Life After People with Exit Hands
This week on the No Tracers podcast I am chatting with fellow asylum exploration lover Exit Hands! I love this episode, because we get to talking about asylums in this episode and the creepy feelings we get inside these abandoned places. I call this feeling "the darkness," If you're an explorer you've probably felt it, especially in abandoned asylums. Check out this episode and be sure to follow Exit Hands on his journey!
Welcome back to the No Tracers podcast. My name is Kay, just the letter. K. And I'm your host here on this podcast, all about urban exploring. This is a guest based podcast. So every single Friday, I have a new episode come out with a different guest that is in the urban exploration community, the first nine or 10 episodes. I just did solo by myself. And I give you guys tips and tricks for exploring what gear you should bring and how to find these places that we explore, how to connect with people in the community, all that kind of stuff. So if you guys missed out on those episodes, please go back after this episode and listen to those episodes. But this week on the podcast, I am speaking with a fellow urban Explorer named exit hands.
Yes, this guy is absolutely amazing. His photography is super sick, and I wanted to have them on to talk about what he does as an urban Explorer, some of his experiences. And we definitely get to talking about some ghost ghosty things in this episode. So if you guys are into paranormal stuff, this is definitely a really cool episode, but before we get into it, I got to let you know, I have a book out called No Tracers on urban explorers diary. It is full of my photos and stories from exploring places all over the United States, a place in Canada place in Portugal, actually, and various other places. So if you guys want to get a copy of that, you can add to No Tracers dot com and on that website, you will also see blog posts from my exploration.
0 (1m 29s):
So if you want to dive deeper into the stuff that I do, you can definitely do that. And lastly, last little bit of housekeeping. If you like this episode, at any point in time, please leave a rating and some feedback. If you do that, I will send you a signed photo print from an abandoned place that I have explored. All you got to do is take a screenshot of your feedback and send it to me on Instagram at No Tracers. And I will send you a photo print. All right, guys, let's jump into this episode. ExitHands can you please introduce yourself and what it is you due to the No Tracers audience
1 (2m 1s):
ExitHands located in Denver originally from New York, just a kind of all around photographer, but have always kind of had my roots kind of stationed in the urban community.
0 (2m 14s):
So tell me what gets you into exploring it the first place? What made you catch
2 (2m 18s):
1 (2m 21s):
That's almost a loaded question very much. Like when I was younger and stuff, I was just kind of like almost just intrigued. I feel like a lot of other photographers have kind of that same. It kind of draws you in a little bit, but I mean, from just little trips of seeing, you know, being in houses and all that stuff, and then the started to kind of adapting into one of my friends, Mike Gleason, he kind of stopped shooting. He's still doing a little bit of stuff and there, but he got me into this one spot that was an old sanatorium. And like, I just lost my wig. And like, that was the start of everything. And then, you know, eight, 10 years, I'm still, still at it, still going hard with this.
0 (3m 2s):
So tell me about that, that first exploration that you went on. I want to know about that. Like the sanitorium. Tell me a little bit more about that exploration man.
1 (3m 11s):
Well, it was one of those kinds of funny things that going into this place and stuff I had, like, you know, an okay camera. It wasn't anything, you know, high tech, like nowadays with all the Sony's and all this all stuff, and just went in and I just remember like kind of how isolated you felt, but also when started to take pictures and everything, I just wanted to kind of memorialize that, you know what I mean? And like really capture what was left behind and just to does the feeling of that you get when you're in these buildings and stuff like that Life After People of what it would be like as, you know, if we all got wiped out or something like that. And I kept having that go through my head and then finally it was just like, I don't know, it probably in about an hour to two's time that we were even in there completely like lost my head.
1 (3m 58s):
It was awesome. And I fell in love with it there, but then I think doing the research after that became like, almost like a pivotal part in a lot of my explorations to the simple fact of finding out the history behind that place. And then looking at those pictures almost kind of resonated even more with me because this place has like one of the darkest paths. I think that actually I'm in the upstate like kind of New York area, just in general, there's like, so, so much history up there, but that's one of the bad ones. That's not a lot of people know about either it's kind of stuck away. And then just learning that, like I said, like that really kind of forced me through to like, just wanting to do this more and more and more.
