Compared to the vast majority of my friends and family, I am a financial nerd. I do have the feeling that I spend more time looking at personal budgets, plans and the markets than others. So what, it is a subject that interests me.
There are luckily other things in life I like: photography is one of them.
Photography gives me both a slower pace of life and high thrills. It is also hobby that I practice very often with friends. When on the road, we have a lot of fun. It is this combination of different emotions that pleases me.
Why I like photography
The slower pace comes from the fact that you need patience to take a picture. It takes time to set up the tripod, wait for the right conditions, compose the picture. For me, this is actually a good exercise as patience is not my middle name. But with a camera in my hands, I am more patient.
The thrill comes from the kind of photography that I often practice: Urbex or Urban exploration. In short, we go and explore empty and decaying buildings to see the beauty inside. You would be amazed by the beauty that you find inside old abandoned house and factories.
It also takes you to a lot of places. We have gone exploring in more than 100 locations already, covering Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, France and Italy.
Factories can go bankrupt and are then left alone, or the owner decides it is cheaper to let it decay. For us, this sounds like music in our ears, for the employees it is sad.
This old coal mine went out of business as the cost to dig up the coals was too high compared to coals coming from other regions.
This is a shot from the dressing room of the workers. They put clothes in the cages and pull them up. If after the shift, there are still cages up, this means someone is missing.
What always intrigues me is why house are left abandoned with all the belongings inside. Where did the owners go, why is no one taking care of the house
This is an old house in the middle of nowhere in Italy. Given the size of the house – it had its own church, multiple rooms and bathrooms – and beautiful ornaments, this must have been a rich family.
Now, it is all abandoned, waiting to fall apart, or for someone to fall in love with it. This someone better has deep pockets as it seems to be empty for decades and lacks any form of basic modern comfort.
When not thinking about finance, what do you do?
Bear in mind that urbex is dangerous and that I do not recommend you to go and and enter buildings. Just as with investing, you need to do your own research and decide how much risk you are willing to take.