22 Nov 2015

Some places are fun to explore but much harder to shoot for lack of light. Enter artificial lighting, a fun, yet frustrating, part of urbex. Short of lugging around professional lighting rigs (Not exactly the choice for mobility and discretion) we need to get creative. We’ve used flares and glowsticks, but most often the choice is the humble flashlight. I’ve found that this type of lighting is its own urbex subspecialty: getting a decent exposure without glare, hotspots or light streaks is a unique challenge most photographers don’t usually have to contend with. A case in point is the swimming pool at a shuttered high school we recently visited.

A massive room which held both an olympic-sized pool and diving board was cavernous enough to almost swallow up the lights of even our tactical strength flashlights. For these shots I needed my own light as well as the help of the Idiot Photographer, who lit things further away with her own torch, as well as stacking images together to combine the best-lit parts of several exposures. The results may not be the most awesome pictures ever, but I still like them for the effort that they took to realize.

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28 Jun 2015

Dragon House

An unlucky few may happen to glimpse the fabled Dragon House out on the rolling prairies of Saskatchewan. Its unearthly glow can be seen for miles across the flatlands, providing false hope of succor for the tired and unwary traveler. Most will steer clear of the sight, knowing not quite why, save only for the remembrance of grim stories told by the M├ętis overheard in their youth echoing in their heads.

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27 Jun 2015

We were almost done going through this defunct hospital in Detroit when we found the operating rooms. In total darkness, overhead lamps leered from the ceiling, while rusting cabinets lined the walls. An already successful exploration had gotten that much better.

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Shooting by flashlight isn’t ideal, and of all the angles and takes I tried this is really the only one that looks halfway decent. Hopefully, it conveys a bit of the sense of place.

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21 Jun 2015

I feel closest to God after he’s left the building.

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We were lucky enough to make our way into this church as a shaft of morning light was traversing the altar.

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Perhaps one God has left, but Apollo’s eye still finds its way in every morning.

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07 Apr 2015
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Books n’ Books

The Idiot Photographer and I both shot this room; she’s posted her take on it in the preceding post, now here’s my version.

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06 Apr 2015

school supply hell

In yet another abandoned school we find the inevitable Room of Forgotten Things.

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04 Feb 2015

Go For It

A couple weekends ago an urbex trip, having met with little success, morphed into a general city exploration. We would wind up in the neighborhood of Pullman on the South Side. A couple posts on this historic enclave will follow; we’ll start with a bit of art in the heart of this community.

 

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At the center of the burned-out old marketplace stands this piece of public art. It all but dares you to circumvent the chain link fence that surrounds it.

 

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28 Dec 2014

Means of escape are provided, should misadventure occur.

 

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24 Nov 2014

Three B&W shots from an abandoned theater in southern Wisconsin, including a monochrome take on a shaft of light previously photographed from a different angle in color.

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Sunshaft

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Balcony and fire exit.

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Footlights

 

 

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14 Nov 2014

I spent a long time circling this car, trying to find the right balance of exposure time, ISO, and flashlight angle. Thus, I have a lot of similar shots, and it gets hard to choose the definitive one. The original shot of this car (to be found on this recent post) I’m no longer quite happy with. So, here’s a couple variations.

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