Former S-125 AA missile base. Slovakia

After seeing bits of this pop up online I thought I have got to have a little look at this site, so roll on a few months (about 12) and a drive across Europe to check it out we found ourself km at the bottom of a hill with a locked gate.

 

About 2km up a very nice relaxing steep hill we had made it to the 1st of the remains of the base and also into a hostile mosquito breeding frenzy.  Every 10 seconds I could feel another one biting me. We had 2 hrs to check it all out, walk back to the car and get into the city and pick up my wife and daughter.

 

So we just rumbled through all the woods and kept finding more and more underground buildings, tunnels and other structures all over the shot, so I just decided to photograph the stuff that interested me.

 

History wise there is not a great deal to on on other than ‘ Built in the early 1980’s, though originally conceived as a possible radar / SAM site as early as 1972.
It’s purpose was monitoring of air space over Bratislava and antiaircraft missiles were stored here.
Base was closed in mid-1990’

 

 

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This tunnel entrance takes you into the back of the main large storage tunnels1A8A0163-Edit 1A8A0160-Edit 1A8A0162-Edit 1A8A0136 1A8A0145

 

There is somebody living in here, recently lit fire and his fags were just laying there with food and water, not  a bad crash pad I guess1A8A0138-Edit 1A8A0142 1A8A0149-Edit 1A8A0150 1A8A0151

Oh look. I found Ben1A8A0153 1A8A0154 1A8A0155

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Sedlec Ossuary. Kutna Hora, in the Czech Republic. August 2016

This is another one of those sites that I have wanted to visit for a long time. So it would have been very rude not to have made this photo stop number one en route to slovakia. A mega tourist spot that meant you had to squeeze in and try and take pictures made it very fun to try and get some photos.

After here we headed across the road to the little cafe where we managed to score food for 3 people 2 rounds of drinks a extra milk shake and a extra coffee for under 20 notes so all in it was a great stop.

This is what the website has to say about the location and you can click here for more info

The Sedlec Ossuary also known as the Church of Bones is one of the most unusual chapels you will ever see.

If you think that you saw everything in your life, think again!

The Sedlec Ossuary is nothing spectacular in the outside. It is a small chapel located in Sedlec, in the suburbs of Kutna Hora, in the Czech Republic. You would think that it is just an average old medieval gothic church.

As you enter the Sedlec Ossuary though, you will soon realize why it is one of the most amazing and unique churches in the world.The Sedlec Ossuary is artistically decorated by more than 40.000 human skeletons.

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Bawburgh R4 ROTOR Bunker / RGHQ. November 2015

There is always a site that you pop back to over the years, you know….. That site that is round the corner from your house that you visit 3-23 times a year to see if it is open…. BUT ITS NOT. In fact as the years pass it starts to get less and less likely as they have then placed thick plate steel over every entrance, so the chance of turning up after some vandals have smashed a way in is just not going to happen.

So what a shock it would be that when I am out shooting for my last Blog post the night Bunkers that I get a phone call from one of my regular exploring buddy’s saying the site is wide open and it is a case of come on in through the open door.. So what a surprise when the same night we are then walking around inside the site enjoying it and photographing it.

What then really shocked me was the fact that four weeks after our visit I then get shown images of the access somebody else has done who did not want to wait for several years to get lucky and get in and have actually smashed their way in…. Not cool in the slightest.

What it is

R4 three-level Sector Operations Centre bunker built as part of the ROTOR programme. A fourth floor was later added and the bunker became SRHQ4.1 and later RGHQ4.1

Site was closed and stripped out in 1992. Now owned by Highpoint Communications, who use it as a radio site. They do not use the bunker, and visits are discouraged.

Find out a little more info here if you wish

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Night Bunkers. Norfolk-2015

My Uni project for the start of year 3 started off with a rather chilled out walk around Orford Ness in Suffolk back in September… I have always had a fascination with the remains of war and in Particular WW2.  3 months into a project I have loved shooting and I am now going to carry on further. You know you are enjoying what you are doing when you have spent many nights out in the cold  seeing some great sights and very moody skies with good mates who have helped me out and kept me company. If the weather looked calm then I would head out after 8pm armed with the camera and a map of approximate locations of the buildings I have photographed and would ask on social media if people were up for keeping me company and helping to carry photo equipment.

So thank you  Phil, David, Amanda, Ben, Davy and Faryal

The idea of this project was to just go around and document the structures in a way they have not normally been seen before…. Normally because sensible people are at home keeping warm and sleeping. But I decided to have a go at this and illuminate as many structures as I could.. I made myself a map and would just drive for 4-6 hours each night and stop at each location. All together I have driven all around Norfolk looking for the nicest looking buildings. I have even managed to upset a few landowners late at night who in the end turned out to be fine with what I was doing and even confused a few police officers who thought I was rather odd until I showed them the images and then they had to go and have a look at the Pillbox for themselves.

