• First trip to New England

    I’ve been wanting to go to Boston and New England in general for a while now, so as soon as Shay and Jerry said to come up to meet, do some exploring, and eat some good food, I didn’t hesitate to book a flight right away. I’ve known these guys on Instagram for a couple years now, so I knew it would be fun. Unfortunately, Shay had something come up and couldn’t meet up this weekend. Hopefully next time. By the time I got to Boston, picked up my rental car, checked in to the hotel, and drove to Jerry’s house, it was getting kinda late, so we didn’t have much time to explore. read more

  • Busted in Bama

    I got a random text from Geo last week, asking if I wanted to go to Birmingham to do some exploring. I just got back from PA and getting ready to go to Detroit the following weekend, but sure why not. Birmingham is one of those places that always produces locations. I’ve been there three times to explore and have only been to one location more than once. This trip was all Geo. He had a handful of places I’d never even heard of before. The first, some sort of girls correctional center. This was one time that I really wished I had worn pants (or brought a machete). We basically made our own path through the dense brush and finally hit some pavement. The first building we see definitely seemed like a prison building. It was mostly cell-like rooms. The last building was a chapel that was pretty boring and had the worst clock tower ever. read more

  • The “Chicago Experience”

    ←Days 1-2

    On day three, Matt and Beth were tired from St Louis, so they decided to take it easy and do their own thing. The first stop on Sunday was coincidentally one of the locations Matt was asking about earlier. One of the more popular places, this abandoned church wasn’t very big, but it still had incredible detail left inside. The architecture and ceilings were amazing, but it didn’t take much time to explore. read more

  • Tour of Atlanta

    Back when there weren’t many people to explore with, I met up with a couple of people who hadn’t done much exploring to show them a few places in Atlanta. Manda, Rob, and I had never met, so that was a little weird, but before you knew it, we were running around from place to place like old friends. Since we were in the area, we made our first stop at an old elementary school. I didn’t even take my camera out of my bag, but if you want to see some pics from there (and other places that day), check out Rob’s set. Those were the good ol’ days, with “the sink of dramatic lighting” and the giant asbestos-covered bear that would appear in different spots around the school. It’s changed a lot and most likely will be demolished sooner than later. Next spot we hit was the old Atlanta prison. That’s another place that’s changed quite a bit over the years. You would almost expect to be robbed or killed there back then. Now, you’re almost certain to just run into other explorers/photographers, or cops. That day, we ran into no one. Before long, we were off to the next spot. We ended up stopping at a Living Walls piece on the way to an old battery factory. We’re lucky we stopped because the piece was removed not long after, due to complaints from religious establishments nearby. We finally got to the battery factory and continued shooting away. We were doing pretty damn good, as it wasn’t even Noon yet. Nothing too memorable from there. Then before we knew it, we were off to the shower factory. I think I took four pictures there, then we stopped by Whittaker School. I took zero pictures there, then we went and checked out some abandoned warehouses off of Bankhead. It was only my second time there (and last), but I didn’t shoot any pics there either. We saved the most memorable place for last.

    prisonprisonprisonprisonprisonprisonprisonbattery factorybattery factorybattery factoryliving wallsshowerlux

    The last spot we went to was Simmons Plating Works on Whitehall, the only place I hadn’t been to previously. I’ve been to some pretty disgusting places, but this still ranks in the top 3-5. Before we even got to the building, we were getting eaten alive by mutant-sized mosquitoes. Once we actually got inside, we knew why. The inside was completely covered in trash. It was like walking around in a dumpster basically. It was really hot outside and it smelled absolutely terrible, too. The location itself was pretty interesting though. It was a metal plating factory that filed for bankruptcy just before Christmas in 2000. Apparently they left all the chemicals there which cost tax payers just under a million bucks to clean up. There was still a lot of big machinery left behind and there was this huge pit, which I later found out was where they dumped thousands of gallons of electroplating sludge. According to Atlanta Time Machine, they removed approximately 305,000 gallons of hazardous waste from the site, 240,000 of that being the sludge from that nasty pit. Certainly no one would be living here, right? Wrong. There were two shirtless (probably naked, but we could only see chest-up) dudes living in the back area. Again, it’s like 95 degrees outside, it smells like shit, and there are thousands of huge, disease-carrying insects flying around. Not exactly the place I’d choose to live if I was homeless, but i guess these guys aren’t in this position because of their awesome decision-making skills. Nonetheless, I’m glad we were able to go in and check it out. There was some pretty cool paint inside and even though I didn’t get many pics, we didn’t die and it’s a fun story to tell. A good way to wrap up our little tour of Atlanta. Here are some more terrible photos…


