My current favourite place on the net is http://goneeightyfive.blogspot.com/ It’s created by my new internet mate ‘Gone’, who takes amazing photos of derelict and abandoned urban scenes. I’ve no idea why but I’ve always been fascinated by those kind of places. There’s a whole gang of people into this kind of stuff apparently so maybe I’m not such a weirdo after all. It’s called Urbex (short for urban exploration) and I’m just learning about it from goneeightyfive and a cluster of other similar sites.
There’s a former dance/bingo hall in Runcorn called La Scala which has been left to go to ruins and it was Gone’s pictures of its sad interior that first drew me to his website. He’s also taken photos of old factories, bath houses, power stations, offices, cinemas and loads of others. I can’t figure out why I’m so hooked on these kind of scenes. They’re really atmospheric so maybe that’s part of the attraction but also it’s that feeling of connection with the past that pulls me in.
There are also photos taken from the tops of towers, industrial chimneys and cranes which are incredible and must presumably have involved quite an element of danger in order to get them. Shock! Horror! How could anyone do such things in today’s risk-averse climate?! There could be terrible consequences; someone might get a grazed knee or anything!!!! Maybe that’s part of the appeal too; there’s a refreshing absence of much consideration for the latest health and safety guidelines. But actually, my favourite photographs aren’t the danger shots but those of simple things like an abandoned wheelchair, a pile of broken bricks or a disowned coffee mug.
Take a look at the site and you’ll either think we’re all strange, morbid oddballs or you’ll be amazed by some truly atmospheric photography.