Posts

Photo Essay – Urban Exploration: Heavy Machinery Plant – Cluj-Napoca

The forgotten factory. Cluj-Napoca, Romania, 2017.

One of the old, abandoned CUG halls. Cluj-Napoca, Romania, 2017.

First photo essay of the year with a one of my favourite subjects, urban exploration! Today I go to the CUG, Combinat de Utilaj Greu (Heay Machinery Plant), that was created in the 1970’s to become a state of the art plant. 30 years laters and the chute of the regime went by, the CUG is now the phantom of what it used to be.

Come with me for a visit of this highly rated urban exploration spot!

 

Urban Exploration – Heavy Machinery Plant – Cluj-Napoca

Urban Exploration – Heavy Machinery Plant – Cluj-Napoca


The Cluj-Napoca CUG (Combinat de Utilaj Greu – or Heavy Machinery Plant) has been created in 1970, during the most prolific years of the communist regime in Romania. The CUG put the basis for a then state of the art factory producing energy oriented equipments: household boilers, industrial boilers, equipments for thermal centrals…

From 1976 the CUG extended its domain to metallurgic tools for iron casting foundries, shortly followed by steel foundries and the production of tools allowing hot steel manipulation and casting. Meanwhile, the whole site kept being modernised with internal railways, production of pure oxygen, laboratories for mechanical and chemical tests, mechanical presses for car parts casting, hydraulics engineering…

In 1985 around 8000 employees were working at CUG. After the fall of the communist regime, the needs of heavy machinery felt down dramatically, the plants started to close one after another and the CUG got split in 8 different companies. In 2002, only 617 employees were still working at the CUG, leaving a big part of the site totally empty.

Of course, the whole site is not empty, there are still companies running their business there. But if has become a highly recommended spot for urban exploration. Even if it has been abandoned quite a long time ago, and despite the obvious traces of decay, the building has been kept quite clean. I can’t wait to come back to CUG, and explore the remaining factory that are waiting to have some activity again, even if it’s just photography 😉

The forgotten factory. Cluj-Napoca, Romania, 2017.

There’s nothing like a hall that is almost 200 meters long…

The forgotten factory. Cluj-Napoca, Romania, 2017.

…by 30 meters high.

The forgotten factory. Cluj-Napoca, Romania, 2017.

The dismantling left some scars, and a few victims.

The forgotten factory. Cluj-Napoca, Romania, 2017.

On the right, the initial hall. On the left, the extension built in the mid 80’s.

The forgotten factory. Cluj-Napoca, Romania, 2017.

The control center for cranes and railways activities.

– 

The forgotten factory. Cluj-Napoca, Romania, 2017.

A view of the extension.

The forgotten factory. Cluj-Napoca, Romania, 2017.

Behind, the second hall of the complex. Another urban exploration target 😉

The forgotten factory. Cluj-Napoca, Romania, 2017.

The heavy lifting cranes. The can move freely across the whole hall. Only one remains.

The forgotten factory. Cluj-Napoca, Romania, 2017.

Close up of the control center.

The forgotten factory. Cluj-Napoca, Romania, 2017.

The showers. “Keep it clean” is painted on the wall. Quite an irony.

The forgotten factory. Cluj-Napoca, Romania, 2017.

Time to leave for today, but for sure I’ll be back. There is still a lot to explore at CUG!

That’s it for this first urban exploration photo essay. Keep in touch for more updates if you love old abandoned buildings, rust and decay!

All the photos in this essay are available as signed, limited edition prints with certificate of authenticity, printed on high quality Hahnemühle paper. Go to the shop, or contact me for a quote!

Oser Flea Market

Oser Flea Market


In Cluj-Napoca, Romania, Saturday morning means flea market. Be it summer or winter, hot or cold, sun or snow, thousands of people roam every Saturday morning to the Oser flea market. During the communist era, Oser was the place to buy imported goods from Turkey or the former Yougoslavia. Blue jeans, snickers, perfumes could be found there, as well as other black market goods from here and there. It became the flea market in the form we know today a few years after the collapse of the communist regime.

The first thing you see, actually, smell, when arriving is… food.

Oser flea market. Cluj-Napoca, Romania, 2016.

At the queue for some mititei.

Oser flea market. Cluj-Napoca, Romania, 2016.

Mititei from Someseni. Discover their unique taste!

Oser flea market. Cluj-Napoca, Romania, 2016.

A few mititei stands one next to another.

The mititei, the signature food at Oser, is a traditional Romanian dish of grilled ground meat rolls made from a mixture of beef, lamb and pork with spices. A must taste for anyone visiting the country!

Oser covers a surface of about 37000 square meters. Way enough for the hundreds of sellers to expose what they have to sell. And trust me, there is a lot to sell. From new or second hand clothes to electronics, tyres, tools, toys, kitchen appliances, any kind of tablewares or bikes… You want something, you’ll find it.

