INTRODUCTION

I was 18 in 1986 and I remember seeing on the news about the Chernobyl disaster.  It seemed to be on the news for weeks, first the explosion itself, the evacuation of people from the surrounding areas and then the cloud of radioactive material drifting across Western Europe.  There followed a ban on eating sheep from various countries and talk of the long terms effects of the radiation.

I've read about Chernobyl at various times since and always wondered what this abandoned area would be like now.  As my interest in photography was rekindled, I started wondering whether it was possible to visit, imagining that it would be completely off limits.  Well it's not and although you need a permit and have to travel with a guide, entry is fairly straightforward.  So that's how in October 2015, armed with my camera, I found myself flying to Kiev for a four day visit.

 

Apart from being an amazing area for photography it's an incredibly sad place, the human cost of the accident everywhere to be seen and an ever present smell of decay.  At the same time, in the open it's incredibly peaceful with no noise, human or natural, apart from the occasional click of a camera shutter or the crunch of broken glass under foot.

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