Light and Life in Decay: The Urbex Photos of Amy Heiden

(All images by Amy Heiden, reproduced with permission)

The striking use of light in Amy Heiden’s photographs brings a new focus to the abandoned ruins of her subject matter. Leaving aside the gloom and shadow of traditional urbex photography, her prints are made that much more memorable by the juxtaposition of warm colour and the decaying scenes.

New life is shown sprouting from the broken floors, sunlight streams through cracked windows: Heiden shows the empty buildings as they stand in the present, reclaimed by life and nature. The images are refreshing in their honesty, and you can see her enthusiasm behind every shot.

The history of the buildings is not only respected but ‘brought to life’ once more. “I am intrigued by the decay, curious about what I will stumble upon while exploring abandoned buildings,” says Heiden on her website. “It might be a church with boarded up windows, but years ago families came here for mass. Or maybe it’s a factory where hundreds of workers used to clock in every morning. These places make me feel alive.”

While the buildings sit quietly in their decay, in her photos Heiden has captured the essence of what they once represented during their time. Visit for more information.

(Images include: collapsed male ward at Hudson River State Hospital, New York; mothballed Lockheed Sea Shadow stealth ship, Suisun Bay; Noble Hall theatre at abandoned East Coast hospital; wooden staircase inside an abandoned mental asylum; planet Mercury above a northern California scrapyard.)


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