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  • First New Orleans Road Trip Day 4

    ←Day 1

    ←Day 2

    ←Day 3

    First New Orleans Road Trip Day 4

    The fourth and final day in town probably doesn’t deserve it’s own post, but I’m sticking with the pattern here. The day actually started terribly. Scott and I met in the hotel lobby, as we did the previous morning, but this time there are people everywhere outside and the streets were blocked. Normally, that probably wouldn’t be a big deal, but we were really hoping to be able to drive the car to more locations. This meant we’d be walking. And we did a LOT of walking. So much walking, that my foot felt like it had a pulled muscle or something. After limping by some buildings that looked abandoned (but were probably lofts), we stopped at a cool looking Greyhound station by the Superdome, where Scott took a few pics. After checking out the greyhound station, we finally decided we were gonna go to an abandoned nursing home on the other side of the river that Jeremy told us about. Probably not the best idea to walk there, so we summoned the first cab we saw. A few bucks later, we were dropped off right in front of the place. Seemed like a pretty old building, but it was holding together pretty well. I’m guessing it was abandoned in 2005 like most of the city. It was fairly creepy because it was pretty much wide open, and just knowing the probability of all the old people that have died there. That, and the decomposing opossum or giant rat or whatever that we found. Surprisingly though, we didn’t see anyone living or hanging out here either. The place had some pretty old bathtubs, fixtures, and some good decay, but the best part was undoubtedly the little chapel inside.

    It had about an inch of water on the floor and beautiful stained glass windows, which made for some nice reflections (also why all the pics from inside are purple). Unfortunately, I hear the windows are now all broken and all the pews have been removed or destroyed. When we were there, there were plenty of remnants of life. Prayer cards, bibles, and hymnals were all over. One book still open, sitting on the pedestal. These are always the most amazing kind of explores, when it seems like the people left unexpectedly and just abandoned all their possessions. It makes your mind explore the possibilities of the situation that signaled the end of these places. It’s obvious what happened in New Orleans though. Many people stayed home for Hurricane Katrina, not expecting the levies to give way and flood the city. I’m sure the last thing they were thinking about were their belongings, especially materials from a nursing home or stuffed animal prizes at an amusement park…

    We walked out, pretty confident that we’d find out the way back to the hotel by foot before the girls get kicked out at check-out time. Another example of how we’re always wrong. We walked a pretty good way, my foot still killing me, to a gas station to grab some snacks, thinking we’d just proceed further down the road to some kind of ferry that would bring us back across the river to the hotel. Instead, we walked until we realized that we’re probably in one of the worst areas of the city. We confirmed that (to each other anyway) when we saw some dudes fighting in the street at like 10am. Considering I have hundreds of dollars worth of gear on my back, we decided maybe we should change course or call for help. By now, I’m being a real vagina about my foot, so we decide we’ll just call a taxi. Unfortunately, we weren’t aware that taxi drivers apparently don’t know that area very well either. After standing on the corner paranoid for at least an hour and fielding several phone calls from the taxi guys, they finally found us and picked us up. Our crazy vacation was finally coming to an end, but we knew this was a city we would have to return to. Here are a few shots from the nursing home.

    hallwayfridgecarcassIMG_8527_8_9_tonemappedswitchdirty soaptubIMG_8530_1_2_tonemappedIMG_8539_40_41_tonemappedIMG_8545_6_7_tonemappedIMG_8551_2_3_tonemappedIMG_8557_8_9_tonemapped

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  • First New Orleans Road Trip Day 3

