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!
These were shot with my Nikon D600 with my 28-75mm f/2.8.
Savannah Georgia was just a quick stop along the way to break up our 17 hour drive back to Cedarville from Del Ray. We had heard a lot of cool things about it and being that we were passing through a little after dinner time, we thought it would be worth checking out. And it was! I think most of the guys would agree that we shied we could have spent more time there. The town had a very old and historic feel to it with no building over 7 stories tall and the brick and cobblestone roads. We also happened to land there on a very lively evening. Right before we got there, the town had just finished up their Shamrock 5k so everyone was out donned in their crazy green clothes and out having a good time. Everywhere we went was packed. One thing we loved was how open and airy everything was too. There was live music being played out in the streets, people eating outside, and rooftop patio bars that people could look out onto the street from. One place we loved was the candy shop right next to our pizza place. It felt like we were in Willy Wonkas chocolate factory. They were making taffy right in front of us and we saw this whole system of how the taffy got made and transported to its place in the store using conveyor belts. We also got a lot of free samples there. We ended up eating at Vinnie Van GoGo’s pizza place. This was one of the coolest restraints I had been to. It was one of those places that you could barely move in once you were inside because it was so tight. They were tossing pizza dough and making the pizzas right in front of everyone. I regrettably didn’t end up getting any good pictures in there because it was so tight and there was hardly any light in the place so you’ll just have to believe me that it was a pretty sweet place! Its something that you would more have to experience anyway because of the whole atmosphere of the town and its location. After our pizza we walked around the town much, and since I was sick of carrying around my 30lb. camera bag, I just brought my camera with the 28-75 mm lens. I completely forgot to even grab my tripod which is accessory number 1 when shooting at night. So I had to really push the limits of my new cameras ISO and use makeshift tripods such as railings and stone pillars. We were also kind of rushed so I wasn’t able to set up some shots that i wanted, but it is definitely a place I would like to return to someday to capture more of the old town feel! Quite a contrast from Miami just a few nights ago. After our brief visit in Savannah, we continued our drive all the way back north up to Ohio which took about 11 more hours. We arrived at about 10 am, and we had lost about 45 degrees from what we had in Florida 😦 It was a great relaxing vacation though, and I am glad I rush ordered my D600 so that I had it for this break! There were a lot of great opportunities to use the extra power of it during the week. I hope you enjoyed seeing some shots of our trip throughout the week! Thanks for following along 🙂
These were shot with my Nikon D600 with my 28-75mm f/2.8. As I mentioned earlier, I forgot my tripod, so I was shooting at 1600-3200 for most of these. And look at how little noise there is! Very happy with my new camera.