From Ordinary to Extraordinary: Techniques for Urban Exploration Photography

3 min read

In this article, we will explore some essential techniques that will take your urban exploration photography to the next level.

Research and Planning

Before embarking on an urban exploration photography adventure, it’s crucial to conduct thorough research and plan your shoot. Look for abandoned locations or hidden gems in your area that are safe and legal to explore. This will ensure your safety and help you capture unique shots. Consider the following points:

  • Identify iconic or historically significant places
  • Get permission if required
  • Consider time of day for lighting conditions
  • Take note of any potential hazards

Capture the Atmosphere

Urban exploration photography is all about capturing the essence and atmosphere of the location. To bring out the character of the abandoned place, pay attention to elements such as peeling paint, broken windows, or decaying structures. These features can add depth and storytelling to your photographs.

  • Focus on capturing details and textures
  • Highlight the contrast between new and old
  • Use different perspectives for a unique composition

Master Low-light Photography

Many abandoned urban locations lack natural lighting, making low-light photography essential. To capture stunning images in challenging lighting conditions, consider the following techniques:

  • Use a tripod for stability
  • Experiment with long exposure shots
  • Adjust your camera settings to maximize available light
  • Consider using a wide aperture lens

Tell a Story

Every abandoned place has its own unique history and narrative. Use your photography to tell a compelling story and evoke emotions in your viewers. Consider the following techniques:

  • Find interesting props or objects that hint at a story
  • Focus on capturing the mood and atmosphere of the location
  • Include people or their traces to add a sense of mystery

Post-processing Magic

Post-processing can take your urban exploration photographs from good to exceptional. Experiment with various editing techniques that align with your artistic vision. Consider the following tips:

  • Enhance the colors and contrast to bring out the details
  • Add a touch of vignette to draw attention to the subject
  • Experiment with different filters and textures to create a unique look


Urban exploration photography is an exciting genre that allows you to capture the beauty of neglected urban spaces. By researching and planning, capturing the atmosphere, mastering low-light photography, telling a story, and utilizing post-processing techniques, you can transform your ordinary photographs into extraordinary works of art.

Remember, safety should always be a priority when engaging in urban exploration photography. Be respectful of the locations you visit and obtain permission when necessary. With practice and dedication, you can create visually stunning images that amaze and captivate your audience.

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