Geo W. Reed building: more wall art!

I visited the abandoned Geo W. Reed factory in the St-Henri area. It is a well-known hangout for graffiti artists and I had to see it for myself. When one enters through the ground floor, all there is to see are mounds upon mounds of dirt and trash. It was not quite what I expected. As one gets to the second floor and the rooftop, it becomes readily apparent that the Geo W. Reed building is actually a semi-covered art gallery! Wall art covers almost every inch squared of this enormous building. And it gets renewed periodically as evidenced by the freshly produced modern day frescoes (and the newly discarded spray cans…)

As urban exploration goes, the Geo W. Reed building is somewhat uninteresting as its interior is essentially gutted with very few partitioning left. There are no remnants or artefacts to connect it to its former mission, making it impossible to guess what was actually produced in this site when it was operational. The feeling of discovery is nowhere to be felt in this building so one must focus on the art coexisting with urban decay.

I took a lot of pictures and post-processed my take multiple ways as I was torn between showcasing the stunning graffiti artwork and concentrating on the decaying state of the site. Most of the pictures used dynamic range compression techniques to avoid completely over-exposing the windows. Just like in cathedrals, there is artwork in the windows as well, akin to modern day stained glass. And I had to take a picture of the ubiquitous spray cans that litter the floor.

For HDR, I systematically took between 7 and 9 exposures 1 stop apart for each shot. When post-processing, I decided on which ones and how many would be needed to obtain the feel I desired for each shot.

Oh! Can you spot the sculpture entirely made of spray cans?

Equipment: Canon DSLR 5D Mk II, Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L lens, Sigma 85mm f/1.4 EX lens, tripod, RAW conversion using Adobe Lightroom 3.6

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6 thoughts on “Geo W. Reed building: more wall art!

    • Fully agree. I think that’s why I am so hooked about exploring abandoned sites. They are so photogenic, it takes no effort to get some interesting shots out of them!

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