Cal Poly at Night

Right now, I’m in the last three weeks of my freshman year at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo – if you haven’t heard of it, there’s a little bit more info about it on this website. And it’s been awesome so far; I’m majoring in computer science right now with a photography minor, but that all might change soon too.

Our campus isn’t particularly old – just over a hundred years or so – but it’s got its fair share of older buildings that, while they look totally innocuous during the daytime, take on a whole new, creepier character at night. I shot this first part of my series of the Cal Poly campus at night on Friday at around midnight. So, let’s go building-by-building and start exploring.

Fisher Science

I walk by Fisher everyday (there’s a path that’s been beaten into the dirt that takes you from the dorms to the main road that has all of the buildings off of it that goes alongside of it) but I’ve never had a class in there. Actually, I did have a final in there once. That’s irrelevant, though. It’s got this outdoor staircase that winds up the three floors and a set of chairs that look out from the top floor. The hallways honestly kind of look like they could be something out of a horror movie too, totally empty but with those bright fluorescent lights glowing at all hours.

Science North

Right next to Fisher is another building I’ve yet to have a class in: Science North. There’s also a little skybridge that connects the two of them. It too has a really great outdoor staircase and some creepy entryways that flicker with always-on lighting that’s just a little too bright.

Baker Science

Baker is one of the newest (it actually might be the newest) building on campus and this one I actually have had class in. Inside it’s really incredible, and even on the outside it’s less creepy and more angular than the other buildings. This school has a thing for staircases outside, but Baker’s is really, really great; very geometric and repeating and clean. If you walk around to the back side of Baker, make sure you stop and look up at the top windows of the building – you just might see the infamous alien that can be spotted if you look in the right place.

College of Science and Math

This building is one I want to come back to, but I couldn’t help stopping to take a picture of its staircase. This is one of the buildings where there are a lot of professor offices (I’ve had office hours for math here several times) and it comes with a pretty impressive entrance to boot.

The staircase to the COSAM building

And that’s it for the first part of this series. More will be on their way later on; if you want to see some more of my work at Cal Poly, check out my last post with my self-portraits, which were actually also taken at night at Poly on top of the Ag Sciences building. Until next time.

Forgotten Buildings

I’ve seen these two buildings many times and have even photographed them before (quite a bit, actually.) I’ve been wanting to do an actual series of them for a while now, so yesterday I loaded up my camera gear and set about photographing them in all of their old rusty and grimy glory.

One of the classrooms still has its old room number on it: G2. The other one’s boarded-up windows and triple-locked door didn’t seem very welcoming. I don’t know the last time either of the rooms was used to house any students, though I think they’re currently used for storage of some kind because I have seen a janitor open them once or twice. It’s one of those things where I’d like to see what’s inside, but also don’t really want to for risk of inhaling a lifetime’s worth of dust and asbestos in just a few seconds. They’re textured and dirty and photogenic from the outside at least.

Around the two old classrooms is a chair graveyard of sorts where they dump all of the broken chairs, lockers, and other bits and pieces that are probably eventually slated to make their way to the dump but have yet to do so. The whole vibe is really cool (if you’re into photographing old, beat-up odds and ends) and despite frozen fingers due to the cold air I was able to get a series of the chairs lying around as well.

Most of the photos from both series were shot on a tripod, all with my 40mm lens and 5D Mark III. Post-processing done in Aperture, Lightroom, and for two of them Silver Efex Pro 2.

I’ll periodically check back and see if there are any new additions to the chair piles (or take some more photos once they really start to rust away.) Until next time.