20 Beautiful Examples of Urban Decay Photography

20 Beautiful Examples of Urban Decay Photography

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Urban decay photography is the technique of photographing abandoned and rundown buildings. In many cases the buildings haven’t been abandoned for more than a few years. Often illegal, photographers of abandoned buildings typically bypass “no trespassing” signs to capture these spectacular shots.

sopra - first floor by Alice Sossi

sopra - first floor by Alice Sossi

The characteristic dark and somber coloring sets the mood of these once populated structures. Now they stand as mere memories of the past, luckily to have even one lone photographer wandering their halls once again.

Take a look and get inspired by 20 Beautiful Examples of Urban Decay Photography below. Also check out our recent post – How to Photograph Abandoned Places.

59660003 by Irina Souiki

59660003 by Irina Souiki

Pile up by Irina Souiki

Strike by Xtreme Xplorations

Strike by Xtreme Xplorations

beelitz by Jens Fersterra

Echoes of Avro by Mark Gagne

Echoes of Avro by Mark Gagne



by Ashley Estep

by Ashley Estep

Growing In by WootenCreative

Growing In by WootenCreative

Abduction by Chris Smart

Abduction by Chris Smart

2009 Portfolio by Rob Dobi

2009 Portfolio by Rob Dobi

Portal by Chris Smart

Portal by Chris Smart


untitled by Christina Tullo

untitled by Christina Tullo

mayhem in the stairwell by Irina Souiki

mayhem in the stairwell by Irina Souiki

2009 Portfolio by Rob Dobi

2009 Portfolio by Rob Dobi

Too Much to Handle by Wade Griffith

Too Much to Handle by Wade Griffith

Tunnel to Nowhere by Zach Fein

Tunnel to Nowhere by Zach Fein

2009 Portfolio by Rob Dobi

2009 Portfolio by Rob Dobi

Hudson River Psychiatric Center by Rob Dobi

Hudson River Psychiatric Center by Rob Dobi

Read more from our Tips & Tutorials category

Nate Jelovich works at Imagekind.com where you can buy and sell photography as framed wall art prints online to a worldwide audience. You set the price and keep the markup, Imagekind handles the rest. You can even frame photos of your own or print photos on canvas. For more information on selling your photography as framed prints, visit Imagekind.com/sell. Connect with Imagekind on Twitter and Facbook.

Some Older Comments

  • Julia F March 7, 2013 05:14 am

    These are beautiful:3
    You should check out my artwork and photographs at http://timekiller357.deviantart.com/ ?

  • Todd Shaak / Shaak Photography September 5, 2012 07:19 am

    Some wonderful work by others.

    Here is my web site of my photography. http://www.beautifullydecayed.com which Rangefinder Magazine did a 6 page article of my by Beautifully Decayed work. Here is that link should you want to read it.

  • David Dobreski April 23, 2012 08:36 am

    The best "urban decay" photographs I have ever seen are on this website: http://www.ellisislandghosts.com/

  • Henry Marks March 28, 2012 09:27 pm

    http://www.casavalentina.es/favourite-photos.php I do not know if I have done this correctly. Many thanks Henry

  • christina hendricks November 23, 2011 08:31 pm

    Definitely some amazing photos, but I think for these the really amazing part is the post work done on them. I especially love the one with the couches.

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  • somnath datta June 5, 2010 01:01 pm

    awesome.................... i have never experienced such high level of artistic views

  • mark June 5, 2010 04:15 am

    loved every decay!

  • Guirish H February 10, 2010 07:31 am

    Stunning pics...love all of them...these photos have got so much feeling in them

  • pokemon master 12 January 26, 2010 08:06 pm

    i found these photos amazing they really changed my life!

  • holden beach, nc — christmas 2009 « brand new kind of photography January 11, 2010 11:15 am

    [...] Digital Photography School on how to photograph abandoned places and 20 beautiful examples of urban decay photography. [...]