0 (4m 37s):
It's crazy. You know, I've explored a couple of sanitariums around the country, like in West Virginia and in Georgia and California where I live and it's so Erie to go in these places, especially after, you know, the history of them, because you're like, wow, like this crazy horrible stuff happened. And it's mostly to like youth, like, you know, younger people that it happened to. And that's a major reason that all these places got shut down. And it's, it's just interesting to see that there they're still, they're still sitting there just decaying away and they've, they've now become like a, I almost equate it to like going into a museum, you know, you're going into the past a little bit. No, totally,
1 (5m 15s):
Totally. Without question. I mean, that's the one thing too, you know, with the, with all the, the, the history that's behind there, you know, it's kind of, how should I say that for the people that are like nonbelievers and ghosts and all of this stuff, the paranormal activity, you put them in those situations and especially with like the history behind it and stuff there's so much, there's like a feeling that you get like within these buildings and stuff, whether, you know, some are almost just quiet and it's nice to rain, but other ones are noisy and loud and especially on the east coast, I feel like, you know, there's, there's so much more history with all that stuff from New York all the way down to Florida. I mean, like that whole section, especially the West Virginia, I mean, w what is the, I can't remember what it's called.
1 (5m 55s):
Is it the Allegheny one of the big, big asylum? I can't remember what it was called, but yeah, like there's just a lot, a lot of stuff out there. And that's actually what I kind of miss about the east coast in general, really the trans Allegheny lunatic asylum to what it is. I can never remember the name for the life of it, but yeah, the Western Western West Virginia. Yep. Yeah, no, and that's the thing to, it's like, you know, growing up in New York and stuff, we have so much stuff there and, you know, it's like, it's like a playground, you know what I mean? Like really, you know, but at the same time, it's, you're treading water in between a lot of different kind of, I don't know how you would really call it, but you're in there sometimes with like squatters and stuff.
1 (6m 40s):
And there's a lot of situations with other kids and graffiti and vandalism and stuff like that. When like, I've just tried to kind of lay my tracks very lightly. You know what I mean? Going to take my pictures and get out, you know what I mean? Yeah, no,
0 (6m 51s):
I'm with you. My motto is leave no trace, you know, like take only photos and take nothing with you. And you were talking about that feeling you get, when you're in some of these places, I liked to call that the darkness, because it's like a, it's like, you turn a corner and you see this darkness, but it's not just dark. It's like the darkest darkness you could ever imagine. You know, it's like going into another world, it's like going into a portal. No,
1 (7m 13s):
Absolutely. And I think that is something that I really enjoy. You know what I mean? Like, I, it takes certain types of personalities, I think personally, because I've brought to, you know, some photographers that are getting into the game in some places and stuff, just the, you know, the, the smallest spots so they can get used to it and stuff either you take to it or not, because he really did have this isolated feeling. And I usually always try to do my exploring with at least a couple other people, at least one other person. But I mean, there are a lot of times where I've gone solo and like, that's where I really feel like the darkness. Like you say, like that's when you really feel it, you know? Yeah.
0 (7m 47s):
Cause, cause you, you don't have anybody to like protect you, you know, you don't have anybody that have your back in that situation if you're by yourself.
1 (7m 53s):
No, that's totally it. You know what I mean? Like when I was living in, because I've lived all around the United States and stuff and have traveled a lot with music and all this other stuff, but I really do have to say that like when you're in some of these places, you know, I've, I've had a good couple of stories that I'm sure on most abandoned photographers have, have that like, oh shit, I hear somebody. And then all of the sudden you have to hide and all this other stuff, it really kind of between that. And then being in that darkness, like you said, it turns into a whole experience, you know, that you'll never forget.
0 (8m 22s):
So for photography, you, you had it at the beginning of your explorations. I've talked to a couple of photographers on here that, you know, started exploring first and then they got into photography so quickly to just go on a side, tangent, how did you get into photography? When did that come into play in your life?
