A dead tree, a lone rock, a crumbling chimney where a house once stood. Photographer Joni Sternbach captures the beauty in the dying and the decrepit in her haunting series Abandoned
"The series started rather close to home, in Brooklyn and Staten Island," she tells us. "Scouting the water's edge I came upon some strange sights, like abandoned piers in beautiful geometric shapes, sunken ships, rusty archaic looking metal factories, strange wooden structures on the beach that looked like remnants from the civil war and a house on stilts left to decay in the bay. It got me thinking about time, the past, industry, and now what remains."
Her work strives to show people in contrast with their environment. How we impact nature and how nature impacts us.
series was the first body of work Sterbach made using the wet collodion process
."I had been making pictures at the water's edge with traditional film for several years prior and wanted to continue the relationship and connection with the ocean that I had cultivated," she says. "The collodion process comes with a set of parameters that I found intriguing and challenging. So, when I first began to work with this medium, I promptly set to work to see if I could push its limits with the hope of creating a little bit of magic and mystery. Wet-plate collodion is a slow process, and exposure times are pretty long. Capturing time in this way, on a sheet of wet glass or metal, lends itself to the element of surprise."
If Sternbach's style looks familiar, you might remember her as the one behind the vintage surf photography
. What incredible work.