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The Smashing Book #5

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The Beauty Of Urban Decay

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The city is a fantastic source of beauty and inspiration, with all the glitz and glamor glistening beneath the city lights. But there is another side of the city altogether, one rife with its own kind of allure. Across the tracks, away from the dazzle of downtown, lies a darker imagination, this one looking to grunge-ridden, dilapidated architecture for inspiration. There is a beauty that pervades this kind of urban decay and captured wonderfully through a photographer’s well-trained eye. These industrial city scenes are wonderfully dark and offer a glimpse of the weathered face beneath the city facade.

In this inspirational installment, we take a tour and show the charm of a more neglected and worn side of the city. We showcase the beauty of urban decay, a series of photos of this eroded elegance that photographers have captured brilliantly. These gorgeously grungy images have a haunting appeal, a stirring quality that radiates from within and that earned them a spot on this list.

You may want to take a look at the following related posts:

35 Beautiful Examples Of ‘Urban Decay Photography’ Link

phill.d576
“It never ceases to amaze me the different colors and effects you can achieve in a boring concrete R.C.P drain.”

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Magnus Lindqvist8
“Your Worst Nightmare”. “This is a bit different from what I normally shoot. I had this shot in my head for a very long time but it wasn’t until last weekend I finally shot it. The only light source is a shop light behind the door. The place is very narrow and kind of creepy. I had to make sure that the door behind me stayed open or it would have locked me in.” Lexington, Kentucky.

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*pippyzz*10
Fuckin’ days.

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Escapista11
That Train Don’t Stop Here Any More.

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fotografie.berlin12
“This Picture is not photoshopped. It’s real. Don’t really know how and why they made it.”

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GraemeNicol14
American Dollar.

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Mr. Mark16
Classic Blues in Cuba.

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trocker
“Sienkiewicza”

. Sienkiewicza .18

Shifted*Exposure19
Sun Beam.

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stOOpidgErL21
“Where Was God That Night”

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photosecosse23
Nevada City, Cart and Cabin, Ghost Town, Montana, USA.

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Jano De Cesare25
Corner mood. A corner in an abandoned asylum in Pistoia, Tuscany.

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picaddict27
Highgate Cemetery West London. This beautiful statue lying there as if it would be alive had to be covered with branches. (a wish of the the relatives) but the guide was so kind to clear the grave a little bit for us. I have never seen before in my life such a beautiful touching statue…

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tofu_minx29
Salton Sea – Bombay Beach – Broken Solitude.

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anacm.silva31
Aldeia de Mora – Vimioso, Portugal.

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bsidez5533
Years of decay.

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Darwin Bell35
Rusty but proud.

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DanielKHC37
“Tyersall House”.

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stephmel39
“The Lonely Steps”.

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scottnj41
Curtains, a tattered old curtain hangs through the broken panes of glass in this abandoned old house.

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inesbexiga43
Door, Sobral de Monte Agraço – Portugal.

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Wolfgang Staudt45
Decay – the door in a hospital, Saarbruecken, Germany.

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sheke15147
“Somebody’s Bad Luck”

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Ride My Pony49
Corner Desk.

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sheke15147
Bells Piano.

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Gundross6553
“Postnuclear”

Chair54

bsidez5533
La Chartreuse. It’s a beautiful abandoned fortress in Liege, Belgium.

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phill.d576
“It never ceases to amaze me the different colours and effects you can achieve in a boring concrete R.C.P drain.”

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Pavel Horak59
Industrial Documentary: The Stain.

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Timothy Neesam61
“Broadway”.

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briantmurphy63
“You are beautiful”. This building is just a mile or so from downtown New Orleans, on the bank of the Mississippi.

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Gundross6553
” Postindustrial beauty”

Postindustrial beauty66

A.Guandalini67
Inside an abandoned country house, behind closed windows.

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Eric Matthew Gustafson69
“Steel Office”

Steel Office70

Dan Dumitriu71
“Post-modern burial”

Post-modern burial72

Last Click Link

Serret73
“levels of initiation”

levels of initiation74

For the last click, we present the image that got this entire ball of inspiration rolling. “A Moment Suspended In Time” was the picture we found that sparked this whole showcase being put together.

