27 Radiant Photos Of Rust

Rust is the worst enemy of any classic car owner, but it's also evidence of nature in the industrial age—an urban rot with occasionally beautiful side effects.

WINNER: Sandstone


Camera: Nokia Lumia 920 ISO: 100 F 2.0 Shutter Speed: 1/400 This is my first submission but I've been a long time reader of Gizmodo. I've always wanted to submit something for the Shooting Challenge but never had time or just mostly forgot. I'm an engineer working at a 40 year old air separation plant and we have an ample amount of rust so I couldn't pass up the opportunity. Unfortunately, I didn't have my Canon 50D and I knew I would forget if I didn't go out right then. So I decided to test my Nokia Lumia 920. I call it "Sandstone" because it reminds me of Garden of the Gods and Red Rocks back in Colorado. The photo is actually a rusting support beam with paint chipping off the steel. Because I was limited to my camera phone and couldn't zoom close enough to get the detail I wanted so I had to heavily crop the photo. Next I used photoshop to adjust the colors and dodge/burn a few areas to bring out the subtle details

- Andre Papineau



Canon 5DMarkIII ISO 800 f/5.6 1/400 I recently moved to the city of Chicago. I grew up in the suburbs and went to college in Central IL. It's like a dream come true to live in the city. I always enjoy these shooting challenges because each week it makes you look at things differently. I never realized how rusty of a city Chicago is. From the decrepit L tracks to the rustic bridges it is actually quite unique and interesting. I shot a bunch of photos for this challenge and decided to submit this one because it seemed to be the stamp for the series of photos

- Michael Durr



Camera: Canon EOS 5D MkIII Lens: 24-105mm Focal Length: 24mm ISO: 50 Shutter: 1/80 Aperture: f9.0 I generally never get round to entering anything to the Gizmodo shooting challenge, because I always go through the old RSS reader in the morning before my first cup of coffee, which means that I've generally forgotten all about the challenge until the pictures show up the following week. This time I was out cycling in the countryside of northern Germany and wanted to capture some shots showing the utter flatness of the environment around me. When I saw the rail tracks I was reminded of the challenge and thought that a close-up of the texture of the rusty surface of the rails would work really well as an entry. Back home, however, I opted for a wider angle shot of the somewhat rusty rails disappearing into the distance.

- Jonathan Griffiths

Rusty Truck


Me and the wife were headed to Leavenworth (wa) to spend the weekend, when on the way I spotted this truck sitting in front of an antique store. We passed it by and about 15 minutes later I made a comment to my wife that it would've been perfect for the Gizmodo photo challenge. I'd thought I'd get the shot on the way back, but my wife made a u-turn and drove back. It was from 1940 and the store owners were really proud of it. I got the shot I wanted and it trumped any other idea I had for the challenge. On the way back, the weather was crappy and it was raining cats and dogs. If it weren't for my wife turning back, I would never have gotten that shot. Canon t3i, 18-55 kit lens (23 mm) f3.5, ISO 400, 1/800 sec. Here's the flickr link: http://flic.kr/p/eTZTox

- Sharōn Joshi



I'm Liz Leggett from Montreal, and I primarily shoot cars and motorcycles, but I LOVE urban exploring! I was shooting a bike at amazing location and found this sign and captured this "Rust UFO"! Camera: Canon 5D Mark 2 Lens: 24-104mm ISO: 100 Focal Length: 47 mm Exposure 1/200 at 8.0

- Liz Leggett

Air Museum


I had every intention to do a detailed picture of rust till I ran across this place. I was on my way to the beach to try and find some rust caused by the sea and I saw this huge rusty structure in Tillamook, OR. I probably looked like a crazy man running back and forth along the road to find the right spot to capture the picture. Canon T4i, 55mm, ƒ/160, 1/640 s.

- Andy Lindblom



Well I walked around my neighborhood in San Francisco and finding rustwas surprisingly harder than I thought..the first rusty item I came across was a fire hydrant. Everything privately owned was always freshly painted or replaced. So I went towards the Presidio (kinda near the Golden Gate Bridge) and found a historic site..the area where they kept/keep the Park Rangers horses. The area was actually a pretty good spot for all kinds of photography, and I was able to take multiple cool shots for rust.. and numerous other cool shots. I used my Nikon D3100 with my 105mm Macro Lense. The settings were f/ 8.0, 1/160, iso 100

- Matthew Singleton



Panasonic DMC-LX7 f/1.4 ISO-250 1/60 sec Exposure No flash This is the rear wheel of my 70's era AMF Junior tricycle that was given to me by my late Grandmother. My Mother had been saving this in her attic for the last 30 years and just shipped it because my wife and I are expecting our first child. I'm going to restore this to it original glory to give to my son. I loved this tricycle as a kid and I hope my son will as well.

