Places reeking of abandonment possesses this aura of mystique that many photographers gravitate to. A great number will try and capture these places in photos, but a select few can really show them in a unique and long-lasting way. Ollie Warren-Fisher’s untitled series of images taken in some of the most hard to find derelict locations gives us a peek into this world, now existing in decay but still retaining a mysterious atmosphere worth discovering. Traveling to many places, Ollie has succeeded in crowding these uninhabited places with his creative skills behind the camera.
What do you call this series and how did you came with the idea to shoot it?
Having grown up with numerous Military defense sites close to where I live, I have developed an interest in exploring buildings or locations that have had a past life. Discovering places with limited access, that have outlived their purpose or have just been left to ruin makes is an exciting starting point. This ‘untitled’ series is a selection from my most recent abandoned visits.
What are the fascinating discoveries you had while doing this series?
Each location is a unique experience because you can never predict what you are going to discover. Like the movie ‘Blow-Up’ I am waiting for the day when I am looking through my images or video and find that there is someone in the background of a shot that I didn’t know was there. Sometimes the spaces are cluttered with detritus such has machine parts, paperwork or piles of shoes, but by far my strangest find was a cloud of frenzied flies circling a dead deer that had been trussed up and left to decay from the ceiling of an aircraft hanger style building.
Explain to us your method in photographing the images for this series?
The location will always dictate the results, so when I am discovering places for the first time I often allow the shots to just present themselves naturally. An intuitive response to these spaces has worked best for me and I like to keep an open mind whenever I arrive a new location. In terms of gear I prefer to travel light. Derelict sites can sometimes be a little tricky to access, so in terms of equipment, it’s a real case of less is more. I find I shoot most of my shots hand held, or if it is dark I improvise by building a make shift tripod using part of the buildings themselves to help stabilize the camera. I have used a Canon 60D with a Tamron 17-50mm lens for all the shots seen in this series.
How do you put importance in including a narrative to your photography works?
The narrative in my work is often about how decay helps describe the past life of these spaces, how time has eroded their original function and given them a new kind of beauty.
How different is this series from your previous works?
Initially all my photography was centered around bikes, in fact wanting to record the drama associated with downhill mountain biking was the reason I picked up a camera in the first place. Discovering remote, quiet isolated spaces is a long way from the high speed chaos of downhill but the sense of anticipation from behind the camera is easily a match!
Lastly, share to us any of your upcoming photography projects?
I am currently researching my next project which is to document a journey through Europe to Trolltunga Norway via the brutal, abandoned industrial landscape of northern Germany.
To see more of Ollie Warren-Fisher’s works, head to his official website at OllieWF dot com.