Intro: How to Go Urban Exploring for Photographers
The nature of this activity presents various risks, including both physical danger and the possibility of arrest and punishment. Some activities associated with urban exploration may violate local or regional laws and certain broadly interpreted anti-terrorism laws or be considered trespassing or invasion of privacy, this should ONLY be done if your a photographer.
Step 1: Why Do We Call It Urban Exploration
It goes by many names such as UE, UrbEx, Infiltration, and Reality Hacking. It is all about going into places you are “not supposed" to go. Urban exploration has 2 different meanings for me
Step 2: Where Can This Be Done
The first one is related to the city we live in. I live in new jersey, and as far back has history goes, there so much to explore. Those are consisted as mental asylums, summer camps, factory’s, even hotels and old ww2 bunkers such as fort Hancock. We are enclosed, almost entrapped, in this urban environment. We follow the streets guided by the paths that are drawn, no chance to escape our average everyday existence. Urban exploration is the research, documentation, escape, exploration, and mapping of these forbidden spaces that include maintenance or service areas, utility tunnels, abandoned buildings, such as mental institutions, and basically any place where the everyday public are not supposed to be. Open a door, cross a fence, or sneak into a hole and you visit the world of Urban Exploration. You have left the normal world, you are exploring.
Step 3: Safty
Sure, there are a lot of risks when you really look into it, such as safety and legal issues. Im 16 years old, im still young, and im not worried about anything, im just trying to enjoy my life. So, lets talk about safety. urban exploration can be a very dangerous hobby. Whether you are climbing a crane, walking on a rotten and fragile floor, or wandering near barrels of toxic waste the risks are everywhere. Good knowledge of the environment you are in is absolutely necessary and specialized equipment adapted to the conditions is often required, such as: helmets, climbing gear, respirator, gloves, lights, ect. We strongly recommend not practicing urban exploration unless you are trained by a professional. As for me, I learned on my own, I don’t follow those rules because I have nothing to worry about. but for new comers, this step is not so bad.
Step 4: Respect the Places You Visit
No tags, no vandalism, no senseless destruction, no theft. Do not forget that people will visit the place after you do, so let them experience it just as you did! i always try to leave the place untouched and use the motto "take only pictures, leave only footprints’’ that is something I learned in boy scouts 3 years go, and who would have thought I would ever use that motto in my life again.
Step 5: No Breaking and Entering
This does not mean that every urban exploration trip is legal, but we never break anything to enter a site, locks included. We try to sneak in without any damage, much like a stealthy ninja. We also ask permission to visit places via their owners as often as possible and we are usually accommodated and allowed to enter. Hopping over a fence is not considered breaking and entering, but be aware of the consequences.
Step 6: Location Research
Finding a location is actually a lot easier than you may think. It’s getting the address and into the building that’s the tricky part.The best place to look is in a forum .A lot of forums will not tell you the location of the places they’ve explored because they don’t want just anyone accessing them, and to prevent attention from the police.If you’re a forum member and you send them a message, they will usually tell you. Failing that, a Google search often helps. The photos in this post were taken about an hour’s drive away from where I live, and I’m sure if you think hard enough you can think of some abandoned building that you pass every day (hello recession) that you can access. For me, I have a lot of friends who know where these places are, or you can try to look up the name of the building itself and try to look for a address