Capture The Forgotten, Urban Exploration in Belgium

T: We are not alone!
A: What do you mean, I hear nothing.
T: Ssstt…there it is again, that sound, it sounds like someone is walking around.
A: Ah yes, now I hear it as well, let’s check it out.
T: Ok, you go first, open the door.
A: Alright, here we go! @#$%^, damn pigeon, you scared the crap out of me.

In Belgium are a lot of abandoned places like old castles, villas, factories and public buildings. These buildings were used by people once and had a purpose. They were a part of people’s life. Now they are forgotten and left for decay while nature is slowly taking over again. But they are not forgotten by everyone! There is one group who is always searching for these buildings: Urban Explorers!  It is a real thrill for them to find these buildings and to walk around in a world of only memories. They photograph the beauty of decay and try to capture the atmosphere of what once was. It has grown as a whole new branch of photography and has got it all. It is challenging, exciting and has the potential for great artistic results. These are the people who capture the forgotten.

Wow, I thought when I heard of it, I want to try that as well! While landscapes are my favorite form of photography, it is always good to try something new. That is why I decided to go on a road trip with one of my best friends to find these hidden treasures in Belgium. They are not easy to find because most urbexers try to protect them from vandalism but after some research on the internet we had made a list.

We hit the road and after a two day road trip we had visited 5 locations. Some of them were hard to find but thanks to navigation systems, common sense and luck we found every building we were aiming for. Sometimes we were in the middle of nowhere and looked each other in the eyes questioning what on earth we were doing there. But that is the beauty of it and that is why it is called exploring. There is also something creepy about entering these old and abandoned buildings. It feels like you are waking up the ghosts of the past but at the same time it is enchanting as well.

Urbexing is a real adventure and I can write a whole story about it but that is not what I am going to do in this post. First I want to show you what it is like and what we have seen. One of the places was too destroyed to make good pictures but this is what I managed to capture during my first time of urban exploration.

Location 1

Urbex 1

Urbex 3

Urbex 5

Urbex 6

Urbex 8

Location 2

Urbex 13

Urbex 12

Urbex 11

Urbex 15

Urbex 17

Location 3

Urbex 22

Urbex 20

Urbex 25

Urbex 23

Urbex 24

Location 4

Urbex 28

Urbex 27

Urbex 26

Urbex 31

Urbex 34

Now, when you ever decide to do urban exploration, please respect these places. Urbexers use the motto ‘Take only pictures, leave only footprints’. This way, many others after you are able to have the same exciting experience as you had.

What do you think of this kind of photography? Is it something you would do? I was also wondering, what is your favorite picture of these?

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