What is urban exploration and photography?
Researching and finding an abandoned building, sourcing the safest entry point into said building, entering, exploring and photographing!
Why do I do it?
It is exciting, something different to do, satisfying for adrenaline junkies like myself and the photographs I capture tell stories of the past which is pretty damn cool.
How do I find abandoned buildings to explore?
Research on the Internet, old maps, Google maps, cycling/walking around different parts of the city.
How do I gain access inside the buildings?
Walk around the full perimeter of the site to find the best and easiest way in, then I go for it. Sometimes it involves climbing over a wall, gate or fence etc.
What essentials do I bring with me?
Camera, torch, extra batteries, phone, water.
What are the dangers I take into consideration?
Asbestos, security cameras/guards, trespassing signs (not!), unstable floors/ceilings/structures, squatters, dirty needles, animals…
How do I deal with these dangers?
Cover my face and mouth with a scarf (that will protect me against heavy dust particles but not asbestos), check where cameras or guards are situated and avoid them, bring an extra jumper in case I need to climb over barbed wire, watch my footing walking around the sites, wear flexible, dark clothing and I wear shoes with good grip in case I need to run.
Any tips for other explorers?
Bring wet wipes to clean your hands and face with afterwards and wear flexible clothing to allow for climbing, if you have a press pass or media card bring it for ID purposes (say you’re working on a photo shoot – it might decrease the amount of trouble you get into).
What do I NOT bring?
Spray cans, weapons of any kind, markers, large amounts of cash (in case I get robbed), screwdrivers, pliers, drugs… I shouldn’t need to go into detail here! The reason why I don’t bring any of the above is if I do get stopped or arrested, at least I don’t have anything on me that might imply I was up to no good. Stick to the basics and the story that you’re just a little weird and like to photograph abandoned buildings might actually save yourself a trip to the police station.
Got any more questions that weren’t answered here? Head over to the contact me page and drop me a message. I am happy to answer all questions, give access points and locations and just give out advice. This whole “not revealing locations” that a lot of other urban photographers rule by is a load of rubbish. Want to know a location? Just ask!