A: I use a DSLR, a Nikon D7100. My primary lens use to be a wide angle Sigma 10-22mm, I recently switched to a Tokina 11-20mm 2.8. I love both the camera and these particular lenses, I highly recommend all three if you are in the market and price range. I will also sometimes use a Nikon 50mm 1.8 lens for artifact shots. This lens provides an excellent bokeh shot! I will also use my iPhone 6 sometimes. The only other piece of gear I really use is a tripod. I started out with a nice Vanguard Alta Pro, but found it too cumbersome for exploring. I currently use a Manfrotto Compact Action Aluminum Tripod which can be bought at BestBuy. It securely supports my DSLR just fine and with it’s compact size, fits right into the side pocket of my backpack. The D7100 is excellent for shooting in low light, I don’t carry any external flashes with me or other lighting equipment. The only other piece of gear I use regularly is a wired/wireless RFN-4 Shutter Release which I primarily use for self portraits.
Q: Do you edit your photos? What do you use to edit your photos?
A: Yes, I do edit my photos. Sometimes I will edit less, sometimes more. It really depends on how I felt at the location and how I saw what I was photographing at the time. My photos will usually convey the mood I was in and the setting of the location. The majority of my photos are done in HDR. If not overdone, I feel HDR really does a nice job conveying the decay usually found in the locations I shoot. I use Photomatix Pro 5 to merge my photos then use Lightroom to do the majority of the editing process. I will then finish in Photoshop with very minor adjustments if any.
Q:How do you find the locations you photograph?
A: I often suffer from whiplash while driving wherever I am traveling! You would be surprised just how many abndoned locations are all around you. You’ve probably passed some many times but just never paid them any attention. I also am fortunate to have made a couple friends who I now explore with regularly who have been doing this for a while. They have a lot of locations under their belts, especially one friend in particular who is also well networked within the UE community. I also research online using google earth and maps. Checking photo sites like Flicker for example, also provide location clues if you know what to look for. Eventually, you begin to build a network of other trusted explorers whom you can share and trade locations with.
Q: Will you tell me where to find these locations?
A: No. You most likely are not a person with ill intent, but there is good reason to protect these locations. Unfortunately, often times when these places are discovered, they’re ruined by scrappers, vandals, taggers, and thieves. I’ve been to locations that are untouched, only to return months later to find the place full of graffiti and property damage, the man made kind, not through the natural course of decay. These disgusting people have no respect or appreciation for places like these and ruin the experience for others who do. Telling the wrong person, or listing locations on the internet leads to the inevitable destruction of these amazing places over time due to the human element involved!