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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!

A cold winter morning in Harghita

A cold winter morning in Harghita. Nagykadacs, Harghita, Romania, 2016.

A cold winter morning in Harghita. Cadaciu Mare, Romania, 2016. Get a print.

While I am definitively an urban guy, I enjoy taking trips to the countryside. It’s the occasion for me to try something else, give a shot (pun intended) to other techniques, target different subjects. I really think that a photographer must get out of his comfort zone once in a while and try different approaches. For me, it’s shooting the nature, searching for landscapes, leaving the fast and noisy urban life for a more relax and peaceful environment. I can take things slow.

My parents in law live in the middle of Transylvania, in Harghita. This region is filled with hills, mountain, forest and wildlife… the exact opposite of my day-to-day life! We spent a few days there for Christmas, and I decided to honour the beautiful, snowy landscapes with a few shots. I am very found of this high key, snow white look for winter landscapes. Making a huge effort to get up early in the morning (yeah, lazy guy in vacation…) I was lucky enough to get a bit of winter morning fog that gives this haze, this particular feeling that something is happening there, behind, but you can’t really see it.

I spotted this field a while ago, woke up early in the winter morning for grabbing a few shots. While unloading my gear, which took forever because I the gloves I had to wear because of the -14 degrees Celsius (!), my immaculate landscape was photobombed… by a dear! It was more than I could wish for 🙂 I really felt like a child on the Christmas morning. 3 days before Christmas.

Do you like this photo? Why not getting an original, signed fine art print in limited edition?

EXIFs:

  • Camera: Canon 6D
  • Lens: Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L II IS USM
  • Aperture: ƒ/8.0
  • Focale: 200mm
  • Shutter speed: 1/800s
  • ISO: 100
  • Copyright: Pierre Pichot 2016, all rights reserved

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!

My other projects


Ghost_17. Part of the Ghost project. Copyright Pierre Pichot 2017 - https://pierrepichot.com
The forgotten factory. Cluj-Napoca, Romania, 2017.

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

Oser Flea Market

In Cluj-Napoca, Romania, Saturday morning means flea market. Come with me for a tour of the Oser flea market, and discover an anachronism in a modern city!

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 🙂

Stairway to…

Stairway to... Bucharest, Romania, 2016.

Stairway to… Bucharest, Romania, 2016.

My regular readers have now understood that I’m a very big fan of lines and graphical elements in my photos. It’s even something I really try to include in my photography, as my eyes are so attracted by geometrical shapes. During a recent trip to Bucharest I’ve found one of my new heavens… in a shape of a stairway.

It’s funny how in urban and street photography some great things happen when you don’t expect it. I don’t refer to the others’ behaviour, which is unexpected anyhow. I’m thinking about this kind of 6th sense that photographers tend to develop, like sniffing in the air that something is happening, that some place may be an interesting spot. It’s what happened when I was looking to buy a bottle of water close to Piata Unirii (Union Square). From all the shops around me, I’ve instinctively chosen the only one which was underground, with the entrance on one side, and the exit on the other side. And when reaching the exit… voilà.

I’ve found this metal stairway with walls made of undulated metal, such a great amount of lines! The sun was shining just in front of the exit, making the old man just a silhouette and the undulated metal shine in such an incredible way. I’ve just waited for the woman to reach the top of the stairs, and the photo was done. I wished I’ve shot more at this very spot, but the security guard was not in a good mood and asked me to leave. No problem, I know the place now, I’ll be back!

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: 1/125s
  • ISO: 400
  • Copyright: Pierre Pichot 2016, all rights reserved

 

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