Photos & Projects

A disused office building – shot with the Leica M9 & 50mm ZM Sonnar

I was given a guided tour of a disused office building. I really had no idea what to expect before we went in, but quite honestly I was blown away by the place.

I can really see why people enjoy that whole urban exploring thing, though I don’t have the guts for it myself. I could have spent a lot longer in there, it was treasure trove of photographic interest for me. The light was also wonderful too. It was sunny outside, but where the light was coming through windows they were dirty or covered in some sort of film. Where there was only artificial light it was from very old strip lights. The whole place felt a little like some sort of post-apocalyptic hideout.

All shots were taken on the Leica M9 and Zeiss 50mm Sonnar. In terms of process, I’ve been playing again with the RNI film emulators. But after tinkering with them have found that just setting the camera calibration profile in LR to RNI 4.0.0 give me the bit of added colour contrast I needed to suit what I am trying to achieve quite nicely.

Anyway, here are the images …

Disused Office Building

Disused Office Building

Disused Office Building

Disused Office Building

Disused Office Building

Note the date here is 1988:

Disused Office Building

Disused Office Building

Disused Office Building

Disused Office Building

Disused Office Building

Disused Office Building

Disused Office Building

Disused Office Building

Disused Office Building

Disused Office Building

Disused Office Building

Disused Office Building

Disused Office Building

Disused Office Building

Disused Office Building

Disused Office Building

Disused Office Building

Disused Office Building

Disused Office Building

Disused Office Building

Disused Office Building

Disused Office Building

Disused Office Building

Disused Office Building

Disused Office Building

Disused Office Building

Disused Office Building

Disused Office Building

Disused Office Building

Disused Office Building

Disused Office Building

Disused Office Building

Disused Office Building

Disused Office Building

Disused Office Building

Disused Office Building

Disused Office Building

Disused Office Building

Disused Office Building

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32 Comments

  • Reply
    Douglas Pulman
    October 19, 2016 at 10:24 am

    This is my dream! Love the fire exit shot

    • Reply
      Hamish Gill
      October 19, 2016 at 10:28 am

      Thanks Douglas! 🙂

  • Reply
    David S. de Lis
    October 19, 2016 at 10:36 am

    Those pictures look great! The highly saturated colours and the narrow depth of field combined with the beautiful bokeh of the Sonnar make for great, sort of dreamy pictures… As for the storytelling, I was expecting a zombie appear at any time! Great post, very inspirational! Keep it up!

    • Reply
      Hamish Gill
      October 19, 2016 at 10:46 am

      Thanks David – I’m really enjoying slightly over saturated colours at the moment, this was the perfect place to exercise that enjoyment!
      Cheers

  • Reply
    klompa
    October 19, 2016 at 10:42 am

    Love the colors, are these out of the camera?
    In fact, the reason for my comment are the chairs on 30424527445, great design.

    • Reply
      Hamish Gill
      October 19, 2016 at 10:44 am

      The colours are from using the RNI 4.0.0 camera profile in LR, with a slight boost to saturation.
      There’s some design classics in that place for sure!

  • Reply
    Vernon Szalacha
    October 19, 2016 at 11:42 am

    Great shots Hamish. If you were given the choice between only one, the 50/1.4 Lux or 50/1.5 Sonnar, which would you take?

    • Reply
      Hamish Gill
      October 19, 2016 at 6:05 pm

      I’d take the lux, sell it and buy two sonnars – one silver and one black… just coz…
      Joking aside, I’ve not tried the lux, but it wouldn’t have the Zeiss colour and contrast I love so much, so I can’t see the point in even trying it really…?

  • Reply
    Alex Luyckx
    October 19, 2016 at 12:05 pm

    Yeah, I would totally want to raid some of that old equipment, namely the military-esq telephone

    • Reply
      Hamish Gill
      October 19, 2016 at 6:06 pm

      I really wanted to ask for a souvenir, but it didn’t feel like the professional thing to do…

  • Reply
    Geoff
    October 19, 2016 at 12:19 pm

    Much value as antiques amongst the low tech stuff of a past era and yes those chairs look like a design classic. All made so believable by the great Leica and lens combination plus of course the owner of the finger on the button. Wonderful stuff.

    • Reply
      Hamish Gill
      October 19, 2016 at 6:06 pm

      Thanks Geoff!!

