One of the most infamous moments of the twentieth century was the Chernobyl disaster. It was a nuclear accident that occurred on the 26th of April 1986 at the No. 4 nuclear reactor in the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, near the city of Pripyat, Ukraine. It is considered the worst nuclear disaster in history, and its after-effects are still being felt almost 35 years later. Vladimir Migutin, a Russian photographer, visited the area surrounding the abandoned power plant and managed to capture these incredible images using a full spectrum camera and a 590nm infrared filter.
An eerie panoramic shot of the nuclear power plant in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone perfectly captures the desolate remains of what was once a fully-functioning industrial complex. The vivid pink sky against the cavernous grey power plant is haunting and leaves the viewer in no doubt that this is a place with a dark history.
Here, he captured the monumental trail, which is lined with signs of the names of nearby evacuated villages. Not only is the number of villages astonishing, but whether by mistake or design, the signs look like crosses, giving the effect of a graveyard.
This cheeky little chap is Simon, a human-friendly fox and one of many animals who still live in the area surrounding Chernobyl. While animals do reside here, life is likely tough, and this is perfectly encapsulated in Simon’s lean frame and longing stare.
Pripyat is indeed a ghost town, and this beautiful photo is spine-chilling. The trees are slowly devouring the remains of what were once residential tower blocks full of life, and the contrast in color between cement and woodland is extremely powerful.
Another striking image of what remains from a town once inhabited. This is the Azure Swimming Pool in Pripyat, which boasted a diving platform, spectator gallery, and presumably hundreds of eager swimmers. The photo captures the silence, which has since fallen over this previously buzzing public amenity.
In the darkness, we find light, and this image is full of life. Where humans have deserted, nature has thrived, and these flowers and butterflies decorate the forest inside the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone. The colors in the photo are beautiful, and it’s incredible to think that this vibrancy exists in the middle of a nuclear wasteland.
The shell of an abandoned farm inside the exclusion zone confirms the desolation of Chernobyl and its surrounding area. Even a beautiful sky and growing trees can’t mask the empty feeling this photo leaves you with. On the side of the cabin, a faded ‘Men At Work’ sign almost brings a tear to the eye, as no work, or human life, has been happening here for decades now.
This is incredibly moving. A grand piano sits rotting inside the concert hall of Pripyat, where former residents of the deserted ghost town would have enjoyed evenings of entertainment. What is most striking about this image is that while the flooring around the piano has completely fallen to pieces, the skeleton of the instrument stands firm and proud.