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Photographer captures a beautifully broken Virginia

Posted at 7:59 AM, May 06, 2022

RICHMOND, Va. -- John Plashal finds beauty in empty homes, hospitals, and restaurants.

Structures that have been abandoned for decades.

He has visited more than 10,000 places across Virginia.

The more decayed they are - the better, John said.

The decrepit buildings have a soul, he added.

He's made it his mission to capture each one before it's too late.

"It's not uncommon for me to photograph one building one month and go back three months later and the building is collapsed or demolished and that is so painful for a guy like me," Plashal said.

The photographer enters places that would make people shudder.

“Sometimes I just find shells of homes. Other times I find beautifully ornate mansions that are fully furnished," he said. “I love going into the middle of nowhere to shoot old homes at night by myself.”

The more decrepit the better.

“When you get access to these places and get into these places you become part of them," he said.

He takes only photos and leaves nothing but footprints.

“The dilapidation effect is pretty appealing to me," he said.

The Northern Virginia native finds a kinship with crumbling buildings across the Commonwealth.

“When you drive the rural roads of Virginia you end up finding places like this," he said. "When you see it there is an element of sadness that’s imparted.”

This artist’s hobby has developed into a full-blown obsession. He recently published a book, "A Beautifully Broken Virginia."

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