For me, the Lost Places In-between worlds - time capsules that take you back to a bygone era. What fascinates a photographer in these abandoned places and dilapidated walls? Why do you go on the usually dangerous search for such dark and gloomy backdrops? Do you have to be out of your mind to risk your health in dilapidated ruins, only to get a rotten couch in a rotten cellar in front of your lens?
On the one hand, it is a special attraction to find such places and perhaps even be the first to capture them on film. On the other hand, it is the stories, the people and fates behind the pictures. The viewer also feels transported into another world and thinks about what could be the background to the picture. Who lived in this place, why was it abandoned and forgotten?
Urban explorers go in search of abandoned places. These can be ruins, empty houses, former hospitals, abandoned churches, old industrial plants or uninhabited villages. In these places, time seems to have stood still, the special atmosphere and the mostly unanswered question about the reason is what makes Urbexing so fascinating. It is like a photographic treasure hunt.
For my Photo series about Lost Places I have visited (or rather searched) Central Europe, especially the Alpine region. Behind every photo are people and their life stories, fates, sad and happy days. In my pictures there are once splendid mansions that lie in a fairytale slumber, but also ruined landscapes of long abandoned villages, disused mines or half-ruined ghost houses. As a photographer, you become an explorer. This begins with the initial research and continues through to the search for a place steeped in history. Finding suitable motifs is not easy. So I set out on a time-consuming search, painstakingly studying and evaluating satellite photographs. Sometimes you also come across hints in relevant blogs and sometimes it is pure coincidence that lets you find a great object.
During my research on individual motifs, however, I came across only a little background information. Sometimes still resident older inhabitants know something about individual ruins, detailed written documents do not exist with each object. So often only the imagination is left to pursue the question why some places were abandoned in such a hurry. In an old farmhouse, the wine carafe still stood on the table, next to it an old children's chair, full of cobwebs. Scenes like from a scary movie. You almost wait for the inhabitants to come back in the door at any moment to fill the haunted house with life.
What paved the way for me to take on the project was my love of the dark and fairytale-like, which has existed since childhood. Then came the opportunity to combine my metier of landscape photography with architecture. The aim is to give your audience the same view of the subject as I had myself. To put the building with its landscape into a picture in such a way that it is possible for the reader to feel your emotions. My pictures should reflect what I feel. My heart pounding, the adrenaline and queasy feeling when entering these abandoned ruins. I want to take my audience on a journey and let them participate in the colors, sounds, smells and often creepy moods that a forgotten place radiates and conveys. The light also plays a big role in this. So I always worked with early or late daylight, because natural light, makes the places more authentic and strengthens the atmosphere of the image. Light and shadow are virtually the feeling in landscape and architectural photography.
It is up to the skill of the photographer that the viewer can imagine how it creaks and crunches. The musty smells are supposed to get up your nose. One should share in the creepiness and excitement that I felt as a photographer. I want you to see what might have happened in that place at one time.
You also need a good eye for motifs, for apparent trifles that breathe life into your picture. You should also choose unusual angles and perspectives to emphasize the character of your lost places. A shift in perspective can greatly influence the mood of an image.
Urbexing enjoys increasing popularity, which also brings its downsides. Unfortunately, lost places are increasingly damaged by vandalism and unreasonableness, often the photo tourists step on each other's feet. Thereby there is the Urbexer code: Never leave traces, treat the place respectfully. If a building is locked and not accessible, one must respect this. Therefore, I deliberately refrain from giving a more precise location for the objects. An abandoned object loses its charm if it is defaced by graffiti or garbage remains. This is also a reason why Urban Explorers keep quiet about their best finds.
Also, you should never go unprepared on such a photo hunt. Good equipment, suitable clothing and an escort are among the basic requirements if you want to go on such a tour. There is always the risk of injuries in the dilapidated buildings. Better one risk too little than one too much.