The camera never lies… Or does it !?!?…

Architecture

Steely Solitude

A few more shots from the day spent exploring the abandoned steel mill… IMG_9762_2-2 s

The light on the day was pretty perfect, streaming through all the holes in the steel cladding of the buildings, and that was fortunate given the utter lack of lighting or power within the buildings themselves. It sure was extremely dark in places, which the shots belie. Sometimes the only way to focus was with the aid of torchlight.

IMG_9814_2-2 sLooking forward to the next trip, that’s for sure. Someday… soon… hopefully…


Quiet Abandonment

I have to confess that there’s little that appeals to me more than wandering around an old abandoned steel mill with camera and tripod, spare batteries and cards, a working flash-light and my own never ending curiosity. Especially when there’s some pretty amazing light streaming through the holes in the walls and roof.

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The pictures seriously do NOT give an accurate idea of exactly how dark it was in there though, and trying to navigate between various levels in almost total darkness was decidedly entertaining… especially when venturing right up on top of the roof!!.. Ladders and ascents not for the feint hearted, especially with all the necessary camera gear in tow.

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The doorway shown above, at the end of the narrow walkway was the one that led out on to a narrow platform before the final ladder to the roof, and maybe gives a better idea of how dark it actually was. Fun fun fun :)

IMG_9571_2-2 sRumour is that there’s a possible buyer for the place though, so maybe this was my final abandoned adventure there, unless I manage to squeeze in another one obviously. Still have a few shots left to post at least. :)

 


Sunset Silhouettes

Sunset Silhouettes


Down By The River

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Just occasionally, it is actually worth getting up early in the morning…


Pepperpot Sunset

Looks peaceful and serene eh !!.. Yeah RIGHT !!..

This is St Catherine’s Oratory, better known as the “Pepperpot”. It’s a medieval lighthouse first lit way back in 1328.

As for the serene part though, this was most definitely NOT. To reach said lighthouse was probably only about a mile from the car park, but the car park was at the bottom of the downs, and the pepperpot at the top of the downs. The climb must have easily been 45° !!, or at least that’s what my knees were telling me..  If that wasn’t bad enough though, this particular evening was a tad bit breezy… Breezy enough that I had to physically hang on to my tripod to prevent it blowing away whilst taking the shots.. I kid you not, and no more than a few miles from here they recorded 82mph gusts later that night.. It was so strong that my youngest WAS actually blown clean over.. Not that I laughed at all… Strangely enough though, she wasn’t too keen on my holding on the the cords of her jacket, and flying her down the hill like a kite !!.. No pleasing some kids !!.. I thought they all loved kite flying !!..


Men At Work

Girls in an abandoned girls school !!… Who’d-a-thought it…


Midnight Meanderings

It’s fair to say that I DO love a spot of night photography… All I wish is that night time wasn’t so darn late at night, when it’s all dark and stuff !!.. If nights weren’t so late, and mornings weren’t so early, I’d be a happy bunny mefinks..

This is Appley Tower on the Isle of Wight. The tower itself wasn’t lit unfortunately, so the shot itself had to be a 2 minute exposure to make best use of a few scattered street lights along the promenade behind me. Way off on the horizon you can also see another landmark from a previous vacation, which is the Spinnaker Tower with the ever so slightly impressive but disconcerting view..


Goodbye Old Friend

 

A shot from a rather exceptional day out today with old friends, and also making of new friends too… such as the urbex legend that is Andre Govia… All in all a mixed day of sorts.. Always good to be out with old friends, always good to meet new friends, but sad to think that this was probably the last visit to Lillesdon School for Girls, as it has now been purchased, and its precise future is pretty much unknown, other than it’s earmarked for development of apartments… Will they try to keep the building ??… I do hope so, as it would be such a shame to see a building of such ornate architecture demolished to make way for new, but it’s already cost someone £2.1 million ($3.3 million), and would likely cost as much again to renovate… We shall see…


Going Down

And now for something a bit more… well.. Maybe “normal” isn’t quite the right phrase, but normal’er… or for me at least… Still one of my favourite urbex locations is this place… At least that is until we manage to get in to the next on the list of must do’s, without being caught… ;)


Barnstorming

I was sorely tempted to convert the previous post to black and white, but at the very last minute I decided against it… This one though just HAD to be black and white… Dontchafink ??… Right from the moment I stood in the cold, windy and muddy field composing the shot, I just KNEW there was only one option on processing… Maybe… More than likely… Probably… I think…

