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Frequently Asked Questions
 

What is Urban Exploration?
Imagine exploring. Now put it into an urban environment. Tada, urban exploration (UE)!

In all seriousness, it's the examination of places that are normally off-limits to the public. It may also be referred to as infiltration (active sites) or draining (drainage systems).


Define "Off-Limits"
Not really a question now... what do you think off-limits means? See that nice sign over there that states "Authorized Personnel Only"? Yeah, behind that would be off-limits.


So you trespass?
If the need arises, yes. But only trespass. Break & Enter? No thanks. I'm not going to go breaking down doors, smashing windows, or cutting locks off to get into a location. And if the people I'm exploring with do... well, then I'm making my way towards the exit again with a mental note to find new people to explore with.


So what exactly do you do while exploring?
Generally, I admire the location for whatever reason and take lots of photographs. Don't ask me why I admire abandoned buildings; I just do.

I do not, however, do any of the following nor do I associate with people who do:

  • Steal
  • Vandalize
  • Rip copper wiring out of the walls
  • Spraypaint the place to shit... well, spraypaint the place at all

I go in, I take my photos, and I leave. That's it.


I got caught exploring a place I saw on your site!
Tough break. It happens with this hobby; very few people sport a "no-catch" record if they're active in the community. Just don't point at me or my site and shift the blame for getting caught... you decided on your own to take the risk and try this for yourself, as I have very clearly pointed out in the Terms of Service.


Can I use your photographs for commercial use?
No. These photos are not free for the taking and I will protect my copyrights on them if I discover them being used for commercial applications, unless you have contacted me previously and we have an agreement. Every page has a nice contact link at the bottom of it.

This goes for blogs wanting to feature my content as well (say, for a top ten list or whatever). Because you're using it to attract visitors to your site, I'm counting it as commercial application. Just shoot me a message through the contact form and we can work something out.


What about for free use, such as a desktop wallpaper?
Knock yourself out; just don't claim credit for it. Again, if you contact me I might give you the hi-res version of any image.


Hi-Res version, you say?
All of the photos on this site are scaled down from their original size. Anything prior to May 2009 generally has an original resolution of 2272 x 1704, while anything from May 2009 to November 2011 has a sweet resolution of 4272 x 2848, with some exceptions. From December 2011 onwards, you can get the photos at a stunning 5616 x 3744, again with some exceptions.


What camera gear are you using for this, anyways?
I've used various cameras over the years, hence the wide range in photo quality on the site. What I currently use:

  • Canon EOS 5D Mark II dSLR body with battery grip
  • Canon EF 24-105mm f/4.0 L IS USM zoom lens
  • Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8 L II USM ultra-wide zoom lens
  • Manfrotto 190XPROB tripod with 804RC2 3-way head

Sometimes I also use my:

  • Canon EOS Rebel XSi dSLR body with battery grip
  • Canon EF 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 IS USM telephoto lens
  • Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 lens
  • Manfrotto 725B ball-head tripod

Previously, I've used:

  • Canon Powershot A75
  • Canon Powershot A520
  • Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS lens
  • Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 lens

I used the Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS kit lens until I bought the 24-105 L zoom lens. It has now been put into retirement. I also used a Manfrotto 725B ball-head tripod for a good two years, but it began to show its age and fall apart so it only sees use as the "I forgot my other tripod" tripod.

For processing, I generally use Adobe LightRoom 4, with the occasional run through Adobe Photoshop CS6.


Any additional tips?
Go out there and have fun. Be very careful about hazards and security wherever you go, especially the former since it might end up killing you if you don't, but have fun with this hobby as well.

 
 
 
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