Matt Emmett - 42 year old Heritage and Adventure Photographer
I choose to shoot the majority of my work in abandoned man-made structures with a particular focus on industrial remnants like power stations and steel plants. I also enjoy the challenge of shooting underground and dark environments like caves, mines, sewers or tunnels.
There is a thrill in exploring an environment that allows you to step into a previously unknown world and discover something first-hand, taking your time and noting the details as you go. Having a camera with me allows me to prolong that thrill long after the building has been demolished. It’s an often quoted cliché but there really is a strong sense of palpable history present in abandoned buildings, the items left behind like paperwork in a drawer or plaques or signs in an industrial plant, allow you a glimpse into the past. I consider experiencing these places to be a great privilege.
From the point of view of a photographer there is a total lack of distraction in the stillness of a derelict building; the sound and movement associated with people or workers has been removed, for me this makes them far more sensory than when they are occupied. Your mind can easily focus on what is around you and takes in so much more. The building’s voice is clear and a character and visual aesthetic emerges that was much harder to notice than if it was a busy, populated environment. Capturing this character and stillness comes across well in the photos and is something my target audience tell me they love about the work.
I am really looking forward to continuing to shoot in these places using the excellent Pentax K3 and Lenses. With it's fantastic image quality, superior low light performance and rugged weather sealed body, this new kit will be ideal for the challenging environments I tend to shoot in. Thanks to Pentax and Ricoh for this great opportunity.