This inspiration article features photos from several of my urban explorations. Given that they were similar in appearance and feel, I felt merging this material into a single document would avoid repetitiveness in future posts.
The main theme of this article will be factories. The source of the photographs come from two different exploration trips; a concrete plant and a storage yard.
**Please note, that these locations can be dangerous and one should not travel there without permission or supervision. These photos were taken from a safe distance.**
A concrete plant is a site with equipment that combines various ingredients (water, sand, gravel, etc.) to form concrete, either in the Dry mix or Wet mix variety. The heart of the concrete plant is the mixer, which come in many different types; Tilt Drum, Pan, Planetary, Single Shaft and Twin shaft mixer. Conveyors are used to carry aggregate from the ground hopper to the aggregate bin, as well as from the aggregate batcher to the charge chute.
Storage yards are outdoor areas used in conjunction with a warehouse, sheds or other structures and may be public or private. They are used to store vehicles, equipment, merchandise, raw materials, or other items for an indefinite period until needed.
The following pictures are of a concrete plant from different angles. We can see the variety of parts and accessories needed in the making of concrete: cement batchers, aggregate batchers, conveyors, radial stackers, aggregate bins, cement bins, heaters, chillers, cement silos, batch plant controls, and dust collectors. Close inspection of these various elements can give us a good idea of how to describe machinery and how they work in fiction.
Making our way to the front of the plant, we can see several different vehicles; concrete mixers for transport of cement while keeping it in a wet state, and a front loader for shoveling raw materials. These heavy machines can make nice additions to urban settings when writing.
If we keep going around the building, we see the plant has piles of raw materials for making future batches of concrete. They even recycle old, torn up asphalt by breaking it down, grinding it into gravel and reusing it as concrete.
Next we have pictures taken from storage yards, where we can see various large scale items being kept. In these example, we have semi-trailers for tractor trucks, wood pallets for transporting merchandise and cement blocks. We also have a tool shed, where the owners keep various tools and maintenance equipment.
Locations like these can serve as inspiration for a few different story types. They could be a dumping ground for a mystery novel, or a setting for a superhero fight scene. Maybe a hideout for a group of survivors in a zombie apocalypse. Perhaps your protagonist is a construction worker, and he needs to know how to operate a front loader.
Hope you enjoyed today’s exploration. I had a great time, and maybe these images will come in handy for your next story. Until then, get out there and get inspired!