Abandoned Scotland is an amazing group based in… you guessed it, Scotland! They stealthily get into little-known locations to photograph amazing but forgotten and empty spaces. We spoke with Alistair, the head of the group, and provided him with a Sprocket Rocket to see how the panoramic wonder would capture some of Scotland’s urban landscapes.
Can you please introduce yourself and Abandoned Scotland to the community?
I’ve been a photographer for almost 4 years now and really got into it when a friend and I set off to find an underground train station in Glasgow, which we had heard about. I was really bitten by the exploration bug early on and had a fascination with the modern history of Scotland, in particular the buildings and places we no longer used but still remain standing. We set up the Abandoned Scotland Facebook page to show off our work, but this quickly progressed into more of a community of like-minded people. We now try to document buildings which may not last too much longer so that there is something to remember them by.
How did you get started shooting abandoned locations and how do you find out about them?
I had heard about an underground train station and tunnels under Glasgow, however I had always thought of these as just another urban legend. When I discovered photos of the station online several years ago I was instantly planning on visiting it with my friends to see it for myself. From that day forward I’ve always wanted to keep visiting the next place we could find out about. A lot of the places we visit we find out about online through various websites, others are just down to personal knowledge of the area or keeping an eye on what’s closing down.
Some of the photos look quite eerie— is it ever scary while you’re on location shooting?
The very first time we ventured into an abandoned train tunnel I remember being a bit scared as it wasn’t something I had ever experienced before. Couple with the fact that we only had a couple of cheap torches didn’t really help either. Since then its become second nature when visiting a lot of places and I try not to think about things which might cause me to panic a bit. Its mind over matter most of the time.
Do you have a favorite place that you’ve shot?
I have quite a fascination for train tunnels as I think I can make pretty unique images from them which you can’t replicate too easily elsewhere. I’m not a train spotter but something about railways has always drawn my attention.
How much experience do you have shooting on film?
I bought the Konstruktor kit last year and I’ve only just begun to play about with it. I’m hoping to make my images even more different from the normal by using old film, but for now I’m a complete novice.
Can you tell us a little bit about the photos you’re sharing with us?
The images are mostly from our recent explores and also include a few from side projects I’m working on as well. The majority are from closed hospitals which hide away in cities or are in the stalled process of being converted for modern use, in particular the Royal Alexandra Infirmary in Paisley and Gartloch Hospital in Glasgow.
Anything else you want to share?
If you are ever venturing out to see abandoned buildings always be mindful of the law and the fact that most buildings are already in a fair state of decay, they don’t need your help to progress their destruction further.
The Sprocket Rocket is the first wide-angle camera dedicated entirely to sprockets. And with dual winding knobs for easy multiple exposures, there is no limit to your analogue creativity with this panoramic wonder. See the Sprocket Rocket in our Shop!