  • rajesh lalwani December 1, 2009 01:34 am

    All of these photos are wonderful, Beautiful Examples of Urban Decay

  • Foto’s: stad in verval | Computertaal November 8, 2009 05:03 pm

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  • Carly October 28, 2009 02:16 pm

    MetroFader is a sensational photographer. DSANKT too. Check out www.sleepycity.net for the worlds greatest urban decay photographer,

  • Dunja0712 October 22, 2009 03:25 am

    All of these photos are wonderful, I don't now which one I like more!
    I love these old, abandoned places. Whenever I discover some old, decay house/factory/building, I go inside and take photos.

    I'd like to share some tips, if you don't mind. :)

    If you want to photograph abandoned places, you always need to be careful and to make sure that it's safe. If the access is strictly forbidden, do not go inside on your own, try to find someone who can let you in, who has the approval to come inside, and go with him.

    Also, if there is a possibility that something can fall on your head, or that floor boards are rotten, it's also better not to go inside, or at least be extremely careful.

    Make sure that there are no drug addicts or other problematic people inside, it's not very pleasant if you run onto them. I don't know if you had experiences like that, but where I live, these people usually hide inside these places in order to take drugs or alcohol. So I always make sure that there is nobody inside the house, and then I go in. I usually find a lot of broken glasses, pill bottles and syringes with needles. So, watch your step. :)

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  • paul September 16, 2009 09:54 am

    i like the photos..

  • Mawa September 5, 2009 02:36 pm

    Woow beautiful pictures. I like the Tunel and i like them all by the way.

  • TeeniLee September 3, 2009 03:23 pm

    I was a little late to submit a photo for this entry, but better late than never right? This was taken at a fort near Cape Disappointment. I enjoyed walking through the dark hallways and finding the light.


  • Harbir S Manku August 29, 2009 02:00 am

    Anyone who looks at these pictures for the first time, will be tempted to show a few of her/his own. I am not too different. Tell me how do I share mine with the group or individual.
    Liked some pics very much, but some others were OK.

  • NeQo August 28, 2009 02:12 am

    I'm really into these kind of photography for almost 2 years now, and i still love to do it.
    It is really scary and dangerous from time to time,but i held one golden rule.
    Don't do stupid things for only a picture...

    Maybe one more thing to say about these locations, leave them as they are.
    Don't take souvenirs, or destroy anything.

    Just take a look at my website and enjoy...
    Oh and i live in Belgium, it's like UrbEx paradise!

  • Ashley Adams : Postcard Printing August 26, 2009 02:16 pm

    Hey, great collection of photographs Nate.. I liked the Tunnel to Nowhere as it had successfully established the 'depth of field'...amazing portrayal of decay in the urban scenario.. all the pictures are telling a poignant story.. they are just stunning..Great Job!!

  • Karl August 26, 2009 12:54 pm

    Some gorgeous shots there! I'm a big fan of UE, here is a set of mine from the weekend:


  • Warren Prasek August 26, 2009 08:03 am

    Lots of urban scenes including grunge and decay in my gallery here:

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  • Olivier Burnside August 25, 2009 08:08 pm

    Northern Europe (especially Germany and Belgium) are great for urban exploration. I've recently visited Beelitz Heilstätten, an abandoned Sanatorium outside Berlin.

    It's a whole complex of buildings in the forest which are fascinating both historically and photographically:


  • s August 25, 2009 07:35 pm

    some beautiful images...

  • Nikonboy August 23, 2009 01:28 am

    Beautiful collection! Here is my contribution, shot in Istambul, Turkey.


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  • DBS Chris August 21, 2009 03:18 am

    Wow. Those pictures are great. I especially like the bowling lanes.

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  • Curtis Copeland August 19, 2009 04:41 am

    Absolutely incredible. Love the detail. Each one is a true photographic work of art. Thanks for sharing!

  • Basic Blogger Advice August 17, 2009 12:22 pm

    These photos are amazing. Has to be dangerous though.

