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Photographing derelict buildings

Photographing derelict buildings - Today we are photographing forgotten and abandoned buildings.

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Landscape and Travel


There is a huge interest in photographing disused and abandoned hospitals, factories and the like. It is up to you whether you want to indulge in this form of photography and there are plenty of urban exploration sites with locations and advice.

Here, though, today we suggest you shoot the dereliction you can find in your town centre. It could be as simple as the closed Woolworths store, or the latest pub to close – with a claimed 39 pubs a week closing, there is plenty of choice.

Empty shops, graffiti, torn posters and boarded up houses are all fair game and all can be shot from public paths and roads. You do not have to trespass to shoot these sort of images but they could be a valuable social record of where you live.

Your usual camera and standard zoom is perfect for this sort of shooting. You could even get out the film camera and do some shots with that – or if you have one, try a Holga or Lomo 'toy' camera.

Photographing dereliction

Do spend a little time exploring the possible angles and camera viewpoints, so you make the most of your subject in the lighting conditions. This can govern lens choice too. For example, you may want to the show former pub or whatever in the context of surrounding buildings and that can be done by moving further away and using a telephoto lens.

Consider timing too, in terms of traffic as well as time of day. Also, ask yourself if you want a figure (or figures) to give the shot context. If so, wait for a suitable figure to wander past. Shoot general as well as detail shots.

You do not have to spend long on the scene and you may be happy with just a couple of shots. Once you start, though, keep the project going in the future to build up an unusual collection of social history images.

You've read the article, now go take some fantastic images. You can then upload the pictures, plus any advice and suggestions you have into the dedicated Photo Month forum for everyone at ePHOTOzine to enjoy.

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