Weather You Like It or Not: a Photo Gallery Sum-Up

Hello, everyone! When I visited the Abandoned America page, I looked through the photo gallery of the derelict St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, located in Germantown, PA, all taken by photographer Matthew Christopher. The first few exterior shots establish a subtle sense of dread or foreboding, with the exception of the second image, titled “Beneath the Arch;” the way the greenery frames the arch on the other side and the bright light in the background contrasting with the darkness and shadows in the foreground remind me of a portal to a fantasy world, as opposed to the aftermath of an apocalypse.

And, while the exterior of the church appears to be mostly intact, the inside of the church is revealed to be in varying degrees of disrepair; some parts of the church’s interior have signs of mild decay but are seemingly intact, while other parts have completely deteriorated, as well as revealing signs of water damage in many places. The photos that show water damage and the most deterioration make me think of the church (and perhaps the whole town, for a time) being desolated by some natural disaster, e.g. a flood or a hurricane.

The interior shots of the church feel very dark and hollow, especially the ones that show that there clearly used to be something there and has now been replaced by an empty space. The strong contrast between the darkness inside the church and the bright white light coming in through the windows seen in most of the interior shots also make the interior feel very cold and bleak, adding to the sense of loss and desolation present throughout the gallery. Another aspect I noticed about this gallery is that both the exterior and the interior of the church feel about as massive as they probably are, in real life, and I attribute this to how most of the photos are very well-balanced, following the photography “rule of three,” as well as the different perspectives and angles Christopher uses in each of his photos.

Whenever we watch movies or read books set during a post-apocalypse, the preceding apocalypse was often brought on by war or disease; however, like I mentioned before, the damage sustained by this church somewhat paints the image of an apocalypse brought on by a giant storm or some other natural disaster. The idea of a nature-related apocalypse creates a greater sense of futility, since you can’t really fight a storm the way you can fight a war or disease. By contrast, there’s also a twinge of hope from that scenario, that nature can eventually repair itself, following the storm. It’s always nice to have a sign of hope, even if they are subtle.

Anyway, I hope y’all have a good weekend. Until next time.

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