  • Reply
    Dave
    October 19, 2016 at 12:23 pm

    Fantastic set of images…. like you Hamish, I like Urban photography but the mind is weak is when it comes to having a go at it! Love the look of the RNI files too. Very nice all round.

    • Reply
      Hamish Gill
      October 19, 2016 at 6:08 pm

      Yeah, there’s all this secrecy, and little clubs of people who do it who go out late at night and climb fences etc… can’t be doing with all that!
      Thanks 🙂

  • Reply
    Aukje
    October 19, 2016 at 1:15 pm

    Great vintage colours! Love the photo with the drawer, and the desk with the blue(ish) chair against the green wall.

    • Reply
      Hamish Gill
      October 19, 2016 at 6:08 pm

      Thanks Aukje! 🙂

  • Reply
    George Appletree
    October 19, 2016 at 2:01 pm

    You got the colors.
    I barely use LR camera profiles.
    It reminds me a famous novel by J.C. Onetti, The shipyard… like if people still remain going there to do right nothing.

    • Reply
      Hamish Gill
      October 19, 2016 at 6:11 pm

      Thanks, I’m glad to receive such positive feedback about the colours, I’m rally happy with the look too!
      I don’t use the profiles much either to be honest, this is just something I’ve stumbled upon really. I think it might be a good direction for me for general use too

  • Reply
    John Lockwood
    October 19, 2016 at 4:01 pm

    Great colors, light and compositions Hamish.

    • Reply
      Hamish Gill
      October 19, 2016 at 6:12 pm

      Thanks John! In some places, it just feels easy …

  • Reply
    Robert Wählt
    October 20, 2016 at 12:33 pm

    Hamish,
    those are very lovely shots. They would nicely go into a photobook and/or zine-like publication.

    Best,
    Robert

    • Reply
      Hamish Gill
      October 21, 2016 at 7:13 pm

      That’s an interesting idea – thanks. I struggle with the merit of my own work when it comes to that sort of thing, so it’s nice to read this sort of comment!

  • Reply
    Stu
    October 20, 2016 at 11:14 pm

    Wow, these are lovely, and not quite what I expected, which is fun. It must have been hard to leave anything out. Is this the most pics you’ve included in a single post? I’d love to see more if you have them, I always enjoy the way you see contrast.

    • Reply
      Hamish Gill
      October 21, 2016 at 7:09 pm

      Thanks Stu – yes it probably is the most pics. I did leave a couple out (have a look on my Flickr) but I think in total I took 60 something and this made up 40 something. It was like shooting fish in a barrel.

  • Reply
    Dexter
    October 21, 2016 at 8:15 am

    These are great! I would have loved that tape recorder in the cupboard.

    • Reply
      Hamish Gill
      October 21, 2016 at 7:07 pm

      We all said that!

  • Reply
    Stu
    October 21, 2016 at 9:34 pm

    I have a tape recorder a lot like it that my dad bought new c 1975. Still works and still chews up tapes given the chance, whereas his AE1-P performs impeccably…

  • Reply
    Charles Higham
    October 22, 2016 at 8:11 pm

    This looks like an abandoned BT office/depot. What a fascinating place to visit and you’ve come back with some riveting images.

  • Reply
    Sean
    October 30, 2016 at 9:43 pm

    That photograph of the letter in the drawer is so beautiful, do think the reds are a tad too saturated for my eye, just seem slightly fluorescent to me, probably just personal preference though. Amazing opportunity to shoot.

    • Reply
      Hamish Gill
      October 30, 2016 at 10:11 pm

      Thanks! I know what you mean about the red – its just inside the limit for me

  • Reply
    Mel
    April 16, 2017 at 11:30 am

    Wow! These are truly wonderful images. Story told. I could hear the voices and movement of chairs, opening and closing of the file cabinets, the telephone conversations everything that would be happening when it all was alive and well. I added the life that accompanies these pictures. After reviewing an image I closed my eyes to listen to the sounds that would be heard if the building was NOT disused. So besides the photographically superb images…their story is what intoxicated me. Thanks Hamish.

    • Reply
      Hamish Gill
      April 23, 2017 at 9:58 pm

      Thanks Mel – really pleased to read you enjoyed them so much!

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