Rubbish/Trash And Discarded Items
Urban Photography Project.

Rubbish, trash, discarded items, whatever you want to call it, its everywhere. Our urban environment unfortunately seems to over flow with it and even when we try to disguise it in bins, they too become eyesores on our streets.

I live in London and started to become fascinated with the amount of varied items I came across which had been discarded and thrown haphazardly around.

I found it interesting how this rubbish could begin to blend into the scene and transform itself into its own sculptural form.

I guess it was just the photographer's creative eye kicking in, but I soon began to use this trash in my photography and even won a prize with one of my shots.

Lets explore how others have exploited this unavoidable urban eyesore and created their own unique version of photography art.

Rubbish Project Examples

Rubbish Tyres Picture by Kate Tilmouth

This is the image I won a photographic prize for, and it was even used in a poster. I came across the shot whilst looking around the banks of the River Thames at low tide.

It was quite a dull day and fairly cold and I was finding it hard to find anything of interest to shoot.

I then noticed this pile of old tyres stuck in the mud, surrounded by tall reeds. Mud had dried on the tyres and had turned various shades of colour. The position of the tyres and the varying colours instantly caught my eye.

The image was cropped and the colours were boosted in the digital darkroom. The contrast was also increased slightly as the light on the day was very dull and lifeless.

Rubbish picture by Mugley

Mugley has chosen a completely different approach to rubbish and has focused on the large commercial street bins. I like this shot a lot as the bin is used to demonstrate the real gritty urban feel by not dominating the picture.

The use of the streetlights to create reflection and colour gives the image a vibrant and modern feel, even though the actual subjects are not that attractive.

The low angle of the shot has also added interest. A good illustration of how moving your viewpoint can alter the whole dynamics of an image.

Rubbish by Polandeze

This third image by Polandeze has been cleverly composed to create a very abstract image with the use of a big reflection.

It is always worth looking for these opportunities as they give the photographer the chance to create an often surreal and intriguing image.

The combination of manmade rubbish and nature is often a powerful one and stirs an instant anger in all of us.

But in this shot the photographer has taken advantage of the still water and flat light to turn that ugly and shameful waste into an abstract textural scene.

Cropping the image to a square has worked well with the overall composition and conceptual effect.

Rubbish picture by Manky Maxblack

Always being on the look out for unusual and unexpected items within the urban environment will often allow the photographer to capture a quirky almost funny image.

Here Manky-Maxblack has created, dare I say it, an attractive image of a piece of rubbish i.e. a vacuum cleaner.

I love how the vacuum cleaner works so well in it new strange surroundings. It almost looks as if it was meant to be there.

The angle of the shot has really made this image, shooting low down and focusing on the front of the cleaner, whilst still keeping a lot of the image in focus. The addition of the small area of sky and houses has added depth and put the subject in an urban context.