Urban Exploration And The Industrial LandscapeThis gallery is an exploration of the changing urban environment of Lancashire, the North West and beyond. In some respects my explorations are too late – the past 15 years has seen massive redevelopment of the urban landscape, but there again, so had the previous 15 years. The urban environment is constantly changing and evolving, so like all photography, this is just a snapshot in time.
What has become noticeable is the increasing number of empty factories – manufacturing is now a peripheral activity in the north west and Britain as a whole, as it’s simply cheaper to make things in China, and ship them over here. Consequently, many long established businesses have either gone out of business, been taken over and shut down, or just become importers. I’ve tried to capture a few of these, where I’ve been able to gain access, before their inevitable demolition and redevelopment as housing or retail parks.
Urban Exploration (UE)
Urban Exploration is a wide ranging tag attached to the exploration of derelict sites (factories, airfields, hospitals, mines, asylums, docks, etc), high stuff (cranes, buildings etc) and also man made underground stuff (bunkers, drains, mines, tunnels, etc). I regard myself more as an Urban Photographer, documenting what is here now, but may not be for much longer. As an engineer by profession, I've spent my working life on industrial sites, and I'm fascinated by the structures and processes of industry and engineering.
When photographing a site I try to take photos that record what was there, but also a different angle on things. I look for the details, the evidence of how people have interacted with their surroundings. Consequently, these pictures are best viewed as a collection, as I feel the sum is greater than the parts!
Of course not all my urban photography is internal - I have photographed a number of areas as part of the Black & White Module for my City & Guilds in Photography. For these I loaded my camera with Black and White film and just went for a walk.
NOTE 1: Urban Exploration involves entering properties that are derelict and disused, and therefore quite often unsafe. 'Don't try this at home', as they used to say!
NOTE 2: Trespass is a civil (not criminal offence). I never break into sites, I find access where others have gone before, or just ask permission - if you don't ask you don't get. If there is no access, I don't create it, there's plenty more places to go.
NOTE 3: It has been suggested that the motto of Urban Exploration should be "Take only pictures, leave only footprints". What you see, you leave behind.