Archive for the 'Urban Exlporation' Category

Great Scott

Some of you may recognise  Jo from a previous shoot I did for Dorkzine ; well since that shoot we have stayed in touch and boy am I glad we did! Jo is not only captivating to look at from behind the camera but she has a similar creative vision to myself and we have developed a great working relationship. So I thought I would share a few shots from a couple shoots we have done recently.

First up we visited Alderly Edge a location I have always wanted to check out, not specifically for photography but generally it just looked like a nice place to visit. Anyways rather loosely Jo and I arranged to hook up and check it out for some shots. After meeting up and finding out Jo had forgotten her Sat Nav – we got explicit directions from her step-dad (something he is reknowed for apparently ;-) Anyway here’s a couple images…

The Thing I love and indeed other people have commented on my photos of Jo, is that she manages to look completely different all the time, whether that be down to posing, facial expression or styling; she is SO versatile to work with. Anyway we packed up after a few shots up on the edge itself as light was fading fast and rain was threatening, as is fairly common around these parts ;-) bloody English weather. If I was cursing the weather then, it was nothing compared to what was in store on our next trip out!

I awoke on the Wednesday morning at around 8:30am to large thunder claps and torrential rain, not what I had hoped for having planned a shoot with Jo at a location I had not previously scouted and was unsure how feasable it was to start with! As soon as it was a more sociable hour I sent a text to check weather (boom boom) we were still on. Jo was as usual still fiercly keen to shoot so we met as planned! On the way we both laughed at how both of us were more than concerned about dragging the other out on such a hellish day like this, despite both been secretly mad keen to go ahead anyways! So off we went…

After a little re-con we found the location, an abandoned power-station. I have to say visiting locations like this one is not un-common to me but dragging along a model is not such every-day occurence and I was unsure how Jo would hold out but like the  true preofessional that she is, she took it all in her stride. Anyway enough waffle here’s some of the shots…

…and just to demonstrate just how bad the weather was (and hopefully how awesome the location was), I used some artistic license and the full potential of my (basic) photoshop technique and came up with this…

Jo can also say she is an urban-explorer aswell as one hell of a model!

Hope you enjoyed looking, stay tuned for more…

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Coloured Lights at Night

OK been a bit busy of late, as previous posts will testify but here’s a few film shots I recently got developed to keep the interest up ;-)

All shots are unedited apart from addition of watermark and minor adjustments such as straightening. Really pretty pleased at how these shots turned out and the quality and sharpness that film provides never ceases to amaze me. Bulk of the shots are from a second visit to a former RAF Base, with the exception of the two underground shots, they were captured under the streets of Lancashire somewhere in an old culvert!

Anyway enough babble, on with the shots…

Haymaker Pt2

Haymaker PT2 – Canon EOS3000 F6.3 / ISO200 Film / 24mm /Aprrox 3mins.

Frigid  Air

Frigid Air – Canon EOS3000 F6.3 / ISO200 Film / 24mm / Approx 3mins
This lonely fridge stands in a corner of a room in this old base, with only a sink shoved inside its top half for company.

British Red & Blue

British Red & Blue – Canon EOS 3000 / F6.3 / ISO200 / Approx 8mins / 24mm


Haymaker PT2 – Canon EOS 3000 / F6.3 / ISO200 / Approx 5mins / 24mm



Long story behind the title but far too long to to explain here ;-) Dont remember the shot details for the above or below shots and god knows its a miracle they turned out anywhere near as good as this.

Double Trouble

Double Trouble

Ok so this shot isnt technically brilliant but I wanted to add it because I was so blown away by the size of the arches. It was extremeley hard because one it was completely pitch black and two there were 4 or so other people with us who were not completely in-tune with what I was trying to achieve but hey I aint bitching cos I wouldnt have been there in the first place if it wasnt for them. Also I coulnt even see as far as second couple of people further up on far side the tunnel, let alone as far as the exposure has picked up.

From Budapest With Love!

