Reader Gallery: 19 Fantastic Photos of Ruins

The finalists from our December Photo Challenge make beautiful photos from deteriorated environments

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During our "Ruins" photo challenge, we asked our readers to show us beautiful images of deteriorated environments. The submissions ranged from traditional ruins to more abstract interpretations, including self-portraits. The results are beautiful, so we've selected some of our favorites for display in this gallery. The winner will be announced in an upcoming issue of Popular Photography. Enjoy! By Steven Green I spotted this abandoned wind vane along the highway with a hawk's nest in the center during a stormy sunset while driving through Carrizozo, New Mexico on my way back from a trip to El Paso, Texas.
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By Eleanor Bennett Taken on a car from 1955.
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By Jim Shoemaker Remains of the Crystal Mill near the ghost town of Crystal, Colorado.
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By Norm Powell When passing through Buffalo, NY on the way back from Niagara Falls, I spotted an area filled with mostly abandoned grain elevators. I was particularly drawn to this place. The majesty of these structures was difficult to resist. I am glad I had my GPS as it would have been tough to find my way out otherwise.
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Inside the abandoned Six Flags New Orleans all the rides sit alone and forgotten. The ferris wheel is covered in trash, but there is still something oddly romantic about it, even in decay. This is a three shot HDR.
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By Sarah Hoey A self-portrait taken in the basement of an abandoned house, with an abandoned train set.
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By Herman Losch Sun reflects off of red rock below arch. Window of opportunity lasts only about 5 minutes or less. Also, choose your setup spot day before and be in position before dawn due to many photographers vying for room to photograph this scene. When we left, there were at least 20 others waiting. I was part of the Great American Photo workshop, 15 participants. Photo taken approx. 0630 AM, March 2008.
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By Lucas Nooter I was brought by one of my friends to an old abandoned mental institution. I walked around for about 3 hours looking for the right shot. I wanted something to convey about how this place made me feel. Then I came across this little guy.
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By Eric Joyce This is a barn that used to be on my late grandfathers farm in Davenport, ND.
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By Radu Angelescu Double exposure (one for the sky and one for the foreground) of Stonehenge.
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By Jim Shoemaker Thunderclouds gathering over the ruins of the Salinas Mission Abo.
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By Bob Cranwell I shot this photo on Cumberland Island off the coast of Georgia. It was taken around 12:40 in the afternoon using my Canon 5D, a Canon 17-40 L series lens at about 20-22mm, and a custom Infra-red filter. Around 11 seconds seemed to be the best exposure. This is how the image looked straight out of the camera.
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Highway 4 Ruin

By Karole Erikson This is a photo of an old house that sits just off the road on Highway 4 close to Lindsborg, KansasKarole Erikson
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By Christopher Raphael Abandon people crossing abandon building, hope the picture can tell more stories than my description.
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By Cari Ann Wayman Self-portrait in an abandoned house (now demolished).
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Thielan Farm Truck

By Karole Erikson This photo is at an old farm outside of Dorrance, Kansas. It is a Studebaker Farm Truck. The window is permanently down. It still has old farm truckload tickets attached to the dash.Karole Erikson
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By Michael Hersen To get this shot and to get to this location you need to hire a Native American guide since this venue is on Navajo lands.
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By Christine Cabrera This photo was taken at the Heidelberg Project - an urban art forum - located in downtown Detroit, Michigan.
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By Christian Mueller-Planitz This photo shows one of the famous 12th century temple complexes of Angkor Wat (Cambodia). The photo was taken in the late evening hours in December 2009. The RAW conversion was done with Adobe Lightroom. In order to emphasize the age of these ruins, I used Nik's Silver Efex Pro software to selectively reduce the color saturation of the image.