Urban exploration is often about satisfying an innate curiosity in someone to see what the world would look like if we forgot about it. It’s bizarre, and often eerie to come across locations in the heart of a growing city like Adelaide which serve as reminders to a past only recently forgotten. For this week’s feature photographer, the mysterious Adeltritus, discovering such places is not just about exploring, but re-injecting these spaces with new energy and light.
“My photography started back in 2004 when I was getting into old abandoned buildings,” he begins. Some of the things I used to see were almost unreal and when you told people about your adventures they really didn’t believe what you were saying to them. So I started to take a small point and shoot camera with me to show people the things I used to see. I was happy doing that for a couple of years until finding an urbex (Urban Exploration) website that showcased photography from abandon buildings from around the world. Some of the pictures were amazing and they captured the true feel and detail of the places they explored. I was instantly hooked on trying to create the same kind of pictures to share with these people.”
After initially struggling to create and capture these moments as well as those he had see due to the often restrictive lighting, he started to develop a love of long exposure and light-painting as a means of illuminating his travels.
“Light painting is the art of bringing an artificial light source into an image to capture, enhance or create it. A lot of people think of light painting as just spinning orbs with coloured led lights and burning steel wool etc, when in fact if you have ever used any light source other than a camera flash to light a subject you have lightpainted. The process of lightpainting is a pretty basic one you will need a camera with a minimum of a 30sec exposure time. If you have a DSLR put it in bulb mode and use a remote shutter release, a tripod, a dark place and some kind of light source, you can start to experiment. Usually, I push the shutter button and run around like a mad person waving my lights in front of your camera and 30 seconds later I have my work.”
“I don’t really have a set way that I construct my images, most of them are created on the fly. But the tools that are used as light sources are a well thought out process. All the tools I use apart from the torches are made by myself, and each light effect such as a light orb or a colour changing band through an image is a purpose made tool, so there is lots of trial and error behind the scenes in getting the tools to create the effect I am after at the time and usually some time spent on location when shooting them getting that right angle.
Exploring this wonderful state of ours has been a passion for Adeltritus since he was a child. He has always had a fascination with old buildings and urban landscapes. “As a kid there were old farm houses spread across our area and they were known to be haunted, so we used to go inside them and see if the stories and mysteries were true and that sense of adventure has continued into adult hood. I find exploring abandoned and derelict places as an adult is a very unique look back into our states proud past that many don’t get see or seem to care about. The emotions you experience exploring these places is another reason I love walking through them. These were places that in some cases made our state what it is today. They were buildings made with pride, with unique features and architecture and they housed business that made products that made this state. They were full of dreams and full of life, but now they are nothing. It’s hard not to find a beauty in it.”
“My landscape and other work is also another passion that gets me to some beautiful and very unique spots only our state has to offer the world. Places like Hallet Cove and Second Valley for example, are a short drive in reality and you have a world class beach to play at during the day then find a sunset spot along the rocks and when the sun goes down hang about for the stars to come out. This state is full of world class natural wonders that most people seem to think only exist over seas so it’s great to show them.