The urbex photo: what is it and how to practice it?
The urbex photo is a discipline that attracts more and more followers among photographers. When we thought that the photo disciplines were limited to landscape photography or portraiture, this new way of distinguishing oneself from other photographers appeared. Many of them hypnotize us or make us wonder what happened in this place that now seems very cold. We will explain here what the urbex photo consists of and how to apply it with the help of these very practical tips.
The urbex photo: what is it?
Urbex photography is a discipline that stars a generally abandoned place. It can be a factory, a monastery or even a house in ruins.
In the end, it’s all places that look disused or have limited access that can serve you, the creativity is in your hands.
This concept is also called UE, for Urban Exploring, urban exploration or site exploration.
Once you know what urbex photography is all about, now you have to get your hands dirty and plan the photo shoot.
1. Find your work area
This type of photo session can be conducted in abandoned places or under construction and this involves a potential risk.
Dark hallways, damp rooms, rusty metals, hanging chains, shattered planks of wood…
All of this poses risks to health and physical well-being, hence the importance of doing research beforehand on what our work area will be.
Finding places to take this type of photo is relatively easy thanks to new technologies. With a simple search on Google, you will find many ideas for places for urbex photography.
2. Find out about the place
Another application that can prove to be of great use is Google Maps, not only to find new places to work on but also to analyze the terrain on which the photoshoot is going to be carried out.
In general, photographers specializing in this discipline immerse themselves in apparently abandoned places, which is why you will have to be careful and seek information beforehand. It is illegal to enter these places because they may be private property.
We therefore invite you to request the corresponding authorizations and failing that, you must know all the legal aspects around it. But don’t panic either: you don’t do anything here but take pictures…
3. Get your camera gear ready
Equipment is essential for urbex photography. Take only what you will need.
Remember that the ideal would be to work light and thus enjoy great freedom of movement because you will be working in an unfamiliar and sometimes unsafe place.
Wide-angle lenses are ideal for practicing architectural photography because they allow you to know the dimensions of the place. in question or at least to get an idea of it.
Wide-angle lenses encompass more detail of the scene, for dramatic and awe-inspiring results.
In the end, urbex photography is a variant of architectural photography, so be sure to count on a good wide angle like one of the DZOFilm lenses, with incomparable sharpness.
You don’t know if you will still have the opportunity to work in this place, so even if you have come this far to take photos, it will be better if they are clear and it will be difficult to obtain working with your camera by hand.
Help yourself with a good tripod that gives you stability, while remaining compact and light so that it is not a problem during transport.
It’s absolutely not necessary, but you may end up in places that are too dark, where getting a good exposure is impossible. And your camera’s built-in flash won’t be much help, so a shoe flash will be a good choice.
Torches are a great alternative because unlike flashes, they provide continuous light perfect for working on long exposures.
Imagine arriving at your work area and when the inspiration is greatest, you find yourself running out of battery or space on the memory card.
This will ensure that you can work as long as necessary. Another accessory that may be useful in this kind of place is a lamp.
As you can imagine, most of these places to practice urbex photography have no light and even if you can take incredible photos that don’t play on light and shadow, it is better to watch where you are walking.