The photography of Sam Householder


Scenes from an abandoned building

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Regular viewers of my work here will know that I am fascinated by abandoned things. Whether it’s buildings, roadside debris or old cars, I find items that were discarded full of mystery and intrigue. Why was the item left there? What was it’s purpose at one time? What’s left behind?

I was at the former Hawks Furniture building in Goshen today for a different assignment when I snapped these two photos. The first is a plywood backboard basketball hoop left on the third floor of the building. The building has had various occupants dating back to the 1880s but I wonder why the hoop was put up there? Was it in the break room and allowed workers to use their lunch hour for games of “H-O-R-S-E” or “21?”

Who knows. The other photo I just took looking out an opening in the side of the building. The building is in the process of being renovated into apartment and workspace for artists. The inside was recently power-washed and the puddle made for a nice reflector.

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Left Behind

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Here in the Midwest we’ve endured the worst winter in recent memory. In fact it was nearly as bad as the winters of 1977 and ’78, widely considered the worst of the last century.

Snow, long snaps and more snow made for a frustratingly-long winter that seemed like it was never going to end. In fact, it still feels like winter is trying to hold on for dear life as temperatures continue to struggle to hit 50 degrees with any sort of consistency.

The winter was hard on everyone and almost everything. Now that the snow is all but gone it’s time to step back and see what winter left behind.

I cruised around and took some photos of the things the snow revealed once it was gone. Items that somehow ended up on roadsides over the course of the winter. How did they get there? I don’t know. Maybe they were left there last fall and got pushed into a snowbank. Maybe they were left behind during a snowstorm or just got lost. However they got there, that’s where they are now.

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Warriors Down

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After a 23-4 season, the Westview High School Warriors lost in the 2A championship game to Park Tudor, who has now won three of the last four 2A titles.

The Warriors had the deck stacked against them, as Park Tudor, a private school, boasted size and athleticism that Westview couldn’t match.

Westview, located in rural LaGrange County gave all of us at The Goshen News a nice “Hoosiers”-type feel-good story as they ran through the Indiana basketball tournament. Westview has 384 students and is located in the unincorporated town of Emma. The school is fed mainly by Shipshewana (Population 666) and Topeka (Pop. 1,153).

Needless to say it’s a public school that is not well equipped to hang with a private school from Indianapolis like Park Tudor. However, the school has a proud basketball history and is annually going deep into their sectional.

Despite their success, Park Tudor proved to be too much for Westview as they throttled the Warriors 84-57. I hope the communities can ignore the loss and look back proudly on a great season in Topeka.

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Breaking News with a Phone

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Last week I had to drive my wife to work because her car was in the shop. This meant getting up earlier than usual, throwing on some decent clothes and driving her down to Warsaw from our apartment in Goshen.

On Thursday morning as we came into Milford, one of the small towns between Goshen and Warsaw we saw a large fire being battled right off the road we take. After I dropped her off at work I headed back to the fire scene to capture what I could and tweeted most of the information out for the paper.

The problem was that I did not have my DSLR in my car so I was stuck with my iPhone as my camera. I considered, briefly, running home and grabbing my gear and going back but I decided that I did not have enough time so I decided to just use my iPhone instead.

It worked out better than I would have thought and I think I was able to capture the scene and the action pretty well considering. Unfortunately, the blaze took the lives of two people and destroyed a business. For more on the fire you can read the story here.

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Rock City

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I’ve finally had time to get through some more of my vacation pictures from New Mexico last month. These are from our trip to the City of Rocks State Park. I flipped my camera over to Monotone and channeled my inner Ansel Adams when shooting the rocks.

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Heating up January

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With the forecast calling for record cold temperatures and tons of snow for the area, people are going to be looking for any way they can to stay warm.

I do not recommend fire spitting.

Friday was the annual Fire and Ice Festival in Goshen featuring ice carving and fire performers. This year one of the fire performers spit fire and that turned out to be my favorite thing and produced a number of good photos for me.

I mostly tried to use a fast shutter speed to bring out as much detail as I could in the fire which sacrificed some of the background but I think the effect made for cool photos.

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White Sands Christmas

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I’m in New Mexico for the holiday with my family. My parents have been renting a place so my brother and I and our wives came out to enjoy Christmas in the warmer temperatures of the southwest and get a break from the cold and dreary Midwest. Today was our first full day out here and we visited the White Sands Missile Range Museum.

The range is famous for numerous research projects related to defense, including the first nuclear bomb detonation in 1945. Naturally I took a lot of photos and I figured I would share some of my favorites. I’d have loved to photograph more than just the old missiles but since it’s a military base, that isn’t allowed!

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