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Beauty in Decay: Urbex: The Art of Urban Exploration [Illustrated] [Hardcover]

4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
RRP: 19.95
Price: 13.37 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

3 Aug 2010
Just who decides which doors are closed in our world and whose interests do they serve? Do we wish to be kept in the dark, permanently safe, free from either harm or adventure?
For all of us there is a deep attraction to be found in opening these doors. They open a rift in our collected experiences and throw new light on the boundaries we've all been forced to accept. There is only one way to find out what's hidden behind these barriers. Sit back, hold on and surrender to your imagination as we unlock the door to an extraordinary unseen world of beauty in decay.

Frequently Bought Together

Beauty in Decay: Urbex: The Art of Urban Exploration + Beauty in Decay II: Urbex + FORBIDDEN PLACES - Exploring our abandoned heritage: 1
Price For All Three: 58.95

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: CarpetBombingCulture (3 Aug 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0955912148
  • ISBN-13: 978-0955912146
  • Product Dimensions: 26.2 x 26.4 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 18,476 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


Street art is exciting. We know that but we might be so deep in it, that we forget it every once in a while. Untitled III reminds us. It also reminds us that we're far from there yet. Wherever there might be. To take some words from the book: Street art is ill defined, street art is a thin line between good and evil, street art is the occasional stroke of genius --CFYE

Now I'm lucky enough to have part I and II here as well, and I read through both again to find if there is something that sets `This is Street Art' apart from its predecessors, except the obvious of course. I'm happy to inform you that there isn't. They found the perfect formula to document and question what is happening, and to provoke the mind. --Arden de Raaij

From the Publisher

What's the Story with Urban Exploration?
It's easy to describe what an Urban Explorer does; they infiltrate into abandoned buildings and industrial sites and explore them, often taking photographs along the way. They don't steal, vandalise or even leave graffiti behind them. In fact their code of honour is reminiscent of the rambler's way: Take only pictures, leave only footprints. It is, on the other hand, not so easy to describe the whys and wherefores.
Think back to your childhood for a moment and it all begins to make sense. Do you remember the terrifying yet seductive draw of the archetypal haunted house? Every neighbourhood and every childhood has one. At the very point we cross the border from childhood into adolescence we cross real physical borders too. It's the moment in our lives when we test the boundaries. We finally pluck up the courage to break into the haunted house and take a look around. You can probably remember your own experiences of this. And there will be at least one.

The Urban Explorer feels that we, in the comfortable and over-protected `first world' are living in an enforced and extended state of childhood. They have remembered that they are capable of having unmediated experiences of reality and they welcome the fear that may (or may not) come with those experiences. The fear itself is the gateway to go through. It's the gateway that leads for many to `wonderland'. This is the world through the looking glass that in some dark corner of every soul, we are all looking for.

The strange thing then is not that Urban Explorers exist; it's that the rest of us have forgotten that we are Urban Explorers too.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
33 of 38 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A book of HDR 1 Nov 2010
By Urbex0r
I have spent a while viewing this book in my local Waterstones and at a friends who bought it, and was disapointed with the sheer amount of processing involved. There's a great set of locations there, some of which I have visited myself. It's such a shame the that atmosphere of these places is lost by tonemapping them to look like a still from a video game, especially those with gas mask faced figures in them - what does that achieve?

On a positive note, there's a great selection of locations and some excellent compositions in there, largely spoilt by overmanipulation of the images to a point that they lose the realism that can be presented with straightforward photographs.

I'd like to see the photographs that went into making these HDR images - perhaps you could release these in a separate book?

Who was the book made for, the people that want to see what these fascinating places are like inside, or for the graphical artists involved to demonstrate the capabilities of the latest tone-mapping software.

Compared to other dereliction based books that I've read/bought such as FORBIDDEN PLACES - Exploring our abandoned heritage, Abandoned Places,Asylum, Night Vision: The Art of Urban Exploration and After the Wall, this book just doesn't stand up to the quality of photography.