I used to be indecisive… Now I’m not quite so sure !!…


Brrrrrrr..illiant Skies

Have to confess to not having taken many pictures recently, cos… well… not to put too fine a point on it… IT’S TOO COLD !!!… and if it’s not too cold, then it’s too… well… Ok  ok, maybe it’s not actually TOO cold, but it’s as good an excuse as any to just stay snug and warm in front of the fire at this time of year… lol.. Actually I tell a lie, as I have been out, and have plenty of shots from some recent urbex explorations, but figured that maybe I should dig back through some as yet unused pics from our summer holiday, if for no other reason than they LOOK a bit warmer than my recent urbex pics… This was a beautiful day, plus, who doesn’t love a sky like this… :)


Beam Me Up

I seem to have cultivated / acquired / developed / produced a bit of a  problem… or an illness… or an addiction… or some may even consider it the early onset of insanity (although my kids may argue it’s not so early… lol).. Anyway, this “problem” I speak of has been slowly worsening over the past few years, and I can definitively trace the source back to its origins… which was HERE… An old abandoned iron foundry, that had a very convenient human sized hole in the fence…  I think I must have been bitten by something when I was in there… Fortunately though, that foundry is no longer in existence, so hopefully others won’t suffer the same fate as me…

The symptoms of said illness ??… An inane desire to seek out and sneak in to any and all abandoned and derelict locations I can find… Schools / Colleges / Hospitals / Mansions / Nursing Homes / Industrial Factories… If it’s old and unused (and generally unsafe) then that’s invitation enough normally… lol… Other symptoms also include cuts / abrasions / not being able to get clean for a week / dirty blood stained clothing, and smelling like something no human should really be smelling like…. It’s small wonder I have so few friends these days !!!… although I’m pretty sure it’s only mildly contagious…

Oh, and it also means that my much more “general consumption” landscapey type photography has suffered a bit, but then given that it’s fast heading in to winter here, that’s no bad thing…

So the latest offering is an old abandoned Girls School, which I’ve been to before, but on this occasion we also managed to find the basement, and the beams of sunlight streaming through the small windows were nothing short of awe-inspiring… You certainly can’t beat spending hours in the dark and damp basement of an old and long abandoned girls school on a sunny Sunday afternoon… Isn’t that every mans idea of the perfect way to spend their weekend ??… ;)


It’s Been A While

So, It’s Been A While… (love this song btw, go give it a listen if it’s not familiar to you)… Anyway, as I was saying, it’s been a while since I put anything on here for various reasons… It’s also been a while since anyone tendered any care and attention on this particular building, which is such a shame as it’s a great building… but getting VERY dangerous…

So a brief catch up with me… Started a new job end of Sept.. reverting back to a previous career of mine, and I have to say it’s going great… I’ve also had a number of urbex outings too recently, one of which this shot comes from, so apologies to those of you who prefer my more tranquil landscape’y type posts (and flowers !!), but I do find a certain beauty in these places too… Plus it’s one heck of a challenge to find and capture something appealing, and also quite the challenge to get out without having fallen through the floor… Oh, and getting in can be quite interesting too sometimes.. ;)


Seasons End


Mysterious Manor’s

Yet another fun day out today, with one old friend and one new friend… and what better place to spend such a day than in an old abandoned manor house… Does it get any better than that ??… Well ok, maybe you think it does, but find one of these places and see if you still feel the same… ;)

This is yet another one of those derelict and abandoned manor houses, such as the infamous Potters Manor… It’s known only as FH Manor, and is just as closely guarded a secret, and not one person will divulge it’s location… so for me this took almost 2 days of investigative work to figure it out, and that’s half the fun surely ??… I’ll not go in to specifics, but I FOUND IT… and that’s what matters… :)

Seriously though… How could anyone leave such a place to ruin ??…

Oh, btw… Can you find the special addition ??… :D

Edit: I did throw this shot up as a separate post, with some history on the place.. but it didn’t seem at all popular so it had to go… Seemed a shame to waste the shot entirely though, so I thought I’d squeeze it in here..  I guess Urbex photography is an acquired taste eh.. ;)


Dinner is Served

Dusting off some of my old archived shots here that have never before seen the light of day, and mefinks the shots are not the only thing requiring dusting here…

Honestly, this is not MY kitchen.. which I think is pretty obvious, as naturally there would be more beer and pizza in the fridge… ;)

