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Thread: Why do you explore?

  1. #1
    Level 3 User Jeff's Avatar
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    Default Why do you explore?

    It's already been asked how you got into it so let me ask why do you do it? Do you explore for the thrill or do you explore for the pictures or for something else?

    Granted I've only been to one whored out place, but I have to be honest, it's not the thrill of being in an abandoned building but the opportunity to capture an image. Sorry to disappoint anyone but for me it's the photography.

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    Level 3 User Face Money's Avatar
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    The photography is definitly part of it. I also really enjoy seeing things from the past, the way buildings were built and decorated, the tools and machines that were used. When you go into an abandoned building, it's almost like a time capsule. Even the whored out locations have these qualities, if you look past the destruction.

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    Level 3 User Jeff's Avatar
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    Excellent! I was trying to explain to my wife why I like to explore these places and I couldn't find the right words. I think you nailed it big time about the history of a place.

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    Level 1 User Mike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Face Money View Post
    The photography is definitly part of it. I also really enjoy seeing things from the past, the way buildings were built and decorated, the tools and machines that were used. When you go into an abandoned building, it's almost like a time capsule. Even the whored out locations have these qualities, if you look past the destruction.
    Defiantly nail on the head right there. You can learn more about your self, and the history and culture of the cities around you by exploring these forgotten links to the past.

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    Level 3 User salix lucida's Avatar
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    adventure, solitude, transience. The photography is just a desperate attempt to share transient things and remember sites once they're gone, or changed.


    I like to watch the elements take back places that humanity has co-opted, and get a strange sense of peace being (relatively) alone with crumbling monuments to human achievements and lives since changed, imagining the history of a place in juxtaposition to its current state. In that vein, I find it fascinating how we sign things in chalk and dust, trusting other explorers who come through later not to so easily erase the evidence of our pilgrimage, in full awareness that we are being respectfully non-destructive of something that we are there to witness being destroyed.

    It satisfies my obsession with the post-apocalyptic.

    It's like church.

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    Level ∞ User don corleyone's Avatar
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    i'm a self-proclaimed hobby-hopper. i've done it all... but usually ONCE. then moved on. but for me, there's so much to this one, that i've been (and think i will be) around longer than i can easily explain.

    but i'll try

    columns, arches, transoms, dormers, spiral staircases... i love buildings that were designed by someone who knew what they were doing. ever hear the statement "they don't build em like that anymore"? that shit's true. and for me, walking around a building that was built long before i was born that'll prolly be around long after i'm gone just does it for me. i can get that in georgetown, b-more, frederick... but in most of those cases, i'm on the outside lookin in.

    get inside a building that others have turned away from, or left behind, and that whole thing changes.

    one other thing. ever hear anyone say: "i used to do this as a kid!" or "when my brother and i were young, we'd find these old ruins and mills out in the woods"? maybe you heard this: "when i was 10 my best friend and i found our way into a storm drain and followed it almost a mile... it was so cool!" or "we hiked thru the woods and stumbled into all these old buildings!"

    all those sentiments started: "when i was a kid...". and this hobby makes me feel like a kid again. you find out shit about yourself you forgot; or maybe never even knew.

    since that was incredibly heady for someone as wiseass as me, i close with this: a wise man once said: "adventure, excitement; a jedi craves not these things."

    however, i disagree.
    leave the gun, take the canoli.

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    Level 3 User Jeff's Avatar
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    Excelent replies guys, Salix and Don, I think we're kindred spirits. I was hoping for a varied response and I sure got it! Thanks for taking the time to answer a question that might not be so easy to answer. Don, I think your reply porbably just killed your rep! LOL

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    Level 3 User schmooo's Avatar
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    I like the thrill of being somewhere I'm not supposed to be, and going places that most people just plain won't go because it's scary or dangerous, etc etc. I like the "survival" aspect of it that tests your ability to watch out for yourself and be physically capable. If I were good at research I'd say that I like the intellectual challenge as well. But I really do suck at the research end of it.

