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THE 13 COOLEST – AND CREEPIEST – GHOST TOWNS AROUND THE WORLD !

This is the day of Halloween in most parts of the world. I had to try to find photos of the most “Halloween-like” photos I could find that would be worthy to be called: PHOTOS OF THE WEEK – FOR HALLOWEEN: 10/31/02019

Nothing can quite intrigue and horrify us in equal parts like a town that was abandoned in its entirety.

Whether you’re looking for a creepy, off-the-beaten-path way to spend a day or a backdrop for a chilling photo series, we’ve rounded up the 13 most photogenic and terrifying ghost towns around the world.

Craco, Italy
This hillside ghost down was founded in the 8th century, and sits on a cliff that’s 1,312 feet off the ground. The city emptied due to various natural disasters. In 1963, many evacuated after a landslide; in 1972 a flood made conditions even more precarious; and in 1980 an earthquake caused the town to be abandoned in its entirety.
A locked gate surrounds the city, so visitors must book a guided tour. Thanks to a miraculously unscathed statue of the Virgin Mary, the town hosts various religious festivals throughout the year. And despite the fact that the area is a ticking time bomb, the city has been used for several films, including “Passion of the Christ.”
Photo by: Stee/ Shutterstock


Kennecott, Alaska
This mill town produced millions of dollars worth of copper between 1911 and 1938, but once the supply was depleted, the remote town had little to offer.
Residents started to leave en masse. By 1950 there wasn’t a soul left in town, and it’s been a ghost town ever since. When it became a National Historic Landmark in 1986, the National Park Service took over most of the land and started offering tours.
Photo by cybercrisi / Shutterstock


Kolmanskop, Namibia
Kolmanskop was at its liveliest in the early 1900s, when German miners came to the area to hunt for diamonds. With them, they brought German architecture, giving the desert area an opulent, out of place look. The town featured a ballroom, a hospital, and a bowling alley among other amenities.
The town’s decline began shortly after World War I, but the final nail in the coffin was the 1928 discovery of a diamond-rich area along the coast. Most of Kolmanskop’s residents hurried to the new hotspot, leaving their belongings and the town behind.
Kolmanskop has been slowly getting eaten by the desert ever since. Tours to Kolmanskop can be booked in the nearby coastal town of Lüderitz.
Photo by Romain Veillon


Hashima Island, Japan
Hashima Island was once known for its undersea coal mines, which began operations in 1881. The island hit peak population in 1959 with over 5,000 residents (mine workers and their families), but once the mines started to run dry in 1974 most people left.
The once thriving island is now completely abandoned, with the exception of the sightseeing tours that drop off boatloads of tourists each day who come to see the abandoned homes, stores, and streets.
Photo by: Sangaku / Shutterstock


Thurmond, West Virginia
Thrumond isn’t technically a ghost town, but the nearly deserted spot is still a sight to behold. Formerly a coal town with a bustling population, it boasted a whopping five residents at the 2010 Census. Once a popular stop on the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway, its depot is now a museum.
So while there are inhabitants in the town, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, it’s often hard to tell as there is next to nothing to do, see, or even hear.
Photo by: Boyang Wang / Shutterstock


Ross Island, India
Vegetation has all but consumed the remains of the the island, which was once referred to as the “Paris of the East.”
In its prime, the island was home to British government officials, as well as a penal settlement set up after the Indian Rebellion of 1857. The British residents made it their home with extravagant dance halls, bakeries, clubs, pools, and gardens, until 1941 brought an earthquake and an invasion by the Japanese. Ross Island was then alternately claimed by the Japanese and British, until 1979 when the island was given to the Indian Navy, which established a small base there.
Today, tour groups visit the island almost every day.
Photo by: Matyas Rehak / shutterstock


Terlingua, Texas
When the Chisos Mining Company opened in the mid 1800s, workers and their families quickly relocated to Terlingua, Texas. The population was around 3,000 at its peak in 1903, but, as of the last Census in 2010, only 58 people remain.
Those who still live there reside in “Terlingua Proper” and make good business off of the frequent tourists who stop by to see the abandoned churches and buildings that still stand, as well as visitors to the surrounding Big Bend parks.
Photo by: Barna Tanko / Shutterstock


Calico, California
Similar to Terlingua, this empty town started with a mining company in 1881. When silver was discovered the town boomed, becoming home to over 500 silver mines and 3,000 residents, but once the mines were depleted and the price of silver dropped people left.
By 1986 the town – which featured hotels, general stores, bars, and restaurants, as well as a newspaper and school – was empty. But Walter Knott (of Knott’s Berry Farm fame) bought the town and restored it, and today it’s a registered Historical Landmark that’s open to the public and even features a museum of the Old West.
Photo by: mariyakraynova / Shutterstock


Pripyat, Ukraine
This city in northern Ukraine is probably the most famous ghost town in the world. It was home to almost 50,000 people before everyone was evacuated in April 1986, when part of a nearby power plant – the Chernobyl Nuclear Station – exploded.
The Chernobyl disaster caused such high levels of radiation that people were forced to evacuate immediately and leave non-essentials behind. It’s those items, which include dolls, gas masks, clothes and furniture, that draw in photographers and thrill-seekers year after year.
The radiation levels have finally dropped enough for scientists to mark the area as safe to visit, meaning that you can explore the creepy town and its many schools, hospitals, stores, gyms, cinemas, factories, and even its amusement park to your heart’s content.
Photo by: Tatyana Vyc / Shutterstock


