Urban exploration (often shortened as urbex or UE) is the exploration of man-made structures, usually abandoned ruins or not usually seen components of the man-made environment. Photography and historical interest/documentation are heavily featured in the hobby and, although it may sometimes involve trespass onto private property, this is not always the case and is of innocent intention. Urban exploration is also commonly referred to as infiltration, although some people consider infiltration to be more closely associated with the exploration of active or inhabited sites.
This is an activity that has recently inspired Ryan Krahmer, and he even more recently got me excited about it. Since neither of us have full time jobs currently, and therefore have some extra free time during the day, and we live in Syracuse, NY, a city that has some incredible history and potential, and has unfortunately seen more thriving days, we decided to take on this hobby. Yesterday was the first day that I had gone out with him. We drove into the city with our bikes a tow on the back of my Cruze, and once we got to the inner harbor, we parked and the rest of the day was spent on two wheels or two feet. Our first stop is seen here at the corner of Spencer and N. Clinton. It was an old Furniture warehouse. A man there collecting bottles told us that it only went out of commission about 12-13 years ago. It has since then been completely abandoned and certainly shows some aging as you can tell by the photos. We looked around the building for anyway to get inside and explore what used to happen inside, but could not find anything, at least in broad daylight. Might be a midnight project sometime…
Photographing these old buildings is quite fun. There is so much gritty detail in all of the decay of the building. Editing them is even more fun. For these, I simply bump up the contrast quite a bit to accentuate the sharp detail in all the cracks and damage, and then take down the vibrance in all of the colors except an orange and red to keep the old, dingy bricks alive. One of my favorite shots from this building is the one of the cracked windows. I love how you can see some of the rocks still lodged into the windows cracks, left from people throwing them.
Stay tuned for more of these urban explorations from Ryan and I. We hope to hit a lot of the old abandoned history of Syracuse. If you have any suggestions of abandoned buildings to check out, leave a comment!