nude man rests beside white bridge with temple in background

Jake in the Motor City

nude man stands beside egyptian columns

Continuing my enthusiasm from Portugal, I was able to schedule several new explorations of the old Rust Belt cities. My first was Detroit.

It has been about 5 years since I’ve seen this city. New to this trip – help from a Canadian urbex guy who knew about more interesting areas than I ever could! He was not only able to suggest cool sites but also insure safety while exploring. He had the “ins” with other urbex guys, knowing which neighborhoods to avoid and even how to access sites. It was much easier than my previous trip where I was randomly searching on my own.

nude man climbs stairs with hands raised to light

nude man standing in abandoned church

Also new to this trip was a Michigan model who I had met through Instagram. His name is Jake.

Originally, I thought Jake was in the Detroit area, but he ended up traveling 3 hours from Western Michigan for our shoot. That’s dedication!! And what a sweet, pleasant guy!

nude man plays organ in abandoned church

nude man prays in abandoned church

And Jake worked admirably! About the only time he wavered was when asked about climbing into the dome of this abandoned church. That’s Jake praying not to go up! 😂

But even I was a bit anxious about that thought! It was beautiful, except the railings got shorter and less supportive the higher you went.

nude man climbs circular stairs

nude man rests beside shower pole in abandoned school

The three of us explored some amazing places. Old schools, a municipal building and a church topped the list providing backdrops that reinforced my themes about mankind and history.

Technically, it was challenging. Many were dimly lit, if lit at all. And flashlights were essential, helping deter any unwanted intrusions. None of this diminished the excitement of exploring these sadly discarded buildings.

nude man stands in empty indoor swimming pool

nude man adjusting old machinery in abandoned school

Dystopic visions come alive every time I visit these settings. It’s hard not to visualize some gloomy post-apocalyptic nightmare.

My goal is to assemble models and locations in such a manner as to bring attention to these forgotten histories and acknowledge our connections to them. Detroit, unfortunately, has many options available. It is a city in an elegantly sorrowful time warp.

nude man crouching in wooden cabinet

The talented Jake Isaac can be found on Instagram @jake_isaac_88.

nude man sprawled on steps reaching forward


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