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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beauty in Decay
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...
Published on 14 Mar 2012 by laurie

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38 of 43 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A book of HDR
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...
Published on 1 Nov 2010 by Urbex0r


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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Too gussied up, 27 Jan 2011
By 
Jeff Cotton "fictionalcities.com" (London United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Beauty in Decay: Urbex: The Art of Urban Exploration (Hardcover)
This one's a fair bit more arty than most on this subject. The scanty text is more concerned with the phenomenon of urban exploration, but the photos all have a tarted-with High Dynamic Range look to them that is somewhat in opposition to the breaking-and-entering philosophy of the whole urbex thing. Not that they aren't pretty photos, mind, just that they tend to look too contrived and cleaned up. But if you think it's OK to have geezers in long coats wearing gas masks in your urban exploration photos then this might be a book for you.
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11 of 16 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Very disappointed with something I had looked forward to seeing., 29 Sep 2010
This review is from: Beauty in Decay: Urbex: The Art of Urban Exploration (Hardcover)
I had anticipated the book and when I saw it I must say I was left feeling very let down. The images as already mentioned we're manipulated far too much, to the point you can barely get a feel of the real building. I have seen far superior images on flickr by a lot of so called amatures. I really think the contributors need to have a hard look at what they want to achieve and if it is computer generated images then tout your wares to games designers that can use it not the general public wanting to see a little bit of the rarely seen.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Over worked, 1 Sep 2011
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This review is from: Beauty in Decay: Urbex: The Art of Urban Exploration (Hardcover)
I have had the opportunity to explore and photograph a number of derelict sites across Europe and was keen to see how images could be presented in a book form...... I agree wholeheartedly with those reviewers who have picked up on the level of image intervention, which has undermined the quality and originality of the photographs. Whilst the book might well stand up as a a very good example of the use of image manipulation techniques and software it does not work as a representation of the experience and value of URBEX.......... what a shame.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not enough background information..., 30 Dec 2013
By 
Mr. N. Lysandrou "Nico" (Essex, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Beauty in Decay: Urbex: The Art of Urban Exploration (Hardcover)
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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10 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 25 Sep 2010
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This review is from: Beauty in Decay: Urbex: The Art of Urban Exploration (Hardcover)
I love all types of pictures of derelict sites and buildings. Having read the reviews on this book here and in the national press, I was really looking forward to it arriving.

Although the pictures are very clear, I was disappointed by the amount of digital manipulation that appears to have taken place on all the photos. They actually appear computer generated in most cases and as a result, almost manicured, which totally detracts from the atmoshpere and purpose of having the book. I actually checked the credits to make sure they were real photos before returning it.
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11 of 17 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not sure what it wants to be, 30 Sep 2010
This review is from: Beauty in Decay: Urbex: The Art of Urban Exploration (Hardcover)
I purchased this book in a bundle as it came recommended by Amazon when i was looking at the Forbidden Places book. As such when they both arrived i was really dissapointed to find the High Standards featured in the Forbidden Places book just wasnt in this one. A major dissapointment.

This book is titled "Beauty in Decay", yet none of this is visible or even allowed to be, hidden behind a collection of photoshop filters and masks. The photographs, if you can call them that anymore, are just not that good. Even if you look past the fact that the photographers have spent so much time in photoshop their almost unrecognisable, time which should have been spent developing their ideas and composing them for richer results, by the current standards of the UE communities, they are still poor.

It might be that reading this book immediatly after Forbidden Places may have dried my pallet a little. But if i had to choose between the two, its an easy one. I think that calling this product a photography book is misleading, i feel like i wasted my money.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Divided opintion, 22 Jun 2011
This review is from: Beauty in Decay: Urbex: The Art of Urban Exploration (Hardcover)
Don't buy this book for the text... Some of it is, at best, slightly sneering of anyone who is not 'in on the scene' and reads like the cod-philosophical musings of a teenage boy in love with his first indie band. There - that's the negative remarks over.

