Andy Lee has been taking some incredible shots of abandoned castles, fortresses that once epitomized power and wealth. Andy Lee has been taking pictures for quite some time, and the passion began about ten years ago while he was filming a documentary for a charity in Ethiopia. Lee had an old Hasselblad film camera and between scenes he started to photograph just about everything he could. Since then Lee has been a confirmed camera addict.
“The joy I still get from seeing an image projected onto ground glass, or the smell of developer is enough to keep me shooting with a smile on my face.” His collection of abandoned castles is shot in black and white, focusing our attention on these once magnificent abodes of the high and mighty. The series is aptly called Castles Made of Sand implying how all things are temporal, eventually coming to pass.
Lee wears many hats being among other things, a photographer, painter, creative director, and film maker. He shoots with 5×4 film, medium format, using digital and infrared mediums. Lee is also the doting father of two girls and can be quite a hyper doodler in his idle time.
“I love portraiture, though more recently I have started to enjoy photographing landscape. Combining the two is something I hope to develop even more,” said Lee.
A castle is a kind of fortified structure constructed in Europe and the Middle East during the middle ages by noble families. Historians argue the scope of the word castle, but typically deem it to be the private and fortified dwelling of a noble or lord. This is divergent from a palace, which was not fortified, or from a fortress that was not necessarily a home for nobles and lords.
Fortified settlements on the other hand were meant for public defense. Castles embody all that was powerful in medieval times, and this quote from Hope Mirrlees, Lud-in-the-Mist says it all. “… The round towers of the castles looked as if they were so firmly encrusted in the sky that, to get to their other side, one would have to hew out a passage through the celestial marble.”
See Lee’s homage, Castles Made of Sand here.