Abandoned places are exciting locations for the urban explorer. Other common terms for urban exploration (also abbreviated as urbex or UE) include infiltration, draining, urban caving, urban spelunking, urban rock climbing, and building hacking.
Abandoned places are often forgotten and decaying buildings, such as military / industrial facilities, or traffic routes that are no longer capable of fulfilling their former functions. Most of these so-called lost places were built in the early 19th century. Many of these places are being slowly reclaimed by nature. This produces wonderful fairy-tale-like locations that can be especially fascinating.
You can combine this with the popular activity of “geocaching” or just take pictures: if you are fond of discovering new things and like to do “urban exploring” (i.e. finding lost places), you’ll be able to make use of our recommendations that we’ve gathered together for you.
Across Europe there are many old abandoned buildings such as sanatoriums, villas, concert halls, theatres, chapels, children’s homes, industrial sites, monuments, and many others. Many of these places have fallen victim to decay and vandalism. Nevertheless, these sites provide the perfect motifs for taking a look into the past. Something special about lost places photography is the fact that these places were not originally intended to be a spectacle. There’s a certain fascination that arises from discovering these places yourself. With a bit of imagination and creativity, you can communicate to the viewer stories that may have taken place in these locations in the past. When searching for brilliant motifs to photograph, it can be helpful to try to recreate the locations in their former glory and thus, look back at a piece of history.
The exploration of old ruins, however, does entail a certain degree of danger. You should, for example, stay away from buildings that are at risk of collapsing. It’s also sometimes not clear if it’s even legal to step foot on some of these properties. If you’re in doubt as to whether you’re allowed on the premises or not, it’s best to play it safe and find somewhere else to go even if you really want to photograph an enticing location you’ve found.
In this category you’ll find more information about laws, safety, and “unwritten rules.” For those of you who want to go out there and discover new places for yourself, we’ve gathered together some tips and tricks for taking brilliant lost places photos and how you can perfectly accentuate these diamonds in the rough.