It’s April AND it’s that time again. This months interview takes us to the city of the Gerkin and the home of the Queen (No…. not this month’s guest… hahaha), to find out a little more about the explorer we all know as Odin’s Raven……
1. Can you tell us a little about yourself?
2. Which came first for you exploring or photography?
I’ve always taken photos for as long as I remember and I’ve always gone where I shouldn’t but it took a long time to combine the two. Started taking more photos when I was lucky enough to travel more through work. Then I got into urbex when I went to revisit an underground bunker my mate Nick and I used to hang around when we were younger. Sadly it was sealed and being used as a wine cellar, but a google search of abandoned surrey took us to West Park and the rest is history
3. What kit do you use? What would your dream kit bag contain?
D700 with 16mm fisheye, 24-70 12-24. Tripod. Gas mask.Torch and a drink. Fully charged phone on silent. I have an SB900 as well but I’ve only used it once on an urbex.
D800 the one toy everybody wants at the moment including me.
4. Pick a favourite of your images, give your reasons why it’s a favourite and talk us through your work-flow for it?
Its my favourite at the moment but I get bored quickly so next week it’ll be different. This was 6 exposures should have been 7 but kicked tripod on last one. Blended and tonemapped in photomatix pretty much default settings. strength 90. Luminosity 5. microcontrast 5 Smoothing max. then not much else slight increase in white point. Open tif in adobe raw. sort white balance ,bump up contrast, sharpen and desaturation. Clone out any distractions. straighten and crop. save to jpeg
Each image is done differently usually start at default and play with sliders till something half decent comes out
5. What does a typical day of urban exploration consist of for you?
Getting up early, energy drinks, the casualty theme tune, smoking, Tomfoolery, shenanigans and occasional police involvement
6. Can you tell us what you look out for for when searching for abandonments?
7. What is your favourite place/country for urban exploration?
8. What has been your most memorable explore?
The Berlin trip was probably the most memorable with drunk aliens, lost keys, turning up at a location only to find a rave on the go and who could forget the dick pizza.
The scariest would be sitting on the roof of an Italian castle with monster being shouted at in Italian by men with guns.
The funniest would have to be West park trip when the monster first came to the UK. We had to avoid builders and security with a group of 11 for 9 hours (at one point this involved 9 men who barely knew each other hiding in a dark cupboard while some builders had a break) We’d done the whole day with no trouble and as we came to leave there was MC hammer a mere 50metres away. He clocked us and we made a run for it with him giving chase. We were 20 feet from the fence when we hear “Police stop or we’ll release the dogs”. We stopped as we’re not a massively athletic bunch, turns out we’d run into a live drugs training exercise the police were doing. We had a bit of a joke with them (they even pretended to detain the Austrians as they knew the flight was in a couple of hours. Watching broken character pleading his case while monster broke into a sweat was a highlight for me). They let us go but we had to walk the long way to our cars as punishment. Used to think useless was the trouble magnet slowly realising its the monster.
9. How would your urbex friends describe you?
10. What are your urban exploration plans for this year?
Headed off to China last month not for urbex but if I’d have found something I’d have struggled to not go in. A proper trip to Belgium. Hopefully France and Germany too. Ireland also has some exciting prospects. Russia, Japan and Detroit if I win the lottery next weekend
11. Who would make up your ultimate crew?
If its ultimate its going to be a big one. It doesn’t suit every location but I like a big crew, good to meet people with similar interest and you can have a laugh. A crappy location or a fail is often made better by a good crew
Mr & Mrs Monster
The dutch (frits bertus and lake)
12. Who would you like to see as the next guest of the month?
13.Talk Urbex forum member image for critique.
I dont feel qualified to do this if im honest, with you particularly, for an abstract image as its not my usual type of thing but here goes.
I love the colours and the use of depth of field but if I was to try and improve it I would change it from landscape to portrait I think that would go better with the wave based ebb name. I’d then go for a closer crop particularly at the top of the image where I’d probably go to where the blue changes.