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Images of California's Urban Decay

By Terri Stone

Structures, Erik Schmitt’s photographic project, is based on scenes he’s shot in the urban landscapes of California’s San Francisco Bay Area.

“The massive structures of concrete, glass, and steel that inhabit these environments are often ignored as industrial blight,” Schmitt states on his website, “but they serve as witnesses to the historical transformations taking place in our urban environments.”

Each image in the Structures project is made up of several photos. The building, foreground, and background are separate zones, each composed of multiple individual images that Schmitt combines in Adobe Photoshop to control distortion and flatten the picture plane. 

Schmitt works in several media. In addition to photography, he also paints and is a graphic designer. He studied all three while receiving a degree from the California College of the Arts, where he is now a senior lecturer in the design department.

Some would call this decaying building Industrial blight. Erik Schmitt transforms it into art.
Some would call this decaying building Industrial blight. Erik Schmitt transforms it into art.
Some would call this decaying building Industrial blight. Erik Schmitt transforms it into art.

See more images from Structures by Erik Schmitt.