Photographers worldwide hunt for opportunities to photograph long-abandoned places as the subjects of ruins photography. Far off the beaten path, these secluded, abandoned sites sometimes require a bit of a hike, some bribery, or maybe even a smidge of trespassing in order to gain access. And when you see the images they capture, you'll see why it's well worth their efforts.
30 Years Old Abandoned Russian Space Shuttles
Crumbling Under The Weight Of Time
The subjects of ruins photography illustrate so poignantly the intersection between humans, nature, time, and technology. Maybe it's a building that has fallen prey to the power of the wilderness, overgrown with vines and crumbling under the weight of time. Or perhaps it's a location that is relatively unchanged, a frozen snapshot in time, as though all the people in it just suddenly vanished in the midst of whatever daily task they were doing.
Apartment Building In Russia
....a dilapidated factory with rusted machinery frozen as if they were stopped mid-production.... a decaying shopping mall with trees bursting through cracks in the tile floors...a neglected and trashed old cinema with graffitied walls, faded seat cushions, and its final film posters still in their frames...
Equal Parts Chilling And Intriguing
There's something about an abandoned place that is equal parts chilling, sad, and intriguing. Even looking at photos of provides a visceral experience -- you can almost feel the heavy stillness and hear the mournful echoes throughout these once-vibrant structures.
Swinger's Tiki Palace
John Koenig, the creator of The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows, coined a new word for this feeling: kenopsia. He defines it as "the eerie, forlorn atmosphere of a place that's usually bustling with people but it now abandoned and quiet ... an emotional afterimage that makes it seem not just empty but hyper-empty, with a total population in the negative, who are so conspicuously absent they glow like neon signs."
The Feeling Is Kenopsia
When a photographer is talented enough to capture that feeling of kenopsia, the results include some of the most haunting, most somber, and creepiest images you'll ever see. Click through this gallery where we have collected some of the most amazing examples of ruins photography.