Urbex consists of exploring abandoned places or structures and recording them in photography or video, always trying to keep them as untouched as possible.
TPN: How did your interest in photography start and how did this become your subject of choice?
Daniel Pereira: There wasn't a specific moment when I became interested in photography. It was mainly when I had my first phone with a camera that I started taking some pictures (nothing serious, just for pleasure) and I never imagined what it would become later, because in the beginning I used to only photograph landscapes, architecture, nature, etc. Then, after exploring some abandoned places out of curiosity, I found it interesting to take photos of them too, just like some other people used to do and they posted those photos on the internet, in specific pages of this theme, which in part has inspired me to take this hobby more seriously. So, I bought a DSLR camera to improve my photos.
TPN: What is it about abandoned places that attracts you to them?
D.P: What attracts me to those places is, above all, the beauty of decadence. A lot of people think abandoned places are completely ruined locations without any interest for those who look at them superficially, but I think it is also possible to find beauty in them. I love three things mainly about these places: the architecture, there are places with really incredible architectural details; the famous ''decay'', when there is an advanced state of degradation of buildings, often with nature already entering through the doors and windows; the memories left behind, there are places that are authentic time capsules, where literally all belongings were left inside, remembering the time they were inhabited and to show people of their existence and give them life again in some way is something unique.
TPN: How do you find inspiration for the locations of these abandoned places?
D.P: Discovering these spots involves a lot of research. Sometimes it's necessary to be patient and spend hours on Google Maps looking for houses that seem abandoned to go there one day and confirm it. During trips to these places, other places appear on the way as well. I'm also part of a private group, with other explorers, who share the same passion and we share some locations and tips about the places that each one discovers.
UGARES ESQUECIDOS - URBEX
TPN: Could you please tell me a bit more about your successful YouTube channel and why you decided to start one?
D.P: In 2017, on an exploration of an abandoned palace, I recorded a small video that I posted almost as a joke, not knowing what it would result in. In the following months, I started recording a few more, thinking ''if I explore and photograph those places, that one day will no longer be as we knew them, why not record them on video too?!''. To my surprise, I had a significant numbers of views, so I thought it might be interesting to have a YouTube channel on this topic and that was what I did, until it became the channel it is today. It is not difficult to find content, however, going to these locations and editing the videos involves time, money and risks.
TPN: What are the risks to getting the perfect shot in an abandoned place? I am assuming it can be quite dangerous, has it got easier over time for you to photograph those locations?
D.P: Sometimes it is necessary to take risks to have a good photo and in urbex those risks are not few. I could say the two main ones are: the floor we step on or even the structure of these places are not always in the best condition (accidents sometimes happen and it wouldn't be the first time someone fell through the floor and went to the bottom floor); being in unknown people's properties, where we are not allowed to be and where you never know who you're going to meet and there can always be surprises.
TPN: Your plans for the future as a Photographer and Youtuber?
D.P: This is my passion, so I will continue photographing and exploring these kinds of places as a hobby. At the moment I have only explored in Portugal, but I hope one day I can do urbex abroad too. I have participated in two collective photography exhibitions with the urbex theme and I'm always open to new projects like those.”
To keep up to date with all of Daniel Pereira’s exploring, please see his Urbex Instagram account @d.p.abandoned_explorer and check out his YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoCKDkRN0jXoe8kzn7aQ6sQ. Finally, he also has a fascinating blog so please see https://lugares-esquecidos.blogspot.com/ if you are interested in the world of Urbex.
All photos by Daniel Pereira
Following undertaking her university degree in English with American Literature in the UK, Cristina da Costa Brookes moved back to Portugal to pursue a career in Journalism, where she has worked at The Portugal News for 3 years. Cristina’s passion lies with Arts & Culture as well as sharing all important community-related news.