Forgotten Heritage: Exploring Europe’s Largest Deserted Places

abandoned condensing pod view

In a world where many photographers are obsessed with urban ruin porn, Matt’s approach and resulting body of work sets him apart: “The buildings I am interested in are uninhabited shells. I am interested purely in capturing the aesthetics, character and history of the building, showing the passage of time and the effects of nature on a structure that is no longer being maintained.”

abandoned subterranean reservoir space

abandoned up cooling tower

abandoned arc furnace industrial

He has also learned to address a common criticism leveled at many people who shoot abandoned spaces. “It has been put to me that photographing ruins and abandonment is beautifying something actually quite negative that impacts real people and society in general. I make no apologies for finding something positive, an uplifting or beautiful aspect to a situation that others may find distressing. Photographers didn’t cause the site to fail and fall into a derelict state.”

abandoned underwater lake room

abandoned stock exchange ceiling

abandoned cooling tower interior

Ultimately, he is in it for the experience: “It’s an often-quoted cliché but there really is a strong sense of palpable history present in abandoned buildings, the items left behind like paperwork in a drawer or plaques or signs in an industrial plant, allow you a glimpse into the past. I consider experiencing these places to be a great privilege.”