Oser flea market. Cluj-Napoca, Romania, 2016.

A bit of digging is sometimes required.

Oser flea market. Cluj-Napoca, Romania, 2016.

Getting ready for the winter season!

Oser flea market. Cluj-Napoca, Romania, 2016.

He has pretty much everything.

Oser flea market. Cluj-Napoca, Romania, 2016.

Old cameras, unfortunately often in bad shape.

Until 2016 the flea market took place on an open field. Cluj-Napoca has started to build halls on concrete floor in order to avoid walking in the mud when the weather is not that great. It makes some unreal scenes during those works in progress.

Oser flea market. Cluj-Napoca, Romania, 2016.

Let’s use the new hall’s foundations.

Oser flea market. Cluj-Napoca, Romania, 2016.

One needs to be a bit acrobat sometimes.

Oser flea market. Cluj-Napoca, Romania, 2016.

Second hand clothes next to tractors and materials.

The Oser flea market in an interesting social experience. Every single social classes of Romania is present there. From the poor country side man which tries to sell his vegetable jars on the sidewalk outside the market, to the rich guy who just wants to show off is big expensive car to everyone. The whole social ladder is there, with every single step.

Oser flea market. Cluj-Napoca, Romania, 2016.

You usually come in group to Oser. It’s another tradition.

Oser flea market. Cluj-Napoca, Romania, 2016.

Not sure they’ll sell a lot this way.

Oser flea market. Cluj-Napoca, Romania, 2016.

Le sexy pose.

Oser flea market. Cluj-Napoca, Romania, 2016.

And sometimes, there are also crazy photographers taking shots of themselves in a TV.

The Oser flea market is slowly but surely becoming an anachronism in Cluj-Napoca. The city is getting more and more modern, but this flea market kind of remains as a reminder of older times which are now over. The ongoing infrastructure works will surely help transiting to something more close to the present time. But it will be more of a cosmetic change. Oser is Oser, with its codes and traditions. This is its core, this is why I like to go there. It won’t change, and I think it’s good this way.

Do you like those photos? Contact me for an original, signed, limited edition print!

Photo Essay – Oser Flea Market

Oser flea market. Cluj-Napoca, Romania, 2016.

Cluj-Napoca, Romania, 2016.

A new photo essay from yours truly, about the Oser Flea Market, an anachronism in Cluj-Napoca:

In Cluj-Napoca, Romania, Saturday morning means flea market. Be it summer or winter, hot or cold, sun or snow, thousands of people roam every Saturday morning to the Oser flea market. During the communist era, Oser was the place to buy imported goods from Turkey or the former Yougoslavia. Blue jeans, snickers, perfumes could be found there, as well as other black market goods from here and there. It became the flea market in the form we know today a few years after the collapse of the communist regime.

Check out the rest of the photo essay with 14 new photos and more info about the flea market.

This post is also the occasion to introduce photo essays in my portfolio. I want to go a step further in the photo reporter and storyteller domain by getting deeper into a subject. It is sometimes just not possible with only a few shots. I hope you’ll like it! Don’t hesitate to leave a feedback about this new way to present my work. It is always appreciated 🙂

Dutch angle

Dutch angle. Cluj-Napoca, Romania.

I called this photo “Dutch angle” as a reference to the famous camera tilt technique of “[setting the camera] at an angle on its roll axis so that the shot is composed with vertical lines at an angle to the side of the frame, or so that the horizon line of the shot is not parallel with the bottom of the camera frame”. This is typically the kind of composition I enjoy. I love to play with lines and stripes and tilting the camera in a way that the cross walk stripes are now going diagonal make this photo so dynamic! This combination of now diagonal lines, in two directions, makes a perfect graphical background for street photography.

I shot this dutch angle photo during a street photography workshop part of the Photo Romania Festival 2016 in Cluj-Napoca. It’s was the very first shot of the day, taken just before another picture that I’ve already blogged about. We were in a zone were road works has just been finished and those freshly painted stripes were just… tempting me, inviting me to do something graphical with them. How to refuse this invite? I’m happy this girl with her flowery coat just stepped in the frame, waiting for the green light to pop in. She was a perfect subject for this photo. The only challenge were the cars passing just in front of us, finding the exact timing was not easy but in the end, we did it!

The processing was fairly straightforward using Adobe Lightroom to turn the photo in black and white with Fujifilm‘s camera profiles. I just needed to raise the contrast between the asphalt and the white painted stripes, and voila!

Do you like this photo? Click here and get an original, signed print in limited edition!

EXIFs:

  • Camera:Fujifilm X100T
  • Aperture: ƒ/5.6
  • Focale: 23mm
  • Shutter speed: 1/500s
  • ISO: 320
  • Copyright: Pierre Pichot 2016, all rights reserved

Portfolio Items