    ←Day 1

    ←Day 2

    First New Orleans Road Trip Day 3

    After hitting three spots two the previous days, we were feeling pretty good about ourselves. This day, however, would become (and probably still is) the best exploring day ever. Scott and I met in the hotel lobby bright and early, got the car and took off to the park. We parked probably close to a mile away, walked to the main entrance, and got past the fence, only to find a security car sitting there, waiting for a couple fools like us to come walking in. Luckily Scott was there to tell me how dumb my plan was, to just run really low and hope no one notices us. We decide to walk around and see what we can find. Finally, we found our way in and shot away for several hours. It’s really a dream location for photographers. I wish I had the chance to go back and actually get to stay a while. More on that some other time…

    The highlight of the visit, and my favorite photo came right before we left. Scott, with his bright green jacket, decided we should see the park (and security) from the highest point possible. Hey, we’ve gotten what we came for, if we get thrown out, we get thrown out. We were able to get up, down, and outta there with no issues. Before you know it, Ashley and Manda are with us, and we’re looking for lunch (as I passed out, exhausted in the car). After checking out some cemeteries, we start driving around to see what we can find. We didn’t know what it was when we found it, but we found one of the best places we’ve ever been to.

    We found what was obviously some kind of huge power plant. Once inside the fence, you get to a gated door, where you can clearly see a big swampy piece on what looks like a quarter-pipe or something, but it’s locked. After more investigation, we find a clear way in and go back to get the girls. We all go in and it has some drop-lights hanging in some areas and the sound of water dripping and echoing all over. Super creepy. The sun is starting to go down and we’re not even halfway through this place. It had some amazing machinery and there was tons of paint everywhere. So many weird noises in that place, definitely seemed like someone was staying there, possibly looking down on us from above. We got pretty high, but not quite to the top or the roof. We were there for a pretty long time, so we decided to leave before our luck ran out.

    arcadebumper carspizzaRiskdeflatedhanging by a chainreflectionmain streetJokers Jukeboxgotham cityritascarouselbearcautionfrom the topinside powerswampypower plantcontrol panelbig windowthrough the doorsleeping bagrelfectiongraff faceelectric boxsmokeinterior


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  • First New Orleans Road Trip Day 2

    ←Day 1

    First New Orleans Road Trip Day 2

    After getting into New Orleans kinda late, we just found our hotel, went separate ways for dinner, then met back up in the morning. We made the obligatory stop at Cafe Du Monde, then Manda, Scott, and I went on a really long walk. New Orleans isn’t as bad as Detroit, but Hurricane Katrina left a lasting impression on this city. I’ve never seen another place like it in the south. There are abandoned buildings everywhere. You can see them from the highways driving in, and you can see them all over when you’re just walking around. We walked around and took really good looks at some of the buildings around town (some were absolutely jaw-dropping), but we settled on a nearby abandoned brewery.

    We spotted it from a mile down the street since it still has it’s giant sign on the top, but once again, a busy street. Oh, and there was an active construction site next door. Manda elected to sit this one out and walk around the block while the two idiots walk in this place with everyone watching. It was like 2 o’clock in the afternoon on a Friday, so there were people everywhere. They must take late lunches down there because some of the construction guys started leaving. The opportunistic fellas that we are, we thought that was our chance, so we walk right in. Still, I’m sure a handful of people saw us, but oh well – we’re in. I can’t remember, but we can assume I had to pee as soon as we got in here, too! Anyway, it was a pretty cool building. Not sure how old, but the company was founded in 1907. It was apparently closed even before the hurricane. During my last visit to New Orleans (March 2014), we did drive by and see the building was still there, but it looks to be soon consumed by all the active construction surrounding it. Hopefully they save the building and repurpose it, at least. All photos below are from that location.

    Not quite satisfied with the day, Scott and I decide we’ll go for a little night recon of a well known theme park and maybe stop off at a bonus spot or two. We decide 9pm sounds like a good time. Certainly there wouldn’t still be security at this place at like 10 o’clock at night, right? We pull into the RV entrance and sure enough, there’s a white Taurus sitting there pointed in our direction. “Maybe it’s just parked there” we say. After a (seemingly) 10 min conversation in the car, the Taurus door opens and a huge dude gets out. He didn’t say anything, but we know when it’s time to leave. We turn around and haul ass as quickly as possible. Feeling defeated, we still say we came here for one reason and we’re coming back at 6am, no matter what.

