Interview with Daniel Barter
Daniel Barter is a talented photographer based in London. Let’s meet Daniel!
#1 Please introduce yourself
Hi my name is Daniel Barter and I am a photographer and explorer from the London area.
#2 What or who got you started in urbex photography?
My interest in abandonments started at a young age. When I was 5 my junior school had a derelict aeroplane in an adjoining field. Two of my friends and I climbed over the 10 foot green wire mesh fence and entered the plane. The combination of leather and shiny metal switches was a formative experience for me. If I close my eyes I can almost smell it.
It was not until my degree in restoration, that I started to explore in a fashion that could be considered Urban Exploration. My course seem to just spill over into exploring the urban environment and photography – I have not looked back since.
#3 When it comes to urbex photography, Who are your influences?
I derive influence from cinema mainly, directors like Tarkovsky, Kubrick, Anderson and Malick. I have a fascination with cinematography and modern film grading that I like to think shows through in my work. I hopefully try to recreate at little bit of these great directors atmospheres.
#4 How do you discover your locations?
A variety of ways, sometimes it is word of mouth or a little bit of research, occasionally I ask other explorers and I have plenty of good friends round me who always need a bit of company.
#5 What’s the most exciting and frustrating aspects of being an urbex photographer?
The most exciting aspect of it is hands down the artefacts that people leave behind and the small stories attached to them. Secondly, the fleeting moments, when something ephemeral affects us beyond the purely superficial. I have this feeling often when I explore the urban environment. Thirdly, has to be the thrill of the chase, nothing quite meets the natural cocktail of chemicals released after gaining access or evading security.
The most frustrating thing has got to be the scene itself – It is self absorb and vicious. Apart form that probably the lack of money in high end urbex photography. We do it for the love but It would be nice to get paid.
#6 What’s your favorite shoot?
My favourite shoot would probably have to an image with balloons I did at a girls school called Lucid dreams. My favourite location would have to be IM powerplant.
#7 What advice can you give to new explorers in the field?
Be careful, be safe and don’t let people tell you cannot do something (within reason of course).
#8 What equipment do you use?
I shoot on a
Canon 5D mark ii
Canon 17-40mm L
Sigma 50mm 1.4
Canon 85mm 1.8
Samyang 8mm 3.5
also in my kit
A flash light
A half face respirator
Water (and plenty of it)
#9 What inspires you?
Lots of things inspire me in life, from everyday situations to surrealist painters. Inspiration is all around us everyday.
#10 What are you working on at the moment?
States of Decay…
#11 Take us through a typical day for you.
To be honest no day is particularly typical. Right now I am on a tour of America, so a typical day consist of driving 500miles, seeing three locations, then trying to find a motel to bunk down in, for a shower and some free wi-fi. Odin’s raven and I have been at it nearly three weeks now. It is kinda brutal but totally worth it.
#12 Which magazines, websites, books, etc. have you been in?
I am regular contributor for HDR one magazine and I have put a book together, it comes out on the 16th of October. It depicts Chernobyl and Pripyat 25 years after disaster. If you follow the link, you can find an online preview 24 pages long: Chernobyl Book.
If you’d like to explore more of Daniel’s work then you can check out his various online hangouts:
If you’ve enjoyed Daniel’s amazing work and this interview, let us know about it in the comments section below and don’t forget to share it with your friends. It would make our day.