Marcin Stawiarz75
“A Moment Suspended In Time”

<br /> A Moment Suspended In Time76

Sources and Resources Link

You may want to take a look at the following related posts:

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Footnotes Link

  1. 1 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/12/14/the-beauty-of-street-photography/
  2. 2 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/11/09/60-beautiful-examples-of-night-photography-2/
  3. 3 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/10/19/25-beautiful-examples-of-underwater-photography/
  4. 4 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/09/07/35-brilliant-examples-of-rain-photography/
  5. 5 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/08/24/45-beautiful-motion-blur-photos/
  6. 6 http://flickr.com/photos/phill_dvsn/
  7. 7 http://flickr.com/photos/phill_dvsn/2517647364/in/set-72157605040581984/
  8. 8 http://www.flickr.com/photos/mlindqvist/
  9. 9 http://www.flickr.com/photos/mlindqvist/2343437550/
  10. 10 http://flickr.com/photos/pippyzz
  11. 11 http://www.escapista.net/
  12. 12 http://flickr.com/photos/fotografieberlin/
  13. 13 http://flickr.com/photos/fotografieberlin/2352225023/
  14. 14 http://flickr.com/photos/slavers/
  15. 15 http://flickr.com/photos/slavers/241603109/
  16. 16 http://flickr.com/photos/mark_boucher/
  17. 17 http://flickr.com/photos/mark_boucher/115250451/
  18. 18 http://trocker.deviantart.com/art/Sienkiewicza-82807711
  19. 19 http://flickr.com/photos/focusshift/
  20. 20 http://www.shiftedexposure.com/?showimage=207
  21. 21 http://flickr.com/photos/stoopidgerl/
  22. 22 http://flickr.com/photos/stoopidgerl/103742938/
  23. 23 http://flickr.com/photos/babsphotosecosse/
  24. 24 http://flickr.com/photos/babsphotosecosse/2947672350/
  25. 25 http://flickr.com/photos/janodecesare/
  26. 26 http://flickr.com/photos/janodecesare/2854914549/
  27. 27 http://flickr.com/photos/renate-eder/
  28. 28 http://flickr.com/photos/renate-eder/1321743461/
  29. 29 http://flickr.com/photos/tofu_minx/
  30. 30 http://flickr.com/photos/tofu_minx/2295721904/
  31. 31 http://flickr.com/photos/anasilva/
  32. 32 http://flickr.com/photos/anasilva/2840993726/
  33. 33 http://flickr.com/photos/bsidez/
  34. 34 http://flickr.com/photos/bsidez/454511329/
  35. 35 http://flickr.com/photos/darwinbell/
  36. 36 http://flickr.com/photos/darwinbell/624544600/
  37. 37 http://flickr.com/photos/danielcheong/
  38. 38 http://flickr.com/photos/danielcheong/364479286/
  39. 39 http://flickr.com/photos/melomimo/
  40. 40 http://flickr.com/photos/melomimo/1863941967/
  41. 41 http://flickr.com/photos/scottod/
  42. 42 http://flickr.com/photos/scottod/2312706177/
  43. 43 http://flickr.com/photos/ins_bexiga/
  44. 44 http://flickr.com/photos/ins_bexiga/248721454/
  45. 45 http://flickr.com/photos/wolfgangstaudt/
  46. 46 http://flickr.com/photos/wolfgangstaudt/3016915882/
  47. 47 http://flickr.com/photos/22795056@N03/
  48. 48 http://flickr.com/photos/22795056@N03/2799437489/
  49. 49 http://flickr.com/photos/charlesbodi/
  50. 50 http://flickr.com/photos/charlesbodi/2333603608/
  51. 51 http://flickr.com/photos/22795056@N03/
  52. 52 http://flickr.com/photos/22795056@N03/2797971946/
  53. 53 http://gundross.deviantart.com/
  54. 54 http://gundross.deviantart.com/art/Chair-72928743
  55. 55 http://flickr.com/photos/bsidez/
  56. 56 http://flickr.com/photos/bsidez/131450267/
  57. 57 http://flickr.com/photos/phill_dvsn/
  58. 58 http://flickr.com/photos/phill_dvsn/2239912324/in/set-72157605040581984/
  59. 59 http://www.pavelhorak.com/
  60. 60 http://flickr.com/photos/vincent_vega/502207298/
  61. 61 http://flickr.com/photos/neesam/
  62. 62 http://flickr.com/photos/neesam/438101096/
  63. 63 http://flickr.com/photos/briantmurphy/
  64. 64 http://flickr.com/photos/briantmurphy/2473034404/
  65. 65 http://gundross.deviantart.com/
  66. 66 http://gundross.deviantart.com/art/Postindustrial-beauty-74295597
  67. 67 http://flickr.com/photos/36236696@N00/
  68. 68 http://flickr.com/photos/36236696@N00/540458922/
  69. 69 http://www.antilimit.com/
  70. 70 http://er0k.deviantart.com/art/Steel-Office-102524158
  71. 71 http://deepho.co.nr/
  72. 72 http://ftpaddict.deviantart.com/art/Post-modern-burial-76915725
  73. 73 http://serret.deviantart.com/
  74. 74 http://serret.deviantart.com/art/levels-of-initiation-20395945
  75. 75 http://www.stawiarz.com
  76. 76 http://angelreich.deviantart.com/art/A-Moment-Suspended-In-Time-49319626
  77. 77 http://flickr.com/groups/decayed_yet_haunting/
  78. 78 http://flickr.com/groups/decay/pool/
  79. 79 http://flickr.com/groups/urban_fragments/pool/
  80. 80 http://flickr.com/groups/indecay/pool/
  81. 81 http://flickr.com/groups/urbanexploration/pool/
  82. 82 http://flickr.com/groups/some_urban_decay/pool/
  83. 83 http://flickr.com/groups/abandoned/pool/
  84. 84 http://browse.deviantart.com/photography/civilization/?order=9
  85. 85 http://www.flickr.com/groups/aboutberlincity/
  86. 86 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/12/14/the-beauty-of-street-photography/
  87. 87 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/11/09/60-beautiful-examples-of-night-photography-2/
  88. 88 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/10/19/25-beautiful-examples-of-underwater-photography/
  89. 89 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/09/07/35-brilliant-examples-of-rain-photography/
  90. 90 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/08/24/45-beautiful-motion-blur-photos/
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Rob Bowen is a staff writer for Web Hosting Geeks and Top Web Hosting, a longtime freelance designer, and burgeoning videographer and filmmaker whose creative voice and works can be heard and found around the web.

