Urban Industrial Photography,
I don’t know what attracts me so much to those old and miserable industrial relics. I guess it is a mix of illegality, danger and the unknown.
Lets face it, every building is owned by someone. It doesn’t matter if there is a fence or sign, closed or open doors. The fact that I enter a facility without the permission of the owner is trespassing. Not that I would force doors or gates, break windows, snap fences. However if there is no sign or warning, the door is open or the wall has collapsed. I will walk in and look around.
You don’t touch, take or move things. This illegal entry creates a certain tension and fear. Danger is all around you, deep holes, and if fallen into it you will be there for the rest of your life, rotten floors, chemicals you name it.
So you have to watch out where you step and scan the environment at 360 degrees at all times. But when you can overcome those fears, a new world will open up.
Entering that building is like stepping into the unknown, every room, every corner brings something new. While standing in those vast spaces the imagination kicks in, one can hear the voices from the past, the rumbling noise of the machinery, feel the heat of the torches, the smell of oil and sweat. It has taken me several times back into time, kind of a trance. And when that happens, the day is successful. It doesn’t always work, especially in buildings that have been undressed.
All what then remains is an empty shell. But even then the building has lots to offer. Look for the light; very often those facilities are poorly lit. The good thing is that in many cases windows are scattered or roofs are missing paneling. Those openings become your best friend as an abundance of sunlight will fall through .
Dust and moisture particle’s fly freely around lit by the sunlight, resulting in magnificent rays of Devine light. A surrealistic feeling! Most of those places are so dirty and ugly that they become beautiful.
As I said, it is illegal so you should know your escape route, it is dangerous so know what you are visiting and take someone along. Many will ask “ how do you find these places ? “. Just look at google maps, check the beddings of old canals in well know industrial area’s from the past. Satellite pictures well tell a lot, if you see no cars , or tracks around the facility and nothing then green grass, then there is a big change that it is abandoned. Scan for chimneys, those are always a good indication for the presence of factories. Once you found a location, Google for more information , especially on the activity and it is not a chemical plant go and scout the place.
I just love it.