For quite a while now and its about time I started writing again. Being fairly active over on Twitter recently, isnt mirco-blogging addictive and lets face it less stressful than trying to write hundreds of words interspersed with the odd picture! Add me over there if  you like?

Anyways I digress, by the looks of things I haven’t written since September, shame on me I know, but I don’t often find time to concentrate on upping new material. That coupled with the fact I am not a very gifted writer. Which I guess is why I try to fill posts with as many pics as possible and after all that’s all you’re here for to see some pretty pics! Likewise I like showing them off!

So what have I been up to? Well I suppose the most exciting thing I’ve done in the past couple of moths was a 5 day visit to Budapest. MAN this place was a photographers dream, I managed to arrange a stay in a Youth Hostel, keeping costs to minimum, it was situated in an amazing 4 storey building, with balconied internal courtyard…

My apartment was just to the left (out of frame) on the top floor balcony. I couldn’t have asked for a more picturesque place to stay, the place itself was a lil bit basic with a dodgy boiler which frequently meant cold showers but after a while I got used to it!

Luckilly, I wasnt left to blindly wander around BP on my own, which as much fun as it would have been I really dont think I would have achieved or seen half as much as I would have. One of my contacts through work had kindly agreed to show me around, of course we went to many of the tourist hotspots but I also was afforded the luxury of experiencing some of the lesser known delights BP has to offer both in the city itself and on the outskirts…

Bar KUPLUNG (or Clutch in English), the entrance narrow courtyard entrance was is literally brought to life with some colourful legal graffiti.

or Tolvaj Zsido Demszky if your Hungarian! Political graffiti at a tram stop Pest side of the Danube.

In hidden coutyards, colourful and interesting architecture can be found everywhere.

As I said above we obviously hit some of the hotspots of which there are many as BP is steeped in both relatively recent (ie. Communism) and much older history. Of particular note were Heroes Square…

Dohany Synagogue

Erzsébet kilátó, or Elizabeth look out, situated outside the city on the Buda side, atop Janos Hegy, this wonderful building sits surveying all of Budapest as far as the eye can see.

Taken in the tower at Erzsébet kilátó, this immediately reminded MC Escher’s work and is probably one of my favourite shots from the whole trip.

I guess I could waffle on and on about the about the place but I reckon you’d get bored pretty quickly I think I’ll finish off with a couple of other favourites and a lil bit about the light painting trip I arranged at the Szoborpark, a former Communist momument statue park. Anyways first some more photies…

Little red Fiat (I think) found whilst wandering the streets after a few beers one night, cute lil thing isnt it!

Playing around with the shadows outside the hostel, alcohol induced inspiration seemed to work in my favour again here, just chilling at the hostel having a few beers, I became transfixed by all the cool shadows on the balcony.

Taken on Margrit Sziget, outside the public open air baths, just prior to taking this, I had wondered up to the entrance, which was gated due to it being out of season and as I peered through the bars a big German Shepard came charging at me ans scared the bejesus out of me! Thank god for the bars! I think it woke the security guard up too ;-) Accidentally I promise the focus on this shot, rather embarrassingly is on her *cough* assets! Wooops!

I was I have to say really impressed by the amount of graffiti there was, not just tags but full on pieces, the above was legal stuff on building site hoardings but there were cool stickers, toys and little throw ups all over the place.

To Be Continued…

Keep On Truckin…

Well another weekend flew by, literally at times, as I mentioned previously, Friday night was going to be consumed by the Aftershow. Where we saw the excellent Gideon Conn, who yet again wowed the crowd and during a rapturous climax brought the show to a close with a cover of the Outcast hit Miss Jackson! The boy who seems to be so shy and unassuming has a real stage presence. Even when playing lesser know tracks the crowd who are normally just head nodding to the usual, run of the mill indie acts that play regularly were bouncing up and down and having a great time. We didn’t really stick around to see anyone else as had a big night ahead of us Saturday night (More of that later) but here’s a few images of Gideon in action…

Aftershow Birthday - Gideon Conn 13/09/08

Aftershow Birthday - Gideon Conn 13/09/08

And finally, proving that all photographers have a loving relationship and total respect for one another, even those that are your best mates, heres Gideon (not the singer / rapper) aka G, aka Th3g

Mutual Respect Is Common Amongst Photographers!

