Category Archives: Urban Exploration

Night photography: Abandoned resort stone ruins 360º panorama

The 360º full moon night panorama of the stone ruins at an abandoned 19th century resort involved a somewhat precarious camera position. I climbed up a low stone wall into the broken up rocks and overgrown trees and shrubs next to the building. Adjusting the tripod legs on the rocks to get the camera stable was a challenge. Shooting 6-shots around for the panorama involved finding stable footing between camera rotations without upsetting the rocks that were supporting the camera. The pano stitched together just fine, and turned out to be worth the effort. Use your mouse to navigate around the image — the button on the bottom right will take you full screen!

Night photography: Deep in the woods, the ruins of a 19th century resort

Yeah I recognize that girl
I took her from rags right through to stitches
Oh baby, tonight we sleep in separate ditches.

Deep in the woods
Deep in the woods
Deep in the woods a funeral is swinging.

- Nick Cave

We drove to a place deep in the woods. We crept in the shadows but no one was around. The extensive stone ruins of a 19th century resort are fenced off, forgotten, and being eaten by trees. Who needs caffeine to stay awake when coyotes are howling all around you? The full moon blazes bright in the open, but the woods are thick and dark. What’s that rustling in the undergrowth?

We photograph the buildings and foundations until the moon has arced low in the west. We disappear as night slowly fades back into day. These woods haunt me. I hope that comes through in the photographs.

Virtual Tour of Fort Ord’s Impossible City at Night

Take cover at Fort Ord's Impossible City -- by Joe Reifer

Take cover at Fort Ord's Impossible City -- by Joe Reifer

A new portfolio of night photography of the Impossible City at Fort Ord is available on my website. The gallery contains ten 360º panoramas and four additional night photos. Located at the decommissioned Fort Ord in Monterey, California, Impossible City is a small fake town used by the military, FBI, and police for urban tactics training. The gray cement buildings are arranged to make moving from point-to-point difficult.

Impossible City is a very surreal place. Are these the stone ruins of some lost civilization? A film set for a war movie? What planet is this?

Take a virtual tour of the Impossible City by moonlight using the satellite view map below. The red dots will take you to any of the ten interactive 360º panoramas or four long exposure photos. Within each panorama are 1-3 links that allow you to explore the Impossible City. You can navigate back up to the satellite view using the small map button at the bottom right/center.