Tag Archives: abandoned
This is a glimpse at a very small section of the Heygate Estate in South London. It’s a large, empty estate that is due to be demolished at some time or other, and simply sits there unused – mostly looking drab if it wasn’t fot the graffiti that offers a colour burst around every corner.
Though I’ve known about it for some time I had never ventured there, but took the opportunity to do so on a photocrawl last week where the starting point was the Elephant & Castle, and the main item I wanted to photograph was the Strata Tower (coming up later this week).
Next time Jim is in town I think we should certainly head here for a quick walk around.
This is an automated post, as I am currently in Beijing; therefore my responses will be slow – if at all.
Last week I made a trip down to Dungeness on the very South East coast of England. It’s a pretty peculiar place, and though I would say ‘each to their own’ I would have to question in this instance why anyone would possibly wish to live there.
One of the attractions for dropping by is that there are several old and decaying boats which have been left on the shore, and these were the purpose of the trip. They’re not very large, and they are pretty similar, but it’s still good to see them and take a few shots.
As usual, the weather wasn’t quite playing ball. I know I can go to places like Iceland and complain the weather wasn’t quite nice enough, but in this instance the weather was a little too nice. I really wanted to take some photos of the boats with large and fast moving clouds behind them where I could stick on the black glass and capture one of the boats with nice moving cloud cover.
Still, it was a good day out and I’m pleased to have finally made a trip there.
Today will be my last day in Austria, hope you all had a great weekend.
I returned to my West Park set of images when looking for brackets to process recently, and found this item from the Green Curtain room. It’s fascinating looking around these abandoned places and finding old items like this, and the mind goes into overtime thinking of who had to use them and why. I have no idea if similar items are used in modern day hospitals, they probably are but part of me looks at this and thinks it is so archaic that they can’t possibly still bein use.
Today I’m taking the train up to NYC to start my vacation – hurrah!
I always enjoy hanging around in the bathrooms of abandoned places. Purely for photographic reasons, of course. Old grimy sinks and toilets make for excellent photos with a lot of texture, as I’m sure you can agree. If a derelict building has been stripped of pretty much everything else, you can usually find these fittings and a set of stairs that will make the trip a worthwhile one.
I’m bored of saying this now, but this week will be another busy one for me. I’m in the middle of packing and am at that stage where boxes cover every surface and, as I currently live in a studio, it means I have little room to move. This makes packing the final stuff, and maneuvering around everything to remove the dust bunnies that much more difficult. Nearly there though.
Have a good week everyone
During my whirlwind trip around Scotland last year with Steve we decided to stop off at an abandoned theme park one evening. It wasn’t how I imagined, being much smaller in scale than I had hoped for and not many rides to look at – but it was nice to walk around and take a few snaps all the same.
As you can see, this log flume hadn’t been used for some time and the basin had gathered quite a lot of rain water leaving the car submerged. I loved the still water and the reflections it created.
Here’s a quick shot of myself and John, myself as a hoodie and John as a serial killer character which you may recognise from some shots earlier this year. We seem to like hanging around in old churches…perhaps we’re repenting over something.
I’m off out of London to visit friends this weekend, I hope everyone has a good one.
During our Cornwall trip, John and I attempted to get a sunrise and sunset in on a daily basis, but the weather wasn’t always playing along and towards the end of the trip it seemed to have decided that we had had enough sun and it was time for us to get a little wet. After setting up camp and heading through a forest to the nearest village in order to find food we knew that we had made a mistake not taking torches as it was getting dark, and a trip back would be pretty interesting in a Blair Witch kind of way.
On the edge of this woodland area was an old church, pretty much just the ruins left due to an arson attack in the early 90s. I commented it was odd that all churches seemed to be built in graveyards, but we thought it was a great opportunity to have a little fun, especially as the drizzle had dampened out spirits (and quite literally dampened us).
It just so happened that John had a little steel wool for us to play with, and a new acquisition by way of some smoke pellets which we hadn’t quite found suitable place in London to try out yet. After a few failed attempts at using these I figured that long exposures simply weren’t going to work, so we broke out the flash and mounted this nearby – instantly better results.
