My Photography Guide for Urban Exploration

Milf ExplorerMilf DrainMilf Pipe
I love to take urbex photos & do urban exploration photography....This is how I do it

-- The Gear I use for Urbex Photography is...
a DSLR Camera, with a Zoom Lens, on a Tripod
a Wireless remote shutter release button
a Headlamp (50-100 lumens), and a Hand Torch (Waterproof)
a Camera bag, with tripod straps

-- How to take Urbex Photos in the Dark Drains - Pros and Cons
It is very challenging to take urbex photos in the dark drains using a torch as your light source
I have found these 2 methods work very well

1. Long Exposures
Pros: Great detail in the shot, you can shoot long pipe shots
Cons Equipment: You need to use a tripod, wireless remote shutter release button, a powerful torch and a hand torch,
Cons Time: Takes time to setup the shot (Light Pull), takes time to shoot the shot, and it takes time to process the shot

2. Flash Shots
Pros: Quick, good for close(ish) shots, don't need a tripod or a remote shutter release, or a second torch
Cons: Can't shoot a long pipe shot, and its uses more battery, loses depth, washes out color

-- 1. How to take Long Exposures
Put the camera on a tripod
Set the camera dial to manual
Set the ISO to 100
Set the White Balance to Sunny or Sunshine - Not Auto
Set the exposure time to between 10 and 30 seconds (see tips)
Set the F Stop or Aperture to between 4.5 and 9 (see tips)
Set the shutter release mode to remote
Set the focus to manual

-- How to Focus your Camera in the Dark
To Focus a camera in the Dark Drains is a big challenge!! Auto focus does not work very well
So here is how I Focus my Camera in the Dark Drains for Long Exposures
Put a lit torch where you want to focus. eg 10 meters down the drain pipe you are in
Go back to the camera, and zoom in, on the torch light, now sharp focus on the torch light, now carefully zoom out
That's the trick! Zooming in on the torch light in the dark and then focusing on it, and then zooming back out
We call it a Light Pull. and the Camera Man asks for light pulls when in a team
Eg can you light pull at the green slime? so that means goto the slime and hold your torch there until I have focused

-- Tips to choosing the right Aperture Size in a Dark Drain
The smaller the drain pipe the smaller the aperture, because the light will be more concentrated
The smaller the drain pipe the higher the F-stop number eg 8-12

The bigger the drain pipe the bigger the aperture, because you need to absorb more light
The bigger the drain pipe the lower the F-stop number eg 4-8

-- Tips to choosing the right Exposure Time in a Dark Drain
The bigger the pipe, the longer the time is required to soak in all the light that bounces off the walls
the smaller the pipe, less time is required. Eg 10 seconds
For a standard LE shot (no people), I personally like 10-30 seconds and a F of 7-9

if the LE photo has a person in it. Go for a lower exposure time eg 10 seconds with a bigger aperture. Say F3.5 up to 7
this will reduce the time the person has to stay still for and it reduces shake in there pose. u must Light paint quicker

-- My Long Exposure Steps
1. Camera Dial on Manual. Focus on Manual. ISO on 100. f/ between 4 to 9 (Aperture). Exposure time between 6 to 30 seconds. Set the shutter release to the remote button
2. I See my shot. I put the Camera on low tripod height. I put tripod/camera on the ground towards my urbex subject
3. I walk to where my subject is. Hand torch is on and I put it on the ground facing the camera. I go back to camera
4. I zoom in on the torch. Focus in on the torch's light. Then zoom back out. Adjust the shot angle
5. Walk back & get the torch. Now go back to camera. Now I'm ready To take the shot
6. I press remote shutter release button and then I quickly light paint the whole scene with my headlamp. It's just like painting
7. After so many seconds the camera stops shooting and starts to process the shot. I think about the next shot

-- 2. Flash Shots
Sometimes its not possible to take Long Exposures so the next best is the Flash Shot
Set the Camera Dial on A for the Aperture setting
Press the flash button to pop up the flash
Set my ISO to 100
Set my focus on manual
I set my head torch to sit high up on my head to shine above the camera
I look what I want to photograph, zoom in and focus on my head torches light, then zoom out
Now I choose the Aperture Size

-- Tips for choosing the right Aperture Size for Flash Shots in a Dark Drain
The closer the subject the smaller the aperture
The closer the subject the higher the f-stop number. eg 12-22

The further away the subject the bigger the aperture
The further away the subject the lower the f-stop number. eg 3.5-9

So this is how I take photos in the dark drains

Urbex Brisbane

Abandoned Photography
If I'm shooting an abando in the day, I put the camera dial on A for aperture, ISO on 100 and put it on a tripod and use the button to shoot
So I just choose the Aperture
Sometimes i cannot get a tripod in so I go Aperture flash

Urban Exploration Brisbane