100 Striking Examples of Grunge Photography

Grunge photography goes far beyond what the naked eye perceives and brings with it a dimension of frightening and powerful emotions.

These images are usually heavily edited and enhanced in order to create the grunge effect.

This effect can be described as dark, dirty, old, gloomy and definitely has an eerie vibe to it.

You’ve probably spotted plenty of examples of grunge photography as movie studios use it a lot when promoting their horror and scary movies, giving the viewer a feeling of dread and fear.

In this post, we’ll take a look at 100 striking examples of grunge photography that are sure to make you cringe and keep you in suspense.


How did viewing these photos make you feel? Please share your impressions with us…

  • http://www.stephenkui.com Stephen Kui

    Wow, some of those are just literally astounding, such as the opened window.

    As for the manipulations, I’ve never really looked at grunge manipulations with as much respect as I do now, but these posts are great! I tend to work more with the photos and surrealism instead of grungy effects, but these may definitely make me look into new things. (If you want to see some of my work it’s at http://www.stephenkui.com)

    You always do an awesome job of finding great content and putting it up for everyone to see.


  • jae

    These are breathtaking…jaw-droppingly amazing. Thanks so much for sharing.

  • http://www.embed-design.com/ Oliver

    awesome selection. The third last one was the best. “Geeks during the full moon”

  • http://circleboxblog.com/ Callum Chapman

    Wow, great round-up, excellent photography and good manipulation. There’s a few there that really stand out to me, especially the VW Beetle!

  • http://www.houseofcat.net Cat Johnson

    The textures and layers on these images have really inspired me to spend some more time experimenting with Photoshop overlays and filters. I’m also really digging that the images, while sharing the “grunge” quality, are really diverse, with the original photos coming from a wide range of areas, locales, styles, personalities etc.

    Thanks for another great post and keep ’em coming.

  • btt

    Why 100? Could do with 20 of those, most are just ordinary pictures with a grumpy texture slapped on top.

    • http://oddworlddesign.com Jeff

      I totally agree with you, BTT. In most cases it was taking a perfectly good picture and mucking it up. I like to think that design is a little more than splatter brushes, torn paper, and concrete overlays.

  • http://theroyalrebel.blogspot.com/ Crystal The Royal Rebel

    Wow, these are great pics…good source of inspiration. Keep up the good work!

  • http://twitter.com/amitsmith amit

    awesome…..can anyone guide me to a good photoshop tutorial that teaches how to get such effects…..thanks….

  • http://technology.johnsamuel.in John Samuel

    Very nice collection.

  • http://www.chewingbrokenglass.com tri5tan

    oh my god, these are amazing and inspirational to say the least, i would have written more but its made me wanna grab my camera and hit the road

  • http://www.dileepsharma.com Dileep K Sharma

    Stunning! I have no words.

  • http://somebodysomeone.org Jef

    Wow…. what a list! There is so much quality through this post that I can’t stop to scroll over it. Thanks!

  • RoaldA

    It’s regular pictures who has been edited? Ait?

  • http://www.bebop-ad.com BebopDesigner

    Wow! Brilliant collection. Love the one in Buenos Aires… I love that city. Thanks for sharing.

  • http://www.simonday.com Simon Day

    When you mix an already decaying scene with grunge layers it really pulls you in and gives the photo even deeper meaning.

    I’ve never really seen much grunge photography before so this was a really nice post to find!

  • http://sophielibrary.com sophie

    stunning……. creepy with powerful image! I almost hear background music when I look those pics

  • Nikhil Mekala

    Some of them are breathtakingly beautiful and eerie at the same time.
    while I found some to be amateurish.
    and lol @ johnny depp one..nothing wrong with it but I found capn too comical to be scared of him.

  • Lisa

    You should be giving credit to the photographers! Since you haven’t it looks like you just grabbed them off the net.

    • http://www.webdesignerdepot.com Walter

      All images are linked to the authors, just click on them.

  • http://www.jenswebstek.nl jenski


    I kinda like the ‘overdone’ effect that most have going on there. it suits the style, somehow.

    awesome post anyway,
    keep ’em comin’

  • http://www.aledesign.it aledesign.it

    This effect are really fear. The ancient effect make a sense of the mysterious, magician..

  • http://www.asianramblings.com Steve

    Stunning images. Thanks for posting these, they give me some ideas.

  • http://www.avant5.net Mark

    Very nice. You’ve got a great job, Walter…surfing the net for art.

  • http://www.hedy4life.blogspot.com hedy

    I feel alone…sad….horror…scary….Doomesday.

  • http://robinferianto.com robb

    some looks creepy.
    but most of them are just beautiful.
    nice works.

  • http://www.all-maroc.com/vb abdelah

    Wow, these are great pics…good source of inspiration. Keep up the good work!

  • http://www.onextrapixel.com Terrance

    So this is Grunge Photography. Hmm… I have a better understanding after viewing this showcase. Thanks

  • http://denisdesign.ru Denis

    Well nice, its great things for web-design. ^_^

    I’ll add your blog address to mine links.

  • dave

    Most of this is just photoschlop.. any kid with a computer can crap out some filters on to an image and call it art. I can be amazed by photos capturing naturally compelling textures.. but c’mon.. this is perpetuating an amateurish style.

    I suppose if you want to get a job churning out album covers for shitty alternative bands.. be inspired by these pictures and keep slathering images with random filters.. but I’d suggest you try learning how to use your camera to take cool pictures, first.. before you rely on photoshop to do everything for you.