Each smoke pellets last around 30 seconds to a minute, and I played around with different poses over this time period. Towards the end of one of the stints I decided to do a Platoon move and drop to my knees, hands raised. Unfortunately I landed on one of the used smoke pellets and my left knee, which is getting in a poor state due to the amount of bruising it receives from various UrbEx trips, suddenly developed a haematoma and was sore as hell. Luckily it was only a small one and the blood within quickly subsided.
For the shot above I combined two exposures; the first with my standing normally as you see in the middle of the shot, and the second of my shadow with hands raised…we are in a church afterall.
I recently took a trip to a disused gas turbine engine research facility with Shando, Sophos9 and Lovely-Like-Custard. Unfortunately I wasn’t really in the mood to take photos, which is a huge pity in a place like this. I took plenty of them, but generally they were handheld rather than bothering to take the tripod out, and looking back at them now I can’t get the motivation to process many of them. There’s also a selection where I guess I was lazy as they seem to be pretty badly out of focus.
Perhaps it was the 2 1/2 sleep I had the night before, or perhaps it was just one of those days.
At the end of the visit everyone had packed up and we were ready to work our way back out of the grounds when I noticed the plant in the above image in one corner of the huge room that I was in. As we stood around, a few people having a smoke, shooting the breeze and so on that normally happens when everyone knows it’s the end of a trip but nobody has really vocalized the fact we’re about to leave, I decided to grab my camera again quickly and take a few brackets of this scene. It was one of those times when it just felt right to go and take the shot, and after a day of being unmotivated I really thought I couldn’t be bothered with it, but am glad that I listened to my urge and not my mind as it turned out to be quite a nice shot in the end.
I’m not sure that nature will have the time to reclaim this place before it’s turned into a supermarket distribution center…but it’ll give it a good try I’m sure.
I haven’t done a square shot for a while, so when I was revisiting images I took in an old asylum in the North of Wales earlier this year I found a shot I didn’t really like originally and found that I liked the image a lot more by making it a nice square frame.
The left hand side of the original image is the part I had the greatest issue with, as there was nothing really happening there and the windows and door to the right of the frame looked too cluttered. There was also a lot happening nearer the camera in the original shot. The whole picture was unbalanced and of little interest.
I’ve been trying to look at some of my photos with a different eye of late, hoping to take elements of the image rather than simply use the whole piece that was captured, and for this one I think focussing just on the interesting corner of the shot worked very well with some great textures and interesting detail.
Meanwhile, I will be halfway through my holiday when this is posted to the blog – I’m sure time is flying for me.
The image on Friday was one that asked you to wash your hands, and this is the same urbex location so I felt it appropriate, after washing, to encourage you to now dry your hands.
I had been to this train depot previously after a trip to the Camden Catacombs had ended sooner than anticipated, but I hadn’t really spent time in any of the rooms that line two sides of it…basically because there isn’t really much there to see. On this trip I was very surprised by the amount I found to photograph in these locations, and have been especially pleased by the three shots I took in this room – it was one of those places that just seem to have worked.
My composition was a little off in this shot and I managed to crop out some of the hand towel machine at the top right and had to photoshop that to look a bit more natural. You’ll note the curved edge at the very top right – this was actually straight to match the left side. Looking closer you’ll notice that it’s now a clone of the curved section about an inch below it.
I say my composition was off, but onsite I had fully intended to crop out that right hand section altogether and just have the towel in the shot once I did the processing – this changed when back at the PC and I could see how nice that section looked, especially the awesome wallpaper in the bottom right quarter.
Alright, the first thing I have to do is admit that this is not a fire station; it’s a disused train depot. However, the vibrant red colour, and the addition of a fire extinguishers sure makes this image feel as if it is an old fire station so I’m rolling with it.
I’ve shown a photo of these stairs previously from straight on, but when we returned to this location last weekend I really wanted to shoot them again from an angle, we got lucky and had some great light that day also.
I hope you all have a great weekend.
I went on an urbex trip away at the start of the year, and when you spend the day driving, checking out abandoned places and taking photos you have no real time to plan where to sleep other than ‘we’ll be at this abandoned hospital around nightfall, so will kip there’.
Sure, this bed doesn’t look too inviting when stood taking a photo of it, but on a cold night when the floor is wet and mouldy this would actually be a nice soft place to put your sleeping bag and fall asleep and at least try and get a decent night of sleep before the next day begins.