Saturday started brightly, I finally got our poor broken down washing machine fixed, its been blocked up for over a week and we were starting to run out of clothes and the water in it had started to smell! YUK!

Then all the football results went my way, much to my delight, oh well apart from Aresenal cruising to a 4-0 win at Blackburn but hey you cant have everything ;-) As for Saturday evening, what can I say things couldnt have gone better. G and I set off just after eight and after a couple of hours driving and some blasts from the past; including Roni Size, Mr Scruff, KRS 1 and other such musical delights, on the stereo we arrived at our meeting place with Andy, a contact from Flickr. Neither of us had met him but were both more than happy to meet up with him as he seemed like a cool guy and was more than capable at “our kind” of photography! We owed him a visit anyways as a previous planned trip had fallen through. All the way down we had been watching the clouds slowly disappear and the stars coming out to play, twinkling in the Autumn sky.

By the time we reached our intended destination, mist had started to form and was swirling all around us, as we crossed a freshly cut field visibility was patchy but the way was illuminated by a full moon and the scene around us was pretty much otherworldly. When we finally approached the location the mist had become thick fog and we could see little more than 15ft in front of us.

The General Pt2
The General
F5.6 / ISO 100 / 167secs / 10mm.
Green gelled flash from behind and to right of camera, cab red gelled flash multiple times, underneath gelled flash yellow, again multiple times.

Lil Pinkie
Lil Pinkie
F5.6 / 201secs / ISO100 / 16mm.
Pink gelled flash from front, cab lit by yellow gel, rear and underneath lit by aqua gelled flash. All fired multiple times.

Keep  On Truckin Pt2
Keep On Truckin PT2
F5.6 / 225secs / ISO100 / 12mm
Exterior greeny blue gelled flash (only once or twice), interior lit with violet flash multiple times and finally underneath lit from rear and far side with “Chrome Orange”

The next shot isn’t amazing but it shows you just HOW foggy it was…

F5.6 / 106secs / ISO100 / 20mm
Red gelled flash from rear and front lit by yellow gelled 2million candle torch.
Hopefully this will give you a size of some of the beasts that we encountered, to the left of this there were empty containers lined up, they are by no means small and this thing absolutely dwarfed them. I remember feeling last time I visited and particularly this time, that some of these now decaying relics resembled massive dinosaurs as they slowly lumbered out of the thick primordial fog.

After packing up our gear we made our way back slowly, pretty blindly, through the fog to the car, where I preceded to make us all a nice cup of tea on my Pocket Rocket Stove. Andy having not met us before was well impressed by how prepared we were! After sharing thoughts about this amazing place and how well we thought we had shot etc we were off to check out a spot we had briefly checked out earlier in the evening before coming here.

10minutes later, zipping down lots of country lanes we were there, due to the nature of the place I am not going to mention where it was but safe to say we didn’t break in or do any damage whatsoever. That goes against our ethos, if we couldn’t have got in we wouldn’t have bothered. Anyways here follows some shots, they are not amazing as I was a lil uneasy shooting there at first but we all settled in after a while and were happily shooting after a little uneasiness.

Shooting Star
Shooting Star (Lockheed T33a)
F5.6 / 132secs / ISO200 / 10mm
Green gelled flash from right side once or twice, cockpit flash twice with red gelled flash and intake lit by red gelled Maglight, joint lighting from myself and Andy.

Thrust (Mig 27k)
F5.6 / 64secs / ISO200 / 10mm
Lit by red gelled 2D Maglight (centre) and again same torch gelled blue, run around in a circle. Whilst shooting this Andy, quite rightly, commented that it looked like an X-Wing from Star Wars! You can pretty much see just how bad the light pollution was here, I really hate that horrible orange sky but what can you do and having said that think it looks ok in this shot.

