Gear Guide: What to Take on an Urban Exploration

Whether it’s finding abandoned metro stations hidden under the streets of New York City or exploring abandoned hotels on the Sinai peninsula, urban exploration is a favorite adventure for many photographers. Going to those abandoned places takes more than a little planning however, so we pulled together a list of the basic equipment needed to go, capture great shots, and come back safe.

Concrete Skeletons: Abandoned Hotel Projects of the Sinai Peninsula

Between 2002 and 2005, German photographers Sabine Haubitz and Stefanie Zoche traveled to Egypt’s Sinai peninsula. There, the skeletons of abandoned 5-star hotel projects stand in a stark landscape overlooking the sea. It is a reminder of a time when dreams of holiday relaxation were ripe and speculation was rife. Today, all that remains are crumbling concrete ruins of that dream, and glamourous names like ‘Sindbad’, ‘Sultan’s Palace’, and the ‘Magic Life Imperial’.

Detroit’s Rapid Decline Captured in Past Google Street Views

Once famous as the prosperous hub of automobile manufacturing in the US, Detroit is now far better known for its precipitous fall into dilapidated ruin. Nothing makes that more apparent than a look back through Googles recently released Street View “time machine” feature. Here we can cruise the streets of Motor City in years past, marveling at how alarmingly quick the city has crumbled.

Seph Lawless Explores the Abandoned Malls of America

With a name like Seph Lawless, you might understand why this pseudonymous artist chooses to keep his true identity a secret. His most recent series of photographs captures the decay of the american shopping mall. Here is a place that was once filled with bright storefronts, music, loud shoppers and bubbling fountains – now transformed into eerily empty halls by years of neglect and vandalism.

Abandoned Hotel Becomes a Temporary Street Art Gallery

Somewhere deep in the U.K. is an abandoned hotel. While busy wasting away in the foggy land, a collective group of street artists decided it should serve as their next temporary canvas. Creating an “alternative art gallery,” the artists painted their works throughout the ten story building. In the process, debris were cleared for walkways and it became a nice space for locals to explore and see the various works.

Four Words You Don’t Often Hear Together: Abandoned Underwater Strip Club!

Abandoned Underwater Strip Club 1

Most of the time when you want to explore an abandoned building, you don’t have to don scuba gear to get a closer look… but if said building is an old strip club, things are truly getting bizarre. That seems to be the case here with a “gentleman’s” club just off – and under – the coast of Eilat, Isreal.

Just when you thought an abandoned psychiatric hospital couldn’t get any creepier…

Herbert Baglione shadows 2

Just when you thought that an abandoned psychiatric hospital couldn’t get any creepier, Brazilian street artist Herbert Baglione comes along to give us the ultimate waking nightmare. Part of his ongoing 1000 Shadows project, he’s been painting black silhouettes on the weathered walls, floors and ceilings of long deserted buildings in São Paulo and Paris… but by far the creepiest location to date is this abandoned hospital in Parma, Italy.

Classic Paintings Become Uninhabited

As humans we are so drawn to life that sometimes we overlook the beauty behind it. New media artist Hadju Bence has put a new twist on classic paintings by removing the people to showcase the architecture behind them. It’s fascinating how unrecognizable some of the famous paintings become without the subjects there to give them emotion. It all started when Bence was given an assignment in a geometry class at The University of Fine Arts in Hungary to “find and draw the perspective and horizon lines of renaissance.” He removed the people so that he could “examine how the painter really created the perspective space and how it actually looks.”