  • Phil

    Dave @28, you miss the point. People don’t care if your not the greatest photographer (camera techy) they just know what they like. Most of these started of as perfectly good photo’s and ended up as artistic impressions which some people like. Get off your high intelectual horse. If you don’t like them and want to say so, fine, I’m sure a lot of other people have the same opinion. Just don’t belittle other peoples capabilities because you don’t approve of them.

  • btt

    #29, I think you’re the one missing the point. There are some great pictures in here, but most have excessive effects. When the picture is good, too much texture makes it look bad. When it’s bad, it gives it some visual impact, that lasts until you realize there’s nothing special with it. Mix it with some overdone HDR (like the one before last) and it becomes awful.

  • please stop

    I agree wholeheartedly with Dave, and btt. very banal. Most of these would make better photographs without the grungy effects. All adding these effects does is date them. Having been a designer for 15 years and going through the grunge phase the first time around, trust me when i tell you that this is going to look old fast (it already does).

    as a person who hires designers frequently, i can honestly tell you i’d never hire anybody who put images like this in their portfolio. i think the only trend worse than this and HDR, is the ‘full shot of a person jumping with random swirly shit drawn around them’.

    please stop.

  • http://eveltdesign.com joel k.

    some of the pics are sheer horrer
    and some are rather fun- like
    almost all of them are really good

  • sandlog

    @dave, btt and please stop

    nobody said these pictures were the top drawer on the net and should be featured in every magazine and website out there.

    they just happen to be featured in an article concerning “grunge” effects.

    big deal. get over yourself.

    and do you not think we know they used photoshop to “manipulate” the images?
    pathetic…how cool some people think they are.

    if you don’t appreciate the photos or the article, then shut up. nobody cares if you don’t like them or if you wouldn’t hire someone who god forbid had one in their portfolio.

    move onto the next web site and comment about how you started web 3.0.

  • btt

    lol sandlog. you’re the one taking it too seriously. nobody said anything about using or not using photoshop, that’s irrelevant – almost all of the great pictures ever have been post-processed, either digitally or chemically. We’re discussing aesthetics here, not merits.

  • Phil

    btt, I didn’t miss the point. Whilst you have made some constructive points and expressed your oppinion of some of the photographs (other people have a different view) dave just slagged off the creators. I found three of the photos where I believe the ‘grunge’ effect added to the overall atmosphere others, I admit, would probably have been better left alone.
    At the end of the day it’s a matter of taste.

  • http://www.thebrisbaneline.com/travel-photography/travel-photography.php Evan Skuthorpe

    some great shots and even better post production on these.

  • http://photorestorationretouching.com/ retouching

    This has to be the best collection of digitally mastered pictures I have ever seen! I am not surprised though since everything on your website is 100% quality! If ever I am in need of inspiration, I just pay your site a visit!

  • http://www.hotwireindustries.com Kenn Sven Boostrom

    There was a time when viewing great visual photography or illustration, you needed to wait to see what Communications Arts would show. Or Print Magazine or Emigre. Now so many people can see what others are doing without waiting a month or having it filtered through an obscene editor. Great work – unfiltered.

  • http://www.uncharteddesign.com Drew

    While some of these are a bit over produced, I think that may of them are amazing. If you are into this style of photography, check out Daniel Zetterstrom http://www.canphoto.se as he does some amazing grunge photography.


  • http://www.popeonline.co.uk James

    Some really great shots here. Really love the picture of the Road (the one above the smoking man) as I have just read Cormac McCartys ‘The Road’. Thanks

  • pesho

    Wow so nice and scary and amazing
    i like it

  • Ersatz


    nice heavy effects.
    : )

  • baś

    when I see this pictures I feel that for a moment will be a “game over”. Over this world. In every pictures are “quiet” and very strange power. This is amazig!!!

  • http://101quickandeasysecrets.wordpress.com Matt Bamberg

    As a fairly grungy guy, I have to say I’m now an aficionado. You’ve converted me.

  • mbedizon

    awesome,,,,,,,how to make it?,,,,,,

  • http://jasoncollinphotography.com Jason Collin Photography

    I like this style of post processing very much, although I was expecting to see at least one shot of Eddie Vedder.

  • http://www.bloggs74.com/ Brandon

    super effects…lovely work

  • travis418

    not too good… all you need is a 10.0 m.p. cam and photoshop…

  • http://nonzensed.blogspot.com/ Pedrito


  • http://evg3.com/photoblog Cybergus

    Not even a 10mp camera is needed foro these images.

    This is not grunge photography and is not precisely striking at all, maybe a few.

    Grunge photography is looking for grunge places that have enough history to bring those textures back to life. The same about subjects. If not, you end with a Photoshop showcase that reminds aesthetics from 10 years ago or more.

    Without great content you are only posting teen experiments.

  • http://brandmooreart.daportfolio.com/ brandon

    i think grunge is a style you either love or hate. in my case, i love it! also, like rock n’ roll, it seems to be a young persons art form; more accepted by the youth

  • http://www.yougoteric.com ERIC

    Way overdone. Easy on the blending layers, kooks.

  • http://oxidizable.com Aadil Aijaz

    Some really nice shots in there! I’m now a fan of grunge photography.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/alantippins alan

    Thanks for including my work in your roundup =)