A Disused Office Building

By Hamish Gill

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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About The Author

By Hamish Gill
I started taking photos at the age of 9. Since then I've taken photos for a hobby, sold cameras for a living, and for a little more than decade I've been a professional photographer and, of course, weekly contributor to 35mmc.
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Comments

Exploring Worcester's Former Fire Station - 35mmc on A Disused Office Building

Comment posted: 13/04/2020

[…] various contacts in the city I live in – I’ve been able to gain access to a very large BT building and a disused swimming […]
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Peter Boorman on A Disused Office Building

Comment posted: 23/05/2018

I really love these. It's the compositions first, of course, and then those colours make them sing. Very much to my taste! . Thw building also remimds me of places I worked in the '80s amd '90s, some of which no longer exist.
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Hamish Gill replied:

Comment posted: 23/05/2018

Thanks very much!

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ScottP on A Disused Office Building

Comment posted: 28/04/2018

Pretty amazing. You really can hear the chairs scraping, drawers opening, quiet conversations. A building full of ghosts. Did your guides say anything about why so much equipment was left behind? It looks as though everyone left on Friday night and were told not to come back on Monday.
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Hamish Gill replied:

Comment posted: 28/04/2018

There was a lot that had been taken. What was left was just that which had a value lower than the cost of its disposal, I think

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Sansome Walk - The Silent Leisure Centre - 35mmc on A Disused Office Building

Comment posted: 23/04/2018

[…] If you like this sort of thing, you can find more of my shots from a previous tour around a disused local BT office building here […]
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Mel on A Disused Office Building

Comment posted: 16/04/2017

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.
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Hamish Gill replied:

Comment posted: 16/04/2017

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

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Sean on A Disused Office Building

Comment posted: 30/10/2016

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.
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Hamish Gill replied:

Comment posted: 30/10/2016

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

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Charles Higham on A Disused Office Building

Comment posted: 22/10/2016

This looks like an abandoned BT office/depot. What a fascinating place to visit and you've come back with some riveting images.
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Stu on A Disused Office Building

Comment posted: 21/10/2016

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...
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Dexter on A Disused Office Building

Comment posted: 21/10/2016

These are great! I would have loved that tape recorder in the cupboard.
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Hamish Gill replied:

Comment posted: 21/10/2016

We all said that!

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Stu on A Disused Office Building

Comment posted: 20/10/2016

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.
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Hamish Gill replied:

Comment posted: 20/10/2016

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.

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Robert Wählt on A Disused Office Building

Comment posted: 20/10/2016

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

Comment posted: 20/10/2016

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!

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John Lockwood on A Disused Office Building

Comment posted: 19/10/2016

Great colors, light and compositions Hamish.
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Hamish Gill replied:

Comment posted: 19/10/2016

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

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George Appletree on A Disused Office Building

Comment posted: 19/10/2016

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.
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Hamish Gill replied:

Comment posted: 19/10/2016

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

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Aukje on A Disused Office Building

Comment posted: 19/10/2016

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

Comment posted: 19/10/2016

Thanks Aukje! :)

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Dave on A Disused Office Building

Comment posted: 19/10/2016

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.
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Hamish Gill replied:

Comment posted: 19/10/2016

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 :)

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Geoff on A Disused Office Building

Comment posted: 19/10/2016

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.
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Hamish Gill replied:

Comment posted: 19/10/2016

Thanks Geoff!!

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Alex Luyckx on A Disused Office Building

Comment posted: 19/10/2016

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

Comment posted: 19/10/2016

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

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Vernon Szalacha on A Disused Office Building

Comment posted: 19/10/2016

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?
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Hamish Gill replied:

Comment posted: 19/10/2016

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...?

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klompa on A Disused Office Building

Comment posted: 19/10/2016

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

Comment posted: 19/10/2016

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!

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David S. de Lis on A Disused Office Building

Comment posted: 19/10/2016

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!
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Hamish Gill replied:

Comment posted: 19/10/2016

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

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Douglas Pulman on A Disused Office Building

Comment posted: 19/10/2016

This is my dream! Love the fire exit shot
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Hamish Gill replied:

Comment posted: 19/10/2016

Thanks Douglas! :)

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