- Bill Shook



I used a Nikon D5200 with a 18-105 Lens with the ISO set at 100. I shot the photo at the golden hour with the sun setting behind it. I took the picture of my wrought iron fence in the back yard. A coworker and I have been talking cameras for the past month. Last week I pulled the trigger on a D5200 to replace my broken D80. When I read the challenge for this week I knew exactly what I was going to shoot. The fence in my back yard has had a sprinkler hitting it for the past 8 years (We just moved into the house a couple of months ago). So I got home grabbed my camera and went out to shot it. My first shots looked like a photo that you would send in to an insurance company when submitting a claim. But after spending a bit on it I think I got a good image of rust.

- Neil Kintsch



Rust seemed like such an easy thing to photograph; go find something abandoned and old and chances are you'll find rust! Rust shots focus heavily on things like composition and texture, but they work especially well with a focal point. With this in mind, I set out with my dad (who may also be participating in this challenge) and stumbled upon an old and rusted truck off of Franklin Canyon Road which runs alongside Highway 4 in Martinez, CA. The weather was overcast and created beautifully saturated colors without any harsh shadows. Once I had this shot I knew it was the one. The vibrant yellow surrounding the ignition really did it for me. This image was taken with a Canon Rebel SL1 fitted with the Canon 40mm 'Shorty Forty.' It was shot at ISO 100, with a 1/320 exposure and a wide aperture of f/2.8

- Armont van Dyck

Baby Walk


After struggling to find some interesting rust at home, my wife suggested that I bring the camera along when we take our baby for walks. I brought my macro lens because I was originally planning to do something close up. Instead, we found this rusted tie rod and fence on a small bridge overlooking the back bay along the trail by our home. Canon T4i and 60mm macro lens at 1/100s, f/8, ISO 200.

- Robert Beeman



It was another Sunday spent with my son exploring the backroads and since his interest was finding rusty things for this weeks challenge, I decided to join him and see what we could come up with. The weather could not have been any better, for after a day of sunshine, we now saw a drop of temperature and an overcast sky that acted like a giant softbox. Even though we pretty much each shot the same subjects, we did certainly approach it differently and in the end, each one of us favored an object the other showed little interest in. Apart from being a mobile iPhonographer, I decided to use my new DSLR for the first time, a Canon 7D with a EF-S 10-22mm 1:3.5-4.5 lens. The hand-held exposure was F11 @ 1/40 of a second with a focal length of 16mm. The RAW file was post processed in PhotoSHop CS5 and finished in SnapSeed, applying Old Lens to vignette and partly defuse the background.

- Egmont van Dyck

Master Lock


I was with my dad taking pictures down by the river around sunset. We saw this weird structure behind some fallen trees, the door was cracked open and the walls covered with graffiti. I think it gives off an ominous feeling just from the door being locked but open with who knows what is inside. Canon 5D Mark III with Canon 24-70 L ISO 1250, 30mm, f/2.8, 1/125 s

- Emilie Zibble



Canon T2i, 100mm. This is a rusty, SF hydrant. His name is CLOW.

- Diego Jimenez



The beam in the photograph spans an old water outlet under SE Main St in Minneapolis. The elements have eroded much of the the lower edge of the I beam and the face has been extensively gratified. Above it sits an impossibly small door with no discernable access short of rappelling down the face above. I wonder what is behind that door. Taken with my daughter on our first photo challenge trip together. Canon 5D Mark III with 70-200mm 2.8L @ 70mm f/8 and 1/125. ISO 6400

- Jesse Zibble



While shooting a poetry festival in Brooklyn, I encountered this rapidly decaying chunk of tech history: a switchboard from telecom giant Western Electric. The Western Electric Company was a subsidiary of the AT&T Corporation, whose child company is still with us today. For those of you complaining about your spotty 4G coverage, remember: without some struggle, there ain't no progress. Shot with a Canon t2i and 24-105L lens @ 28mm, f/4.0, 1/20 sec, ISO 1600.