Garnet, Montana
Garnet is another mining town that has seen better days. The leaning log cabins are all that remain of the early 19th century town that was once home to 1,000.
Garnet is now known as Montana’s best-preserved ghost town, and can be explored for only $3. There are campgrounds nearby for people looking to get an overnight experience.
Photo by: Mishella / shutterstock


Virginia City, Montana, U.S.
This former gold mining town, which was founded in 1863 and once housed 10,000 residents, has been completely preserved as a National Historical Landmark.
Instead of deserted streets and rolling tumbleweeds, tourists who visit will get a taste of what life here was really like, thanks to unchanged store fronts, houses, and buildings teeming with performers who bring the history of the town to life. There’s even an opera house that performs vaudeville theater.
Photo by: Magmarcz / Shutterstock


Animas Forks, Colorado
What was once a bustling mining town on Colorado’s Alpine Loop is now a desolate patch of land scattered with a few decrepit buildings. At its peak, the town had 30 cabins, a hotel, a general store, a saloon, and a post office, but these days only nine rickety cabins and a small jail remain.
Photo by: Robert Bohrer / Shutterstock


Rhyolite, Nevada
Some claim that this town once housed thousands of people, but you wouldn’t know by the looks of it today. This old mining town was a hotspot for miners and their families in the beginning of the 1900’s, but by the 1920s the population was close to zero. However, Charles Schwab invested a lot of money into the town in the hopes of finding gold, meaning that it boasted a school, a hospital, stores, hotels, and even a stock exchange and a symphony.
Briefly a set for old Western movies, today the ghost town features an outdoor sculpture park and tons of outsider art.
Photo by: Paolo Galo / Shutterstock


Now you know what is really scary about this whole presentation? There is exactly 13 photos of these scary towns !

A special thanks to Amy Daire for putting this together on msn.com/travel. And thanks to her sponsor for sponsoring this article:

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HOW TO TAKE GREAT HALLOWEEN PHOTOS

And other great Holiday photos too !

Ahh, here it is, Halloween.  An interesting holiday if you live here in Northern America.  If you do not, it is probably a hard holiday to understand.  But, now it has become one of North Americas 2nd most popular holiday next only to Christmas.  Only Christmas has more money spent per household than this Halloween holiday.  And it seems to get bigger and bigger every year.  Parties, and even grown-ups are becoming more involved in this holiday than ever before.  And as you can imagine, more opportunities to take pictures.  

Years ago when I took a photography class from the New York Institute of Photography, they spent some time specifically on this subject, or this type of subject in general.  There are 3 things that make picture taking work right for this type of holiday, or 3 questions you have to ask yourself:

1- What is the subject of the photograph?

2- How can I focus attention on that subject?

3- How can I simplify the subject?

LET’S GET INTO SOME EXAMPLES:

What is the subject of this photo?  Is it the girl?  No, it is the teeth!  Aren’t you focused on those teeth?  Yes?  Is it a simple picture, and no distractions in the background?  Yes?  So, all three of those questions are clearly met.  

The three Guidelines are only part of the story on how to get great Halloween photos.  The Second key, really, is to get into the “spirit” of Halloween.  Halloween is about fantasy, fear, the supernatural, the eerie.  The best thing you can do to make your Halloween photos even more dramatic is to use good, dramatic lighting.  Since this seems to be a nigh-time event, and the ghouls are out for this holiday, it often means the lighting just has to be eerie, itself.  Takes some great practice to get just the best effect, too.

Now, because we are talking about taking pictures at nightime, in the dark, do you forsee any problems?   Ohhh, having worked at a camera store before, and seeing the pictures come in and so many disappointed people with their Halloween pictures, let me warn you now, the number one problem?  Flash pictures will just take the effect away.  So, shooting in the dark without flash is the best, but, it is hard when your camera is screaming at you that you need the flash.  For sure, it’s even harder when your little boy is dressed in black and it is pitch black outside.  So, figure some light that you can use to highlight the subject to give it some definition so you can still see what is going on with your subject:

See how in this photo there is just enough lighting to highlight the subjects and tell the story, yet, keep it very interesting.  

But, of course, more than any other photo that is taken at Halloween is just all the cute kids that are dressed up in their costumes, ready to go “trick or treating” to all their neighbor’s homes.  You have to get some photos of the kids.  I am just going to include a few ideas of some of the great photos of some of these type of photos.  Using what we have learned above, see if these follow those rules:

So, the idea with Halloween, is learn to be creative, have a lot of fun, but, you do have to take some great photos. 

Here are some other great Halloween photos, just to give you some ideas:

Decorations are sometimes great photo opportunities


Get photos of the great makeup on your family and friends

Who has the scariest place in your neighborhood?


Are you sure you want to go to that house?