  • VMV August 17, 2009 10:28 am

    Beautiful Examples... This is a subject i absolutely love.... Every abandoned structure i see gives me an itch to explore it. I actually chose Urban Decay as conceptual theme for school last year. A few of the pictures are on a blog post i had to do for it (which also included a final "opposite" assignment - the opposite of urban decay would be???)

    VmV Urban Decay

  • joshua baskerville August 16, 2009 08:07 pm

    WOW.. i am really moved by these shots. who would have thought so junk would be such art.

  • franjh August 16, 2009 05:38 am

    A cool thing to do, these are some great photo's, you can almost feel what it use to be like there before time pass them by. Here is my favorite, the room with a view (Portal by Chris Smart) must be fun to go out and do. I appreciate you sharing.

  • rick z August 16, 2009 03:02 am

    brilliant photos. Real sense of atmosphere, managing to show decay as something that has beauty

  • Andrew G. August 15, 2009 11:35 am

    Wait... aren't most of those just screen caps from Fallout3?

  • rob dobi August 15, 2009 08:37 am

    hey! thanks! more photos of mine @

  • samsstuff August 15, 2009 04:11 am

    Beautiful shots!

  • Karen Bell August 15, 2009 02:10 am

    Absolutely stunning photos. I especially love "portal". Thanks for sharing :)

  • Nynke August 15, 2009 01:27 am

    Check also this http://cut-up.com/2009/08/ilovethatphoto-phil-bebbington/ and www.abandoned-places.com if you want more of this genre!

  • Regina August 15, 2009 01:08 am

    Love em all! Makes me think about the history in those buildings, what was there, what happen. Why is it decayed. Thanks.

  • cako August 15, 2009 12:41 am

    Exellent series if this abandoned places. Great !

  • Johnny MAck August 14, 2009 09:50 pm

    Wow, absolutely amazing dude!


  • eur August 14, 2009 09:27 pm

    anyone else think of Fallout 3

  • Billie Cook August 14, 2009 09:02 pm

    I loved the Urban Decay phoyographs. Time has created the Abxtract Images that artists struggle to achieve.
    Thanks for giving me the opportunity to see them.

  • glenneroo August 14, 2009 08:48 pm

    more urban decay:

  • Tommy U August 14, 2009 05:40 pm

    Wow I had no idea that photographing urban decay was an art in itself! Theres plenty of it where I'm from...............I think I'll take some shots......Thanks for the idea!!

  • Eric Magnuson August 14, 2009 04:22 pm

    Nice collection! I'd really love to shoot some stuff like this in Pripryat, Ukraine.

  • Erich August 14, 2009 04:20 pm

    New Orleans theme park after Katrina.

  • Paul Langereis August 14, 2009 03:37 pm

    I really liked all the photos above. Each had elements and lighting that really contributed to the idea of decay, and the composition of them is superb! Great series!

  • Bluefly August 14, 2009 03:19 pm

    Great moody shots! Excellent examples of mood and atmosphere. Wonderful shots.

  • Manders August 14, 2009 02:51 pm


  • MeiTeng August 14, 2009 12:51 pm

    Stunning images! I like the subject of urban decay. These photographers have all done a marvellous work of showing the beauty of each subject.

  • Bali Photographer August 14, 2009 11:16 am

    love all the photo...

  • Rick Stasic August 14, 2009 11:16 am

    Awesome stuff. Been thinking about shooting some old farmhouses. You NEED to check out this dude: www.simpledirty.com. Also look at www.davidejackson.com/blog/?p=306.


  • KeithSonic August 14, 2009 09:40 am

    All very great shots. I use almost all urban backgounds when I shoot models.