This is a shot from a long past visit with a good friend, to the highly infamous Potters Manor. You may recall that this isn’t the first time I’ve blogged about this particular derelict manor house, which has unfortunately now been pretty much ransacked judging by other people’s shots I’ve seen recently… If you’re interested in how it looked when this shot was taken, you can see a few old posts here, there, someplacesomewhere else and even over there… ;)

Cannot wait to get out for a spot of urbexing again, and fingers crossed that opportunity will present itself real soon… Watch this space.. :)


Karma’s August Rainbow Challenge

Well here are my entries for the Rainbow Challenge… Fortunately due to a fairly pleasant summer most of the shots are all entirely new and “kinda” summery… but I had to throw a couple of old favourites in there too..

Red – and I have to confess to struggling to find any decent red shots, so you’ll have to make do with a nice little red Ferrari Dino 246 from our summer hols… Not mine unfortunately, but it was in Beaulieu Motor Museum that we visited during our summer hols, so it counts… Oh, and one of those red things from the garden too (not my garden though)…

(more…)


Window on the Past

Can’t believe it was over a year ago since we hit this derelict Manor House… What a day that was… Also I can’t believe from shots I’ve seen of the place since then, exactly how many people have been there and utterly trashed and robbed the place… It’s tragic enough that such buildings are left to rot away, but to vandalise them in the process is utterly beyond me…


Karma’s Scavenger Hunt – June

I unfortunately really never had time to get any shots for this months Karma’s scavenger hunt, apart from one purple flower thingy wotsit, so I’ve pretty much had to trawl through my archives… But in an attempt to compensate for my lack of time and effort, I’ve included a couple of shots for most of the required themes…

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The themes were…

A Colourful Bird
And as I wasn’t allowed to post a “proper” Ladybird.. lol… Well… I had to just plump for a few old pics of some colourful birds…

A Grad (of any sort)
So we have Peppa Pigs Class of 2010… and they DID all graduate… Honest… ;)
We also have me graduating in the basics of simple science, thanks to the teachings of Aswirly, and YES, I DID graduate… Honest… ;)

A Dad (of any sort)
Well I was going to plump for an old fave Swan shot of mine, but I’m thinking that it’s likely a Mother and baby, and as I’m not sure how to (or brave enough to) determine the sex of Swans… well… I went with an old clone shot of Me(s) and my Daughter(s) and Cat(s)…

Something Purple
Well this is the one shot I actually did manage to take for this month… and it’s one of those flowery type things… The PointyPurplePettalus… I think..
Oh, and one of my favourite “purple’y BLUE” shots, of The Lloyds “inside out” Building in London

A Butterfly
Well this was “nearly” a shot from this month, but it was from a trip last month to a wildlife centre with a tropical butterfly house, and unbeknown to my youngest daughter, one of the largest of the BF’s in the house landed on her hat… and sat there for some time, happy to just ride around, much to the amusement of everyone except my daughter (who couldn’t see it)… Oh, and a couple of other butterfly shots for good measure..

A Funny Face
Well, you can’t beat a cow at close quarters for a funny face methinks… especially as close as this shot was… This is a pretty old shot, and using the wide-angle lens I was, I had NO idea exactly how close said cow was… That was until the tongue came out and covered my lens in cow spit… Which was nice… lol.. And as a special bonus, there’s the shot a friend took of me capturing the cow spit shot…

A Cow
Well if the first two cow shots don’t count, then there’s an additional one of some cows on a rather moody day in the Lake District… This one was captured without having to endure additional cow spit, but if you look at the sky, you might be able to figure I got pretty wet shortly after taking this shot…


Back 2 School II

Some of you may possibly recall the original Back to School post, from which visit these shots also come… I still have so many shots from that visit that require proper processing… and figured it was about time to air at least a couple more of them…

This particular school is an old abandoned girls school… and for a bit of urban exploring they don’t come much better… I find it amazing though that a mirror like this is still there, and even more amazing that it’s still in one piece… although I do know it’s now sporting some rather elaborate graffiti…

The place was originally built as the privately owned Lillesdon Estate Mansion, way back in 1855, and became a public girls school just after the 1st world war… It eventually closed around 1999, and has been abandoned ever since… and I believe is now owned by a property developer who is intending to convert the building in to private apartments at some point in the future…. The place is amazing though, with so many rooms… Still need to arrange that return visit though…


Up and At’em

More than enough flowers and fluffy stuff… Time for some new good ol’ fashioned modern old stuff…


