Just had to share as an example of what a little patience and I suppose a little stealth can accomplish.
I scouted this location one afternoon rather late, drove down the dead end street in the neighborhood to the north and decided that was no place to park when the time came. Older neighborhoods like this, regardless of income always seem to have a bunch of people home during the day. I had ruled out a night visit simply because of the need for lights. Car headlights and taillights, flashlights, flash photos are all too visible in a high profile setting such as this. I prefer night exploring but everyone for 3 blocks and on the highway is going to see car headlamps cruising around or flashlights being shined around.
Early afternoon on the day of my exploration arrived. I had pre-selected a discrete parking spot where my Texas plates would not arouse suspicion. Ok its not Ft. Knox but my goal is always to go and return undetected. I hopped across the north south thoroughfare and immediately took to the brush. Cover and concealment were skills I learned a long time ago in a past life.
The brush (actually light woods) provided a direct approach to the property with virtually no chance of being spotted by motorists or residents. As I worked along the fence line less then about 5 minutes in I spotted the open gym door. Now here is the part where a lot of guys mess up. Rather than bolt for the door I stayed put for about 5-6 minutes just listening and watching. Watching the two neighbors houses I could see, watching to see if anyone was watching me. Listening I heard a lawnmower, (in December?) car tires crunching on the gravel, voices, all the things that signal the active presence of other people. Patience is not one of my virtues by the way. I decided it was time. Once inside the door I figured Id be safe. A quick sigh of relief and up the stairs. The gym could be shot on the way out, I hoped.
Its become a habit of mine to start shooting inside and work my way out, shooting exterior pics as I exit. Im sure some will disagree but it seems to make sense to me. Sure enough as soon as I had checked out as much as I could inside and set up in the old cemetery for some exterior pics here came a car driving slowly up the residential dead end street. I froze behind a large cedar tree, I could see through the branches as a resident or visitor exited their car and went inside. If I had parked on that street or was wandering around in the open the cops would already be on their way.
I intentionally returned through the same brush but not in a straight line to my car. I exited from a road just a block or two away, that way anyone spotting me would not see me on coming from a direct path from the school. I was traveling light, no tripod, no backpack just a camera which I slung under my arm.
As I reached the car I looked back to make sure nobody was following, always check your back trail. Always try not to look suspicious. Not as exciting of a story as getting busted but maybe if I share these it will help somebody someday.