Sometimes I find abandoned structures along normal travel routes. You might be surprised at how many abandoned places you pass every day as you drive to and from work or shopping. They could be obvious, but they might be hidden quite well.
|On A Brighter Day - Tehachapi, California|
Other times I take roads-less-travelled to find abandoned buildings. These are roads near normal routes that I might take. They are a little out of the way, but are more-or-less going where I'm headed. It may take me longer to get wherever it is that I'm driving to, but I'm often rewarded with a new place to explore and photograph.
|The Sound of Silence - Mojave, California|
Another way that I find forgotten structures is using Google Earth. I have studied satellite maps to discover places that look like they've been abandoned. Perhaps it looks old and overgrown. The buildings might look like they are falling apart. There might not be any cars. Perhaps debris are scattered across the property. Not all places that look abandoned on Google Earth are actually abandoned, but most are.
|From The Past - Mojave, California|
From The Past was captured at an old farm that I found using Google Earth. It was down a dead-end dirt road that I would not have otherwise taken. It sat between two occupied properties, and when I arrived I wasn't 100% sure that the place was actually abandoned--that is, until after I got out of the car and began exploring.
Still another way is simply searching Google. Other urban explorers have been to different abandoned sites and have posted all sorts of information on the world wide web. There's tons and tons of information out there on the internet.
|Hall Loves You - Newberry Springs, California|
I captured the photograph above at an abandoned water park. Although this park is located right off of an interstate freeway (and, with time, I may have stumbled on it on my own), I found it by searching for abandoned locations using Google.
|The Turned Table - Boron, California|
An example of this is the abandoned Boron Air Force Station and Federal Prison. I saw others visit the site first. Then, a month or so later, I was able to see the place first hand and capture the above photograph.
Finally, I have found some books that are good resources for urban exploring. In California, Death Valley Jim has several books that feature good locations to visit. I've visited a few of these places, but most remain on my to-do list.
|Old & Dilapidated - Rosamond, California|
The image above was captured at a place found using one of Death Valley Jim's books. While his books are helpful for those in southern California, it's worth finding out if there is someone in your area that has done something similar.
I find abandoned locations to explore and photograph all over by using different methods. There is no one-stop resource (at least not in my little area of the world) to show me exactly where to go. But, perhaps, the "finding" is half of the fun. The journey is just as interesting as the destination.