal. I emotionally broke down several times after being overwhelmed by all of it. For me that's the most challenging aspect of what I do."

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Old 02-15-2014, 02:58 PM
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Re: Abandoned Ruins Of Cleveland Ohio

Lot of history between those walls. Great pics

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Old 02-15-2014, 03:34 PM
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Re: Abandoned Ruins Of Cleveland Ohio

LOVE looking at these photos!

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Old 02-15-2014, 08:47 PM
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Re: Abandoned Ruins Of Cleveland Ohio

GREAT PHOTOS!! Looks like a war zone.

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Old 02-16-2014, 09:17 AM
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Re: Abandoned Ruins Of Cleveland Ohio

Fantastic photographs and post
This one is insanely beautiful to me.


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Old 02-17-2014, 04:49 PM
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Re: Abandoned Ruins Of Cleveland Ohio

Astounding images, great set

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Old 02-21-2014, 09:27 AM
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Re: Abandoned Ruins Of Cleveland Ohio

Overuse of HDR makes these pics less than mundane

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Old 02-24-2014, 05:24 PM
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Re: Abandoned Ruins Of Cleveland Ohio

luv the churches pics and i didn't know Gary was like that at all nowadays

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Old 02-24-2014, 08:06 PM
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Re: Abandoned Ruins Of Cleveland Ohio

reminds me of the PS3 game "The Last Of Us"

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Old 03-10-2014, 12:45 PM
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Re: Abandoned Ruins Of Cleveland Ohio

Im from Cleveland, I'd love to know where exactly these are and how in the hell did they not get shot and mugged while going there. If some of these are in East Cleveland, Id be completely suprised if they didnt get messed with especially if they are white. Id love to go see these but id definitely bring my trusty .45 ;) Beautiful pics

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