All the images were lit using the Westcott Icelight 2 that I would to say has become a good friend of mine now and also the Elinchrom rx2 lights and a powerpack. So a nice variety of lighting for a lot of the shots. So roll on after the christmas holidays when I will be ready for the next load of bunkers to go and shoot.

And thanks to Richard at UK Airfields for his help in identifying some of the buildings too

Happisburgh Battery 1
Happisburgh Pillbox 1
Happisburgh Battery 2
Happisburgh Pillbox 2
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RAF Ludham Airfield Watch Office
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RAF Ludham Airfield Watch Tower
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Hulver Pillbox
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Guist Pillbox
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Lenwade ROC Post
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Bawburgh Pillbox
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Bawburgh Buildings 1
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Bawburgh Buildings 2
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Corton Pillbox 1
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Corton Pillbox 2
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Cley Next The Sea Pillbox
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Corton Pillbox 3

1A8A2080-EditCaister -on-Sea pillbox 1 hour before sunrise

1A8A1688-EditWeybourne Pillbox to the right of the carpark

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Eleanor and Sculthorpe

Some point of the start of the year  Eleanor helped me out with a shoot for my uni work, It was linked with a tourism brief I had been set, so when I saw her pop a casting up asking to do a shoot I thought It was only fair if I returned the favour to her.

Eleanor is a keen athlete and a member of the GB Frisbee team, so she was wanting to shoot her sport wear in a desolate location, so what better than going up to the site in north Norfolk that is popular with dog walkers and we knew we would be left undistributed. After shooting a bit of the sports clothing we then decided to put on something a bit more classy and go for some more classic shots still using the same surroundings.

For the lighting I used mainly natural lighting but I also applied a subtle amount of fill in light using a beauty dish and some Elinchrom lights and a power pack. For a few of the shots we also used a speedlight as well so we could balance the light falling onto the model.

 

And many thanks to John Pinnington for assisting on the shoot as well1A8A4370 1A8A4373 1A8A4384 1A8A4391 1A8A4392 1A8A4426-Edit 1A8A4442 1A8A4455 1A8A4474 1A8A4504

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Hillbilly, Heron and Happisburgh

Decided as it was the school summer holidays to take Eliza out exploring and go have some fun with the cameras, also it was good to catch up with my mate Andy who I had not seen for a good few months. We headed to the Norfolk and Suffolk borders to start off with and check out two old farm houses and bits of a old WW2 airfield that had been left to rot away. After that we decided to head all the way up to the north Norfolk coast to Happisburgh to have a look at the old gun batteries and have a little dip in the sea. This was also a good opportunity to have a play around with the Cokin ND grad system and see how much fun I could have with the nice cloudy skies on what turned out to be a very nice sunny Norfolk afternoon.

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The Caves of Drach. Porto Cristo, Mallorca.

Another one of our day trips while on Holiday, this one was fab as it was well under ground so nice and cool. It again was a good chance too have a play around with the Fuji x30 in a different environment. I have got so say, it was at this point I was really missing the dslr and its capability’s, as these images are no where near as good as they could have been. but considering this is a site that the website says no photography, flash or tripods, I think it did ok. So with all the shots being sot at iso 3200 around 1/40th sec handheld you will just have to use your imagination a little as too how nice this place is in real life. As I also found out that the tour guides are not keen on you placing your camera down and illuminating the cave with 3 torches I just so happened to have in my camera bag while in holiday in spain….. Oops

History

The Caves of Drach were known in the Middle Ages and explored in 1880 by M.F. Will and in 1896 by E.A. Martel, who discovered the cave with the lake that bears his name.
The cave was remodelled for visitors between 1922 and 1935: a new entrance was made, paths were designed and ladders built. An electrical lighting plan designed by the engineer Carles Buigas was also installed.

The lands on which the caves are found date back to the Miocene period, and water seeping through cracks formed the shapes inside, composed of calcium carbonate together with minerals that were swept down from the surface, allowing visitors to appreciate the different shades that appear in them.

The formations that hang from the ceiling are stalactites and those that rise from the ground are stalagmites. You can also make out columns, walls and root-like stalactites. Lake Martel is around 170 metres long, and its depth varies between four and 12 metres. The cave is around 25 metres deep. The stalactites are growing at a rate of around 1 cm per 100 years.

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Santuari de Lluc. Majorca.