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  1. 1

    I was actually with Tim Neesam when he took that photo. I would agree with #12 about many of these being over-processed. Personally, I’m mostly a purist with my urban exploration photography. On the rare occasion I use HDR, I go for a “natural” look, if such a thing can be true of HDR photography.

    Here are some of my urban exploration photos: LINK

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  2. 2

    Those are GREAT pics… very thought provoking. They “shock” a guy like me who lives out in the country and concentrates on family and kids photography. Thanks for sharing, I really enjoyed them.

    Brent Riggs
    http://www.riggsfamilyblog.com
    http://www.brentriggs.com

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  3. 3

    Thomson Chemmanoor

    January 18, 2009 8:12 pm

    Awesome Urban Decay Photography. A great source of beauty and inspiration.

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  4. 4

    wow. such beautiful decay indeed!

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  5. 5

    Nice article. Urban decay.. hmm I grew up in the city. /nostalgia

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  6. 6

    This is Remarkable! Some images remind me of Da Vinci’s Drawings.
    Keep it up Guys!

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  7. 7

    Beautiful!

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  8. 8

    beutiful!

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  9. 9

    Simply Beautiful photography. Great Job!

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  10. 10

    Great collection.. here is another photographer who does outstanding ‘decay’ work
    http://www.callybeart.com/gallery_134150.html

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  11. 11

    Awesome captures!

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  12. 12

    more wonderful urban decay from yves marchand & romain meffre: http://reliques.online.fr/ and roche photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rochephoto/sets/72157603917583359/

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  13. 13

    Yay, not a terrible comic!

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  14. 14
  15. 15

    Nice photography….good collection !!

    DKumar M.

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  16. 16

    inspirational… who would have thought that even in decay there’s such a beauty

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  17. 17

    Some of these are over-processed HDR…but there are some amazing straight shots as well. Almost all show very good composition and creative ability.

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  18. 18

    I have quite a lot of these in my “Abandoned Places” set on Flickr. Mostly tunnels, reservoirs, buildings and factories around Sydney, Australia.

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  19. 19

    Beautiful Photos.

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  20. 20

    Something different…Very nice collection!

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  21. 21

    I really aprecciate author. Beautifull pics

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  22. 22

    I love Marcin Stawiarz phorographies.
    Great article!

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  23. 23

    Nice article. Great snaps!

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  24. 24

    excellent collection of shots and perfect inspiration for the urban – industrial themes I am working on at the moment.

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  25. 25

    Awesome photos!

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  26. 26

    wow ! loved it !!!!!

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  27. 27
  28. 28
  29. 29

    nice pictures, some are a little over-photoshopped maybe ,-), some not really urban… but very nice collection anyway!

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  30. 30

    Beautiful.. ^^

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