Forums > Help! > Calling photographers! Photos inside abandoned buildings. Advice?

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DrBooBRONZE Member
I invented the decaffinated coffee table.
453 posts
Location: Cornwall, United Kingdom


Posted:
Hi!

Just after a bit of advice. I'm toddling off on Monday morning to photograph an old abandoned building. I will be equiped with:

Boots and hardhat
An old torch
A Fuji Finepix F10
An old manual SLR that I've never used, and has not been used for many years. Not sure it even works....or how...
Film for the SLR - 35mm.
A responsible adult (!)
My fiance (not one in the same person for the purposes of this trip).
According to the forecast it will be sunny with some clouds.

I really want to take some urban decay, creepy and beautiful photos. I am not, in any way shape or form, an expert, but an overenthusiastic amateur.

Can I do it with this equipment? Should I take something else? I have not light reflectors, or a very powerful torch, or any photography equipment. I also don't have time to buy any - but could make some in a "Blue Peter" fashion (or borrow from neighbours).

Any advice on how to get some great shots?

Thanks!



hug

Boo x

I intend to live forever - so far, so good.

If it costs "a penny for your thoughts", but people give you their "two-pence worth", who is getting the extra penny?


TinklePantsGOLD Member
Clique Infiltrator, Cunning Linguist and Master Debator
4,219 posts
Location: Edinburgh burgh burrrrrr, United Kingdom


Posted:
You still got the camera's user manual? that should help wink

How bout a reflector if the light aint so good? tin foil around a wire coat hangar (ot two) shaped into a circle should do it if you can't get your hands on one.

Always use "so's your face" and "only on Tuesdays" in as many conversations possible


TinklePantsGOLD Member
Clique Infiltrator, Cunning Linguist and Master Debator
4,219 posts
Location: Edinburgh burgh burrrrrr, United Kingdom


Posted:
oh and a tripod would be good too!

Always use "so's your face" and "only on Tuesdays" in as many conversations possible


DrBooBRONZE Member
I invented the decaffinated coffee table.
453 posts
Location: Cornwall, United Kingdom


Posted:
Thanks hun!

I found the manual for the camera online, so that's a help. I am snapping away with a film which I'll process tomorrow to see how it performs.

I was thinking about making my own reflector. Tin foil would work then? Any tips about what to do with it!?

Boo x

I intend to live forever - so far, so good.

If it costs "a penny for your thoughts", but people give you their "two-pence worth", who is getting the extra penny?


Mr MajestikSILVER Member
coming to a country near you
4,693 posts
Location: home of the tiney toothy bear, Australia


Posted:
cut out a piece of cardboard however big you want it, and then put tinfoil over it. there be a cheap and disposable mirror. alternatively you could buy a car dashboard protector if you can find a reflective one, but that might cost a bit.

"but have you considered there is more to life than your eyelids?"

jointly owned by Fire_Spinning_Angel and Blu_Valley


DomBRONZE Member
Carpal \'Tunnel
3,009 posts
Location: Bristol, UK


Posted:
You don't mention a tripod which is going to be absolutely essential and I wouldn't go without one. You can get them really cheap these days. The one I took round the world with me went about 120cm high, weighed 400grams and cost 4!

I'm guessing the SLR has a built in light meter. Pay attention to where you're metering as metering if the light is uneven and meter your exposure with an f stop of about f9 to f11, any more isn't really worth it. Meter on various levels of light, note them down and then use the fully manual mode to shot to expose what you want in most detail. When labs develop they correct several stops worth of under/over exposure so you can afford to be out somewhat.

As to composing a shot, browse something like deviantart.com where every other photo is a dark & moody or search Flickr tags for urban decay as it's really easy to point and shoot at an old building, but hard to take a photo that has real depth and conveys anything other than grime. Think of the lines, contrast, repition, etc... everything that makes a normal photo but with no clear subject you have to think more.

And if you've got a long exposure, a dark place and a torch don't forget to do some cool experiments like this

And finally, have fun!

[noodles]*Property of Pigeon Wigeon*
893 posts
Location: Locked In Pigeons Chimney


Posted:
If your interested in that sort of stuff search up on urban exploration
https://www.infiltration.org/
- is a great site.
https://www.weirdnj.com/misc/main.asp
- has some cool images and stuff as well.