  • Sandy W August 14, 2009 07:44 am

    I love these shots! I am shooting an old diary farm that has been in a family well over 100 years. The old machinery & equiptment, sheds about to tumble to the ground,lots of rusty stuff!! I have been shooting my sunrises over this property for around 13 years,but the auctions over, the clearance sale is this Sunday,so ends an bygone era!. The new owners are going to restore the old,tired home,& at this stage will be keeping the farm as a farm.It is an icon around the area,& I was worried they were going to develope the 10 acres they were allowed to of over 50 acres that sometimes flood. Sandy W

  • Todd Eddy August 14, 2009 06:17 am

    Here's some pictures I've taken at these places:

    Been meaning to find some more places to go through but a lot of the "well known" places have been or in the progress of being demolished.

  • Chris Luckhardt August 14, 2009 05:27 am

    I've had the pleasure of photographing along side Irina Souiki at a number of urbex events I've organized in the Great Lakes area. Her photography is amazing...definitely a favourite.

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  • sam August 14, 2009 04:16 am

    while all beautiful, beelitz held my attention, great job

  • Ilan August 14, 2009 04:02 am

    I love how these buildings, get their own 'character' with all the neglect and destruction.

    Sometimes, adding the surrounding near such building can add even more to the drama/suspense- This frame was taken in an old neighborhood in Jaffa (near Tel-Aviv) - http://www.ilanbresler.com/2008/06/air-lines.html

    Awesome photos here! :)

  • 20 Beautiful Examples of Urban Decay Photography | Digital Camera Blog August 14, 2009 03:37 am

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  • Scott Zeilenga August 14, 2009 03:25 am

    Hmmm... I hate to say it, but I am not that impressed. I have seen (and taken) many more interesting UD photos than these. Of the 20 shown here, I really only like 4 of them. But that's just my opinion. I am sure there are a lot of people who like these a lot.
    Thanks for highlighting this kind of photography.


  • mjaneml August 14, 2009 03:02 am

    some photos were scary...something you'd see in a scary movie about a haunted house.
    great collection!

  • Brian Taylor August 14, 2009 02:59 am

    I feel like I am seeing a location scout for the next SAW movie.

    Awesome pictures.

  • revive ramesh August 14, 2009 02:58 am

    this is indeed a fascinating and ugly subject...there is so much beauty in these pictures that they give you pain...pain to go out and do something like this as a photo enthusiast and pain that we allow such decay in our midst - sad but true and very poignant for me..thanks darren and team for sharing these...

  • tanner August 14, 2009 02:52 am

    Nice! I really like the bowling alley and the portal one

  • Silverzz August 14, 2009 02:47 am

    For anyone interested in this type of stuff there is a good forum at http://www.28dayslater.co.uk

    While the people over there are more interested in exploring these places than photographing them, there is still some good photography to be found if you search through some of the posts.

  • Jason Collin Photography August 14, 2009 02:44 am

    This is a good collection. I like the looking out the door shot to a forest the best.

    My own latest collection of urban decay shots, or what in Japan we call haikyo:


  • Major Bokeh August 14, 2009 02:37 am


    Look at the entire collection from Rob Dobi's "Hudson River Psychiatric Center". Truly amazing.

  • robb August 14, 2009 02:37 am

    awesome pics.

  • kym August 14, 2009 02:20 am

    gorgeous photos - i wish i could see the lenses that were used on each shot

  • Chuck August 14, 2009 02:17 am

    I really like all of the above photographs. Different compositions and muted colors. However, as one of my favorites I would have to choose the photograph of the windows at the top of the landing with the beautiful arches incorporated in one central area. The windows are also arched. This could be named " The Triumph of Arches" . Presented beautifully. Good work!

  • Mike August 14, 2009 02:09 am

    I love the photos I dont have alot of oppertunity to get to places like this so its nice to see shots that somone else has gotten at least..

  • James August 14, 2009 02:08 am

    whilst beautiful this is dangerous work. My wife almost broke her back when the floor underneath gave way. She dropped a good 30ft while going through a rotten wood floor and landed on her back. She was assisting a friend with lighting.

    please be careful

  • Wedding in Bali August 14, 2009 01:35 am

    I like all the photo, thanks