Urbex in Cuba: Havana Train Wrecking Yard

Posted by thirtyfootscrew On October - 4 - 20091 COMMENT

Cuba Street View I just got back from a trip to Cuba where I spent a couple of nights in Havana before going to a beach resort for a much more traditional holiday and I thought I’d share my mini-urbex outing I had in the city.  Aside from trying to get a feel for the place and doing the touristy-type things I also took a little walk with my camera during which I came across a corrugated iron enclosure, my urbex-based 6th sense made me think “hmmm… I wonder what’s in there?” and I navigated round to the entrance (FYI, it’s on Dragones between Amistad and Industria – near the Capitolio).

It turned out that the yard was full of wrecked, rusted and derelict trains, most (if not all) having been made in America in Philadelphia’s Baldwin Locomotive Works or the Vulcan Iron Works in Wilkes-Barre, PA.  After I spent a little while wandering around the yard the owner (or at least keeper) of the place turned up, a lovely old man who rents out the space not filled by trains for use as a car park.  The man (whose name I couldn’t quite understand) spoke no English but proceeded to show me around the yard pointing our the ages on the trains, most of them seemed to have been made around 1920 but one was as old as 1873.

Here are a handful of shots that I took in the yard…

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Top 5 Derelict Industrial Sites

Posted by sickbritain On September - 5 - 20094 COMMENTS

Following up on my Top 10 Abandoned Asylums post I decided to start looking at other ‘genres’ of urban exploration, in this week’s post it’s going to be industrial sites.  When I started researching the list I had a few obvious sites in mind but for the rest it was really tough to build a good solid list, industrial urbex seems to be much more diverse and localised than asylums.  It seems that explorers will travel great distances to visit an abandoned asylum but there are seem to be enough derelict warehouses, mills, factories, etc. on a local basis so people tend to visit places close to their homes.

As before, I have selected a top ten list based on the number of Flickr photos I found for each site in a single search, doubtlessly I will have missed important sites and got the ranking wrong but please feel free to point them out by leaving a comment. All of the photos used below were taken by other photographers and are used under a Creative Commons license (click through to Flickr for attribution), if you think you’ve got a better photo and it’s not CC – get your licensing sorted!


1. Pyestock NGTE

2. Inverkip Power Station

3. Nottinghamshire Colliery Group

Annesley, Clipstone, Pleasley


4. Steetley Magnesite

5. Thorpe Marsh Power Station

Harperbury Hospital, Aug-2009

Posted by thirtyfootscrew On August - 26 - 20091 COMMENT

Corridor in New BuildingI’ve been hankering after a proper wide-angle lens for a while and after ages of trying to decide between the Sigma 10mm and the Sigma 10-20mm, I’d kind-of settled on the zoom because you get a little more flexibility and it’s cheaper but I’d read that the 10-20 had quite poor build quality.  On a pay-day whim I ended up buying the Tamron 10-24mm (which had favourable comparisons to the Sigma 10-20) and tonight I popped out to give it a quick test – the weather was turning out rubbish so I needed somewhere indoors and Harperbury seemed ideal.

The place was in an even worse state than the last time which one would expect to be the case in a derelict building but the bulk of the new damage is human and one of the previously sealed buildings was open on three sides, I even saw the remnants of what would’ve been a padded cell but only the floor was intact as the walls had been stripped bare.

It was interesting to explore a couple of new rooms but they all looked essentially the same as the others anyway – pretty mashed up…

Needs Redecorating

It’s often difficult to find inspiration in a site you’ve visited before and I really struggled to find anything to do that I’d not done before, despite the new lens – it didn’t help much that I was knackered after a long day at work either.  

37I guess this is a lesson really, that the fun and interesting part of Urban Exploration really is the ‘exploration’ component – finding something new and interesting as opposed to covering the same ground over and over again. Just because it’s probably the most diverse building on the site, I spent the longest amount of time in the swimming pool block doing a couple of long exposures but I really didn’t get anything I hadn’t done before and I didn’t have the patience to do time consuming work such as light painting, which is a pity as it’s quite a cool spot to do it.

I achieved the lighting in these shots through a combination of the light from my head torch and the external flash unit being handheld off-camera…

Oxford Dipper

Swimming Pool

Top 10 Abandoned Asylums

Posted by sickbritain On August - 19 - 200917 COMMENTS

All over the UK dotted throughout countryside and city alike lie abandoned asylums, relics of a bygone era of mental health where the aim was to isolate patients in a secure facility rather than integrating them with the community. Here I have selected a top ten list based on the number of Flickr photos I found for each asylum in a single search, doubtlessly I will have missed important sites and got the ranking wrong but please feel free to point them out by leaving a comment. All of the photos used below were taken by other photographers and are used under a Creative Commons license (click through to Flickr for attribution), if you think you’ve got a better photo and it’s not CC – get your licensing sorted!


1. Hellingly
hellingly01

hellingly02

2. Cane Hill

canehill01

canehill02

3. West Park

westpark01

westpark02

4. Whittingham

whittingham01

whittingham02

5. Severalls

severalls01

severalls02

6. Denbigh

denbigh01

denbigh02

7. Deva

deva01

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8. St Mary’s

stmarys01

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9. Talgarth

talgarth01

talgarth02

10. St John’s

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stjohns02

 

 

Practical Photography Magazine Dereliction Special

Posted by thirtyfootscrew On August - 14 - 2009ADD COMMENTS

For those of you that haven’t seen it yet the September issue of Practical Photography Magazine has a massive dereliction special spanning 30-odd pages in the issue, it’s packed full of tips for people new to urban exploration and for those of us that are experienced already it’s still an interesting read.  A handful of explorers from the urbex community have contributed articles including Paul Osborne (aka Compound Eye) and Elle Dunn.

The articles include quick tips, safety and legal advice, lighting, working with a model, light painting, photoshop tips and even a competition to win an Epson Stylus Photo 1400 A3+ printer by submitting ‘dereliction themed’ photos which should be quite easy for most of us!

Pick up the magazine now at all good stockists (I’ve always wanted to say that).

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About Me

If youre into Urbex or youre trying to find out what its all about you may find yourself needing some help finding out about the art of Urban Exploration.  Here at Sick Britain Im planning to put up original content like my What is Urbex? and Urbex Safety articles as well as posting links to other community sites such as 28 Days Later or Derelicte.

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    shadowplay...overhead steelwork...Young smokera view to a better world...Pripyat Swimming Pool14...just another workbench....geometrySummer Camproom for storage...Machevo Village Cinemaas above...Machevo Village Schoollooking worse for wear...Machevo Village Schoolmorning sunstar..