Back in the Urbex Saddle

So a lot of my portfolio is urbex/rurex stuff. Urban decay, modern ruins, the subject fascinates me. Photographically it’s so interesting. Abandoned structures are places out of context. We have contexts for schools, hotels, factories, etc. When the building is empty, when the windows are blown out, when the ceiling tiles form a soggy mush covering the floors our brains flip a switch that tells us “this isn’t right”.  That switch can be a hyper awareness of what’s around. The awareness searches for reasons to allay an underlying fear of the unknown. 

Lee Plaza Room
Lee Plaza Room

Lee Plaza Ball Room
Lee Plaza Ball Room

Anyways I actually hadn’t been really exploring in 2-3 years. I’m old enough that it really doesn’t seem that long. Suffice to say a fair amount has changed since I started around 2008-ish. 

Many buildings are gone, demolished, many are being rennovated, others are sealed up with private security guards and systems. Fantastic building you can just walk into are fewer. This is largely due to scrappers. People who go into abandoned buildings to remove any metal they can get their hands on. They’re not above sledge hammering through walls to get to copper pipe and in one case even took down a roof from the inside by removing its metal supports. Still some great structures still exist and I’m thankful for that. 

Lee Plaza Ball Room
Lee Plaza Ball Room

Last week I got back in the Urbex saddle. I went with my wonderful wife (a first for her), a new friend, and a really great guide. We had a superb time exploring 3 buildings in Detroit with the promise of more. I have several rolls of film to develop from this adventure. I’ really excited and I hope some good ones turn out. If you’re a film shooter that has to know, I was mostly using a Mamiya DTL500 with Ilford Delta 3200 to avoid tripodding. For now you’ll have to enjoy these digital previews!

AMC selfie
AMC selfie

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