How high would you go for a photograph? Would you climb a 100m bridge or do a handstand on the edge of the world’s tallest building? What about hold onto a crane high above Moscow – with one hand?
For the men and women who are urban explorers and featured in Red Bull TV’s Urbex it's more than the adrenaline rush that propels them to perform these unreal stunts, it's also about creating photographic art as well. After all, they have some of the most unique angles in the city from jaw dropping POVs to long exposure night photography.
“My goal in life is all I want to do is take photographs from unique locations,” Bryce Wilson said.
As with most photographic adventures, there is a bit of a photographic competition amongst the Urbexers as well. “It’s a little bit of a competition in the sense of trying to get to the spot fist,” Elaina Hammeken said. “And if someone puts it on Instagram first, before you, you feel like you’ve lost.”
With Urbexers physically pushing the limits, it’s no shock that their images reflect this, whether it is with incredible POV angles, long exposure night photography or stunning images of cool stunts. Aside from social media gratification, Urbexers ultimately see photography as a way to share their story.
“We’re only taking photos and leaving footprints,” Max Ross said. “That’s all we’re doing. We’re not doing property damage. We’re not trying to at least. That’s not our intent. We’re just trying to come back with amazing photos and an amazing experience.”
However, there is the ultimate catch-22 with urban exploration. Many within the core urban exploration community feel that their unreal images and videos do more harm than good as more explorers start popping up on the rooftops revealing locations to the world – including security guards. With each amazing image and post, the more the security tightens and then more 'hate' from the Urbex community and public.
“I received a lot of hate from people who didn’t appreciate how public I made urban exploration,” Bryce said.
So with more incredible images pouring into the Urbex community, the more the pressure grows from all angles. However, perhaps the pressure also forces Urbexers to keep giving us the WOW-factor.
To learn more about this pressure, check out Red Bull TV’s original series here – they’re all online and all available for you to watch now.