I didn’t use this though, as it was taken at West Park and I’ve never stayed there (I opted for a hotel last time I was down in that area).
When I did sleep in an abandoned hospital it was indeed the cold, hard floor for me.
Time for another black and white shot.
As I mentioned yesterday, I really should find out more about locations I visit so that I can go ahead and talk about them. This device, regardless of the title I gave this post, probably doesn’t screw. It likely bores, or just turns, perhaps sifts – I’m not too sure.
I was looking straight down on this piece of machinery for this shot, so the blurry background you see at the top and bottom of the image is actually the floor I’m standing on. I really liked the shadows that had formed and thought these would turn out well in black and white, which is why I opted for that style of processing.
In contrast to yesterday’s image where there was a lot of space, this one is certainly a lot more cosy.
I liked the shape these overlapping pipes made from this particular angle, and the shape of them reminded me – for some reason – of the ‘tunnel of love’ that weddings guests make for the bride and groom to walk down.
As I took this photo I was sat beside a nice large hole in the ground which went down several floors. Using my torch I could see the hard, unwelcoming floor below, but dropping a screw down there took around 3 seconds to land. The room had lots of these holes but I’m not sure what they were for as I couldn’t see any exit points at the bottom – so if they were used for the storage of grain there was only really one way to get it in or out.
I really should find out more about these locations I investigate so I can actually describe them in a little more detail.
This week I have a few more images from the mills to share with you before we then head off to another urbex location.
I have a very hectic week at work and in my social life so processing time will be at a minimal, which is unfortunate as I’m heading off to San Francisco on Saturday and won’t have any time or technology to process from then for most of the next week. I aim to schedule relevant posts for the time I’m away though.
I will have very little ‘me’ time in San Francisco as I’m there on business, but I’ve decided to take my gear and try to get in a few early mornings – it would seem pointless to go all that way and not try to at least get a shot or two of their iconic bridge.
The shot above, as you may recognise, is back to the abandoned mill. As I was working my way through the floors I tended to skip the ones that had ‘nothing’ in unless we were doing the staged shots of different members of our crew. I think this was one of the only ones that I grabbed with very little in the room, but I really liked the sunlight that was coming in through the windows at this time of day.
I do love the peeling paint that you find in abandoned places, and when I think of the term ‘Beauty in Decay’ it is to this that my mind immediately goes to. Rooftops are still my favourite thing to ‘explore’, but when I find a derelict building and see the walls covered in crackling paint I get pretty excited by it.
In this shot I concentrated on the paint which is one of the columns in this room; as you can see the paint is more breaking up than it is peeling here, I would say due to both the material used for the column and the type of paint itself. I wanted to add an extra point of interest in the background so ran across the room and posed waiting for the 10 second shutter to release.
One of the many rooms in the mills featured these large metal things. I can’t get too technical about them…because then I would have to kill you. It’s not because I haven’t a clue what they are…ahem.
I think they are the ends of the grain silos – but that’s a complete guess. I just saw them as these awesome structures that I could stick my head in and which made a really cool echo when you shouted from within.
The above shot was (obviously) several exposures which I then merged into the one shot so that I appeared three times. Nice and simple in this aspect, but if you’re interested in doing something similar I highly recommend checking out Cloned Self Portraits by Viveca Koh for a look at how it’s done properly.
In other news, yesterday I reached 100,000 photo view on my Flickr Account.
Thanks very much for all of my viewers who have followed me, left comments, favourited my images and linked to me to spread my work around; it’s greatly appreciated.
One of the great things about an abandoned mill is that it’s a superb location to go with a group of guys and see what fun you can have setting up various shots. Of course ours all turn out to be quite sinister and involve tying people up, a Mexican stand-off and switchblades. Nobody ever brings a kitten or picnic as props.
I am continually impressed by the guys I go out on urbex shoots with. As I’ve said before, they’re a bunch of people you may not wish to stumble upon as a group, especially in an abandoned location (and especially when we are in the middle of one of these shoots), but they are all lovely guys, most of them family men, and the motto always seems to be ‘safety first’, even if a little more risk would make the shot that little bit better. It’s a pleasure to go out on trips with them.
I sneaked in my shots of the above in between one of the other guys taking his shots of the same scene – jumping in and out of the scene with razor in hand. Of course after I got home and was looking at a suitable way to process these images a triptych seemed like a natural way forward, and I wanted it to be a storyboard of some sort.