- Sean Cain



Shooting Summery: Nikon D5100 • 35mm 1.8G • ISO 100 • f2.0 • 1/2000 In college I took a metal sculpture class and this was one of my pieces. It's a big heavy metal bumble bee, and it's been sitting in my yard getting all good and rusty for a few years. So I didn't have to go very far to complete this challenge.

- Jonathan Hanson

Bethlehem Steel


Shot with a Canon Rebel XTi and Tamron 17-55mm lens. 1/1250 exposure, f2.8, ISO 100. I'm a newbie photographer, shooting on a camera I'm borrowing from my father, and this is my first submission to any contest. When I saw the subject this week, I knew that I had the perfect setting. Bethlehem Steel used to be the major US steel producer, but it's now out of business, and there's a huge old factory rusting away in the heart of Bethlehem, PA. So I wandered around and took a bunch of pictures, and on my way back home, I happened across this set of roadside decorations and decided they were photo-worthy. As it happened, this one turned out a lot more interesting than the majestic decaying structure a hundred yards away from where I found this shot.

- Dan Fain



I spent the weekend at the Thimble Islands, Stoney Creek, where I took this photo. I was on Pot Rock where I found, among other abandoned boats, loading bays, and docks, this vehicle comfortably decaying within the thriving wildlife. I can only imagine how long ago the car had been brought there, given the houses were no older than 40 years. Maybe the ocean spray took its toll on the iron faster than land would have. Regardless, I'm still puzzled as to why someone would bring a car; there are no roads, only rocky landings, and maybe 1/2 a mile from one end of the isle to the other. The photo was taken with an iPhone 4S with HDR, no other touch-ups were done.

- Rhys A. Mucik

Old Anchor


I love abstract photography and rust is a perfect subject to shoot. This rusty ball is attached to the end of an old anchor. I couldn't resist. Canon 40D ISO 100 f/5.6 1/400

- Diane Neves



I found this piece of rusted metal grate in the canyon behind my house. When I set it upright, the dappled sunlight brought out some interesting colors and the shadows gave a nice depth. I shot it with an Olympus OM-ED EM-5 and this fantastically bright 75mm portrait lens at f2.5, 1/400 sec.

- Peter Welch

Deer Lodge Lumber


Shot with a Nikon D4o in the morning, around 10Am. I pass this truck each day on my bicycle ride to work.

- Marc Moss



A shot of a piece of Barbwire called Crandal "Zigzag", from a small collection of Barbwire that I have. It was patented by Edward M. Crandal of Chicago on November 4, 1879. 1/250th f/10 Taken with Canon 50D Canon MP-E65 Macro Canon MT-24EX Flash

- Chris Andrews

Six Shooter


The shower head from the pool at my apartment, didn't think I'd find "rust" here of all possible places :) f/5.6, ISO400, 55mm - Sony NEX5n

- Jayesh Chandiramani



My wife and I have been traveling Europe for 8 weeks now, nearly at the end of our journey here in Crete, Greece. I quit my job as a web developer in Austin, TX so that we could travel and see the world while we were still young (we're both 30). Today we took a boat to Balos Lagoon, by way of Granvousa Isle, where this photo was taken. I read about the rust challenge yesterday and couldn't believe the timing when I saw this decrepit old ship resting in the salty Aegean water. I did my best to capture the scenery and the light - framing the ship with the mountain in the background. The bright orange rust contrasts so well with the crystal clear blue water. The remnents of the ship mirror the silhouette of the mountain landscape, twisting and eroding from the wind and water. If you're ever on Crete, I cannot more highly recommend a trip to Balos Lagoon and Elafonisi - two of the most picturesque and beautiful beaches I've ever seen. I shot with an ISO of 100 and shutter priority on 1/250 knowing that I'd get a high f/stop in such bright light for maximum clarity. I currently shoot with a Nikon D800 and used the Nikkor 50mm 1.4 prime lens with a Hoya HD filter. f/5.6, ISO400, 55mm - Sony NEX5n

- Joshua Naylor



I came across this Bobcat attachment in a road construction area two blocks from my home, on Dayton St. in Madison, WI. It looks to me as though the X-Men's "Wolverine" attacked the Bobcat in a display of dominance. 6/20/13 Bright, sunny day Canon PowerShot ELPH 100 HS f/3.5 1/800 sec. ISO-100 0 step 8mm 3.625 Pattern No flash, auto f/5.6, ISO400, 55mm - Sony NEX5n

- Matthew Marine

Wonderful entries by all! Thanks for sharing. And feel free to snag yourself a (rusty old) wallpaper on flickr.


Share This Story

Get our newsletter