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The Beauty Of Urban Decay

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.d515
“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 Lindqvist7
“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*9
Fuckin’ days.

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Escapista10
That Train Don’t Stop Here Any More.

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fotografie.berlin11
“This Picture is not photoshopped. It’s real. Don’t really know how and why they made it.”

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GraemeNicol13
American Dollar.

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Mr. Mark15
Classic Blues in Cuba.

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trocker
“Sienkiewicza”

. Sienkiewicza .17

Shifted*Exposure18
Sun Beam.

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stOOpidgErL19
“Where Was God That Night”

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photosecosse21
Nevada City, Cart and Cabin, Ghost Town, Montana, USA.

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Jano De Cesare23
Corner mood. A corner in an abandoned asylum in Pistoia, Tuscany.

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picaddict25
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_minx27
Salton Sea – Bombay Beach – Broken Solitude.

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anacm.silva29
Aldeia de Mora – Vimioso, Portugal.

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bsidez4931
Years of decay.

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Darwin Bell33
Rusty but proud.

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DanielKHC35
“Tyersall House”.

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stephmel
“The Lonely Steps”.

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scottnj37
Curtains, a tattered old curtain hangs through the broken panes of glass in this abandoned old house.

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inesbexiga39
Door, Sobral de Monte Agraço – Portugal.

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Wolfgang Staudt41
Decay – the door in a hospital, Saarbruecken, Germany.

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sheke14543
“Somebody’s Bad Luck”

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Ride My Pony
Corner Desk.

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sheke14543
Bells Piano.

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Gundross5847
“Postnuclear”

Chair48

bsidez4931
La Chartreuse. It’s a beautiful abandoned fortress in Liege, Belgium.

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phill.d515
“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 Horak
Industrial Documentary: The Stain.

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Timothy Neesam54
“Broadway”.

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briantmurphy56
“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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Gundross5847
” Postindustrial beauty”

Postindustrial beauty59

A.Guandalini60
Inside an abandoned country house, behind closed windows.

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Eric Matthew Gustafson62
“Steel Office”

Steel Office63

Dan Dumitriu
“Post-modern burial”

Post-modern burial64

Last Click Link

Serret65
“levels of initiation”

levels of initiation66

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 Stawiarz
“A Moment Suspended In Time”