Churchyard Chuckles

Well I did previously allude to having done a few scary things whilst on holiday, and here’s another… although it wasn’t scary for me, more so for my daughter… lol… which is ALWAYS amusing… ;)

Churchyards in the dead of night are great places, I think… It’s no wonder people are dying to get in there.. *groan* !!… Sorry… lol…  I do love them though, and have spent many an entirely comfortable hour in them with the camera… (and sometimes without.. lol)… more worried about being arrested than anything else… One of my goals whilst away though was to follow in Mrs A’s footsteps, and get me some star trails… so off to the nearest churchyard I headed (what better place is there to not be disturbed)…

The previous night I’d also tried my hand at some star shots at the beach (those to come later), and my daughter wanted to accompany me, given her new found interest in photography (and the opportunity to stay up extra late !!). Well I agreed, as it’s always good to have a buddy at night… plus I find you appear much less suspicious when with your daughter, should anyone call the police about the crazy person creeping around in the dark… lol…

Well this night I asked her if she also wanted to come to the churchyard with me… and you could literally HEAR the turmoil going on in her head… ANOTHER extra late night, and some more photography, and time doing fun stuff with dad… against the thought of going in to a churchyard, in the dark… late at night !!!… LOL… Her first response did make me laugh though, as she responded with “But won’t there be real living ghosts in there ??”… Real Living Ghosts !!!… Hahaha… How about that for a contradiction in terms… Well after some reassurance about ghosts, she agreed… We arrived at the church, and I opened the gate, and she exclaimed “Are we actually GOING IN !!”…. Ummmmm… YES !!… lol… So we entered the churchyard, and had a walk around to find the best spots, and as we rounded the corner of the church (with her leading), we disturbed a tree full of starlings… and they weren’t best pleased judging by the noise they made.. LOL.. You should have seen her jump, and the accompanying squeal was hilarious.. Yeah I know, I’m mean.. ;)

Anyways… Enough words… Here’s the important stuff… The resulting pictures…

These were both shot fully manual at ISO 100; f5.6; 10mm and each a single 15 minute exposure…

I also did a little bit of light painting with the torch in this one, to illuminate some of the foreground and church a  bit..

Another amusing incident was with a black churchyard cat… a particularly noisy churchyard cat.. lol… Whilst we were round the darker backside of the church, we heard some rustling in the bushes… Well I knew it would be an animal of some description, but my daughter wasn’t quite so convinced… and then the glowing eyes appeared, accompanied by the loudest and strangest meowing… lol… It was a constant almost monotone me’eeew me’eeew me’eeew me’eeew… Scared the cr*p out of my daughter until I shone the torch on this little black kitty bounding through the long grass… ;)

Oh… and lastly… and entirely unrelated to this post… Here’s a link to a page of posts for Karma’s Scavenger Hunt for April…


Top of the World

Well I’m back…

Now they say you’re supposed to do something every day that scares you… Well I didn’t manage EVERY day, unless I’m allowed to  include waking up next to the wife that is !!… lol… But I did manage at least a couple of things that gave me the willies… Now I’m not necessarily scared of heights, but we’re talking about going up a “normal” ladder to clean windows and the like… I DO however have to admit to balking slightly at the thought of a 560 ft (170 m) high viewing tower… with an elevator that speeds you to the top in less than 30sec… (but leaves you waiting in the windowed lobby at the top for what seemed like hours !!!)

Now there are stunning views from the three viewing floors at the top (and the kids insisted on visiting ALL of them). You can see for some 23 miles with 350° panoramic views…. BUT… and this is where the 2nd part of being scared comes in to play… as if doing all 3 viewing decks wasn’t bad enough… One of the decks has Europes largest glass floor…. Uh huh !!… That’s right… A GLASS FLOOR !!!… And.. you.. can.. walk.. across.. it !!!…

And OH YES… When your 5 year old daughter merrily throws off her shoes and starts running around on it, then there’s pride at stake… I tell ya though, I can confirm that walking back and forth on a glass floor at that sort of height makes your knees a wee bit shaky… For those of you who want to know exactly what the view is like… Well this was it… Straight down !!!…

Click large and go weak at the knees… if you dare… Enjoy… :)


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Why is it that sometimes coming up with a title for a post is far more difficult and time-consuming than actually taking the picture and editing it is ???… Came up completely empty on this one… but hopefully the shot speaks for itself…


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