The views expressed below belong to Abandoned World Photography and is based purely on personal experience and opinion.
What is urbex/urban exploration?
Urbex, which is short for urban exploration, is the process of researching and finding an abandoned building, finding a safe entry point and exploring and in some people’s cases, photographing the site. I like to go a bit further and perform historical research on the sites I photograph. My findings are always posted with the full photo album on this website.
Why do I love urbex?
It is exciting, something different to do, satisfying for adrenaline junkies like myself and the photographs I capture tell stories of the past which is pretty damn cool. Overall, I love the historical aspect of derelict sites, and imagining what they were like back in the day.
How do I find abandoned buildings to explore?
Research on the Internet, old maps, Google maps, government websites, cycling/walking/driving around different parts of the city.
How do I gain access inside the buildings?
Walk around the full perimeter of the site to find the best way in, then I go for it. Sometimes it involves climbing over (or under) a wall, gate or fence etc.
What essentials do I bring with me when I urbex?
Camera, torch, phone, water – that’s about it! I don’t bring anything that will give the police a reason to arrest me for burglary or vandalism, see below for more on this.
What do I NOT bring?
Spray cans, weapons of any kind, markers, large amounts of cash (in case I get robbed), screwdrivers, pliers, drugs… I shouldn’t need to go into detail here! The reason why I don’t bring any of the above is if I do get stopped or arrested, at least I don’t have anything on me that might imply I was up to no good. Stick to the basics and the story that you’re just a little weird and like to photograph abandoned buildings might actually save yourself a trip to the police station! 🙂
What are the dangers I take into consideration?
Asbestos, unstable floors/ceilings/structures, crackheads, dirty needles etc.
How do I deal with these dangers?
Cover my face and mouth with a dust-barrier mask (if I had the money I would be wearing an asbestos mask but they’re expensive!), watch my footing walking around the sites, wear flexible clothing and shoes with good grip and ensure my phone and torch is fully charged before leaving the house.
Any tips for other explorers?
Bring wet wipes to clean your hands and face with afterwards and wear flexible clothing to allow for climbing, if you have a press pass or media card bring it for ID purposes (say you’re working on a photo shoot – it might decrease the amount of trouble you get into).
Got any more questions that weren’t answered here? Head over to the contact me page and drop me a message.