DAVID DE RUEDA : URBAN EXPLORER

Urbex

"I just wanted to discover what was behind the walls of these impressive structures"

VISIONS
"My curiosity has always been attracted to abandoned and unusual places. It’s something I have had since I was a kid. At the time, I didn’t know there was a name for this, I just wanted to discover what was behind the walls of these impressive structures."

"I think my first real urban exploration (Urbex) was an abandoned u-boat bunker from the Second World War. It was huge and I spent many hours inside, it was a real labyrinth. I was really thrilled by this discovery, I felt like I was a little Indiana Jones! It never left me and I’ve kept exploring since then, always looking for new places to investigate."

"A few years later, after many trips in France and the neighboring countries, I wanted to go further. That’s how I started a journey through abandoned America, from New York to San Francisco. During this road trip, I shot many photos in dozens of places and filmed American explorers for my first documentary, called Urban Escape.

In 2015, Nikon asked me what would be my dream photography assignment. The result was a 45 days trip through 9 countries, from Italy to Kazakhstan. During this journey, I saw the most inspiring and difficult places I’ve ever had the chance to explore. And it’s only the beginning!"

Frozen Stars
"This former NATO radar station is located in the Italian mountains. Built during the Cold War, it has been disused since the collapse of the Berlin Wall."

"As we got closer to the mountain pass, snow took us by surprise and we were forced to spend the night in the car. The next evening we hiked to the base through 50cm-deep snow. The facility was immaculate under the bright moon and the satellite dishes were covered with ice. Stars and mountains surrounded us. The scene was otherworldly and inspired this sci-fi-like shot."

The Mothership
"Linnahall, a huge concrete concert hall located on the Old Town’s harbour in Tallinn, Estonia, opened in 1980 for the sailing events of the Moscow Summer Olympics. The last concert took place in 2009, and the 4,800 seats have remained empty ever since due to high maintenance costs."

"I spent a couple of hours capturing the perfect angles and shapes in the impressive main hall. A twominute exposure allowed me to reveal the architecture of the place, which otherwise sat in darkness. The central framing gives the photograph its power, drawing the eye to the stage. To me, it almost looks like a spaceship."

High Frequency
"This experimental research facility, built in the 1970s by the Russian Electrical Engineering Institute to test lightning insulation, was at the top of my bucket list for Russia because of its unique aesthetic."

"Located in the middle of a forest on the outskirts of Moscow, the disused facility looks like something out of the future and remains guarded by a pack of dogs. Luckily, a guard allowed me inside the facility for a few short minutes. As the sun was setting, I didn’t have much time to find the perfect point of view. A chance bird flying overhead added poetry to the scene."

Child Dream
"Pripyat’s Ferris wheel is probably the city’s most well-known symbol, built for a new amusement park that was scheduled to open just a few days after the disaster."

"On the day I visited, the exclusion zone was entirely covered with snow, giving a dreamy atmosphere to the ghost city. I managed to get the original point of view I was looking for by positioning myself on a rooftop next to the wheel."

The One
"As I explored this abandoned thermal power station in Hungary, I felt as though I was the first human to visit in years. Everything was untouched."

"When I entered one of the main machinery halls, I was captivated by its size and immediately knew the kind of image I was going to take. The light, the textures, the colours… everything was perfect at that moment."

The Lost Era
"Located on a peak in the Central Balkan Mountains, Buzludzha was the headquarters for the Bulgarian Communist Party."

"I decided to explore it at night, defying the thick fog wrapping the mountain, to experience a close encounter of the third kind! Shining my flashlight onto the Soviet-style concrete architecture made it look like we were under a spaceship."

"It was opened in 1981 after seven years of construction involving hundreds of workers, and has since fallen into disrepair, completely exposed to the elements."

Night Souls
"In 1973, a US Navy Douglas DC-3 was forced to crash on Iceland’s south coast. The crew survived and the wreck has remained there for more than 40 years."

"I arrived at the site at 4 am, and as I was setting up for the shoot, the Northern lights started to dance in the night' sky. It couldn’t have been any more magical."

"I used a 90-second exposure with some light painting added inside the plane to capture this image."

Lost in Space
"The Buran space shuttle programme was launched in the 1970s and cancelled after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Only one flight was ever completed."

"As an explorer, discovering these two prototypes of the Soviet space race deep in the Kazakhstan steppe was the most epic experience I’ve ever had. This image is the result of 180km of off-road desert driving, followed by 45km of walking in a highly restricted area. The huge abandoned hangar is located in Baikonur Cosmodrome, which is still used to launch rockets today."

Credits: Story

Virtual exhibition created in collaboration with David de Rueda

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
Translate with Google
Home
Explore
Nearby
Profile