For the majority of this book, the images are amazing and are allowed to breathe in the generously spacious layout: most of the pages are dedicated to a single image. Some of the images are, indeed, far too over-processed to be considered pure photography as many other reviewers have commented on, but I'm not sure that's the point here. HDR is a bit of a marmite style which, for me, reveals more in details than it conceals in atmosphere. And it's possible that the subject matter of abandoned history and decay is somewhat at odds with such state-of-the-art computer processing but, again, I'm not sure that's the point. I think it's best to just sit back and enjoy the many, many wonderful images contained in this book and skip over those that don't appeal (such as the ones of the men in trench coats and funny masks....)

If you're already familiar with books on this subject or have an aversion to HDR, it's possible this one could be something of a disappointment but if, like me, it's your first, it could well be an excellent way into what is certainly a very interesting subject.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thick Enough To Crack An Egg, 24 Oct 2011
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This review is from: Beauty in Decay: Urbex: The Art of Urban Exploration (Hardcover)
This book is thick, mainly because it has a lot of pages in it and most of those pages have pictures glued to them, which probably thickens it up a bit. Some of the pictures are of old things; some are of even older things. If you like looking at old things, this is the book for you. Or maybe The Granny Book, but I prefer this one.

Word of warning: the guy on the cover doesn't seem to appear in the rest of the story, so I don't know what the deal is there. Maybe he was just passing or something when they were taking the picture, on his way to the bus.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A work of art, 29 Jun 2011
This review is from: Beauty in Decay: Urbex: The Art of Urban Exploration (Hardcover)
A stunning collection of images from forbidden places,
OK they may be photographed using flashy equipment and 'tricks'
possibly messed with a bit on the PC afterwards, but the images are still of places of mystery and history, Hyper-real
Looking at it from a purely artistic view point it's fantastic.
from a technical view point it's clever and accesible.
It also has some nice poetic ideas.
A must for people with dreams and imagination.
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10 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What are we here for if not to explore?, 16 Aug 2010
This review is from: Beauty in Decay: Urbex: The Art of Urban Exploration (Hardcover)
This book is fantastic!

There was definitely room in the market for a well considered, thoughtful and beautifully presented book on Urban Exploration, and here it is.

As a keen "Urbex" photographer myself, I wasn't sure whether when I finally got my hands on a copy, it would be a collection of images I'd already seen from flickr and the various "Urbex" forums I use regularly.

Far from it! The book is literally packed with stunning, breathtaking images from abandoned and derelict sites all over the world, and opening it has shown me not only new photographs, but new photographers too.

The images are punctuated with some carefully considered and thought-provoking writing from RomanyWG - one of the "big guns" of the Urban Exloration scene - along with some of his own fantastic and highly influential photographs.

There are stunning images from many of the big names in the scene - Andre Govia, Olivier Burnside, 3PASSA and so on...and the locations are mind-blowing...who doesn't fancy a stroll around Pripyat or Beelitz with a DSLR and a Jazz rolly?!

I know from my own experience that almost anyone you show this type of photography to finds something moving and emotional about seeing images from these forgotten and decaying places, so this really isn't just a book for "Urbexers".

If you have any interest in Urban Exploration, or if you just like a beautiful photograph, then you can't go wrong with this collection.

The featured images are heavy on HDR, which I know isn't for everyone. However, in my opinion the photographs in this book all demonstrate high-quality, tastefully executed processing, not the awful gawdy crap that seems to have given HDR a bad name amongst alot of photographers.

In summary, this is a collection of the very best photographs from the most sought-after locations in the world of Urban Exploration, and RomanyWg has done a fantastic job of pulling it all together and giving it a fitting and thoughtful narrative.

Buy this book, you won't be disappointed.
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Beauty in Decay: Urbex: The Art of Urban Exploration
Beauty in Decay: Urbex: The Art of Urban Exploration by RomanyWG (Hardcover - 3 Aug 2010)
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