    And hell, why not stop by an abandoned movie theater on the way back to the hotel, too? At 10pm. It was one of the creepier explores I’ve been on and we didn’t even see anyone else. It was also in the center of a large piece of property, with a fence around it, that used to be a shopping mall. For some reason, they demolished the mall, but left the theater. We parked nearby and had to run (looking like morons) across this huge field before we could even see if there was a way in this place. And it was like 10pm. We finally find an open door and go in, and it’s a typical mall theater. But here, everything’s destroyed, there’s terrible graffiti on the walls, and it smells like a wet abandonment. The only light we have is coming from our two small flashlights and there just seems like so many places people could be living in this building. Luckily we didn’t see anyone, but we made our way up to the projector area and we found some pretty cool stuff. There were unopened film reels like Wedding Crashers and Crash, and a bunch of movies that I don’t even remember. I won’t even bother posting any of the four blurry iPhone/flashlight shots that I took there. Definitely glad we made that stop, but 6am is gonna be here soon….

    machineholeelevatorofficehelmetscott with swampybrew machineboilerdrumbrew stuffladdertank

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  • First New Orleans Road Trip Day 1

    First New Orleans Road Trip Day 1

    Being the first real exploring road trip, this still remains my favorite. Just a quick weekend getaway with some of my favorite people. After deciding on New Orleans to be the destination, we thought the best weekend for us would be Feb 2-3…until I started started searching hotels. Either priceline.com was broken or something unusual was going on. If you’re a Baltimore Ravens (or SF 49ers) fan, you probably know exactly what I’m talking about. We searched far and wide for a decent hotel or rental house that’s not crazy expensive. No luck. After a few minutes of research, Scott figured out what our problem was. Well, this goes for everybody…it’s not the best idea to schedule a trip to a city on the weekend that they’re hosting the fucking SUPER BOWL! Needless to say, we changed our dates.

    After delaying the trip for 3 weeks, we were finally waking up on Thursday morning, ready to head out. We knew our day would consist of mostly driving, so we decided to take a detour and enter Alabama a little further north, explore a few spots while the sun is up, then continue to New Orleans. We found a pretty cool looking abandoned high rise building that had some boarded-up shops below, so we stopped to take a look. The girls stayed in the car as Scott and I walked around the outside, along some very busy streets. We found an area where it looked like a car drove into the storefront of a hair salon and there was a small opening at the bottom. As Scott stood guard, I crawled inside with only my iPhone to take a look around. Immediately I hear someone yelling outside. Since it was pretty busy on the street, it could’ve been anything. I’m inside of this small (I’m assuming, since there were posters of different hairstyles inside) hair salon and I’m just trying to find a way into the larger part of the building. There are some stairs going up and a back door, so I go through the back door and find my way into the real building. I don’t mean to be gross, and some explorers would probably hate me for doing this….well, lemme start by saying I have anxiety and, as some people that explore with me know, I really have to pee as soon as I get inside of a new building. So yeah, I don’t mean to be gross, but I had to pee really bad. The only/best place I could find on such short notice was an elevator shaft. So as soon as I get that out of the way, my phone starts ringing. Scott is calling me and apparently that yelling was the guy at another hair salon across the street, yelling at me. I was told he has a phone in his hand, describing to the person(s) on the other end that he just saw someone crawling into the building across the street. Not sure what he thought I was doing, but nonetheless, it was time to take a couple iPhone pics and get outta there (apologies for the horrible pic). They pulled up to pick me up just as I crawled out of the hole, the guy across the street still with phone in hand, trying to figure out what’s going on.