Let’s see, an abandoned building, a guy tied to a chair, and a razor blade. What could be more fitting than that classic scene from Reservoir Dogs where Mr. Blonde cuts off Marvin’s ear?
I added the text from that scene of the movie – so all you have to do is sing that Stealers Wheel song as you look at the image (though I imagine most of you have already done so).
Just a quick post today as I’m writing this at 7am and need to head out soon for an Urbex trip. It’s bank holiday over here in the UK and the sun is shining – of course my location of choice is somewhere dark and unused, and a bit of a death trap. Should be fun!
I quite liked this girder that was (holding up) the mill. The number 13 stood out to me as I was walking around looking for shots to take, but I can’t remember if I actually saw the rest of the text on location – I think I only noticed it after the shot had been tonemapped. Most of the time your eyes are drawn downwards to the floor for points of interest (and to make sure you’re not falling down any holes), but this one immediately had me looking upwards.
Enjoy your weekend everyone.
Today’s monotone is of myself in my usual urbex mask as I check out an old asylum.
This was my first visit to this place, but the five people I was with had all been there previously. As such, I quickly lost them all as they went to the various spots that they wanted to shoot and I was left to navigate the place solo – something I like, but with no phone signal or idea as to where I was going I felt that part could have been better planned.
I liked the light coming through the doorways in this corridor, and after taking a few test shots decided that the closest doorway was the best place for me to stand. I originally processed the shot in full colour, and quite liked how that had turned out, but thought it also worked quite well this way and of course it fits into this week’s theme of posts that are all being done in monotone.
You may have noticed a little pattern in the images being posted this week, and their lack of colour. Hopefully I’ll be able to have a whole week’s worth which are in black and white or this lovely tone.
For this shot we’re back to the Millennium Mills where one of the main features were these grain chutes which run down through the floors. The floors themselves are very unstable in places and there are sections that are missing either because the machinery has been taken out or the floors have simply decayed and fallen through, as is the case in this shot.
Windows and doorways in the background provided the bursts of light from the sun.
Alright, I admit it – I haven’t got a clue about trains.
I have no idea what purpose these white wheels served, other than offering up a lovely symmetrical photo opportunity of course. Furthermore, they wouldn’t turn so I could even figure that out.
I like to think they controlled those bumpers in the middle of the image, allowing them to retract or extend as needed…but then I also like to think that one day I’ll open up my wardrobe at home and discover Narnia so I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that their actual purpose is something entirely different.
If anyone reading this knows for sure what they do, let me know (though be warned that you will from hereon be labelled as a train spotter).
I’ve found many doors on my urbex trips, and I particular like the ones that open out in to nothing but a long drop. They usually indicate places that used to have a floor on the opposite side, and now nothing remains other than a plummet to your doom – however I’ve seen one or two where the ‘nothing’ on the other side doesn’t look to have previously been something and, for some reason, there does just happen to be a door there that is pointless.
I’ve never, however, found a functional sideways facing door, and this is a little disappointing.
Yes, I know they would not be functional, and it may defeat the purpose of their being an actual door in place rather than a window or large cat flap – but I would still like to find one that’s in place, and fully hinged and working, even if it’s just because a wall has fallen over.
As you can see, there isn’t much else to say about this image. It was a large empty room on the top floor of one part of an old asylum. It had a lot of windows. I really liked the ceiling which was in a few different colours and had these metal rod supports for some reason, they didn’t look to be very supportive so not sure of their true purpose.
It also had that sideways door over on the left…but it didn’t go anywhere.
In other news, yesterday I had my first photo shoot where I was actually expected to produce results for an end client. They hadn’t really provided me with specific details of what they wanted so I spent an hour and a half snapping various features internally (it was a library) with a few different lenses before heading out to do a few exteriors (which would have been better in more suitable weather).
I took a lot of brackets, but feel I’ll only have 15-20 images to actually show for it by the time I’m done processing them. I’m very happy with those I have done so far though and hope that the client will be also. Once I’ve submitted these it will give them a chance to actually pinpoint any other details they would like me to shoot which I may not have covered in yesterday’s session – I don’t even know how many shots they’re expecting me to produce at this time.