    The photography of it is another big part of it. I find it very challenging, especially to visually approach a room that barely changes over decades in a new way.

    Schmootography.com // blog

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    Level ∞ User don corleyone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff View Post
    Don, I think your reply porbably just killed your rep! LOL
    i'll take a picture of my next poo-poo in a vacant building. REP RESTORED!
    leave the gun, take the canoli.

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    Level 3 User Jeff's Avatar
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    LOL I shouldn't have mentioned anything.

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    Level 3 User salix lucida's Avatar
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    Thanks for asking, Jeff. I get asked by my family a lot why the hell I do this, and I'd been struggling for months to find the right words for an answer. Having a few other people's thoughts bouncing around really helped. I probably shouldn't answer them with the "it's like church" part, perhaps, but the rest is sound. Even though it kind of is my favourite meditative thing to do on a Sunday morning.

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    Level 3 User Jeff's Avatar
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    Your welcome Salix. I was having the same issues with my wife, I really couldn't exspress the reason why. I agree it helped to hear/read why others do it. I was also pondering an article for a magazine and I got thinking why I liked it, even though I've only been to one place. (Sorry if I keep harping on that, I have issues. )

  13. #13
    Junior Member All Seeing Eye's Avatar
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    Plain and simple....photography & history! Recently I gave an aquaintance who shared my same interests in architecture and history a brief tour of Baltimore. During our travels and conversation, we got to the topic of urban renewal and history. I stated to him that I'd never met a renovation I liked and that I hate it when we destroy a thing of beauty and art. Most of the buildings I've seen abandanoned and not that I like capture some detail of a long ago period. And, I feel that capturing such a thing of beauty on film for me is the ultimate thrill.
    A.S.E
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    My camera lens is undescriminating and all seeing ...

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    Level ∞ User don corleyone's Avatar
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    my crew calls it church too.
    leave the gun, take the canoli.

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    Level 3 User Face Money's Avatar
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    This is a real quality thread, great job Jeff . Everyones replies are really great and feel like they come from the heart. You can tell that this website has quality people that have a real passion for this hobby.

  16. #16
    Level 3 User Jeff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Face Money View Post
    Everyones replies are really great and feel like they come from the heart. You can tell that this website has quality people that have a real passion for this hobby.
    I agree 100%. Schmooo, I also like the challenge, 'specially when going to a place that eveyone already has ten thousand pictures of! LOL
    Last edited by Jeff; 05-23-2007 at 01:50 PM. Reason: Spelling

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    Senior Member blackwidow_dc's Avatar
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    for me its all for the visual experience. To find beauty in the decay and portray it in a way others can also see that beauty. Also its the architecture. Newer buildings as they may have an interesting design still seem cold and sterile to me. Older buildings have amazing artistic expression through plaster castings, carvings, etc.

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    Level 1 User Mike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff View Post
    even though I've only been to one place. (Sorry if I keep harping on that, I have issues. )

    Come on down to our area, we'll be happy to show you around the local places!

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by don corleyone View Post
    my crew calls it church too.
    Amen !

    I think since everything in this day and age is sooo "Bigger, better, faster more" that I find it very appealing to actually see and try to capture character from items that most people turn away from.

    Next time your driving down the interstate look at the people driving next to you and notice how many of them have tunnel vision and dont see or pay attention to anything other then where they are going.

    "If you dont know which direction too take, you havn't acknowleged where you have been." - written on a wall of a hospital
    - has never been arrested for "Moapery"... just for the record.


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  20. #20
    Level 3 User Jeff's Avatar
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    I can see why it could be considered "church" like. There's something about going into a place that hasn't seen routine activity for years.

    Thanks for taking the time to comment, it helped get things staright in my head so the next time somoene asks I can have a better answer for them.
    Last edited by Jeff; 05-27-2007 at 10:25 AM. Reason: spelling

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