Turn Urban Decay Into Photography Art

"The camera can photograph thought." - Dirk Bogarde

Urban decay is everywhere I'm afraid, from the rubbish on our streets to the burnt out cars and derelict buildings.

Almost every day we can come across some eyesore of the modern disease of wastefulness and thoughtlessness.

I wanted to show that even though in themselves piles of rubbish etc are not particularly attractive they can still be shot in such a way as to create very powerful and imaginative images.

I have chosen four areas for this project; each will surprise you with its range of creative expression, and highlights how photography in the right hands and with a little imagination can turn anything into a work of art.


Urban Decay - Photo by Kate TilmouthWrecked cars - Or abandoned cars just can't be ignored when you come across them. Some may be burnt out, others are simply rusting away but all will have some story to tell.

I tend to look at these abandoned cars as pieces of sculpture; they certainly make their presence known and dictate a certain message about their environment.

By using their textures, colours and shapes in thoughtful and original ways through the photographic lens, you can turn a piece of urban decay into either an attractive abstract image or a powerful social statement.


Urban decay rubbish picture by Kate TilmouthRubbish - or trash is simply a part of everyone's daily existence. How and where the rubbish is found and displayed can make the difference between pure ugly, or a striking and even sometimes amusing image.

If we look at rubbish as an opportunity for an interesting or at very least colourful array of images, we may discover that we are never stuck for a photographic project again.


Urban Decay - Shopping Trolley by s2artShopping Trolleys - trolleys, trolleys everywhere. Upside down, in the river or even amazingly lined up ready for use.

I suspect that everyone has at least one picture of a trolley amongst their urban photography collection.

Considering that vandals have decided to make them a part of our metropolitan surroundings and have added to the general urban decay, it is not surprising that they catch the photographer's creative eye.


Urban decay photography picture by ben BorgmanAbandoned Toys - What is sadder than seeing a childs toy abandoned and broken on the streets and amongst the rubbish?

On the other hand it does give a wonderful juxtaposition for the photographer.

A colourful, soft, harmless plaything against a hard grey dirty urban backdrop can be used to create many different viewpoints.

From a very poignant image of lost youth or a humorous union between a child's forgotten toy and the harsh adult world.


Submit your own Urban Decay Photographs

Share your images and experience of taking photographs of urban decay photography (see below categories) with others.

Send us your own image and the story of how and why you took it.

Wrecked Cars
Shopping Trolleys
Abandoned Toys

Submissions to urban-photography-art.com have been disabled for a short while while we are rebuilding the site.

We will soon have the submissions feature back and appreciate your patience in the mean while.

If you have any photos and you want to send them to us you can do so by email (details on my contact page)

HDR urban decay  
This picture shows an old church that I took in Liverpool. I am 15 year old school girl who love photography and would like to share my work to alot of ...

Tunstall Court 
A neglected building in my hometown which used to be a school.

Way in 
Building's entrance

Lotti, Danny and Rocky 
A path under a road bridge near my home town of St Helens, Merseyside UK. The bridge is a place where young people meet to do what they do. In this composition ...

Automotive Decay 
I am a photo major student currently studying in the United Arab Emirates and I am what you like to call a "petrol-head". I love cars and everything about ...

Murder in the Storm Drain Not rated yet
This was taken on February 27, 2014 in Figueres, Catalunya, Spain. It had been thrown from the footbridge on the way to the station into the storm drain. ...

Power To The People! Not rated yet
The electric power delivery point into a former mfg. plant, now a antique mall. I don't know why I like rather mundane subjects to photograph! I just don't ...

fabricnr1 Not rated yet
nikon d 90 f 11 1/25 iso 200

Doom Not rated yet

Abandoned Bungalow Not rated yet
This is the front door to the abandoned bungalow i did a photoshoot at, the helmet was just hanging there as if to warn people from stepping a foot inside ...

BMW Not rated yet
Every year auto manufacturers come out with a host of what they would like us to believe are "dream" cars. We can sometimes forget they are material objects ...

Marsh Barton, Exeter, Devon Urban Decay. Not rated yet
I took this photography for my Final Major Project back in 2008 for my Foundation Lens Media class. Just shows how a busy environment such as Marsh Barton ...

Urban Jungle Not rated yet
I discovered this abandoned Lada half hidden amongst some trees in a side street in Bucarest, Romania. It struck me that it was gradually being swamped ...

Urban Photography - In the hands of God Not rated yet
I took this photo at Calvary Cementary located in East Los Angeles.

Chained Not rated yet
Taken in NYC on Broadway, in the Thirties (block that is). Question, How long before the newer bike meets the same fate?

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