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Illinois State Hospitals

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Upcoming UrbEx Get-Togethers? [Jul. 28th, 2006|06:32 pm]
Illinois State Hospitals


[mood |curiouscurious]
[music |"Ambivalence" - Mychael Dyanna (from Girl, Interrupted)]

I'm new to this community but have been mesmerized by the macabre loveliness of urban decay photos for over a year. Someone posted about OPACITY which is where I fell in love with Motts' wonderful photography.

I'm interested in getting together to do some local UrbEx at any of the area remaining hospitals or other neat abandoned places in the greater Chicagoland area. While I excel at photography, I'm a total novice at UrbEx so naturally I'd have to go with experienced explorers/archaeologists to learn the necessary skills for successful and safe exploration.

If anyone's interested, I was thinking the cooler weather in the fall would be more conducive to such an adventure versus the oppressive summer inferno heat (especially anywhere there's moldy musty conditions). Maybe we could meet for coffee ahead of time to plan a travel route, get to know one another, plan a carpool (with gas prices so outrageous, carpooling is probably a good idea as well as ensuring we'd be using the buddy system when visiting spooky places).

I have plans for some very edgy photography work in abandoned places (out of respect for patients in hospitals, I'd likely opt for a cool factory to feature photography with live models) but need the necessary skills for safe exploration first. Besides, exploring the places is just as fun to me as doing the edgier photography! :)

Some "RurEx" if there is such a term for rural exploration would be just as enjoyable...and good for variety, I think, too.

Hope to hear from the fellow explorers here soon!

[User Picture]From: rana__x
2006-07-28 11:54 pm (UTC)
if your working with models have a lawyer draw up a rock solid model release for you that covers the physical (asbestos, lead paint, falling through floors, cuts and scrapes) as well as the legal (arrest, prosecution) risks associated with shooting in abandoned locations - and make sure you have every model sign it everytime whether you are planning on monetary compensation or just for fun, shooting friend is one thing but if it is any sort of professional relationship you could get so sued so fast.
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[User Picture]From: iamcyber
2006-07-28 11:59 pm (UTC)
Oh, absolutely! Yeppers!

I already have a book called "Business and Legal Forms For Photographers" that has all that stuff in it as a guide and a couple of friends who are attorneys that can help close off every loophole possible.

I also plan to get a copy of "Access All Areas" to learn from that as well.
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[User Picture]From: rana__x
2006-07-29 06:57 pm (UTC)
alot of it is common sense.

make sure you scout first and check to make sure there hasnt been any recent activity, vadals, fire, etc in the area

dont park too close or in a weird area, dont deck yourself out in obvious para military gear/camo.

dont carry crowbars, knives, mace etc if you want any chance of getting let go, also always carry an ID, they will usually run it and let you go if you dont have warrants.

if a place is particualy tricky to do, go at dawn and get in under the cover of darkness. in alot of places security/police cannot go in after you, but some they can and will. getting caught on the grounds is tresspassing, getting caught inside is breaking and entering even if you just walked in an unlocked door, know when to run into the woods vs. when to run into a building.

security cant touch you or detain you, if they tell you to come with them just say no thanks and walk away. police is another story, dont ever run unless you are 200% sure you can outrun them.

dont publish under your real name, i had a friend that was actually prosecuted from photos on the internet. dont post plans or entry point on public message boards, security often reads them.

you can alwasy try to get permission, i never have pseronally but i know others that went that route and it occasionally works.

carry a pro photo buisiness card and dress and act respectable, its will show police you are not looking to vadalize or do illegal activities.

also in most states if the place is a hospital and partly active it is illegal to take pictures for the privacy of the current patients receieve treatment there, so leave the cameras out of sight
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[User Picture]From: iamcyber
2006-07-29 09:49 pm (UTC)
Yeah, when I photograph anyone somewhere (like a cemetery) I'm respectful like that with business cards in hand, etc. I even sometimes carry a little extra cash on me. When I go to cemeteries that have security presence...sometimes a donation to buy lunch for a guard will keep them out of that section for a short while to allow me to do my work...I've frequently invited the guard to hang out and watch so he/she can see that I'm doing nothing disrespectful and that's usually enough to get them to leave us be and see what other people are up to there.

In cemeteries, if I'm photographing a person, I NEVER show the name on the grave/tomb or names nearby, out of respect not only for those who are resting there, but the families as well. Even if the "live" model is someone related to the resting body, I still won't include the name.

Before I ever consider trying anything with models, I want to learn the ropes of UrbEx accompanying experienced explorers to see if it's something I'd even want to risk at all. I wouldn't use an active or partially active hospital anyways...too much risk for HIPAA violations there. (I work in a pharmacy so I'm familiar with the privacy stuff).

Thanks for the reminder about a nom-de-... de-... lens? (plume didn't really apply here) I'll have fun picking a name for photography! :)

Question though...some people suggest bringing pepper spray to places in case of animal attacks (like discovering some pissed-off raccoon or something)...do you just bring something small and "disposable" so that if you're discovered, you can ditch it before it's discovered?

Hopefully (maybe?) I'll get a chance to go along with some of you seasoned veterans out here sometime. :D
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[User Picture]From: lullabyexile
2006-07-30 12:10 am (UTC)
Hithere. I'm from the northern-Illinois/Chicago-ish area as well and would love to go along on an urbex-get-together! I also do photography (although not professionally) and wouldn't mind modeling, if you wanted of course. I've mostly done "rurex" myself, as I live in somewhat of a farmtown. But yeah, that sounds fun.
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[User Picture]From: iamcyber
2006-07-30 08:23 am (UTC)

I'm from the northwest burbs of Chicago so I'm not exactly downtown either.
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[User Picture]From: lullabyexile
2006-07-30 05:17 pm (UTC)
Cool, I'm about an hour and a half or so outside the city.

I'm going to add you, if that's alright? : )
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[User Picture]From: iamcyber
2006-07-30 05:27 pm (UTC)
Sure! I'll add ya back! :)
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