“The Unnoticed”

Posted on May 26, 2010 at 2:45 am
Starlite Music Theatre - Latham, NY - 09, May - 01

I am proud to present my very first photo show, “The Unnoticed”, on display at Uncommon Grounds in Albany, NY for the next 7 weeks. This series of 30 photos was selected from my Urban Exploration collection, a small journey through abandoned memories of Upstate New York that I invite you to share with me.

Moving here from France, I have always been interested in architecture; especially how a “new country” like the U.S. treats its buildings and infrastructure. How and why do people abandon places, leaving everything behind: bikes, clothes, cards, Teddy bears? Buildings come out of the ground very quickly, and are often abandoned or destroyed just as fast. My goal is to capture this unique feeling of time at work, to freeze a moment in a place’s history before it collapses into memory. Within those places that are so full of waste and decay, I try to find one splash of color or light, one beautiful thing — the flower growing through a broken window hidden in every abandoned factory or schoolhouse or theater. I try to provide a glimpse into this world of chaos and decay before it inevitably gives way to something completely different… old or new. This is hopefully what you will see in this show.

The Unnoticed - Albany, NY - 2010, May - 01.jpg

Putting everything together was a tremendous experience and something I learned a lot from. I’ll talk about it in more details in a later post. While I have been lucky to have my photos passed around quite a bit online, there is definitely something special — and very different — about sharing my own work in a physical form. This was a lot of work, and I am grateful for all the help I received. Choosing the “right” mat, finding the “right” frame, printint the “right” photo, deciding on the “proper” finish. I was often left wondering what would work best for the show. You tell me. Picking 30 shots out of more than 400 was a difficult process too, testing the fine balance between showing what I like as a photographer, and what I think people would love to see.


The show will stay at Uncommon Grounds from May 26th to July 13th, 1235 Western Avenue, Albany, NY. I have to thank Jennifer Maher at UG for offering this large space. Please contact her if you are interested in the artwork. If you notice a crooked frame, could you do me a favor and level it again? I am OCD like that :) I placed my contact info under each piece, on a small card; you can grab one if you want, leave it there, or draw a mustache on my very serious face. Go ahead.

The Book

The book is a companion to this show. I’ve assembled 110 photos from 10 abandoned locations in this 136-page volume, available in hard cover, soft cover, and ebook format for iPad/iPhone. I’m really happy with the quality of the prints, I invite you to have a look at it. It is available now at Blurb.com.

The Unnoticed - The Book - Albany, NY - 10, Jun - 01


This show would have never been possible without the help of many great people. Thanks to Chrissy, Corina, Nicole, Tex, Roham and ProducedBy for giving a hand selecting 30 photos. Thanks to my fellow urban explorers who share my interest in photography and getting dirty, Bennett C., Michael R., Paul G., Justin H., Darren K., Kim D., Michael F. & Brittany. Thanks to Stephanie and Michael R. (again) for helping me set up the show tonight and dealing with my nerves. Thanks to all of you who supported me, complimented and otherwise featured my photos, online and offline: Kerry B., the good people at All Over Albany who played a big part in this adventure, Sara Foss at The Daily Gazette, Nippertown, and of course Jennifer Maher at Uncommon Grounds.

Hope to see you there!

Facebook users, here is the corresponding event. Hope you will attend.

More photos

A few photos from the show below.

Starlite Music Theatre - Latham, NY - 09, May - 03
Al Tech - Menands, NY - 09, Oct - 04
Tall Timbers - New Scotland, NY - 09, Aug - 01
Cayadutta Tanning - Gloversville, NY - 09, Jul - 04
Abandoned Train - Albany, NY - 09, May - 01
Chalmers Knitting Factory - Amsterdam, NY - 10, Feb - 02
Wellington Hotel - Albany, NY - 09, Jun - 03
Holy Cross Campus - Rhinebeck, NY - 10, Mar - 12
Cayadutta Tanning - Gloversville, NY - 09, Jul - 20
Coke Plant - Troy, NY - 08, Nov - 01
Al Tech - Menands, NY - 09, Oct - 02

Tags: abandoned buildings, Albany, show, The Unnoticed, Uncommon Grounds


  1. Karthik says:

    A lot of these pics are stunning. May I suggest catchy captions (and a pointer to the location) for the pictures. Where was the very first picture (the black/white) taken ?

  2. Sebastien says:

    Thanks K! I added captions and a few more photos. The first pic was taken at the Starlite Music Theatre in Latham, NY.

  3. R Millis says:

    This is great stuff.
    Well done

  4. Ashley says:

    Out of curiosity, where was the train Glenmont?

  5. Sebastien says:

    Check the map on the right of the photo here.

  6. Irina says:

    your photos are great, what other things you enjoy to photograph?
    why did you choose to work in Albany? I came to Albany in 1990 from Russia and moved to Boston in 2004. Albany is a wonderful place, where I still have many friends…

  7. Sebastien says:

    Thanks! I came here for work in 2001. There is a little more about it here.

  8. Tim says:

    I was psyched to discover your site through Kristi Gustafson’s blog on the Times Union website today. As I look through these photos, there are two that really stand out for me. The first one is the Wellington Hotel shot, and the second is the typewriter at the leather factory. There is emotion in those inanimate objects! Congrats on your upcoming show at the Spectrum. Can’t wait to see more of your work.

2 Pingbacks

  1. [...] launched his photoblog which you should check out. More importantly you should read about his current exhibition. It’s pretty cool. He worked on it for a million hours, give or take a few thousand hours, [...]

  2. Nippertown! says:

    [...] Latham, NYSebastien Barre: The Unnoticed @ Uncommon Grounds, Albany. In his first solo exhibition, Sebastien Barre’s photographs tenderly examine the beauty of decay, as well as hope for renewal, in abandoned urban [...]

Leave a Reply