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April 20 , 2011

Urban Exploration Photography

A Guide to Creating and Editing Images of Abandoned Places


Getting a compelling shot in an abandoned structure is what urban exploration—or UrbEx—photography is all about. But that’s much easier said than done. UrbEx photography is one of the most challenging genres to shoot due to the dark environments, unpredictable circumstances, and various threats to one’s safety. Preparation is key and time can be limited for pulling off great shots. In Urban Exploration Photography, photographer Todd Sipes walks you through everything you need to know about composing, shooting, and processing photos of abandoned places.

You’ll start with preparing for a shoot, including what to bring, what to wear, and when to go. Then you’ll dive into shooting with an in-depth look at composition, subject matter, and various techniques that can be used for different circumstances. After gaining a thorough understanding of how to shoot, you’ll get a detailed look at Todd’s post-processing workflow from start to finish using Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom, Google Nik Collection, OnOne Perfect Photo Suite, and more. You’ll finish off with complete walkthroughs of select images that you can step through using the author’s raw camera files.

You’ll also learn:

  • General guidelines for camera settings and gear
  • How to shoot in the dark
  • How to select the best subject matter
  • What qualities of light to look for
  • 32-bit HDR and luminosity masking
  • How to bracket your shots
  • How to avoid common mistakes
  • Numerous other tips and tricks that will save you time in the field

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