Overall dissapointing, given my high expectations.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beauty in Decay 14 Mar 2012
By laurie
A visually stunning book, full of rich inspiring images providing a really interesting insight into the ethos of urban exlorers. Most photographers probably started out by taking photos of derelict buildings and abandoned places (lets face it who hasnt got a few such images tucked away in some forgotten corner of their hard drive) but these are the images that most of us could only dream of capturing. Perhaps more importantly this book reminds us of the importance of documenting and recording the faded remains of these once great buildings before they disappear from view forever.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
By Konrad
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A brilliant book to gain inspiration to take your own deralict photographs and some interesting information inside the book. Although it is more like a picture book. A picture is a thousand words.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful.... 3 Sep 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
My wife purchased this as a surprise for my birthday. The quality of the book is good and photography is inspiring.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Urbex: Taking you places you wish you could go 26 Feb 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
There is something undeniably creepy yet at the same time utterly fascinating about the images presented in Beauty in Decay. I would say it is an acquired taste but probably one that not many of us realise we have.

You get a sense of the history, memories and emotions from shots taken in hospitals, asylums, factories and such - all abandoned, empty, derict, forgotten and "left as is". To be honest, I haven't a clue when it comes to the technical side of the imagery itself (the equipment and methods used), nor do I know enough about the scene, community, ideology etc of urban exploration to fully appreciate the narrative, but I just find the work presented here compelling and makes me want to learn more about the artisits and the locations, which can only be good thing.

Definitely worth a look, especially if you have any inkling of an interest in such things, and a great price now through Amazon for beautifully presented photographic hardback.
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5.0 out of 5 stars gr8 book 6 Feb 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Gr8 book with beautiful pics arrived quick. Good price and good quality product very helpful with my project for uni
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4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful images in a great book 1 Feb 2014
By MattS
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
To some, decay is beautiful.

The idea of abandonment is to see something in a light which we do not usually perceive. This book shows just how lovely some spaces can be.

If you're an Urbex fan this is a must. Some breath taking images which will make you look over and over again.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Not enough background information... 30 Dec 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
One of the opening paragraphs in the intro says how the explorers like to do their research prior to visitng these sites as it makes their imagination visualise the ghosts and history of the hidden places. I agree with that statement, however the book is just filled with photos and no information. They're beautiful images but with no captions how are we supposed to know what the sites once were or what countries they're in? How are WE supposed to visualise it if we're not provided with any research? I just dont feel any connection, its more like a photo album. It would be better with brief descriptions underneath the photos to give us a sense of feel so that we too can visualise what these places were once like in their prime. Overall, the photos are truly beautiful pieces of art, but they are just photos. Without information there's no depth.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Captivating
Bought this as a gift to my dad who enjoys photography. Really fascinating array of locations featured and high quality print
Published 12 months ago by hahj
5.0 out of 5 stars Beauty in Decay: The Art of Urban Exploration
The illustrations in this book are fabulous. My daughter likes to do a bit of exploring and she has read and re-read this book. It is the best one I have seen on the subject
Published 14 months ago by Lucy
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
I am delighted to have purchased this book. The photography is remarkable and the text allows the reader to enter into secret spaces that capture both possible dangers and multiple... Read more
Published 17 months ago by AJ
5.0 out of 5 stars What it says on the tin
I have always found decaying structures fascinating and this superb book underlines why. Just shows you that photography is not just about glorious outdoor landscapes or portraits
Published 20 months ago by Mr. M. Ogborn
4.0 out of 5 stars Beauty in Decay
Very nice, especially for the price. Inspirational images in a beautiful book. Like the abandoned hospitals and assylums. Read more
Published on 30 Dec 2011 by Lightwolf
5.0 out of 5 stars Not Just Great Pictures
This book contains some stunning images which I could look at all day but the text inbetween is so interesting to read too, there is quotes from Urban Explorers as well as more... Read more
Published on 13 Dec 2011 by Gwen
2.0 out of 5 stars Processed Paradise
This book contains a good selection of venues in a well laid-out format. There are a generous number of pictures to browse and observe. Themes flow with ease and create interest. Read more
Published on 8 Dec 2011 by Nephrite
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