1 (8m 39s):
To be totally honest, like, I mean, it did happen a little bit younger. I was always like fascinated with taking pictures and stuff. You know, even if it was with a flip phone back end, like the nineties and early to mid two thousands, you know, a really into it. It was just one of those kinds of things that I really liked to preserving memories. I think that was like the, really the one thing that really intrigued me to it. And then, like I said, my one friend brought me on that trip and I got a camera like right before that. And the, you know, and it was kind of turning into this thing of me not knowing what I really wanted to do with my photography at all. I think a lot of photographers going into that as well, its this whole like, well, do I want to shoot nature astrophotography? Or like, you know, abandonments or portraits and all this other stuff.
1 (9m 20s):
And really like that was, you know, just always trying to kind of figure out what I wanted to do with it, but I knew I wanted to do something with it from like a younger age, you know? Yeah.
0 (9m 28s):
I'm in the same boat, you know, I've always had a camera in my hand, whether it be a phone or even the ones with like the cassette, the cassette tapes, the whatever HDV, whatever tapes in them. I've always had a camera in my hands. So as far as gear goes, do you have gear recommendations? And this could be like a pair of shoes that you like wearing a backpack that you use, you know, a flashlight, like what kind of gear are you using when you go into these places?
1 (9m 55s):
Yeah, absolutely. Well, I definitely liked to kind of pat up a little bit, you know, doing a lot of the exploration stuff. I have to swear by this Vanguard backpack. I don't know which model it is, but it's a pretty, pretty beefed up model. A lot of padding, that's one thing, you know, getting through windows and all this other stuff, how you're gaining entrance and stuff, you know, you need something reliable. And I swear by this backpack, but I mean, I shoot personally. I know like a lot of people are under the cannons and you know, the Sonys right now and stuff and I've actually always shot on an icon. I've never strayed away from it personally. It's I actually shoot with the crop sensor camera, the Nikon D 500 and I loved the body and everything like that.
1 (10m 38s):
But my go-to at least for a lot of the urban exploring is definitely the 10 by 20 Sigma Wide Angle. I w I love that lens for having a crop sensor. It does wonders for sure, but I mean that some really high lumen flashlights, that's always, that's always a good one, especially when you're going into the dark places and stuff, but yeah, pretty much like I pack, I try to tend to pack a little bit light when it comes to kind of that stuff. So yeah, I'm
0 (11m 6s):
In the same boat. I a M small on a small person, I'm five foot, three weigh, 102 pounds. Like I'm not trying to carry a bunch of gear with me, especially when we're like climbing fences, jumping through windows, you know, going through the basement, that kind of shit. So I'm always, always, always asking other explorers, like, what bag do you use? Like, what shoes are you wearing? You know, like, I love, I love hearing about the gear and I, and the audience that listened to the show, the love that they love the gear stuff, you know? So thank you for sharing this. Oh, for sure.
1 (11m 33s):
Yeah. No, nothing, nothing too exciting over here, but I got
0 (11m 36s):
You. And then, so we are in a very interesting time right now, there is currently a global pandemic. Whenever this podcast comes out. Have you been exploring during quarantine and have you gone out and gotten into these isolating places where you're away from everybody else? Or are you kind of laying low right now? I have
1 (11m 54s):
Been on the moon. Yeah. To me to be totally honest. I'd been taking full advantage at this time. It's really, really like, kind of confusing, I think for a lot of people right now. And I, I always say to my friends and everything and other like explorers and stuff and just people in general, but like, I feel like we're so far away from the truth of what we should be experiencing as human beings right now, just in general. And I really needed to kind of clear my head and that is like, literally my go-to. So yeah, I've been, I've been traveling a lot. I just got back from a really, really long road trip actually. And just like, kind of trying to take advantage of the fact of people being inside, you know, not having to deal with all the stuff that can happen when you're trying to, you know, check out on the spot to try to get in like, you know, right now where I'm currently living in Colorado.
1 (12m 44s):
A lot of it is isolated anyways, due to the fact of the ghost towns and all this stuff that's sitting up in the mountains in the Rockies. So I've been literally just constantly shooting. It's really been the only thing that's really kind of keeping me sane currently at this, this, this whole crazy time in the, in the history of the world, you know? Yeah.
0 (13m 2s):
And then what, what has been your favorite exploration? If you could pick one out of all of the one's you've been on a, tell me one or two of your favorite explorations. God, that's such a tough
1 (13m 13s):