Profound Urban Decay Photography by Daniel Marbaix (Odin Raven)

Photographer Daniel Marbaix aka Dan Raven is an urban interior and wedding photographer from London. Daniel rose to fame with his urban interior photography of many abandoned houses, hospitals, and state institutions at the risk of getting arrested and held in captivity for more than a score of times. A deep look at his photos of abandoned places will convince you there’s some aesthetic charm in these dilapidated mansions which once glittered with abundant vibrancy. Now there’s no one around and you don’t know who stayed there and what they had in their fate. This generates a mystery and you start weaving a tale around. His photos set light on urban decay and deformity that’s very much part of our modern world. In this short interview, Daniel shares with us some facts about his photography:

Daniel Marbaix Photography (1)Please tell us a bit about yourself:

I am a 34 year old graduate in zoology. I was born in London where I still live. I’m a professional photographer but I’m also training as a tattooist at the moment. My main interests are tattoos and photography so I have my dream job. I spend the rest of my time with my wife, son and bulldog.

When did you start taking pictures and how often do you shoot?

I’ve been a professional photographer since 2012. I’ve always taken photos for as long as I can remember but starting taking it seriously when I got a SLR in 2009 and haven’t looked back. I work 2 jobs so most weeks I’m working 7 days a week but it’s what I love doing so I don’t see it as work.

Daniel Marbaix Photography (2)What would you call your key area in photography?

My main interest is urban exploration and that’s what I truly love doing but I also do weddings and travel photography. My biggest achievement is probably my book getting published “States of Decay” available on Amazon, either that or being paid to take pictures. I use a Nikon D700 with mainly Nikkor lenses. My favourite for urban exploring is the 14-24mm. For weddings I generally use a 24-70 or primes 50mm or 85mm.

For my Urbex shots I’ll manually blend several exposures. Then I do straighten crop and minor tweaks in Camera Raw. About the issue of photo manipulation, I believe you should create images that you enjoy making and if that involves Photoshop, I’m all for it.

Daniel Marbaix Photography (3)Tell us a bit more about your method into shooting in abandoned places:

I always loved going places I shouldn’t and that’s how it all started really. I think my work shows the waste that we create and the things we are willing to destroy just for the sake of money. It’s cheaper to demolish a beautiful building and build a new one than it is to refurbish it.

I’ve always loved trespassing even as a kid but didn’t combine it with photography till 2009. My work is a combination of two of my biggest loves and I’ve been doing it for quite a while now so I don’t really plan my shots just go to the location and see what angles grab me.

Daniel Marbaix Photography (4)What do you think about contemporary photography?

I’m a bit behind the times I rarely get time to look at Flickr any more not because I don’t want to.. I just don’t get the time. I personally don’t take self portraits as I don’t like having my photo taken. This is the one of the main reasons I took up photography as it means I take the photos and don’t have to be in them.

What are your shooting these days? What’s your plans ahead?

I’ll go any where for an abandoned building but I mainly focus on Europe as the trespassing laws are more lax. Mainly thing photography has taught me is always carry your camera you never know when you’ll see a shot. Only real ambition is to be able to continue doing the work I do and be able to support myself and hopefully grow and improve along the way.

Daniel Marbaix Photography (5)Tell us what keeps you motivated:

I’m always motivated to do what I love if that ever changes I’ll stop doing it and do something else. I’m a big believer in doing what you do with love other wise it’s pointless doing it.

Say something to our readers… share a tip:

Just take pictures of things you love and you won’t go wrong, and if you do, don’t worry about it. If you’re keen to start urban exploring find a local abandoned building and just have fun if you like it join a forum like TalkUrbex and go from there.

Daniel Marbaix Photography (6)Daniel Marbaix Photography (7) Daniel Marbaix Photography (8) Daniel Marbaix Photography (9) Daniel Marbaix Photography (10) Daniel Marbaix Photography (11) Daniel Marbaix Photography (12) Daniel Marbaix Photography (13) Daniel Marbaix Photography (14) Daniel Marbaix Photography (15) Daniel Marbaix Photography (16) Daniel Marbaix Photography (17) Daniel Marbaix Photography (18) Daniel Marbaix Photography (19)All photos © Daniel Marbaix : Website | Flickr | Facebook

About Nishant Mishra

Nishant studied art history and literature at the university during 1990s. He works as a translator in New Delhi, India and likes to read about arts, photography, films, life-lessons and Zen.

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