No Fly Zone

Photography, HDR and Urbex all go hand in hand for me, and they are all very closely linked with my mind and my actual skill level.

I only started caring about photography when I learnt about HDR, and through HDR I learnt about Urbex after checking out pictures online. My first HDR image was taken on September 11th 2010, so nearly 9 months ago now. My first Urbex trip was on November 6th 2010.

On Monday 8th November I was reflecting on the trip I had taken over the weekend. It was up to a rooftop in London, my first foray into Urbex, and it lasted about an hour as I had someone in a car waiting for me. I checked out other rooftops to do in London and found another one which I then did the next weekend. Hooked, I was looking again the following week and found an amazing one which seemed to be popular at that time. My trip for the coming weekend was going to be to that location, and it was going to be awesome!

Unfortunately I didn’t know that you need to act fast in this game. If you see somewhere that’s open and doable – get out there and do it. Don’t sit back and wait to go, as I found out when on the Wednesday of that week the place was locked up meaning I couldn’t go there.

From then on I’ve hated seeing the images taken from that location as I saw them as a missed opportunity, and I was a little jealous that others had been up there and I had missed my chance.

I checked the place out a few times, keeping an eye out to see if it was open or not, but it never was.

Until recently that is.

The day before I went to San Francisco I was heading out for the evening with a few fellow urbexers. We were going to check out a place currently being built which I have been up a few times and quite like, especially now that rooftop access is available without netting and such in the way, offering clear views. Unfortunately a truck that was parked opposite the entry point showed no signs of moving, so we opted to check out this place once more – spurred on by the fact we had seen images of it surfacing again that week.

To our surprise and delight, we got in. I was finally able to go up to a place that I had been so disappointed by many months before, and I must say it’s probably the best view of London that I’ve ever had.

The shot above is me standing in front of the red safety light which, if I’m not mistaken is used as an indicator to planes that there is a building there. It’s the lowest exposure of 3 brackets, but processing this shot in HDR did nothing for it, and so I opted to just use the one exposure here. It’s pretty much straight out of camera apart from the fact I added a slight bit of brightness to it.

Obviously you can’t appreciate how high I am looking at this image, but I’m around 32 storeys high, with my head in the clouds. More to follow from this location.

33 thoughts on “No Fly Zone”

  1. Very cool portrait, and the story that goes with it is oh so true. I’ve leaned to never skip out on an opportunity, as regretting it later just suck. Glad you finally got in and were able to snag some shots!

  2. That’s just cool – love the color put off by that light! I’ve learned about missed opportunities the hard way too…take ’em when you can get ’em is the name of the game!

  3. Great shot.
    You’re totally right that you have to sieze the moement and get up / under / into a location when Its open. There’s one I was recently eyeing that is now inaccessable and I’m quite gutted about it. If you’re going high you also have to do it before the shroud of death is errected and the saftyy netting is added.

    I’ve been up here a few times and must say it has one of the best views of London. You can see all landmarks from a central location, its nice and quiet and a really chilled location.

    Look forward to the rest of the series – your night HDR is excellent so I’m expecting some top work 😉

  4. No Fly ZoneThanks everyone.

    That’s a few locations now where I seem to have copied you (though I think Cell 3 doesn’t count as you just have to take that head on :o)
    Unfortunately I’m never going to be able to get this awesome shot:

    Thanks for the support, but beauty is in the eye of the beer-holder and all that.

  5. No Fly Zone[] You’ll just have to get up there next November!

    There are only so many locations like this and as soon as they are out ther people will take the shot. It’s very hard to do something original when all you have to work with is a fairly large square high up.

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