The title says it all, this time we interview someone who has seen some crazy exploring – you may know him as the cat crawler however he is more commonly known as Rusty.
Lets get on with it, November is an awesome read…
1.Can you tell us a little about yourself?
Well, my nickname is Rusty and I live in the north west of England.
I have been interested in photography now for years. I first found urban exploration about 3 years and have not looked back ever since. The first place I fell in love with was Denbigh Asylum and from then on I have had the exploring bug. Every free moment I get is now taken up with trips all over the place and processing .
2.What’s in your kitbag?
Depends on what location I am going to but I have ……
Canon Eos 450D
Canon L-Series 70-200mm
Tamron 10-24mm Wide angle
Samyang 8mm fisheye
LED Lenser T7 torch
And a very wide selection of props including:
Loads of vintage gas masks
A genuine vintage straight Jacket
and even a body bag and a Toe Tag lol
3.What’s next on your wishlist?
Has to be a Canon 7D I think.
4.Your processing style is easily recognisable, would you talk us through your workflow? What’s your favorite image and could you give us your reasons why it’s a favorite?
Well, I tend to shoot anywhere between 3 and 9 exposures depending on the light conditions. Then I run the shots through Photomatix to get my HDR photo. Then I use Photoshop to adjust the levels a bit and start using layers to add more light and shadow. I really don’t tend to take to long doing a photo and most times the full process for on image will take me up to 10 mins.
This is my favorite image so far, I like it because there is so much to look at in the shot and the light was just perfect.The location was just mind blowing.
5.What does a typical day of urbex consist of for you?
That depends on if Critical Mass is with me, if he is then a typical day of urbex consists in at least one run in with the coppers lol.
First of all there is the research and planning of meeting places and so on. Then it’s up at daft o’clock in the morning, most times thats about 4am. Then off to the first location meeting point. I mainly choose to go for Hospitals, Asylums, Manor houses or anything with peeling paint!!!!
6.You find lots of new locations to explore, can you tell us what you look out for for when searching for abandonments?
I use the internet a lot to find new places, Google is a very powerful tool alongside Google maps and street view. Lots of my locations are from sites that are non urbex related, that way they are places that have not been done before. I also love a challenge, so if I hear of a place that’s really hard to get into then that’s one at the top of my list. Also, driving around your own local area is a great way of spotting new sites. It’s like I can not get out of urbex mode I am always on the look out for new exciting untouched places.
7.What is the worst experience that you have had in a location and why?
Let me set the scene, it was one of those typical days out with Critical Mass. So far the day was going really well with no problems. We headed over to an abandoned hospital that I had been told about. The place looked awesome so we had to find a way in .
There was security on site in a small van and we sneaked past the back of his van, I don’t think he spotted us. We then found a way in and started setting up and taking a few shots. Gaz thought it was a good idea to stand in a window, where 5 seconds later I heard him say damn it i have been spotted. As I looked carefully through the window I could see a few high vis jackets moving around and looking my direction. On closer inspection I could tell these were police and not security. All of a sudden we could hear footsteps down stairs looking in rooms. I spotted a small store cupboard and it had a yale lock on the inside so we dashed inside and locked it. We could now hear a number of footsteps rushing round the building looking in all the rooms. Then all of a sudden the footsteps started to get closer and closer. At this point my heart was thumping louder than there footsteps lol. The footsteps started walking straight for us and all of a sudden someone tried the door handle for the store room we were hid in. We stayed in there for over an hour working out what we would do next….well mostly trying to talk Gaz out of handing himself in. We decided to make a run for it. So we ran as fast as we could straight back out and round the back of the hospital. We jumped a massive wall and landed in someones back garden. The mad bit was it was the owner was gardening at the time. We carried on running and sure enough managed to get away.
While in the store room I counted 4 police vans 2 cars and a security van.
8.Can you fill us all in on the infamous ‘Cat crawl’?
LOL I swear I will never live this one down!
…..Once upon a time I met up with Andre Govia and Sophos9 for a look around a derelict Manor house. When we go inside, I noticed that the first floor of stairs had collapsed and so had lots of floors. Straight away I knew this place was dangerous and so was keeping myself alert. Sophos and Andre started climbing this ladder that was propped up the collapsed stairs, the bit that got me was that the first bit of floor you reached was propped up with such a tiny piece of wood. Now, anyone who knows me will know heights are my problem, but after loads of persuasion from these 2 fools, I was off. As I got to the top of this ladder I, for some reason, found it really hard to stand up and so crawled over the bit held up by the small piece of wood. It was then that I noticed laughing and looked up to find Andre filming me. The move I pulled is now named ‘Rusty’s Cat Crawl’ lol. Who need enemies when you got friends like these two.
9.What is your all time favorite location to explore? (past or present).
I want to say West Park Asylum but Ashworth Hospital was probably my favorite. Ashworth Hospital was one of 3 high security hospitals in the UK. This place was so cool as it was really hard due to it being just like a prison with metal framed windows, metal doors and high security fences. This place was home to some of the UKs most notorious criminals like Ian Brady the Moors Murderer. I did this place when I first got into exploring and just after I did it the place got knocked down. Wish I had got another chance in there but at least I did see it while it was here.
10.What are your three top tips for your new explorers?
1. Be safe, these places can be extremely dangerous. Always keep an eye out and go with someone who knows what they are doing first.
2. Stay well away from windows and keep quiet.
3. Avoid any explorers that go by the name of Critical Mass / Mess or Ass!!!!!!!!!
11.Who would make up your ultimate crew?
In Europe the crew we have ends up about 10 strong and all my friends over there are a great bunch who I would go exploring with anytime.
Some of the crew:
THAT KID RICH
12. Who would you like to see interviewed as Guest of the Month?
Any of the above as they are all great photographers and will make a great read !!!!!
A huge thank you to Rusty for his awesome answers, please go and check out Rusty’s Flickr photostream for more of his work.