Unique Ruin Subjects to Photograph

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When you are exploring agricultural and industrial ruins, how do you decide on what subjects to photograph? In this video, professional photographer Kylee Leonetti shows you how she decides what subjects to photograph among the ruins of the abandoned St. Paul train depot in the Twin Cities. She prefers shooting at the magic hour, just after dawn and before sunset when the sunlight is golden. In selecting your own subjects to photograph, you will learn to look for patterns and shapes, exposed brick, broken glass, graffiti, or any visual indication that time has passed and nature has taken charge.

Ask yourself, how do flowers and weeds interact with concrete foundations, brick walls, and industrial remnants? How do colors interface? Kylee photographs a pile of warm, brown wood contrasting against the cool tones of a depot wall. Other subjects to photograph include standing water and rust. With a macro lens, Kylee captures reflections of weeds and rust as abstract images. She photographs the rusted, entrance door from various angles, wide and tight. Using a wide angle lens to capture the crumbling front of the old depot, she zones in on the light patterns and how they contrast with the shadows.

When shooting old metal objects, concentrate on the bends and the folds. When photographing weathered walls, think in the abstract, how do colors, patterns, and textures work together to form shapes. Look for foliage that grows within weathered fences or gates. Other interesting subjects to photograph include bugs, bees and dragonflies that you often find in and around ruins. One of Kylee’s favorite subjects is graffiti created by street artists. Graffiti abounds in most industrial ruins. For wide shots, it’s a good idea to frame the main subject relative to what is around it. Hike into the industrial ruins with pro shooter Kylee Leonetti for unique subjects to photograph.

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