One question I get asked all the time is, “why do you like exploring and photographing abandoned buildings?”.
11 years on, the answer is always the same and I want to share it with you guys. In this blog, I will explain why it’s my favourite hobby and hopefully inspire others to take it up too. It’s rewarding and beneficial for both your camera and mind.
Finding the Abandoned Buildings
I love the process of finding a building to explore, whether it’s finding them online or spotting one when I’m out and about. There are plenty of Facebook pages, online forums and websites I can use to get location ideas from and government websites can be good sources of information. If I’m out for a walk or daydreaming out a train window, I’ll often spot an abandoned building and return at a later stage to explore it.
Exploring Places That I Never Knew Existed
The location of the buildings has taken me to places I didn’t even know exist, many of which are in beautiful settings. For example, larger buildings such as mental asylums, military barracks and schools, will have surrounding land such as woods or forest. I’ve gone on lovely hikes and walks on my way to some sites and witnessed incredible nature that’s been hidden away from the world for years.
Embracing Fear and Challenging Myself
When I find an accessible entry point into a building, excitement, fear and adrenaline rushes through my veins. If I can’t get a buddy to come with me (which is most times), I explore the building alone and it’s almost like setting a challenge for myself each time. Why not strengthen your mind if you have the chance?
Witnessing History Frozen in Time
Finally, the historic aspect of the hobby is so unique and special. Most of the buildings have a major role to play in history and the atmosphere of its past, interior design and sometimes incredible architecture, is very prominent in their abandoned state. It’s truly beautiful to see history frozen in time and I feel like I’m documenting the past by capturing it in photography.
So you see, exploring and photographing abandoned buildings is not just breaking into places and taking a few snaps. It’s a super exciting process involving research, exploration and adventure.
It’s also called “urbex” (short for urban exploration) or “urban photography” and is a unique style of photography which hasn’t yet taken off properly in the world of pictures. Perhaps this is down to the element of danger involved with taking the photos or perhaps other people just don’t know how to find the location or entry points into abandoned sites.
In a different article, I will go into detail about how I select and locate the sites and give tips on how to be as safe as possible while exploring and taking photographs in abandoned buildings.