Urban exploration and the photography of abandoned buildings is a strange hobby, but an exciting one that gives you a serious adrenaline rush. Imagine climbing through a broken window and dropping yourself into the grand hall of a mental asylum from the 1800’s or climbing over triple spiked fences to explore the inside of an army fort used in the Irish War of Independence.
There is never a time you don’t feel alive when you’re exploring abandoned places. I specifically explore places with some type of history associated to it, so I find there is usually an atmosphere in them. Of course, the atmosphere varies depending on what type of building it is and its past.
I also enjoy the research process involved in urban exploration. There are many online ways to find the locations of abandoned sites wherever you are. Sometimes, digital maps on government websites give away locations, other times you could spot a building just from walking around but most of the clues you need are on social media and forum websites.
It’s almost like a game, hunting for the location online – that’s your key. Once you find one, you go suss the site out, find the best way inside the building and just go for it, camera ready.
There are rules of urban exploring such as leave the building as you find it, don’t vandalise and if you can, bring another person with you. Most importantly, don’t carry anything that can make you look like a hooligan about to wreck the place (no weapons, spray-paint, sharp objects etc.).
Photo galleries of more than 30 abandoned buildings I have explored can be found on my website, all were shot in either Ireland, the UK or Australia. If you know of any locations near you wherever they are in the world, I would love to hear from you!