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Theresa Busse and photographer friends spent an afternoon capturing some of Southwest Saskatchewan’s past. – from the Album Dirt Roads Cabri Area

Avid photographer Theresa Busse joins us as a Guest Blogger after recently taking a daytrip with a group of photographers to some scenic spots in Southwest Saskatchewan.  As a group they captured some iconic fall photos and spent an afternoon exploring some of the area’s old and abandoned structures. Here Theresa tells us about some of the do’s and don’t’s you should be aware of before you head out to capture some shots of  your own:

On the Road – Theresa and friends head off for an afternoon of exploring Saskatchewan’s Southwest – Photo by Theresa Busse

The only thing that you take is photos and the only thing you leave is footsteps.

Make sure you have permission before venturing onto any private property. – photo by Theresa Busse

Photographing old rural Saskatchewan can be very rewarding experience if done properly.  I have been exploring abandoned places since I was a kid, but now as an adult a couple of things have changed the way I explore.  For one I have become more of a journalistic photographer, and for another I now have a car instead of a bike.

Here’s a few tricks of the trade I’ve learned to follow before I head out and start exploring any old abandoned areas:

  • First and foremost you need to find out who owns the property and get permission to enter. Failing to do this, could mean you literally could meet the owner at the other end of his rifle.
  • It is always safer to go as a team than to go by yourself. I know a gentleman that actually went into his own property, and didn’t let anyone know where he was going.  He ended up falling through to the basement where he lay for hours.  Which brings me to my next point…
  • Remember these places are abandoned by humans and they have become invaded by coons, skunks, snakes, spiders and all types of birds – so be alert, and be sure (as the above examples shows) that the place is structurally safe before you enter.
  • Always keep an eye out for nails, glass, holes, old wells, hunting traps and no trespassing signs.
  • Respect the property like it was your own and leave the stuff you see for others to appreciate. If you do take it, it is theft and you can be charged.
  • Most importantly remember that the only thing that you should be taking is photos and the only thing you should be leaving is footsteps.

Make sure a building is structurally sound before venturing in. – Photo by Theresa Busse

The Panorama School – Photo by Theresa Busse

Abandoned buildings have so much character and interesting qualities to them.  Not only do I love taking photos of them, but I love learning to capture just what it was that “made me look.” I also have so much fun seeing the photos the others took, and seeing the same view through their eyes.

Remember to leave everything as you found it. – Photo by Theresa Busse

Photo by Theresa Busse

Photo by Theresa Busse

Guest Blogger/Photographer Theresa Busse at Batrum, SK

– Theresa Busse

How to GoHere:  There are many roads to travel in the southwest to find old abandoned buildings – just be sure to get permission before you enter any private property.

Gotta Go?:  There are many towns along the way that Theresa and her crew past through on their trip – from Gull Lake, to Hazlet, and Cabri – all have gas stations and restaurants with public washrooms.

Good to Know: 

  • The Image West Photographic Association – meets every fourth Tuesday of the month from Sept to June at 7pm at the Senior Citizen’s Activity Centre (68 Central Ave N, Swift Current, SK). Photographers DO NOT have to be seniors to join in on the fun!  They even head out on field trips like the one above on weekends to spice things up.
  • Theresa is right now in the middle of setting up her own website, and is making postcards of some of her more popular images.  If interested in seeing more of her work or purchasing it you can email her at:  tbusse@sasktel.net
  • The Group of Ten Photography Club – operates in the Southwest as well:  you can find them at: http://groupoftenphotographyclub.com – they host workshops, photography outings, and contests for amateur photographers and professionals alike!