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News & Insight

Urbex Photographer Threatened With 15.000€ Fine and One Year Jail

By Paul Faecks on June 12th 2014

Urbex is the short term for “urban exploration” and it’s about capturing the beauty of abandoned places.

As I’ve done a lot of Urbex photography, I have always been frightened that something similar to what happened to the guys from “The Other Side” could happen to me. They definitely have an interesting story to share:

The story began when a photographer who is known online as The Other Side and his friend, Forgotten Decay, went to France to photograph a huge, partly abandoned factory. They didn’t have the intentions of damaging or stealing anything, just to explore and photograph the building.

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The two photographers were spotted by several employees of the factory that soon called the police. The photographer says that the police treated them a little bit roughly, but as soon as they found out the two were just looking to capture photos, the policemen became a lot friendlier. But not before they were asked to sign a contract, paraphrased by The Other Side:

If we get caught again in France in a place we shouldn’t be the next three years, we get a fine around 15.000 euro and possibly 1 year cell.. So I’m gonna skip France for a while..

 

He wasn’t breaking in the property to damage or steal something, he just wanted to take some cool pictures with his friend. That doesn’t make trespassing any less illegal, though…

In my opinion, Urbex photography has a certain atmosphere that makes the images special and beautiful.

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[REWIND: BTS TO AN URBEX-THEMED FASHION SHOOT]

This is a story that can teach everyone something: Although the guys at The Other Side captured some incredible images ( you can see more here), most photographers wouldn’t want to go to jail for their passion. So don’t be stupid! If you are going to try Urbex photography, make sure you first research if the property you want to enter is safe and if it is legal for you to be there.

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Do you think such a harsh punishment is appropriate? Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments.

All photographs by The Other Side are copyrighted and have been used with permission for SLR Lounge. Do not copy, modify or re-post this article or images without express permission from SLR Lounge and the artist.

[via The Other Side/DIYPhotography]]

About

Paul Faecks is a portrait- and fine art photographer, based in Berlin. If you want to check out his latest work, you can do so by following him on Instagram or by liking his Facebook Page

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Joseph Prusa

    Nice photos

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  2. Dick Raymond

    The photos are beautiful, but trespassing is still Trespassing! I bet my bottom dollar that if they would have just asked for permission to enter for photography purposes, they would have been given the Okay to be there with No Problem!

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  3. Jacob Jexmark

    Why not just ask permission? You would be surprised as to how accommodating people can be :)

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  4. Stuparu Sorin

    may have been mistaken for spies, although the French are very cool and chill people … or they aren’t? :)

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  5. Si-GUY

    Great shots and bang on processing. Part of these shoots is of course the danger/criminal element for the tog. Accessing restricted areas and dodging the authorities all adds to the experience and the rarity of the pictures. They have done it so many times that the law of averages says your gonna get caught someday.. Will they stop, no.. Will they get caught again, probably. They got off lightly IMO as they still walked away with the pictures.

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  6. Lorrie Prothero

    I find the photography beautiful, but I find trespassing wrong – I don’t care why you’re doing it. Don’t break into places you know you shouldn’t be.

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  7. Emilio

    I love Urbex photography very much, but when you try to sneak here and there without permission, you risk to get caught. If you know how to ask politely, how to speak to people, the answer No will be very rarely heard. That’s just my 2 cents. :)

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  8. Mark Brunton

    I’m always amazed how easy it is just to ask permission.

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    • Greg

      This is all the prats had to do, ask. I am sure if they had done that, someone would have even guided them around, and given them any history about the place as well.
      The police should have arrested them and locked them up for 24 hours the fined them as well.

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  9. Nathan stride

    Love these photos, this is like base jumping for photographers.

    Your last paragraph is intriguing saying do not repost, yet you have Facebook and Pinterest icons all over the page.

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  10. Lynn

    Leave it to the French to build a factory with such beauty! The pictures are gorgeous. I would LOVE to do that kind of photography!

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  11. Patryk

    Sad world. Now photographers are treated like criminals. Only the NSA can take pictures when ever…who ever.

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    • Will

      I am betting if someone broke into YOUR house and started taking pictures of everything, you would “treat” them like a criminal too.

      Trespassing on private property IS a crime, so why would they not be treated like criminals? They know what they are doing, and they know that it is illegal. They accepted the risk. The police thought at first that they might be thieves, but once they found out they were photographers they seemed to be reasonable and understanding.

      I appreciate the fantastic photos, and the photographers appeared to have a laugh about it. No need for anyone to get upset about this.

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    • Greg

      YOU are of cause joking right?
      Lets correct your sentence for you. First up, Photographers are not granted special rights over the rest of humanity and are subject to the same law. So we’ll rephrase your line
      “Sad world. Now humans are treated like criminals. Only the NSA can take pictures when ever…who ever

      Next, the NSA have no say outside America. So you want to rephrase it all again
      “Sad world. Now humans are treated like criminals. Only the Government can take pictures when ever…who ever

      Now. The government do need to follow laws to, and if they need to record you while you are on private property then they have to either be on public domain or get permission. Same as you and me.

      So all in all Patryk, you’ve proven to be clueless and look like a total prat. Better to next time just STFU or do your research first before spouting off an opinion.

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