Mark Andrew Thomas
Photograph - Digital
The ruins of the old Everglades Gatorland tourist attraction off US Highway 27 in Florida. Back in it's heyday in the 1960's and 70's, this was THE attraction to go to. I have memories of my parents taking me here back in 1968 when we first moved to Florida. With the rise of the Disney Theme Parks and other attractions, not to mention stricter regulations regarding captive animals, it was only a matter of time before this roadside attraction was forced to close. Despite all this it managed to stay open until the early 90's before closing it doors forever.
Today, it's an old dilapidated ruin fading into obscurity. I've photographed this before but the overgrowth had been mowed and the building stood alone and vulnerable. Not to mention it was my first attempt at light painting. I was pleased to discover that after a year, nature is taking over again and having refined my light painting skills I figured it was time for a revisit. I'm grateful it's still standing to give me another chance at photographing this forgotten structure. A "For Sale" sign on the property means that it's only a matter of time before this piece of Florida history is gone forever.
When I look at an old abandoned structure such as this I don't see a ruin, I see magic waiting to happen, these places have a story to tell. With light painting, I have an opportunity to make a forgotten place such as this shine one last time.
February 22nd, 2015
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