Family photos are the best.


just for kicks


Tips for Creating Compelling Nature Photography

Nature photography is one of the most common forms of photography out there today and in this article, I’m going to give you tips for creating more compelling nature photography.

Instagram alone has more than 80 million posts under the hashtag #naturephotography. Not to mention that variations like #naturephotos and #naturephotoshoot have their own massive following. No matter what genre of photography you practice, getting out in nature and capturing images of the natural world is always fascinating.

Perhaps some of the charm and pull of nature photography has to do with the fact that it is free, easily accessible (depending on where you are), and there is never a shortage of subject matter, light or even creative framing – all elements that contribute to a stellar photo.

Nature photography doesn’t have to be boring or mundane. Nor is nature photography only images of dramatic landscapes in exotic faraway locations. Even your house plant or tree in your backyard can become compelling nature photography if done correctly. There are a few things you can do to take your nature photography from boring to amazing.

Focus on the subject

Look at any photography course, cheat sheet, or guide. It will talk about the importance of your subject as it relates to the overall image. The subject is everything. A subject can make or break an image, and I don’t say that to just sound dramatic.

Some photos have so much going on that we are confused about the message. On the flip side, some images use a shallow depth of field to focus on one element, yet nothing else gives context to what is going on in the image. We are often left wondering what the intention of the image is.

Don’t let that happen to you. Focus on the subject based on what story you are looking to tell. Ask yourself if the subject helps or distracts from that story.

We were photographing wild horses in Utah when the sun set. My subject was still the horses but, for me, the element of the setting sun just added more drama to the scene.

If you want to photograph a tree in your backyard in the Fall, wait until all the leaves turn a bright red color to complement the story of fall colors. If you want to photograph a landscape at golden hour, figure out the direction of the sunset and watch the weather to see if conditions are right for a dramatic golden hour and sunset.

Understand what you are photographing and the story you want to tell. This will help you conduct the right kind of research needed for executing your shoot and the results you want.

Understand the light you are working with

If there is one thing I would shout from the rooftops as it relates to photography, it is about the importance of light in photography.

There is no such thing as bad lighting. Lighting is just different at different times of the day.

Not all lighting is the same in terms of quality of light. Light is just different at different times of the day. Sometimes the light is perfect – that warm, soft glow that translates beautifully in pictures. Other times, the lighting is harsh and strong. I wouldn’t say that type of lighting is always bad – it is just not the same every time.

Morning Light In The Tetons
Harsh mid-day sun in the Himalayas
Setting sun along the Oregon coast

The sooner you train your eye to read the different types of light, and what it can do to your images, the sooner you will be able to analyze your imagery better. You’ll also get photos closer to the style you like without wasting too much time in post-processing. No amount of editing can really fix an image taken in poor lighting conditions.

As it is with nature photography, you cannot always control your light source, that is, the sun. There might be many instances that you are out in nature during the harsh midday sun. This light is strong and very warm. Learn to use that to compliment your photos.

If you can get outside during golden hour, use that light to add some drama to your nature photos. But make sure that you don’t photograph directly into the setting sun as it leads to a lot of sun flare entering your frame (unless that is the effect you are after). It can also make the shot appear muddy and blown out to the point of not being able to see the subjects clearly.

Focus on the details

Most of us focus on the bigger picture when we photo nature and landscapes: big skies, large mountains, or even vast open waters. But there is something to be said about slowing down and noticing the details around you. The feel and texture of sand, the colors of pebbles at the beach, the curling leaves under flowers or the colors of a butterfly’s wings. There are so many ways to include details in your images to create compelling nature photography.

Just because something is larger than life, doesn’t mean it is the only thing that matters. Details create depth, texture, and complement the narrative.

Explore colors in nature

I recently came across a YouTuber who prepares natural paints from colors found in nature and uses that for her art. I found it fascinating to watch her grid stones and use their powder for colors, harness indigo from blueberries and red from wild roses. There are countless colors that are found in nature if only we know where to look.

Use colors to convey emotions and meaning. We all know that some colors are associated with certain types of feelings in the eyes of the viewer. Yellow evokes happiness and enthusiasm. Red means strength and energy. Orange shows creativity and warmth. Green signifies harmony and growth.

Use colors in your photography to give that element of wow to your images. Nature has an abundance of color all around – just look for it.

Simple always triumphs complex

I alluded to this earlier in the article, where I talked about the chaos in an image. Clutter can be messy and sometimes put off a person in real life. Some busy photos where there is a lot happening can be complex and chaotic. Life is crazy enough. We don’t always need to take that into our art.

Nature Photography has the power to transform us to a magical and fantastical place, someplace calm and peaceful. By simplifying our photos, we can transport the user to a place of calm so that they can emotionally connect with our images.

I used a simple black foam board to highlight the white and the fellow of these flowers.

I hope these simple tips help you create more compelling nature photography. Nature has the power to heal in so many ways, and by using that effectively in our imagery, we can convey that narrative to our audience.

The post Tips for Creating Compelling Nature Photography appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Karthika Gupta.

Here are more compelling nature photos:

Photo by Pixabay


Photo by Pixabay


Photo by Pixabay