Urban Exploration Photography

Urban exploration photography, also called urbex, is a fairly popular form of photography that primarily documents abandoned manmade places and objects. The photos can depict an entire deserted city or just a single neglected rusted car. Though the term has the word urban in it, it doesn’t restrict the photography to only urban environments. Urban exploration also frequently happens at decaying barns and houses in rural areas.

Risks Involved

The biggest downside to urban exploring is that it often involves trespassing and can endanger the explorer. Another risk is that the buildings and places are usually very old, rusty, and moldy and could make the person sick by breathing all that in.

Rewards

Despite those risks, when done carefully, urban exploration can be very rewarding. Not just for the adventure of it, but for the possibility of creating incredible photos. The photos can capture a place in a time and condition that no one has seen before. Decaying places and things rapidly change. If you go back to a place a year later it might be totally gone, collapsed in, or heavily vandalized. Also, those deserted places provide an interesting perspective into their history.

A good urbex photographer never damages or vandalizes the places they are exploring. The point isn’t to alter the scene, but to document it as-is and respectfully leave it no matter the condition it is in.

My Urban Exploration Photography

Urban exploration photography has been one of my favorite forms of photography for almost my entire photography career. I lived in an area of Texas that had abandoned houses scattered about our area. My brothers and I enjoyed walking into them and looking at the artifacts left behind by the previous residents. They unveiled mysteries while creating more mysteries, I love the experience of it all. Then I started bringing my camera and documenting it.

My photos tend to focus less on the decay and decrepitness of the building or object. Instead, they instead focus on remnants of the presence of humans. I view each place I go to as historical moments to the everyday life people lived, especially when exploring homes. Monuments people will eventually destroy.

Nowadays, I’m very careful how I engage with urbex photography. I avoid places that have a lot of do not trespass signs. I also only do it during the daytime when I can see everything really well.

These are my urban exploration photoshoots, enjoy and leave a comment letting me know what you think of them:

1952 Packard Patrician 400 Abandoned And Deteriorated In A Texas Field

August 2, 2021

A rare 1952 Packard Patrician 400 sedan sits abandoned and deteriorated in a rural Texas field town as mother nature slowly consumes it.

An Abandoned Barge And Tugboat In La Paz, Baja California, Mexico

November 17, 2018

An abandoned barge and tugboat were slowly decaying the water when I captured them at sunset right outside of La Paz, Mexico.

Urban Exploring In Cozumel, Mexico, And Colorful Street Photography

February 2, 2016

Urban exploring in Cozumel, Mexico was really interesting and fun, I also captured some unique murals and colorful street photography.

Abandoned Boxcars On A Rail Road in Addison, Texas On 35mm Analog Film

June 2, 2015

Abandoned Boxcars were parked on a railroad in Addison, Texas for months or years, I explored them and captured them on 35mm analog film.

Book Art Of Abandoned Shopping Carts in Dallas On Analog Film

April 29, 2015

I made a Book Art out of paper bags inspired by analog photos of abandoned shopping carts I had been capturing all over Dallas.

Urban Exploring Abandoned Buildings Around Lake City, Florida

December 27, 2014

Urban exploring abandoned buildings around Lake City, Florida was full of unique colors and lighting that made for some awesome photos.

Urban Exploring An Abandoned House In Prosper, Texas

January 26, 2014

Urban exploring an abandoned house in Prosper, Texas revealed some very interesting things about the family who had once lived there.

Valley View Center Mall and the Sanger-Harris mosaic by Brenda J. Stubel

June 11, 2013

The Valley View Center Mall and the Sanger-Harris mosaic by Brenda J. Stube were sadly demolished a couple years after I photographed them.

Urban Exploration Of An Abandoned Apartment Complex in Dallas

March 28, 2013

Urban Exploration of the abandoned White Rock Trail and Toscana apartments in Dallas was creepy and haunting and I got some eerie photos. I drive up and down Skillman Avenue frequently. Every time I pass the White Rock Trail and Toscana apartments and see those abandoned buildings my mind wonders about the people who used […]

Abandoned Dance Studio in Lake Highlands, Dallas Urban Exploration

March 11, 2013

This abandoned dance studio in Lake Highlands, Dallas was a cool location to urban explore because of the large mirrors and colorful walls.

Urban Exploring An Old Rusty Billboard In Arlington, Texas

March 20, 2012

Urban Exploring an old rusty billboard in Arlington, Texas allowed me to get some really cool and grungy urbex photographs.

Urban Exploring Childress, Texas, A Town Of Old And Decaying Buildings

June 3, 2011

Urban exploring Childress, Texas was fun because it’s a small farming town full of old and decaying buildings, cars, and other things.

Abandoned Houses Slowly Deteriorating Around Rural North Texas

March 20, 2011

These abandoned houses around Texas, some look over 100 years old, are slowly deteriorating and allowing nature to eventually overcome them.

Urban Exploring An Abandoned Junkyard Of Rusty Cars in Terrell, Texas

November 25, 2010

Urban exploring an abandoned junkyard of old cars, rusty tractors, and a mobile home in Terrell, Texas was really fun and interesting.

Abandoned Airplane Pro Air Martin 404 N255S in Paris, Texas

August 15, 2009

An abandoned Pro Air Martin 404 airplane with a tail fin number N255S parked in a field of grass off a country road outside of Paris, Texas

Urban Exploring Abandoned Homes And Cars In Wills Point, Texas

November 30, 2007

Urban exploring abandoned homes in Wills Point, Texas is great because the countryside around the town is scattered with them.