Industrial Machines make
Great Urban Photography Subjects

Industrial machines of all descriptions are always good photography subjects. They are always intricate and imposing and offer so many different textural and contrasting compositions.

For me it's all in the detail of the cogs, wheels, hammers and pistons but I have also seen these machines used as a basis for gritty urban landscape photography.

Whether you come across industrial machines on construction sites, old abandoned factories or disassembled and left rotting, you will always find a great photograph lurking somewhere amongst the metal.

Industrial Machines Project Examples

Industrial Machines by kate Tilmouth

This was one of my early attempts at using machinery as a photographic subject.

It was a cold wet winters day and I was just beginning to think that I would have to give up and go home when this dripping wet jagged cog caught my eye.

It was a part of a mechanism for opening a lock gate, which you can see in the background.

As the day was grey and the cog was a black metal I chose to keep the picture black and white to convey the coldness of the day.

I also wanted to lead the eye to the cog and for that to be the main focus but for it not to be the centre of the photograph. So I used the shaft of the machine to take the viewer into the picture.

Industrial Machines - Cogs by Kamalh

I have no idea what these next industrial machines are in this photograph by Kamalh but the picture certainly conveys a rusting mass of metal and chains.

I particularly like the use of the chain in the foreground to add contrast and compositional interest to the image.

The photograph was taken in bright light and the dark shadows that were created have highlighted the teeth of the large cog and wheel in the background well.

This helps to give the photograph some depth and shape.

Industrial Machine Detail by Kawazu

I love this next photograph of some sort of cradle on the side of a massive machine.

I love how the photographer Kawazu has taken almost the entire colour out of the picture but just left a very rusty red to highlight the metal in the foreground.

Its this little splash of colour that first draws the eye to the picture and you find yourself trying to identify what sort of machine this is.

There's something about the starkness of the almost bleached out background against the very muted red that works so well together.

At first sight I thought this was a black and white photograph and then I registered the colour and I just instantly loved the effect and the overall composition. I can definitely see this in a frame on someone's wall.

Industrail Photography Detail by Steve Navarro

This last photography by Steve Navarro shows just how colourful some industrial machines can be.

This detail of a machine certainly hits you between the eyes with its contrasting colours of green and orange, hard to miss.

If you saw this picture from across the room you would be forced to take a closer look to see just what it was.

I like how the whole frame of the picture is taken up with the machine, giving you no clue as to what sort of machine it is, although the dial gives some clues.

The angle of the picture allows for more of the orange boxes to be on view adding more interest to the image.