    Next (and only other) spot we stopped in that area was a steel plant from the 1800’s that still has a few buildings and smokestacks left and even this awesome, giant steel mixer. We’ve never claimed to be the best explorers in the world (we actually proclaim the opposite), so remaining true to that, we took the toughest way in. After making our way through tons of briars or sticker-bushes, we found a huge empty building that was completely flooded in the basement areas. We then made our way (over walls and more briars and bushes) to the smokestacks and the awesome steel mixer. It’s definitely one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen on an explore. We found a few train cars on the property, shot them, then went into another set of buildings closer to the road. Luckily, we found a much easier way to get back to the car, then we were on our way to New Orleans…

    hallwaymain buildinglarge buildingthe way downtrain carelevatortree roomsketchy flooringdisgusting soda

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  • The Furious Masturbator

    Most people I’ve explored with probably already know a little about this, but here’s the story of the weirdest day of my life.

    A couple years ago, my buddy Andrew and I had been checking out this abandoned building for a few weeks. It was right off the train tracks in East Point, back side covered in graff. We finally decide to figure out how to get across the tracks and find this place. We walk around the outside and shoot pics of the graff and the train tracks, we follow a little trail through the weeds, and bam, we’re inside. The interior of the building was ok, some graff and a section of the roof was falling in. We make our way towards the back of the building, and it’s pretty dark back there. There’s a small room on the left with some scribble on the walls and a bunch of blunt wrappers on the floor, then there are some other small, dark areas among some drywall and plywood. As we’re quietly checking the place out, I see the bottoms of someone’s legs walking in the same way we came in, at the other end of the building. I whisper to Andrew that we’ve got some company, and without saying anything, we both kinda slip into the shadows. I go into the little room with the blunt wrappers and Andrew hides further back where it’s a little darker. As you can see in the picture with the white brick archway, (to the right is the small room I was in, where Manda is with her flashlight) there’s a window cutout where I could look out and see what the guy was doing. I’m pretty sure Andrew was thinking the same thing – hopefully this guy just walks through and goes about his business. Of course not! He takes a seat…

    So this guy is big. He’s probably like 6’6″, 250lbs, and he’s just sitting there staring at the wall. Andrew can’t see him from where he’s at, but I’ve got a pretty clear view from behind him to his right side, either around the corner or through the window cutout. The guy didn’t look homeless, but he didn’t exactly look very well put together either. He walked in carrying a black plastic bag, and he’s staring at this white wall, so I thought he was gonna pull out some paint and start spraying the wall. Well, he did spray the wall, but I’ll get back to that in a sec. He goes into the bag and grabs a 40, and starts drinking. Then he pulls out and empties a blunt, and starts rolling up some (I assume) weed to smoke. So he’s smoking and drinking, and I’m miming back to Andrew what’s going on while trying to be as quiet as possible. I look back to the guy and I had to do a double-take. I’m mostly behind him, but kinda to his right side, and all I could see was his right elbow moving….rapidly. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing and I was miming back to Andrew that I’m pretty sure the guy is jerking it right now. I’m maybe 50% sure that this is happening. I was trying to give this guy the benefit of the doubt…ok, maybe 75% sure. Well, he left absolutely no doubt when he stood up and leaned back in ecstasy. At this point, it’s taking every bit of our energy not to laugh out loud. To top it all off, the guy starts doing the Spiderman motion towards the wall. Finally a loud train goes by, and Andrew sneaks over to the room I’m in. We laugh a little more and decide we’re going to make a run for it before this guy sees us. I doubt he wants anyone to know what just happened and he may not like seeing a couple guys with recording equipment (unfortunately didn’t get any pics). Last thing I need, is for this guy to try to grab me with those hands. Luckily we escaped into another part of the building and out of a huge hole in the wall. We even sat in the car for a sec to see if anyone came out, but nothing happened. Way too much excitement before 9am on a Friday morning. Sorry for the shitty pictures. These were taken a couple months after the “incident”.

    FM-warehouseFM-warehouse 1FM-warehouse 3FM-warehouse 4FM-warehouse 5FM-warehouse 6FM-warehouse 7

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  • VA Road Trip

    This is a collection of photos taken on a road trip through NC and VA with Sonja and Devin. We explored a couple warehouses, several hospital/asylum buildings, Fulton Gas Works in Richmond, a few houses, and a bombed-out nursing home building. Not bad for a little 3 day road trip…

    WarehouseStoveFireplaceChairTool RoomJail buildingControl RoomFulton GasFulton Gas 2VA WarehouseRVA SkylineAbandoned VA Housego back ←