Let's kick off with a dictionary definition: Dereliction / dɛrəˈlɪkʃ(ə)n
noun: dereliction: " the state of having been abandoned and become dilapidated. "
During times of war, photojournalists have recorded the destruction in a gritty documentary style. These iconic images have provoked thought and evoked emotions from the viewers. In recent times, Dereliction has become a popular genre of photography.
But why, you may ask? Isn't photography is all about recording beauty? Well, as they say, 'beauty is in the eye of the beholder.' And, this gritty subject matter can still be 'aesthetically pleasing.' Shooting urban decay is a great way to improve your photography, challenging you to seek out artistic elements such as texture and colour and shape - rather than just snapping an entire object.
Subject matter includes dilapidated farmhouses, ruined castles, abandoned fairgrounds, decaying mansions, old industrial sites, deserted military bunkers or forgotten fishing vessels.
Choose your location, analyse all the components, then determine 'what makes this subject interesting?'
Is it the colour, texture, lines or shape? Zoom in to eliminate any clutter, even to the point of abstraction.
Ansel Adams apparently said: 'A photography is usually looked at, seldom looked into.' (You really want your viewers to be intrigued with the details in your photo.)
It goes without saying that common sense is required here, especially as regards to on-site safety. Always ask permission, wear sturdy footwear, take a buddy, and don't take risks. Go in daylight, and carry a torch to explore dark interiors, as these old structures don't have the power switched on.
Below is a gallery of my dereliction images, ranging from an old miner's boot, to shipwrecks, to lighthouse doors, to the grungy graffiti on a coal wagon. My hope is that all this ugliness inspires you.
CLICK ON EACH IMAGE. Please comment below. :-)