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  1. #1
    bsdunek's Avatar
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    Photographing in Abandonded Buildings

    I know there are quite a few of you that like to photograph the interiors of abondoned buildings, and I can understand the draw. In face, I have a couple of friends that do this, and make some very interesting photos. Two things are important to remember. First, you probably are trespassing, and second, these places can be dangerous.

    One of the most interesting in this area is the old Detroit Michigan Central Train Station. Just heard on the news this morning is this: http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/a...=2012204120586


    Just a reminder to be really careful, bring a good flashlight, and if you can, bet permission. Oh, yes, don't go alone. If you are hurt, there will be no one to help you. Be careful out there!!!
    Bruce

    Moma don't take my Kodachrome away!
    Oops, Kodak just did!
    For all practical purposes, they've taken Kodak away.


    BruceCSdunekPhotography.zenfolio.com

  2. #2
    Helinophoto's Avatar
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    Indeed, this is one of the dangers with Urbex.
    I mostly do this alone, so I have to take great care and not take any chances. If something should happen, I would be toast with no on to help out, better safe than sorry.

    But it's fun: http://helino-photo.blogspot.com/201...sing-home.html
    -
    "Nice picture, you must have an amazing camera."
    Visit my photography blog at: http://helino-photo.blogspot.com

  3. #3
    Steve Smith's Avatar
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    It's probably no more dangerous than hiking in hilly terrain.

    I know your trespass law in the US is different to ours in that trespass in the US is a criminal offence whereas it is a minor civil offence over here.

    If you are caught by the police, will they charge you with trespass or does the land/building owner have to press charges?

    It's a bit easier here as you are not technically trespassing until the owner of the land/building has asked you to leave and you have refused. Even in this scenario, the owner is not allowed to force you to leave and neither can the police.

    So on paper, it's a lot more risk free here. The reality though might be something different!


    Steve.
    "People who say things won't work are a dime a dozen. People who figure out how to make things work are worth a fortune" - Dave Rat.

  4. #4
    Toffle's Avatar
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    I am surprised he actually made it in there; that building is closely watched. It does draw many hopefuls, though, because of the way it dominates the landscape, and perhaps because it seems such an apt metaphor for the city of Detroit. Among local photographers, it is something of a Mt. Everest of urban exploration, but my Catholic upbringing makes it difficult to ignore No Trespassing signs. To be honest, though, I have heard that the old train station is more interesting from the outside than the inside.

    Interestingly, there is a growing number of photographers (some of them APUG members) who are growing tired of the photographic exploitation of Detroit's crumbling landscapes. It is still a beautiful city, and, if we care to take our cue from Chrysler's Superbowl ads, it is both a symbol of the country's resilient strength, and its hope for the future.
    Tom, on Point Pelee, Canada

    Ansel Adams had the Zone System... I'm working on the points system. First I points it here, and then I points it there...

    http://tom-overton-images.weebly.com


  5. #5

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    It's true, dangers of some sort lurk everywhere. When you're out in what's left of the wilderness, you can get injured; another area where it is best not to go alone. Your risks increase if you are stupid and unprepared. There's risk, and there's unnecessary risk. It is possible to do risky things relatively safely if you think ahead about what you're facing, take the right gear with you, and don't push your luck too much.

  6. #6
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toffle View Post
    I am surprised he actually made it in there; that building is closely watched. It does draw many hopefuls, though, because of the way it dominates the landscape, and perhaps because it seems such an apt metaphor for the city of Detroit. Among local photographers, it is something of a Mt. Everest of urban exploration, but my Catholic upbringing makes it difficult to ignore No Trespassing signs. To be honest, though, I have heard that the old train station is more interesting from the outside than the inside.

    Interestingly, there is a growing number of photographers (some of them APUG members) who are growing tired of the photographic exploitation of Detroit's crumbling landscapes. It is still a beautiful city, and, if we care to take our cue from Chrysler's Superbowl ads, it is both a symbol of the country's resilient strength, and its hope for the future.
    It would be a lot more challenging to photograph Detroit from a standpoint of positive outlook for the future, and try to convey what good things are occurring in that city bringing hope to the people living there. For a long time Michigan has been hit with high unemployment, very high divorce rates, and an almost unprecedented urban decay - all while citizens fondly remembers its former glory, hoping for it to somehow reappear.
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

  7. #7
    Diapositivo's Avatar
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    In semi-dangerous places better being in two. Also, if one wants to go alone, better to leave with somebody the location and the presumed time of return. If there is a delay of some hours "somebody" will alert the police telling the place.

    When I go trekking (which normally I do alone) I make known to a friend the place where I go, the paths I will be following and I send an SMS from three or four "checkpoint", so that, if I don't come back home, the rescuers know more or less exactly where to look for me. I also importantly send an SMS when I am to the car again
    Fabrizio Ruggeri fine art photography site: http://fabrizio-ruggeri.artistwebsites.com
    Stock images at Imagebroker: http://www.imagebroker.com/#/search/ib_fbr

  8. #8
    daleeman's Avatar
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    I am often careful in both places, cliffs and abandon buildings. Truthfully my CCW is far more important to me when I am doing anything urban. I do take the time to share my flight plan with my wife or others before I set out on my hikes, because I do not desire to be missing and no one know where I am.

    Durring one outing, after some urban exploring a number of us hailing from different states shared a peek at each other's CCW licenses and it struck me that I was not alone as a lawful citizen being safe in our quest for great photographic scenes. It was also good to see others had worst pictures than mine on their licenses.

    L.

  9. #9

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    In the Netherlands, space is precious so every building is either occupied or being torn down to replace. Abandoned places are mostly fenced and protected or occupied by hobo's and druggy's. There are a few "real" abandoned places, but they are rare. Your best bet is to find the building's owners and ask them for a tour. At one point they are going to renovate or demolish so they need some pictures for contractors to work with. You can also contact renovators and demolishers to ask if you can take "before" pictures. These people usually know when it is or isn't safe to go.
    The dangers aren't always visable. There can be chemicals in the building, asbestos, gasses even biohazard material. I've heard that some Urbex-ers wear gloves and masks for protection. Better safe than sorry.
    I have done legal urban exploring before. Just up to the fence, as close as possible. It's more relaxing when you don't have to look over your shoulder for the police. I know, I'm a big chicken.

  10. #10
    Steve Smith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by daleeman View Post
    shared a peek at each other's CCW licenses
    What is a CCW licence?


    Steve.
    "People who say things won't work are a dime a dozen. People who figure out how to make things work are worth a fortune" - Dave Rat.

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