Before The Urban Explorer

My Journey Into Urban Exploration


Hello. I guess its about time I introduced myself.

I am Scott and just turned 38 years of age.

Just before my 30th birthday at Christmas I got my first DSLR.  I would just take photos of random stuff but liked the idea of wildlife photography. It doesn't really work that well with a kit lens.

A year later I got a 70-300 lens thinking I could take photos of deer and birds etc. Well it wasn't easy and the lens was quite soft on distant subjects, however it had a macro function which was good enough for butterflies and larger insects and shooting close up it was considerably sharper.

Some Bug

This was quite accessible as I had a river and small woods nearby.


One day while visiting family I went out for a walk with my camera. There was one plan. Do not shoot any insects etc today. I was taking photos of various subjects and not feeling any of the results. I spotted an old overgrown railway bridge, as I looked down the tracks I could see a tunnel. I knew it was the old test track, so it should be safe to take a wander. I really enjoyed myself in here and came back with pleasing results. This was my first urban exploration with a camera.


A few days later I went for another walk to see what else I could find. I discovered this substation and my lens could just fit through the gap in the palisade.


Around this area and near the tunnels I found a few interesting subjects to photograph.


Well it was time to go back home and shoot macro again. I now owned a lensbaby which worked well with macro filters and had a nice dreamy feel to it.


Through the winter I began to experiment indoors. Here is shot of myself, one exposure and a strobe fired manually through a pringles tube.

Me and a strobe

Another experiment was with a fibre optic lamp which did result in some interesting images.

Bokeh Baby.

It turned out to be a regular visit to the tunnels while I was visiting my nearby family. I was informed of a local abandoned hospital in the town so I thought I would take a look. My images were not so good from here but it was still a fun experience.

Abandoned: War Memorial Hospital

I acquired an old Olympus OM 65-200 f4 lens which through varying adaptors and extension tubes I managed to fit it onto my Nikon. With this set up I managed to get my first decent in flight shot. I didn't just get one in focus, I remember struggling to choose which image to actually use.

In flight.

 I love this combination. A reasonable working length, good sharpness and beautiful bokeh. It has a clean dreamy feel to it.

Ladybird In The Mist.

Sometimes results were unpredictable but always pleasing, this image of a dragonfly has a very painted feel to it.

Dreamy Dragonfly

Not too long after getting used to the OM lens set up I lost my inspiration for my photography due to changes in personal circumstances. It was probably 18 months to 2 years before I started taking photos again.

This is when my passion for urban exploring started and passion for photography returned.