<br /> A Moment Suspended In Time67

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/2008/10/19/25-beautiful-examples-of-underwater-photography/
  3. 3 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/09/07/35-brilliant-examples-of-rain-photography/
  4. 4 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/08/24/45-beautiful-motion-blur-photos/
  5. 5 http://flickr.com/photos/phill_dvsn/
  6. 6 http://flickr.com/photos/phill_dvsn/2517647364/in/set-72157605040581984/
  7. 7 http://www.flickr.com/photos/mlindqvist/
  8. 8 http://www.flickr.com/photos/mlindqvist/2343437550/
  9. 9 http://flickr.com/photos/pippyzz
  10. 10 http://www.escapista.net/
  11. 11 http://flickr.com/photos/fotografieberlin/
  12. 12 http://flickr.com/photos/fotografieberlin/2352225023/
  13. 13 http://flickr.com/photos/slavers/
  14. 14 http://flickr.com/photos/slavers/241603109/
  15. 15 http://flickr.com/photos/mark_boucher/
  16. 16 http://flickr.com/photos/mark_boucher/115250451/
  17. 17 http://trocker.deviantart.com/art/Sienkiewicza-82807711
  18. 18 http://flickr.com/photos/focusshift/
  19. 19 http://flickr.com/photos/stoopidgerl/
  20. 20 http://flickr.com/photos/stoopidgerl/103742938/
  21. 21 http://flickr.com/photos/babsphotosecosse/
  22. 22 http://flickr.com/photos/babsphotosecosse/2947672350/
  23. 23 http://flickr.com/photos/janodecesare/
  24. 24 http://flickr.com/photos/janodecesare/2854914549/
  25. 25 http://flickr.com/photos/renate-eder/
  26. 26 http://flickr.com/photos/renate-eder/1321743461/
  27. 27 http://flickr.com/photos/tofu_minx/
  28. 28 http://flickr.com/photos/tofu_minx/2295721904/
  29. 29 http://flickr.com/photos/anasilva/
  30. 30 http://flickr.com/photos/anasilva/2840993726/
  31. 31 http://flickr.com/photos/bsidez/
  32. 32 http://flickr.com/photos/bsidez/454511329/
  33. 33 http://flickr.com/photos/darwinbell/
  34. 34 http://flickr.com/photos/darwinbell/624544600/
  35. 35 http://flickr.com/photos/danielcheong/
  36. 36 http://flickr.com/photos/danielcheong/364479286/
  37. 37 http://flickr.com/photos/scottod/
  38. 38 http://flickr.com/photos/scottod/2312706177/
  39. 39 http://flickr.com/photos/ins_bexiga/
  40. 40 http://flickr.com/photos/ins_bexiga/248721454/
  41. 41 http://flickr.com/photos/wolfgangstaudt/
  42. 42 http://flickr.com/photos/wolfgangstaudt/3016915882/
  43. 43 http://flickr.com/photos/22795056@N03/
  44. 44 http://flickr.com/photos/22795056@N03/2799437489/
  45. 45 http://flickr.com/photos/22795056@N03/
  46. 46 http://flickr.com/photos/22795056@N03/2797971946/
  47. 47 http://gundross.deviantart.com/
  48. 48 http://gundross.deviantart.com/art/Chair-72928743
  49. 49 http://flickr.com/photos/bsidez/
  50. 50 http://flickr.com/photos/bsidez/131450267/
  51. 51 http://flickr.com/photos/phill_dvsn/
  52. 52 http://flickr.com/photos/phill_dvsn/2239912324/in/set-72157605040581984/
  53. 53 http://flickr.com/photos/vincent_vega/502207298/
  54. 54 http://flickr.com/photos/neesam/
  55. 55 http://flickr.com/photos/neesam/438101096/
  56. 56 http://flickr.com/photos/briantmurphy/
  57. 57 http://flickr.com/photos/briantmurphy/2473034404/
  58. 58 http://gundross.deviantart.com/
  59. 59 http://gundross.deviantart.com/art/Postindustrial-beauty-74295597
  60. 60 http://flickr.com/photos/36236696@N00/
  61. 61 http://flickr.com/photos/36236696@N00/540458922/
  62. 62 http://www.antilimit.com/
  63. 63 http://er0k.deviantart.com/art/Steel-Office-102524158
  64. 64 http://ftpaddict.deviantart.com/art/Post-modern-burial-76915725
  65. 65 http://serret.deviantart.com/
  66. 66 http://serret.deviantart.com/art/levels-of-initiation-20395945
  67. 67 http://angelreich.deviantart.com/art/A-Moment-Suspended-In-Time-49319626
  68. 68 http://flickr.com/groups/decayed_yet_haunting/
  69. 69 http://flickr.com/groups/decay/pool/
  70. 70 http://flickr.com/groups/urban_fragments/pool/
  71. 71 http://flickr.com/groups/indecay/pool/
  72. 72 http://flickr.com/groups/urbanexploration/pool/
  73. 73 http://flickr.com/groups/some_urban_decay/pool/
  74. 74 http://flickr.com/groups/abandoned/pool/
  75. 75 http://browse.deviantart.com/photography/civilization/?order=9
  76. 76 http://www.flickr.com/groups/aboutberlincity/
  77. 77 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/12/14/the-beauty-of-street-photography/
  78. 78 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/10/19/25-beautiful-examples-of-underwater-photography/
  79. 79 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/09/07/35-brilliant-examples-of-rain-photography/
  80. 80 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/08/24/45-beautiful-motion-blur-photos/
SmashingConf New York

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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.

  1. 1

    Chris Luckhardt

    January 18, 2009 11:03 pm

    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

    0
  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

    0
  3. 3

    Thomson Chemmanoor

    January 18, 2009 8:12 pm

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

    0
  4. 4

    wow. such beautiful decay indeed!

    0
  5. 5

    azneXPERIMENT

    January 18, 2009 8:28 pm

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

    0
  6. 6

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

    0
  7. 7

    Courtny Cotten

    January 18, 2009 8:41 pm

    Beautiful!

    0
  8. 8

    beutiful!

    0
  9. 9

    Simply Beautiful photography. Great Job!

    0
  10. 10

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

    0
  11. 11

    Awesome captures!

    0
  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!

    0
  14. 14

    Loved it!

    0
  15. 15

    Nice photography….good collection !!

    DKumar M.

    0
  16. 16

    BlabberStar.com

    January 18, 2009 9:33 pm

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

    0
  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.

    0
  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.

    0
  19. 19

    Patrick McLaren

    January 18, 2009 11:38 pm

    Beautiful Photos.

    0
  20. 20

    Something different…Very nice collection!

    0

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