We get asked this question - a lot. Even though people wouldn’t be willing to actually go there, the location interests them. Maybe it’s because they, or we, want to attach a building to a larger set of memories or thoughts about a particular place, a country in most cases. In our project, our principle is not to reveal the locations and here we are going to tell why. No for an answer sounds rude and we try to smoothen things a bit usually, but no is a No. In many cases we refer to our values which are found here on our website, under the header ‘Explorers’.
Let’s look at an example: finding this blue staircase seen in the picture was a very time-consuming task for us. It took around one year before we got our hands on quality data about where it is. We used the internet, other photographers and other social media platforms to locate it. When we started, we didn’t even know in which country the place was! In the end, how we actually managed to do it, we don’t tell, but when we had the building on Google Earth, we started to plan our trip. For myself, this place was a dream come true, because I’ve seen many amazing photographs of it - I needed to do better. I felt little nervous because I didn’t have much experience photographing spiral-shaped staircases.
We booked our flights, rented a car, flew couple of hours and drove even more, but then there we were - on the spot we’d searched for so long. When we left home, we had no idea what was waiting for us. We might not even get inside. That insecurity comes with the job. This time we were lucky, there was a window open. I climbed in and did a quick tour to check if everything was ok inside. Then we hauled the gear in from the same window. It took us some effort, because it wasn’t exactly on the ground level.
It didn’t take long for me to find the spiral staircase but seeing it for the first time, I felt little disappointed. It wasn’t so nice as I had thought. I started with a test shot and only then I saw the possibilities of it. It actually looked amazing! We stayed inside for another two hours. The palace had other great rooms and staircases. Somehow, I got the sense that the place might soon be under renovation. It was time to head outside. This palace was the main reason for our trip, and now it was time to see the other potential abandoned places, but before continuing our trip, we still had some outside photos to take.
It turned out, that from outside the place was a challenge. It had one great tower and I knew that close-up the photo wouldn’t work without enormous distortion. Further, big trees and vegetation would cover the building. Luckily we had a drone and we started to search for a good spot to get it airborne. We packed our gear and drove couple of hundred meters to a clear area more suitable for take-off and landing of the drone. When in the air, through our handset we saw the palace surrounded by the colours of autumn.
Then we ran into trouble. A van approached and a man instructed us to land the drone and leave. We didn’t understand the local language, but I think he used some pretty harsh language. He did know some english: “Private!”. We apologized for the disturbance, packed quickly and drove away. This was a reminder that in many cases, abandoned places do have owners, and in most cases they do not like visitors, which they might get a lot because the availability of the information regarding the location of the places.
We were trespassers, although we have pretty high standards. We never really break in. If the window would have been closed, we would have just left. And this why we don’t reveal the locations of the places we visit - we don’t want to cause any trouble or harm for the potential owners or for the buildings themselves. Well-known abandoned places do get vandalized, and if there would be hundred people climbing in from that same window, someone would break something, or themselves.
T.P / 28.10.2018