One of the most common questions I am asked is how I find the locations where I work with my models. There’s no simple answer, but largely it involves online research, a lot of effort and networking. There are many websites frequented by Urban Explorers which give great information on a variety of abandoned locations, often with instructions on how to get in and images of the key features of the building. There are also loads of websites giving details of great landscape places, and the key is often finding somewhere where the possibility of coming across members of the public is minimised.
I was giving a talk in Lancashire last April so looked around for possible shooting locations. I contacted camera club members who I knew in the area, as well as some landscape photographers who were friends, and narrowed it down to a few potential locations. I decided on Twistelton scar, which is a much less visited version of the well known nearby similar locations Ingleborough and Malham cove.
The next thing was to find the best place to park which would minimise the walking distance to the scar. A quick Google search found the excellent blog post of Stuart Hodgson, giving details of two likely parking places, and after an exchange of emails he recommended the second parking place.
Unfortunately my April shoot on the scar was aborted due to bad weather, and I had to revert to my Plan ‘B’, but not before the extremely hardy Roswell Ivory and I had got to the top of the scar and found that the parking place recommended by Stuart was the best one.
However my April trip was not wasted, as when I visited the same area with the talented Thomas Bichler and lovely Lulu Lockhart I was able to make use of the information gained to have a much more productive shoot.
This is the wall near the parking place.
A bridge on the path to the scar.
On the scar itself when the light sun just burst through the clouds.
I knew I had to try some of my above shots.
This is a shelter for climbers caught on the scar in bad weather.
And a beautiful sunset.
The moral of this story is to network with photographers of all genres, use the Internet to be pre-prepared and reduce wasted time looking for where to park and how to get to your location, and if you don’t succeed first time round use the information gained when you are back in the area to have another go.
I owe thanks for these pictures to many people, my friends who suggested the location, Stuart for providing the information on where to park, Roswell for a brave attempt at modelling in atrocious weather, and Thomas and especially Lulu for a wonderful day.