Two years ago, I went to Japan to photograph derelict buildings around the country.
From love hotels to theme parks or decayed houses, I explored another part of this incredible country. I could tell so many stories that lie behind these images, but I prefer to let your imagination do the work. Here are the most particular places I had the chance to photograph.
If you'd like to see more of my photographs, check out my previous post here on Bored Panda.
Abandoned Love Hotel
Generally, the first step (and the most important) is to find the location you want to photograph! Spending a lot of time on the internet and making researches online is the basis. Of course, real-life meetings with friends, networks, or strangers can sometimes lead to amazing discoveries; but most of the time, it is from online papers or articles with little clues that lead from time to time to the best discoveries. Asking city halls and officials can also be a very reliable source of information. The trip over to the place might be the most boring part of the process, I want to travel light so I only bring the essentials with me, and my usual 14-24 lense to help me capture what I want. Then, you need to plan and organize a trip to photograph several of those locations. Finding a discreet way in and not being seen is also important. Then, once inside, I try to explore the place and impregnate myself with the atmosphere and its history. I want my photographs to reflect what I felt there while wandering in the building. Moreover, I always capture the place with the maximum light that I can to put some more life into the picture.
I always try to focus when I'm photographing a building or a room so that my picture is really close already to the result I want. I spend only a little editing and processing my photographs normally. If I can spend not more than 5 minutes on it, that means I did most of the work previously handling the light which is, in my opinion, the most important. I improve the contrast and the temperature if needed; the symmetry of the picture but above all, I make sure the light is ok in the dark part of the image for example. Of course, sometimes, a ray of sun or some other problems can appear and I spend more time on it.
Abandoned Onsen In An Hotel
Concerning my work, it's not really about coming up with new ideas, but more about finding new places or themes to photograph! I am classical in my approach of photographing derelict places even if I'm always up for trying new ideas once exploring them. But finding untouched castles for example and traveling to them is the most challenging part of my job, especially in the covid era with all the uncertainty that it brings to us. The creative block then would be the plane tickets getting canceled because a country is closing its borders!
As for the future of my work, it's blurry for now! I am very proud to have published my second book "Green Urbex: the world without us" two months ago with "Albin Michel" and I am currently promoting it. But at the same time, I am still shooting for a possible volume 2 in the future. I have numerous trips abroad I would love to do soon, and I am working on that. An exhibition should also happen in Paris this year with my latest photographs. More importantly, I will pursue the search for hidden treasures any time I can to find forgotten treasures and capture them!