Abandoned building spelunking.

Dr_Totenkopf

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So I'm a little odd and like to capture things that have fallen into disregard. There are quite a few abandoned farms and other buildings around where I live. I know the dangers of such old places. Some of the formentioned places belong to the city so is there any permit I need to legally enter/photograph them?
 

IByte

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Dr_Totenkopf said:
So I'm a little odd and like to capture things that have fallen into disregard. There are quite a few abandoned farms and other buildings around where I live. I know the dangers of such old places. Some of the formentioned places belong to the city so is there any permit I need to legally enter/photograph them?

It's illegal if you get caught. My guess is no, because there's way too many safety hazards that will make the person(s) liable, hence the no trespassing or private property signs. Dare I say enter at your own risk. Check with your local government you may or may not be surprise.
 

spacefuzz

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Unless you already are friends with some decently high level people in the right department, I would bet very good money that you would not get a permit from the city. They dont know you or your skills, its safer for them to say no.
 

DiskoJoe

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Watch your ass
 

MLeeK

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I had quite a few conversations with Richard Nickel regarding this. He's my favorite urban explorer. Basically what he told me is... Photographers have some leeway. If you are there with a camera in hand documenting the building as opposed to a kid with a spray paint can getting caught it going to be a lot more lenient on you.
Go just as the sun is starting to come up if it's something that the neighbors are going to get a little testy about. Don't park at the site. Park down the road where your car isn't going to stand out like a sore thumb. Don't go in the snow where your footprints are a dead giveaway. Take a first aid kit, cell phone and your common sense.

In most instances these buildings are not city or public owned property so the city isn't going to give you anything other than put the police on alert for you to be trespassing. Those that do belong to the city/public you can inquire, but chances are slim to none because of liability issues. About the only time you are going to find access is when they are trying to raise money to restore the building and need it to be documented. It doesn't hurt to ask, but expect the answer to be NO until you REALLY build a reputation as Richard has done-he now gets invited to photograph many many things because of it.

If you e-mail him through his blog he does email back which is how I contacted him. He did a building very near me that I wanted to go into and he helped me to plan the trip, told me how to get in, etc. Mine was one that no one has been able to gain access to LEGALLY (including him) and it's pretty patrolled by the county and state police here...
 

412 Burgh

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Like everyone above said it's illegal, but I did it a few times. I live in an old run down mill city. Suburbs of Pittsburgh so we had a lot of steel mills and other things. Back when I first got my camera I snuck into it while their were workers outside the next lot working on something else. I was able to capture about a few keepers. I would recommend a flash, and tripod.

Here is one from my excursion. I plan on going back with a tripod and flash unit.


McKeesport Mills by ZDiBeradin, on Flickr
 

BlackSheep

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There's a forum called Urban Exploration Resource which has a lot of good info on legalities, safety, etc., and there's separate subforums by location. If you search for that name, or maybe UER, you should be able to find it.
 

KmH

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So I'm a little odd and like to capture things that have fallen into disregard. There are quite a few abandoned farms and other buildings around where I live. I know the dangers of such old places. Some of the formentioned places belong to the city so is there any permit I need to legally enter/photograph them?
The specifics of any laws that might apply will vary from city to city.

It would probably best to start by asking the City Clerk where you are to find out.
 

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