Easy does it

Copyright Jeff Ball 2010

Sometimes when my brother Joshua and I were exploring these abandoned buildings, we put our self in some dangerous situations. This complex was easy enough to access but it was filled with deep pits in very dark rooms. One of these pits actually had the skeleton of what appeared to be a dog. We theorized that the dog fell in the pit and couldn’t get out. Joshua even saw scratch marks on the sides of the pit where the dog had tried hard to escape.

This photo was taken at the Chicago Steel and Wire Company building in South Chicago. I love water towers so I wasn’t going to miss the chance to shoot this one up close and personal. I climbed on to the roof to get a better vantage point. I realized the roof was pretty soft so I walked carefully to get my shot. The shot took about 5 minutes to get the different exposures I wanted and once I had the shot, I stood up and started walking back to the edge of the roof. I had momentarily forgotten how soft the roof was and my foot broke right through the roof. As I began to fall, my first instinct was to protect the camera. I turned my body and my shoulder hit the roof. Luckily, my body didn’t break a larger hole in the roof sending me two floors down into who knows what.¬† My heart was racing, my leg scratched up and a deep sense of relief that I didn’t fall to certain¬† injury or death. I carefully eased my leg out of the hole I had created and made my way to the edge of the roof and down the ladder. I found Joshua and we had a good laugh over it. We agreed to stick together from that point on.

To say the least, I think this image will always serve as a reminder to be more careful!

2 Responses to “Easy does it”

  1. Joshua Ball says:

    I love this image. This building may have been my favorite to shoot in Chicago. I didn’t even know you were on the roof so I’m sure glad you didn’t get hurt!

  2. Travis Heath says:

    Wow, that is quite an incredible story! You definitely got a fantastic picture from the whole experience.


I am a fine art photographer in Denver, Colorado. My work runs the gamut from high-end fashion to the deconstruction of masculinity. My curiosity and appreciation for the many different methods art is created and perceived has led to a diverse expression. I find myself drawn to a multitude of different themes, mediums and how they all relate and object to each other. My work stems from a belief that art is in everything.

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