States of Decay Interview and Competition

Author Ms sophos9 - Last updated: 04.08.2013

We have another awesome interview and prize giveaway, courtesy of Daniel Barter (Subversive) and Dan Marbaix (Odins Raven). Their newly released book ‘States of Decay’ has already sold out once, but here at TU we have a signed copy for one lucky forum member.

Before we hear from the guys, here’s what you can expect from their lastest book…..


‘A new breed of urban adventures take a savage ride through the hidden story of America’s North East. Join us as we follower two explorers’ journey through derelict spaces. From NYC to the infamous Rust Belt, once home to America’s heavy industry, ‘States of Decay’ brings you a glimpse of the broken, the doomed, the entropic dreamlands on the flipside of the silver dollar coin. The morbid counterparts to the modern America that pumps greenbacks from its corporate epicentres through its far reaching veins, nurturing its glossy surfaces.
Peer into the recent past as dark histories unfold and their stories are told. Journey into atmospheric asylums, derelict houses of worship, forgotten education institutions, industrial monoliths, vacant hotels, desolate transport hubs and other ruins of the 20th century. See them as they stand today. Travel back in time and immerse yourself in the shadows of their past.’

So, Dan and Dan, a few questions for you…

1. What can we expect from the new book? And how did the idea come about?

(DB) You can expect a glimpse into the hidden underbelly of American’s recent past. It was quite the journey, the book encapsulates this as only photo books can.

2. What went into the planning of this book, I guess from start to finish it must’ve taken a long time to pull together?

(DB) From the beginning to the date of publishing has probably taken a year. The initial project proposal was discuss between myself and Dan, and then offered to our publisher. Then began a couple of months of research, followed by planning and of course the fun part.(DM) It took a few months of planning, we had to talk to a lot of US explorers before hand and do a lot more research than we normally would if we were exploring in Europe. Research was vital as we wanted to produce a book with a good range of images and trespassing is a criminal offence in America, so getting caught was not an option. Luckily most of the explorers we spoke to were extremely helpful and we were able to get some great guides who showed us round and stopped us from getting caught.

3. How was your time in the States? I bet you have some great stories to tell!

(DM) We had a really good time out there it was a lot of fun meeting up with the people we’d been talking to and we got to see some amazing locations without any run ins with the authorities. It was not without its challenges and we had a hell of a lot of mileage to cover in a relatively short amount of time, but in the end we were able to see over 30 locations and covered over 3000 miles in just under 3 weeks. We got to visit some great cities and ate more fried food than most people should consume in a life time.

4.Do you have a favourite image from the book? (Can you show is which one and give reasons for it being your favourite?)

(DM) My favourite would have to be the shot of the blast furnace not because it’s a particular good image but because it was probably our most exciting explore. We had to run away from a speeding train and hide for an hour after securities 4X4 broke down on our only exit.


(DB) For me It would have to be the image of one of the theatres in Connecticut. Apart from being visual superb, it is a great commentary on the decline of certain art forms in this information age.


5. Are there any other projects on the cards?

(DB) We are working on something pretty special at the moment. All I can say is that it involves the unseen…

Thank you to the guys for answering these questions. States of Decay is available from Amazon. You also keep upto date with the guys on their facebook pages, Daniel Barter Photography and Odins Raven Photography.

BUT, of course we don’t end it there!

We have a signed copy of ‘States of Decay’ to give away, with big thanks to Dan & Dan!

So, here are the details on how to win this awesome prize…..

Competition Theme – Subterranean
Any image fitting the theme (no nudes), taken in any underground location.

How to enter
Entry is simple, submit one image into the special competition gallery – please check the competition rules before entry as if your image does not meet the requirements, it will be removed with out notice.

The competition closes for entries on the the 31st of August, the winner will be chosen by Dan & Dan, and announced on the 7th of September.

Some of the basic rules

  • You have to be a registered member, not a new user – this means that you will have to have posted in the Talk Urbex forum
  • Your image must match the theme of “Subterranean”
  • Your image must be your own work
  • Your image must match the sizes as specified in the competition rules
  • Your image must be landscape orientated
  • Each member can enter a maximum of one image
  • No nudes

If you have any questions about the competition or theme, post them in this thread





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