Basics of fine-art photography/Creating ruins photographs

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Ruins in Quito, Ecuador
(Photo from book "Two hundred days in Latin America", p. 94)

Ruins photography is a genre (or sub-genre) of photographic art, the main theme of which is the depiction of abandoned, partially destroyed structures.

General information[edit | edit source]

This genre, which overlaps with architectural and landscape photography, is relatively recent. Popular among some photographers in the West, where sometimes referred to as "ruin porn" [1]. In Russia, the study of abandoned objects is engaged in stalkers, but they sometimes don't have a camera and set themselves other goals.

The main subject of photography is abandoned buildings of recent past: hospitals, bomb shelters, barracks, hotels, industrial plants, automobile cemeteries, prisons, etc. A side theme is the "mastering" of abandoned buildings by nature (see photo right). Historical monuments of architecture can sometimes serve as the subject of the genre, but only as an exception.

Ways of implementation[edit | edit source]

The process has similarities to Architectural photography, but if you are going to photograph underground objects or bunkers, you will need a flash, sometimes a powerful one, depending on the size of the object being photographed.

About where and how to find "photogenic" ruins, it is difficult to say: it depends on your location and willingness to overcome distances. Exept this you may have to buy additional equipment. As an option — to become a traveler, practicing hobo tourism, where sometimes you have to spend the night, or even live for a while in the ruins of abandoned houses.

Interesting fact[edit | edit source]

Abandoned buildings sometimes serve as a backdrop for creating works in nude photography, what can be classified as the intersection of the two genres.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Heide Rampetzreiter. "Ruinen-Fotografie: Detroit liegt auch in Europa" (in German). Retrieved April 23, 2023.