Through the Lens: Helga Kohl

This weekend I was all about photography. I had finally picked up some film for my Nikon and order a second round of film for my polaroid camera which I'm loving to a ridiculous degree. I kept seeing things and thinking about how it would look through the lens of my cameras. While I've gotten a few amazing shots with my polaroid, that ethereal look that I really love is definitely hard to caption and requires you working like a mad person to catch the sunlight at just the right moment as well as hoping that the image turns out to be even a third as good as you have it envisioned in your mind. But when it actually works...it's brilliant.

One thing that my eyes seem to naturally target are abandoned buildings or buildings that look like they are in some state of disrepair. It something that I always find fascinating so my love of Namibian photographer Helga Kohl's work should be of no surprise. Her photographs of the ghost town of Kolmanskop in southern Namibia really reflects what happens when mother nature takes over.

Back in 1908, diamonds were found in the area and within two years, an entire town was built to house all the workers trying to make it rich. But as the case with many natural resources a bottom was just in sight. After World War I, the price of diamonds hit the ground and left many of the workers having to seek fortune through other means (or at least in other towns). By the 1950s the town was pretty much done for it and that's when sand began to take over. Now the town is a tourist destination.

What I love most about Kohl is her ability to highlight the beauty of the space as it is town, abandoned, eventually to be hidden by sand. Each image looks like a grand portrait of that particular corner of someone's home.

So what do you think of Helga Kohl's work? Are there any interesting abandoned spaces near where you live? If so, I'd love to see a shot, so please do share!

{Photos from Bremische Buergerschaft, Fotoinfo, CCCB, Alliance Francaise SA}

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