While on Holiday we decided it would be a great idea to hire a small car and go out and check some stuff out. So roll on the next morning and I meet the rental guy who speaks no English other than ‘free upgrade’ and my amazing Spanish that was limited to ‘Gracias’ so all in when I say the now 7 seater automatic Chevrolet suv I was not to bothered about missing the Golf GTI….. Well roll on about 4 hours and driving along roads like this I was now wishing I had the GTI as it was about 2 ft narrower as these roads were hardly wide enough for 2 small cars at best.DSCF1331

So roll on a little while later and one nervous wife sat in the front who was now very relived that we had survived the potential 200 ft drops off the edge of the road we were then left with the views that were described as the Majorca grand canyon. This site is something you have to see, the architecture on its own is amazing, but with the location it is set in, it just gives it that extra charm too.

Again all these images were taken on the Fuji x30 camera and Eric the 3 legged thing tripod

History

The Santuari de Lluc is a monastery and pilgrimage site located in the municipality of Escorca in north-west Majorca. It is located in a basin on a height of 525 metres and is surrounded by a number of high mountains such as the Puig de Massanella. The sanctuary was founded in the 13th century after a Moorish shepherd found a statue of the Virgin Mary on the site where the monastery was later erected.

Lluc is considered to be the most important pilgrimage site on Majorca. It is also known for its boys’ choir, Els Blauets (a name derived from the blue cassocks worn by the boys), which was founded in 1531; the choir holds regular concerts and has gained international fame. A boarding school and numerous tourist-orientated facilities are to be found in the town. Today, the cells of former monks are leased to visitors.

As it is located centrally in the Serra de Tramuntana the monastery is often used as a starting point for walking-tours. Each year, on the first weekend in August, there is a night walk fromPalma to the sanctuary. The walk commences at 23:00 hours, leaving from the capital’s Plaça Güell.

Behind the monastery buildings is a botanical garden trail, containing a small exposition on preserving the environment of the Majorcan mountain region.

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Sure public means enter, so I did, it went nowhereDSCF1275 DSCF1276 DSCF1277 DSCF1278 DSCF1280 DSCF1282 DSCF1283 DSCF1286 DSCF1288 DSCF1290 DSCF1291 DSCF1292 DSCF1293 DSCF1294 DSCF1295 DSCF1296 DSCF1297 DSCF1299 DSCF1301 DSCF1302 DSCF1304 DSCF1306 DSCF1307 DSCF1310 DSCF1311 DSCF1312 DSCF1315 DSCF1318 DSCF1319 DSCF1323 DSCF1324 DSCF1326

The crazy twisty road of doomDSCF1332

 

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Military Bunker, Sa Coma Beach, Mallorca.

When the temperature reaches 40c when you are on holiday and my idea of a heat wave is 23c it was time to hit the beach.. I already knew there was some bunkers nearby, so decided to go for a dip in the sea then go look for some of the 3 bunkers I had read about. About a 10 minute walk up the beach wearing nothing but a pair of swimming shorts I found it, so tip toeing around the shards of glass I managed to scramble around and check it all out.
This was the 1st time I had managed to use my new camera for what I had intended to do so.. And all in I am more than happy with the Fuji x30 as a little 1 too take around. I also think that my little girl will be more than happy with using it when she come out exploring with me over the summer.

History
Locally there are 3 reported bunkers to see, but as we all know there are more than likely more to be found.
These bunkers are defensive elements built during the Spanish Civil War (1936 – 1939) in order to stop de Republican troops from landing. These bunkers can be seen in the ‘marés’ (stone) quarry and at the entrance to Punta de n’Amer from Sa Coma beach.

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Brantham, Suffolk Industrial Sunrises

Decided to pay another visit to this site again, but this time to shoot the sunrise from on top of the roof, so that meant getting out of bed at 2am to get to the site from Norfolk to the site in Suffolk for 4am.. When we got there we were soon to discover that the main building had again been set alight in the last few weeks. Such a shame as it wont be long now till it has to be pulled down on health and safety fears. Having visited the site to shoot a short video only 2 months previously I was shocked at how more trashed the site had become, so I feel that maybe I should pop back for just one more visit, there is something cool about how you 1st get to the site and it is all quiet, and then slowly the freight trains start appearing 1 by 1, and then the passenger trains start hurtling past. I often wonder how

For the sunrise shots it was another chance to have a mess around with the Cokin Grad set that I had got to have a little mess about with, and also seem to be liking a lot as well. Think it will be a case of investing in the Lee kit soon.

After having shot the sunrise we decided to go and have a little look around and see what light was bouncing around in the buildings, again it was a great chance to mess about with the Sigma 35mm A lens._MG_4487 _MG_4501 _MG_4503 _MG_4504 _MG_4508 _MG_4511 _MG_4516 _MG_4519 _MG_4520 _MG_4522 _MG_4523 _MG_4527 _MG_4528

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