Photography Podcast

PhotoNetCast #48 – Urban Exploration: Finding beauty in decay

Posted in PhotoNetCast Shows on 14-07-2010 | 7 Comments


Urban Exploration – When decay turns into art


As we hinted (sort of) in the last episode, the main topic for today’s show is Urban Exploration. As usual, we got a couple of guests really familiar with this topic to help us in the discussion: Sean Galbraith, which was with us on #47, and Sam Scholes (or on flickr). Both Sean and Sam have extensive experience in Urban Exploration, with Sean co-staring on a TV series (PhotoXplorers) and Sam having several exhibits with his UrbEx photos (one coming soon).

Before this, we discussed the new re-design of Flickr, and the upgrade of the Flickr/Getty partnership (if you remember we had an initial discussion about this partnership on episode #21). While the general feeling is that this is good for photographers, the possibility that photo buyers will approach the photographer directly for a license instead of contacting Getty is very very small. What are your thoughts on this? Will you allow photo buyers to request a license through Getty (even at a loss of 80%)?

Also on the table was the upcoming World Wide Photo Walk. It’s on July 24th.

In our Urban Exploration (or UrbEx) discussion we covered a lot of material from the legality of it (since it usually involves entering into private property), to philosophy, some equipment suggestions, safety, and much more. If you are at all interested in the topic, you really need to listen to this one.

As always, any feedback is truly appreciated.



Show Notes


Urban Exploration

Other articles on UrbEx you might like


Selected From the Web


Comments (7)

30 minutes in before the real meat…

The section on “souveniers” is particularly of interest as thats a hot topic around my local sites. Many major famous urbex draws have been nicked in the past year alone. Whilst all the urbexers I’ve met or spoken to subscribe to the take only photos, leave only footprints mantra (with a single rare exception of a lone tattered business card, or leaving your handle singned in a hidden urbex community guestbook akin to a geocache!), it only takes one person to ruin the ruin per se.

Sorry for the long show 🙂

I agree with you. Souvenirs are, in my opinion, a way to quickly ruin a site. The souveniers should come only in the form of images.

Thanks for the comment.

As any Flickr member now can sell their photos through the picture agency Getty if they want – will that not undermine the professional market?

Amateurs are not necessarily au fait with the value of their images and can be persuaded to license them to Getty for low rates, therby undermining the rates that professionals work hard to achieve. It might be another nail into the coffin for professional photographers. Can they compete with the millions of images put into Flickr every day?

Just my humble thoughts about this topic.

Thank you again for including me on the podcast. I enjoyed the discussion.

Great show…after it finally got going. I really enjoyed this one because I live near Detroit, which has many photo opportunities of the Urb-Ex type, and I know this subject matter is really popular. I do not do Urb-Ex myself, but do scour the streets looking for things I find interesting in the city.

This was really an interesting show, with lots of good information. Perhaps some stories about encounters with the law would have been interesting, too. I’ve already been tapped by the Detroit Police Dept. for shooting in an abandoned warehouse area and spent at least 20 minutes on the phone with them (two calls) including a request of the photos I shot in one area. Like a fool, I sent them. This cop drove all the way out to the ‘burbs and beat on my door (I wasn’t home.) I would think they have more pressing matters to attend to than this. I was probably reported by a utilities worker looking to earn some brownie points.

Another great show guys … thank you very much.

Thanks for the comment.


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