There aren’t too many opportunities to feel like an adventurer in modern times. However, exploring abandoned places and finding unexpected treasures can give you that deep thrill. You might not bring anything physical back to show for your efforts, but the photos you take and the first-hand experiences make for even better souvenirs.
The ‘Abandoned Beauties’ Facebook page is dedicated to urban exploration (aka Urbex or UE) and showcasing gorgeous images of abandoned places and objects. Both past and present. We’ve got a beautiful selection of photos from them to share with you today, Pandas, so go on and have a scroll down into the mysterious, uncharted wilds of Urbex. Upvote your fave photos and, if you’ve ever gone exploring like this yourselves, tell us all about it in the comments.
A very strong note of warning, dear Pandas: your safety is of paramount importance. If you plan on exploring any abandoned places, you need to take the necessary precautions and be extremely careful. I know that you’re all very capable, but you can’t go adventuring without the proper preparations if you want to stay safe. More on that below.
I reached out to photographer Dominic Sberna for some advice about how to keep our photography gear safe while exploring new areas, how to get the right lighting for photos in dark settings, and to understand just how vital camera angles are.
Dominic told Bored Panda that camera angles are important when it comes to showing off the scope of a large building. "A lower angle is going to intensify the view, just as a high vantage point would. The vantage point really matters as well. Depending on what you're going for in your shot, you'll want to have a nice showcase of the scene in front of you when exploring any abandoned property," the photographer explained. You'll find the full interview below.
Mcdermott's Castle, Abandoned Fairytale Irish Castle In The Middle Of A Lake, County Roscommon, Ireland
"A wide-angle lens is always a great option for any confined space, but again this all depends on the look you're going for and is absolutely dependent on the scene in front of you. If you're in a massive industrial warehouse, you could lose some impact to your image if you have a super-wide-angle lens," photographer Dominic told Bored Panda
"At the end of the day, just like any genre of photography and anything in life, practice makes perfect. But don't beat yourself up if your images aren't 'perfect.' You should always try to take them for yourself. If others like them, that's an added bonus and you'll stay true to your creative self by knowing you did things for yourself," the photographer suggested that we focus on what makes us happy instead of trying to please absolutely everyone else.
A Very Little Key Will Open A Very Heavy Door. Charles Dickens
"The best way to keep your camera safe is to always keep it attached to you. That might mean different things to different people. Generally having your camera strap around your neck is a good thing. But, if you feel more comfortable holding it, that way if something unexpected does happen, you can move as needed," Dominic said.
When it comes to lighting, your camera's inbuilt flash might not be enough. He shared that he will "always advocate" for a tripod and a long exposure when shooting in dark settings.
The Garden Of Ninfa Is A Landscape Garden In The Territory Of Cisterna Di Latina, In The Province Of Latina, Central Italy
The garden includes the ruins of the ancient settlement of Ninfa, whose name seems to derive from a classical era nymphaeum, a temple dedicated to nymphs, located on an island in the small lake.
"If you're wanting an action shot in the dark or a more illuminated subject, I'd recommend using an external flash or using external lighting altogether," Dominic suggested. "Depending on the look you're going for will depend on your preferred light source."
He noted that the flash on a camera has a fairly harsh and direct light. "You're going to cause a lot of harsh shadows and as a general rule, I would recommend staying away from the on-camera flash unless you absolutely have to use it," the photographer told Bored Panda.
The ‘Abandoned Beauties’ project has quite the member count over on Facebook. A whopping 435.8k people follow the page. It’s easy to see why.
The photos are stunning and evoke a sense of mystery, adventure, and uncovering lost secrets. The photos are also peppered with a heavy dose of creepiness that makes us just uncomfortable enough to keep us alert.
Abandoned Chapel In France
The founder of the ‘Abandoned Beauties’ project notes that they credit all the photographers for their work. If you notice a gorgeous photo without any credits, then that means that the image is either part of the creative commons license or the page wasn’t able to find the original photographer.
If you have any questions about all of that and you want to give the photographers a follow but can’t seem to find the original source, try asking the page moderator or the community itself. You never know, you might find someone who’s in the know!
One thing to keep in mind is that, overwhelmingly, the authors of the photos don’t add details about the precise locations. This is done very much on purpose, in order to protect the locations and objects from vandalism.