When your looking for your shots think about lines and angles and all that gumph.
Be carefull with your lighting and our metering as Dom said.
Contrast will be your best friend and getting the right contrast is essential, it can make or break a good image.
Take shots with your digi to work things out if your not sure on angles and exposures then transfer the info over to the SLR.

Could somebody stop the room please... I'd like to get off


zombiedaleBRONZE Member
member
31 posts
Location: Belfast, Northern ireland


Posted:
Yeah tripods are a neccesity. I bringmine most places when taking pictures. If you have a timer on your camera use it as this can help you avoid pesky camera shake. A problem in low light or at annoying times as well. Just use your tripod to keep camera steady or a handy ledge or chair if needed. Then focus and set you shot as normal set timer and take a step back and let the rest happen. It can help a lot.

And as the skin rips off i cherish the revolting thought That even if i quit There's not a chance in hell i'd stop- The Dresden Dolls

The truth no matter who it hurts - Transmetropolitan by Warren Ellis


hamamelisBRONZE Member
nut.
756 posts
Location: Bouncing off the walls., England (UK)


Posted:
Um, out of curiosity, what *is* the ancient SLR exactly?
Do you mean manual exposure or just manual focus..?
My camera's older than me but still works great..

If it has an inbuilt lightmeter, you should do best with that- I have a finepix F10 as well and it doesn't cope well at all with contrasty things like inside old buildings.

Yeah, as everyone said, a tripod is just about essential, or you could maybe get away with using a beanbag or similar, and using the self timer mechanism to avoid the camera shake you'll get operating it. If the camera *has* a self timer, of course.
That does limit your composition a bit though.

A torch shouldn't be important other than to see where you're going, if you try to use that to light up what you're taking, the colours will come out all wrong..
Though you can get cool effects that way sometimes..
And if you're after moody shadow pics, you maybe don't need a reflector..

By the way, I always recommend using slide film, it's a little more awkward, but I've had so many films *^&$ed up by labs that I always use it now.. With slide, the process always works the same, so they can't do any corrections, so what you take is what you get, and you don't wind up with some annoying employee deciding how you *really* want the picture.

*cough* sorry.. rant..

Also a random point, but if you take it darker than you want, you can always correct it later if you scan it, but if it's too bright- burnt out- you can't so well, so if in doubt, expose for the light areas.. If that makes any sense..

Sorry if this is a bit incoherent, I'm a little vague today and only really take wildlife pics anyway.. smile

THE MEEK WILL INHERIT THE EARTH!


If that's okay with you?


TinklePantsGOLD Member
Clique Infiltrator, Cunning Linguist and Master Debator
4,219 posts
Location: Edinburgh burgh burrrrrr, United Kingdom


Posted:
SLR - the camera's the paparazzi use. Think big lenses biggrin

Always use "so's your face" and "only on Tuesdays" in as many conversations possible


hamamelisBRONZE Member
nut.
756 posts
Location: Bouncing off the walls., England (UK)


Posted:
I know what an SLR is.. I meant what is his? What make? How old? That sort of stuff :P

THE MEEK WILL INHERIT THE EARTH!


If that's okay with you?


DrBooBRONZE Member
I invented the decaffinated coffee table.
453 posts
Location: Cornwall, United Kingdom


Posted:
Hello. Been and done it. Thanks for all your advice. Sadly, I didn't get to a lot of your wise words in time. So the light maybe all wrong...
We've yet to get the film developed, but if anything looks good I'll scan the negatives and pop them up on the site.
We did, however, get a tripod. Definately a good idea!
I even got a baby flexible one for my digital camera.
The site wasn't as interesting as I'd hoped, but there is another old deserted hospital nearby that I've been promised a look around. Yay.
Thanks again everyone. Hugs hug

Boo x

I intend to live forever - so far, so good.

If it costs "a penny for your thoughts", but people give you their "two-pence worth", who is getting the extra penny?


Phoenix327BRONZE Member
Member
6 posts
Location: United States, USA


Posted:
Hope the pictures turned out good! I actually have a digital camera that has a firework setting on it. It keeps the shutter open longer and you get beautiful photos.

alien_oddityCarpal \'Tunnel
7,193 posts
Location: in the trees


Posted:
bounce ooooooooooooo i wanna see thse photo's ubblol i never tire of seeing the insides of deralict buildings/squats there's usually some nifty graffiti on the walls

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