Photographing Barren Landscapes and Abandoned Structures

Photographing abandoned buildings and locations is getting harder and harder, so any video offering tips on how to do it is worth a watch.

I have a real penchant for the abandoned and desolate. When I got my first camera, some of my initial self-imposed missions were to hunt down abandoned places and photograph them. In the U.K, it's a bit of a paradox. We have a lot of history and old buildings, but we're so small that abandoned places often get bought up, flattened, and turned in to copy-paste housing. There are a few exceptions, usually when the rightful owner of the property won't sell, the land or building is contested, or it's military location, which is usually heavily guarded. However, the U.S seems like a gold mine in certain places (albeit involving a lot of driving.)

In this video, Ed Verosky interviews Kat Swansey, a Texas-based photographer of the abandoned, and she offers a look in to her work, as well as some advice. I highly recommend taking a look at her work, with Kat's Instagram being a good place to start.

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5 Comments

Adriano Brigante's picture

"we're so small that abandoned places often get bought up, flattened, and turned in to copy-paste housing"

Imagine what it's like in Switzerland! Unfortunately, there's almost nothing abandoned here. Any piece of land or building is way too expensive to let it rot.

C Fisher's picture

Idk, the UK has a lot more cool abandoned stuff than Canada. We don't have any 14th century castles, just old farmhouses lol. I love Hell On Earth on YouTube, they're from the UK and find the best places.

Thank you for the write up, Robert! I was thrilled to see this and I'm flattered to have made it to one of my favorite online publications. I had a great time working with Ed and I can't say enough about how great this experience was. I'm glad to share my knowledge on finding rural and/or abandoned buildings in Texas and I hope people will find it valuable!

Aaron Bratkovics's picture

Head out to the Pennsylvania. They have tons of dead old shit laying around.

Adam Henderson's picture

I feel like one of the few photographers who doesn't really care for abandoned buildings. I prefer beautiful architecture over dilapidated structures.