The Ruins Of Bannerman’s Castle, An Abandoned Military Surplus Warehouse, Still Stand In The Middle Of The Hudson River
Fairy Tale House
I Don't Understand Why People Abandoned Beautiful Properties Like This
Keeping the locations secret is a very practical approach. While a handful of urban explorers visiting an abandoned ship (which is dangerous in itself) might not do much harm (especially if they don’t remove anything as souvenirs), the same can’t be said about dozens, hundreds, or possibly even thousands of visitors.
A Library Inside An Abandoned 19th Century Victorian Mansion. Who Wants To Explore??
Ballysaggartmore Towers Are Two Ornate Entrance Lodges (One Also Acts As A Bridge)
They are situated on the former Ballysaggartmore Demesne approx 2.5 kilometres from the town of Lismore in County Waterford, Ireland. The structures are were constructed for an Anglo Irish Landlord, Arthur Keily-Ussher no later than 1834.
Imagine if a huge flood of urban explorers would end up going to a single location. Some of them might be veterans who know to treat the location with care, however, others might be amateurs who damage the place willfully or by accident.
A Roman Bathhouse Still In Use After 2,000 Years In Khenchela, Algeria
More foot traffic means more wear and tear and that means that the risk of getting hurt increases. Someone might weaken the floorboards in an abandoned shack or someone else might have vandalized the railings, leading to a nasty fall.
Abandoned Beach House Slowly Being Reclaimed By The Sea, North Carolina
There are few reminders of the power of nature as beautiful and stark as the scenes at the abandoned village of Houtouwan, on the Shengsi archipelago just off the Chinese mainland.
This small fishing village was only deserted in the early 1990s, but since then nearly every building has been enveloped by some of the densest greenery you will ever see.
Part of being an urban explorer means keeping a lot of information secret, only sharing it with a small handful of trustworthy community members. Posting photos is fine; shouting about where you took them isn’t.
Beautiful Abandoned Miners' Cottages In A Disused Slate Quarry In Snowdonia, North Wales
The quarry closed in 1969 due to industry decline and because 170-years of working the site had reaulted in waste tips sliding into the main pit workings.
Abandoned Hotel In Northern Italy (San Pellegrino)
Preparation is everything when it comes to Urbex. That means getting yourself a good pair of gloves, a pair of thick shoes, and wearing a quality dust mask. When you venture out, you should be wearing heavy clothing and perhaps even a helmet of some sort to protect your body from any debris or in the case of a fall.
Abandoned Spa Town In The Czech Republic
Abandoned Villa In Italy
Before you venture out, do some research about the area and the specific location. Reach out to any local Urbex communities or any pals who you know go exploring after school or work. Whenever possible, consider starting your adventure with a partner or two by your side. That way, if one of you gets hurt, the other can help! And that means that you all get back home safely, ready to share your fantastic photos with everyone on the internet.
Abandoned Train In Siberia
Awesome Staircase In Europe
Who’s Interested In Escaping Civilization And Buying Their Own Private Island In Wales? This Fixer Upper Sea Fort With Epic Views Is Now For Sale, It Was Last Upgraded In 1859!
An Overgrown Pool At An Abandoned Mansion. Location Unknown
Atmosphere In Russia
Smirnykh, Sakhalinskaya Oblast', Russia
Originally, the airfield on this place was built in the early 20th century for the Imperial Japanese Army and was called Keton. It consisted of a 1200 m long concrete runway, gravel taxiways and about 20 equipped aircraft parking lots.
After the Soviet Union regained control over Sakhalin in 1945, the Smirnykh airfield (both the village and airfield were renamed in 1946 after the battalion commander who died in the battles for the liberation of the island in this area) became home to the 528th Fighter Aviation Regiment, which performed the tasks of air defense of Sakhalin Island and its marine zone.
In 1966, the airfield was reconstructed. A new runway with a length of 2,000 m was built, which was later extended to 2,500 m, as well as reinforced concrete shelters for aircrafts with fan exit to taxiways.
In 1994 the fighter aviation regiment was disbanded. The aircrafts were moved to Komsomolsk-on-Amur, where a storage base was equipped, but later all of them were disposed off. But two MiG-23s, one combat aircraft and one combat trainer, were left in hangars at the Smirnykh, where they remain to this day...