I have been waiting a long time for this day.
Ever since I picked up Zones of Exclusion: Pripyat and Chernobyl back in 2004, I wanted to go there myself.
Once I learned that you actually could visit, there was no stopping me.
Considered to be the worst nuclear power plant disaster in history, visiting Chernobyl might not be on everyone’s ‘must see’ list, but just like the bomb ravaged streets of Pakistan, thats kinda my thing.
Still declared unfit for human habitation, the Zone of Exclusion is a 30km ring around the Nuclear Reactor No.4 which includes the towns of Pripyat, Chernobyl and others.
Traveling in the Zone is not something you can go off and do on your own, again, it is one of those times when you must take a tour.
One of the bleakest days out you’ve ever had will set you back a steep 129 Euros(!!!), but it includes lunch.
During the tour there’s alot of information and video watching, which is great if your into that, but I really just wanted to get to Pripyat and start exploring the deserted buildings.
The one thing which I found interesting to learn though was, Moscow didn’t even understand the scope of the disaster until Sweden called them and said ‘hey! why are all our clouds contaminated, what the fucks going on!’.
HQ at Chernobyl thought the radioactivity would all pass in a few days!
Camera: Lomo LCA
Film: Agfa Visata 400 (Expired 2006)
Location: Chernobyl/Pripyat – Ukraine.
Photoshop: Minor density corrections
Can you imagine walking around a – completely – deserted – town?
Literally completely deserted, not another sole in sight for hours, and you have it all to yourself.
Buildings that have been left to decay and rot, plundered and stripped of anything worth anything, floorboards that your foot falls through and windows with trees growing through them.
It is honestly like the post-apocalyptic-ness of Cormac McCarthy’s the Road.
I have never wound and clicked my camera so fast, I wanted to shoot most of this on the ‘Blad but being on a tour did mean we were a little pushed for time, I got a couple of rolls off, but mainly stuck to the Lomo so I didn’t have to meter every shot.
Every now and then, you would see tracks in the snow, not human but animal. Apparently they have taken over and run wild, eating the radioactive foliage and creating new mutated species.
Part 2, COMING SOON.