Bluenose Bast*rd
Blue Nose Bast*rd (Avro Ashton)
F5.6 / 38secs / ISO200 / 10mm
Like a big squid like creature, swimming out of the darkness, all that remains of this beast is the nose and partial fuselage. I was gutted I couldn’t get inside to light the windows but what can you do eh!

After shooting a couple more shots, which sadly didnt make it past the cutting room floor, we all decided it was time to call it a night as it was fast approaching 5am. A very productive night was had by all and I look forward to seeing the others shots.

Will add other pics later, hope you enjoyed the shots and delights this trip provided.

How To: Create Your Own Crime Scene

This is an idea I have had for some time, re-creating a crime scene. I find it strangely fascinating, if a little dark and gruesome! Ok so your asking why in the hell would I want to create a crime scene? Well if like me you enjoy watching CSI (any or all three of them) or other such programmes like FBI Files or even I dunno the X-Files, this might appeal to you. I know I’m not the only one I found this blog whilst browsing the other day. Other than my interest in the aforementioned tv viewing, at the time of working on this project I was in a real creative slump and needed something that was going to push my photography to another level. After a test shoot with a friend, which didnt go completely to plan, I managed to convince a contact off Model Mayhem to do the shoot with me and these are some of the results…

Crime Scene Investigation.

Crime Scene Investigation 1 - TdM Photography ©

Ok on to what you will need;

  1. A willing accomplice, someone to play dead basically.
  2. Clothes that the model / friend wont mind getting dirty, ripped etc depends how authentic a look you are going for!
  3. Fake Blood of some sort, google it there are loads of recipes.
  4. Location markers to highlight potential evidence, I used some blank cards and spray painted them yellow and to make them look more realistic number decals, you could use letters if you wanted or make your own stencils to save money.
  5. A suitable location, location is key, sure crime happens everywhere, but find somewhere dark and gritty looking to add an element of realism. In my examples the model happened to know a friend who lived in a squat, we went here for the afternoon and did the shoot in an upstairs room.
  6. On camera flash gun
  7. Turn off the lights, yeah its a nightmare to focus in the dark but use a torch, partially illuminating the crime scene will make for interesting shadow and hey thats what the professionals do. I hadn’t got a choice in this case, there were no lights! So go on test your self!
CSI Crime Scene 2 -  TdM Photography ©

CSI Crime Scene 2 - TdM Photography ©

Crime Scene Investigation 4 - TdM Photography ©

Crime Scene Investigation 4 - TdM Photography ©

Top photo used by Nikkidarling to right this guide

Recent Exploits

Little write up about what I got up to over Bank Holiday, certainly not everyones cup of tea but what the hey the results are pretty good. We visited the following sites…

Former German work camp not far out side of Crewe. Very little info to be found on the net but as of June 16, 1945 the U.S. France and the U.K. held a combined total of 7,500,000 German POW’s and DEF’s. During the two World Wars many hundreds of Prisoners of war were lodged in Shropshire’s 18 POW camps. These were not all in occupation at the same time or during both wars. We had permission to shoot this site, so was a nice relaxed wander about.

Nissen Skyline

F7.1 / 25mins / ISO100 / 10mm

Grass, green gel flash multiple times from behind camera and to right of frame. 1st hut lit blue multiple times from inside, the same for the doorway and windows of the second, purple and yellow respectively. Each lighting type was repeated twice during the exposure to build up colour.


Next up was Doddington Castle, or Delves Hall, I believe its also known as. In a pretty shabby state.

“This fortified tower was built by Sir John Delves in 1364, on the site of a former moated manor house. The tower was initially free-standing and was probably intended as a place of refuge for the family. In the 17th century it was incorporated into a range of domestic buildings which were known as Doddington Hall.[3] In the Civil War the hall became a garrison for the parliamentary forces. It was taken for the king by Lord Byron in January 1644 but retaken shortly after.In 1727 the house and estate passed to the Broughton family. The house was demolished around 1777 and replaced by the new Doddington Hall, leaving the tower as a landscape feature which was possibly used as a gazebo or a banqueting pavilion. The external staircase to the former house was retained when the house was demolished and it was attached to the tower.” From Wikipedia

Doddington Castle

F7.1 / 11mins / ISO100 / 10mm

Not a long enough exposure, when we arrived the stars were everywhere so I slapped on my battery back and was gonna do a mega long trail, sadly it wasnt to be as not long after I’d set it going it soon clouded over again! GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!


