The answer is highly subjective, but many urban explorers and those fascinated by hidden history would say “yes”. Smashing Magazine explores the subject of urban decay in a fantastic must-see photo essay, while this collection of 42 stunning images should help you decide.
The pictures above show the abandoned City Methodist Church and the auditorium of a former school in Gary Indiana. The church has been featured in several previous articles on Urban Ghosts Media (here and here) but like photographer Craig Finlay points out, it is the “Mt Fuji of urbex”.
Craig Finlay’s atmospheric images are among some of the best to be found on Flickr, and Urban Ghosts Media has featured them in several articles. Check them out via the attribution links beneath the pictures, and also on Bearings – a fantastic repository of fascinating media. The lower two pictures show the old Harland and Wolff drawing office, where the Titanic and other great White Star liners were conceived. Find out more about Titanic here.
Whether or not there is beauty in decay, there’s no question that certain images of urban abandonment appeal to a broad cross-section of people – for reasons we often can’t place. These haunting pictures of Bodie ghost town in California show the effects that can be achieved, and how particular techniques are ideal for such a subject. Bodie also featured in the early days of this blog, and again with this collection of Wild West ghost towns.
This grand old building in Budapest shows urban decay at work in Eastern Europe. The magnificent architecture is no match for the passage of time and a lack of proper maintenance, as the stone facade is gradually stripped back to crumbling brick. At least the carved heads above the windows remain in good shape – but are they gargoyles?
From one beautiful old Mediterranean building to something you definitely don’t see every day! If someone got this Mini down it might even be worth restoring…
Infrared photography is certainly one way to infuse urban abandonments with a plethora of pretty pigments. Still, the church has an eerie glow about it – almost like a pinkish mist – with the guardian angel watching silently from above.
So what’s the verdict? Is there beauty in urban decay? It’s far too subjective to say. But beauty or not, there’s certainly wonder and fascination – and plenty of scope for great photography, as the images above of the decaying Deer Lodge and old prison in Montana show. But enough of what we think. Have your say here!