Urban Photography

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by neea, Feb 23, 2007.

  1. neea

    neea TPF Noob!

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  2. JIP

    JIP No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Oh to be young again (I guess I'm not really that old) when I was in school here in Pittsburgh there used to be 2 large manufacturing buildings (actually a cork factory) that we went into all the time actually I almost considered them a gallery because there was graffiti (large quality pieces not just tags) on almost all the good walls there was even an old rickety bridge that went between the buildings that now I cannot believe I ever crossed it. This place is a good illustration of "you better hurry up" if you want to shoot anything like this because recently the 2 buildings have been totally refurbished and turned into condos. I have also seen a TV sow on this where they do this very thing I remember seeing an episode where they came here to Pittsburgh and shot in an old mental institution that has since been torn down and turned into a Wal-Mart and an old theatre (the New Granada) that many have talked about refurbishing for it's heyday as a famous jazz venue.
     
  3. Torus34

    Torus34 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    With regard to 'forbidden places', I believe that while professional photojournalists may do more good than harm by entering such areas, amateur photographers should not do it.
     
  4. neea

    neea TPF Noob!

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    Why do you think that amateur photographers should not do this??

    There's a town around here that has a HUGE nunnery. I've always wanted to go in there. I could probably contact someone to get permission but I'd certainly not go alone.
    I feel that it's only a matter of time before they destroy it.
     
  5. cedew

    cedew TPF Noob!

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    You should get on uer.ca and snoop around, it's a good site dedicated to urban exploration. I frequently take photos in places where I shouldn't be. Don't do it if your not prepared to be arrested for trespassing however. If you're over 18, being arrested for trespassing is likely just a mini-booking out of the trunk of the patrol car. It is still a misdemeanor, and will be on your record for a few years. 99 out of 100 times they will recognize you as someone not out to steal or vandalize, and let you off with just a little arse chewing. You should absolutely get out there and give it a try, just be safe, and don't go at it alone.
     
  6. Aquarium Dreams

    Aquarium Dreams TPF Noob!

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    It could be argued that professional photographers do more harm than good, because they seek out publicity, which draws people who have no interest in the abandoned buildings except, "Huh huh, there's like this old building I saw on TV last night that looks like really cool we could bring our girls down there with a couple forties and huh huh huh..." or to practice their fire setting/gun shooting/meth making skills. In a perfect world, they would set up a ticket booth and charge everyone five dollars to see the building as it is, and we wouldn't have to worry about those amateurs wrecking the buildings with their mediocre photography and fanatacism about history. They should find something else to do, like volunteer to help some old person.

    How huge is this nunnery, neaa? And how old? You could probably get inside. Go with someone, or at least let someone know where you are. A few times, when I've been out at locations, I've run into the owners or caretakers, and have been allowed to take photos. The only bad thing about that is that they are usually hyper paranoid about liability, so they might want to be with you the whole time, which can kill the mood. Also, some owners will flat out refuse. In one case, I had this guy shuffle his feet for weeks, asking other people, before finally saying no, stating liability. It really made me wonder why I bothered. I could have picked the lock and been in and out in twenty minutes, but like a ninny I asked, wasted a lot of time, and got turned down for something (it was a fallout shelter, of all the lamest places) that looks like walmart compared to some of the places I go in.
     
  7. nolatome

    nolatome TPF Noob!

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    Great unique project idea. Probably wouldn't have thought of this on my own, however now my interest is peaked. I think I might do some snooping. I have found for other projects that contacting the security or a little research can reveal the property managers, and they are usually willing to open up to non-profit driven enthusiast. Don't forget the copyright release form.
     
  8. JIP

    JIP No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I guess one thing to look out for is trouble look around corners and keep your gear close the place I mentioned in my first post was crawling with homeless people most of them were harmless but some might see a person with a bagfull of expensive camera gear and see an easy target
     
  9. brighteyesphotos

    brighteyesphotos TPF Noob!

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    There is a place in Kalamazoo I want to get into. I can't remember exactly where it is but I know if I went looking, I could find it. Problem is that it supposedly has alarms and is monitored. It's an old hositpal for the "criminally insane" and an old friend of mine took me there about 8 years ago, before I was into photography like I am now. I never got to go in but standing outside it, I was freaked. There are a couple other places here in town that I want to get into but trespassing is a bit of an issue. One place in particular, I'm trying to figure out where can I park my car without being suspicious and still get in, do what I want and then get back to my car without being obvious. How do some do it?
     
  10. xfloggingkylex

    xfloggingkylex TPF Noob!

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    practice meth making skills.... classic
     
  11. neea

    neea TPF Noob!

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    This old nunnery.. hmm. I'm not sure how old it is but it's big. It's 3-4 stories tall and I couldn't say for sure how many rooms could be in it.
    I do know that a guy lives on the main floor with his son. Whether or not he owns it I'm not sure.
    Homeless people and drug addicts are no need for concern around here. The town this building is in maybe has 200 people.. and that's including farmers that live in about a 15+ km radius.

    When I get my digital and the weather is nice I will probably contact the town office first.
    I would never think of picking locks or anything else considered breaking and entering. I want to continue living in this town and plan to make money through photography... this would ruin me in a real hurry as news travels fast!!!

    There are also hundreds of old barns and buildings.
    I don't know if I posted them on here before but here's a couple pics. They're not 'urban' but they are old decrepid buildings.

    #1 Me and my boyfriend in our 'new home' :lol: We were going to go inside until we seen the basement through the kitchen floor
    New House

    #2 I loved the colors of the wood on this old house. We found out a few days later that his dad actually lived in this house when he was very young (with like 5 sisters. I believe there's only one or two rooms)
    House through field

    #3 My boyfriend in the window.
    Window

    #4 I loved the vines growing out of the window.
    Vines & House

    I put them as links so you can look if you want and it wont clutter up the discussion with pictures.
     
  12. Aquarium Dreams

    Aquarium Dreams TPF Noob!

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    Those are beautiful! I love the old buildings. My favorite is you and your boyfriend at your "new home". It reminds me of a cover for a young homeowner's magazine, only slightly twisted.

    Good luck with the nunnery. It sounds really interesting. I called around to photograph the inside of an abandoned school, and they were happy to let me document it. If your nunnery is partially inhabited, I'd assume it's in decent condition, so they might not have the worries about liability that some owners have.

    And I didn't mean to recommend lock picking! For me, the nonexistence of windows usually does the trick. Most of the places around me are in such a state of dereliction, you can just walk in through any number of openings. My town is also really small, but I've accepted my role as blossoming local color. So far, it's working out for me.:mrgreen:

    And xfloggingkylefloggingxkylxxflogx: Don't be so smug about your meth making skills. One day you might blow yourself up!:wink:
     

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