Photographing Abandoned Buildings: 11 Useful Tips

Urban exploration has been a popular subject on the Internet for some time. Photographing abandoned buildings, however, can be trickier than you might imagine. Here are 11 tips to make sure you get the most out of your trip.

Abandoned places appeal to me. I'm not sure what it is that has such strong allure, but I'm certainly not alone. I've visited a number of small, abandoned buildings around the UK, and some of them have been astounding. However, they're not always straightforward to capture.

A few years back, I was fortunate enough to land a job that saw me photographing an important military base before it was demolished. Although the details are for another article (if there's enough interest), it was far more challenging than I had expected. These buildings invariably have no light, no electricity whatsoever, are damp or flooded, dilapidated, and frankly, dangerous. If you're new to the photography genre of urban exploration, I would certainly do a reasonable amount of research first, and this video by COOPH seems as good a place as any to start. In the aforementioned job, I was nearly electrocuted in the pitch black of an underground, reinforced bunker while wading through two feet of water.

Do you photograph abandoned buildings? Share your best advice in the comments.

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Tony Clark's picture

Beautiful images! I love exploring the local Antebellum houses and finding decay.

mlittle's picture

Just sent you a PM

How about NO TRESPASSING on private property?
Get permission to be there or pass it up. Many I know will deal harshly with trespassers - your camera is not an excuse to break the law.

David Love's picture

Sneaking through a hole in the door doesn't shout "we got permission" and if you're injured will you sue the property owner?

Sue the property owner? Bizarre ...

Jeff Colburn's picture

Very nice video, thanks. I shoot abandoned/old buildings in Arizona ghost towns, and it really is a lot of fun.

Have Fun,

user-156929's picture

I'd sure like to know where I can find buildings like that. In my area, all the derelict buildings are just dumps.

Bonita Loggins's picture

I prefer exterior shots, but maybe I'm strange.