Following this was a nearby ramshackle house, owned by former quarry magnate Jim Barry, here again have struggled to find out anything concrete about the place. The house is a strange one and the first of two we would visit tonight where the house is separated into two and without leaving the house its only possible to get from one side to the other by going upstairs, not advisable I would say as there are bowing ceilings and at one stage a clear view right in the attic from the ground floor. Access to the actual house is tricky as most of the entrances have had huge piles of earth shoveled up in front of the doorways, so much so that at the front of the building it would be possible to gain access by a first floor bedroom window. Despite going in and having a mooch about couldn’t be arsed lugging camera in and gear in take shots so here’s a few exterior shots…

Green Meanie

Green Meanie

F5.6 / 3.5Mins/ ISO100 / 16mm

Garage exterior lit from behind camera and to right with green gelled flash, interior lit by orange gelled flash, both fired multiple times during the exposure. Red tyres lit by Rachel, playing with flash triggers, nothing like free lighting, with out have to fire a flash ;-) Moon to rear of garage…


Jims Garage

Jim's Garage

F5.5 / 5Mins / ISO100 / 10mm

Composition is poor but the colours are nice and the painting was tricky with three light painters. Each of three former garages at Jim Barry’s house were full of deep thistles, nettles, brambles and the odd tire thrown in for good measure, guaranteed to trip you up kinda stuff. Couple of minutes into the exposure and in position after Nocturne, as he put it, took one for the team, finally being the person to trip over, a chair of all things, we began to light the garages. Th3g lighting the red  then runs out of batteries and only begins lighting his end after Nocturne and I have stumbled back out of the hellish undergrowth this end.

Blue – (Myself) Fired multiple times, at ceiling and wall.
Green – (Nocturne) Same I presume!
Red  – (Th3g) A little late but as above.


Finally on the list tonight was another abandoned house, with the same strange quirk as the last, that one side was on accessible from the other via the first floor, agin not a great idea as I nearly found out later! This was a bit of a strange place this, what with [b]This is hell[/b] written above the fireplace, birds, bats, doors shutting, huge gaping holes in the upper floors, shotgun cartridges litter the floor, topped off by an eerie breeze drifting gently through the rooms. There were a few more shots I would have like to tried here but Sunday was rapidly turning into Monday and we had already lost three of our party to tiredness and we’re ready to call it a night after this.

Now Who Would Live In A House Like This?

Now Who Would Live In A House Like This?

F5.6 / 1min20secs / ISO100 / 10mm

Fireplace lit by two tea tree lights, left hand window lit multiple times with red gelled flash after negotiating, yet more holes, brambles, nettles etc for the second time this evening. Not amazingly lit but like the sinister feel to it.

Down The Dark Dark Steps In The Dark Dark House...

Down The Dark Dark Steps In The Dark Dark House...

F6.3 / 1min 25secs / ISO100 / 10mm

Accidental shot this really, I had tried lighting the stairs with tea tree lights and strobing the stairs from the landing, but that was well overexposed so thought I’d have one more pop, without candles before we left. I was supposed to be shooting with a green gelled flash but when I got to the landing for the second time I had picked up a naff steel blue gel and I may as well have been shining a high powered spotlight down the stairs. I got fed up and a lil freaked, as behind the box on the landing (old boiler I think) was one of several large holes in the floor. So coming down the stairs in the pitch black, I fired the flash a couple of times so I could see where the hell I was going.

Heading back to the car, even the two cans of Relentless I consumed during the evening were struggling to keep me awake and it was a hard trudge back to the car, through long grass. Finally reached home at around 6am or so. All in all an enjoyable little jaunt with some sites definitely worth further inspection and investigation. my profile


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