I’m Lainey, the photographer and creator behind Abandoned World Photography. I’m Irish, female and urban exploration (urbex) and the photography of abandoned buildings has been my favourite hobby for over 10 years now.
For some reason, climbing through a broken window of jagged glass and jumping down into the grand hall of a mental asylum from the 1800’s or climbing over triple spiked fences to explore the inside of an army fort used in the Irish War of Independence – gives me a serious thrill. It challenges me, scares me and forces me to push my own boundaries time after time. It makes me feel alive and aware.
I choose the sites I explore carefully. There has to be a history attached to it, so I don’t just go into random empty houses. I love finding abandoned asylums, schools, power stations, theme parks, hospitals, nursing homes etc.
My favourite buildings I’ve photographed to date are:
- The Lideco Bắc 32 Mansions, Vietnam
- Dun Laoghaire Baths, Ireland
- Military Clancy Barracks, Ireland
- Batman Nightclub, Thailand
- Abandoned Planes in Bangkok
Countries I have explored/photographed in include Ireland, England, Thailand, Vietnam and Australia. My dream is to have enough money to go on a worldwide urban exploration trip.
What Do I Love About Urban Exploration?
I love the research process that goes into urban exploration. There are many online ways to find the locations of abandoned sites wherever you are. Sometimes, digital maps on government websites give away locations, other times you could spot a building just from walking around but most of the clues you need are on social media and forum websites.
It’s almost like a game, hunting for the location – that’s your key. Once you find it, you go suss the site out, find the best way inside the building and just go for it, camera ready.
Then there is the thrill you get as you step inside the building for the first time. After all that hard work of finding the site location and access point, you’re finally in and free to explore. THAT is a feeling of achievement.
I try to explore the building slowly and carefully, moving silently from room to room making sure there is no one occupying the building. Once that’s done, I go back to the start and begin taking photos. By this stage, time is ticking. You don’t know if someone saw you enter the building, so sometimes the photos can be a bit quite rushed. I don’t even check my gallery until I leave the building because the fear and adrenaline is telling me to keep moving and don’t stop until I’ve taken my photos and left safely.
Once I leave, I find the nearest spot I can crouch down and take a breath, and of course, look at the photos I just took. I am always amazed by them, that I was actually there and took those photos. When you take the time to analyse the images, you can see the beauty in the decay properly, whereas when you’re in the building, it’s a different feeling. You can’t exactly relax and take everything in like as if you’re going for a walk in the park!
What Rules Do I Follow?
Not many. But I do try to limit what I bring into the buildings in case I get stopped and searched by police or security. For example, I don’t bring weapons, spray paint or sharp objects with me – anything that could make me look like a vandaliser or a hooligan stays at home!
I hope you enjoy my website and I always welcome suggestions for buildings in any country for me to explore!
Happy exploring and stay safe,
Lainey Tess Quinn 🙂