Pictures from Chernobyl

Oh, Chernobyl! It has been 37 years since it happened. I was 5 and a half years old then. I still remember that despite the sunny weather, we had to play indoors because the air was contaminated…

My wish is to take some pictures from Chernobyl.

I had always dreamt of visiting that abandoned city, which offered perfect scenes for my photography. As a photographer in love with Urbex photography, I had always wanted to embark on this adventure. 🥰 I searched for tourist options, looked up safety information, and was aware that I would have to strictly follow safety instructions. Although I must admit that I usually like to break some rules and do things my own way…

Abandoned hotel in Pripyat
I had always dreamt of visiting that abandoned city…

Presenting my idea to my dad

When I shared this idea with my dad, who is a chemist and worked at the Krško Nuclear Power Plant, he quickly discouraged me from this venture. He told me about the significance of different types of radiation in that area. Not just the ones measured by guides with their devices. He asked me not to participate in this trip and warned me about potential dangers. Of course, I listened to him because I knew he cared about my safety and health. So, Chernobyl and its surroundings will remain my eternal desire to visit… 

Nevertheless, I still wanted to experience at least a fraction of this unique place. So, I found free pictures from Chernobyl and Pripyat online and edited them as I would edit my own photos. I added my own touch, used my imagination, and immersed myself in the world of the abandoned city. This way, I could at least feel what it’s like to be there while staying safe and comfortably seated behind my computer. I played with light and contrasts to evoke the special spirit of Pripyat on my screen. Although I wasn’t there physically, I experienced a piece of that desire in my own way and captured it in my photos. An urbex adventure in the virtual world, why not? If I can’t go there in person, I’ll at least visit Pripyat in my imagination and fulfill my longing for capturing this mysterious place through my photography.

Of course, it’s not the same as actually visiting Chernobyl in person. But sometimes, you have to be adaptable and find alternative ways to fulfill your dreams. And in my case, virtual urbex photography was the right solution. I will continue to explore the world of urban exploration photography at different locations and enjoy creating my unique works…

Abandoned toy, Chernobyl
On April 26, 1986, one of the worst nuclear disasters in human history occurred…

What happened?

On April 26, 1986, one of the worst nuclear disasters in human history occurred at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine. The explosion of reactor No. 4 released a massive amount of radioactive material into the environment. That caused devastating consequences for the environment, human health, and socio-economic development of the region. The effects also spread among the population in the surrounding areas. People were exposed to high levels of radiation, resulting in long-term health consequences. Additionally, a sizable area surrounding the nuclear power plant that had radiation contamination saw 350,000 people evacuated from their homes and residences.

You won’t believe it, but It was two days after the accident that the first alarm was triggered. But not in the Soviet Union, but in Sweden, where an unusual increase in radioactive emissions was detected. The Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev did not acknowledge the accident in Chernobyl until May 14.

Pripyat's playground
The consequences of the Chernobyl disaster also had a devastating impact on the city of Pripyat…

Consequences of the accident and impact on Pripyat, a city near the nuclear power plant:

The consequences of the Chernobyl disaster also had a devastating impact on the city of Pripyat, which was in close proximity to the nuclear power plant. The city was founded in 1970 and was designed as a modern and developing city for the workers who worked at the power plant. At the time of the accident, Pripyat had approximately 50,000 residents, mostly workers from the nuclear power plant and their families.

The impact of radiation on the environment was devastating for life in Chernobyl and the surrounding areas. Plants and animals were exposed to high levels of radiation, causing changes in ecosystems. Residents who were exposed to radiation faced health risks. The abandoned infrastructure of the city became contaminated and deteriorated.

Pripyat is a heavily contaminated city and will remain abandoned for a very long time. There are remnants of dangerous plutonium in this area, which has a very long half-life of 24,000 years!

Abandoned basketball court in Chernobyl
The impact of radiation on the environment was devastating for life in Chernobyl and the surrounding areas…

Boom of tourism in Chernobyl

Until the current war situation in Ukraine, there was also a noticeable boom in tourism in Chernobyl. Despite the fact that it is still a contaminated area with radioactivity. Demand for visiting this area has increased in recent years as more tourists have become interested in the history and consequences of the disaster and want to see how the area has changed after so many years since the accident. With the increase in the number of visitors, new tourist offerings and opportunities for visiting the area have developed.

As mentioned earlier, until recently, tourists could choose from various tourist trips to Chernobyl and Pripyat. Currently, the area is closed to tourists. Organized tours offered guided tours of the area. Tourists could see the devastation and abandonment of the cities after the accident. They could visit memorial sites and learn about the history and consequences of the nuclear disaster. In addition, specialized tours such as photography tours were also available, where tourists could capture the eerie and haunting atmosphere of the abandoned area. However, it is important to note that visiting Chernobyl and Pripyat involves risks due to the presence of radioactive contamination, and strict safety measures must be followed.

Abandoned city near Chernobyl
Pictures from Chernobyl…

Chernobyl and its surrounding areas have become interesting motifs for photographers for taking pictures from Chernobyl:

  • Exoticism and rarity:

After the nuclear accident at the Chernobyl power plant in 1986, the area became abandoned and deserted, making it a rare and exotic destination for photographers. The opportunity to photograph abandoned buildings, abandoned vehicles, and other objects that have remained untouched since the time of the disaster presents a unique opportunity to create unique photographs.

  • Historical value:

Chernobyl and its surrounding areas have become an important historical site that bears witness to one of the largest nuclear accidents in human history. Photographers have the opportunity to capture the historical background and document the consequences of the accident. Thereby they are preserving the memory of the event and its impact on the environment and people.

  • Unique visual aesthetics:

Abandoned buildings covered with moss and rust, and nature slowly reclaiming its space. They create a unique visual aesthetic that is appealing to photographers. The contrast between the abandonment of human structures and the prevailing nature creates picturesque and dramatic scenes that are attractive for photographic creation.

  • Photographic challenges: pictures from Chernobyl

Photographing in an environment exposed to radiation and with limited access presents a special challenge for photographers. Taking into account safety precautions and avoiding potentially dangerous areas requires special attention and skill in photography, which presents challenges in photographic technique and creativity.

However, it is important to emphasize that when photographing in the vicinity of Chernobyl, it is important to respect the rules and restrictions set for radiation safety, as well as the ethical and moral aspects. Adhering to safety measures, respecting the historical and cultural significance of the area, and respecting the local residents and their health are crucial. 

Kindergarden in Chernobyl
I admire the photographers who chose to embark on this adventure.


Despite deciding not to visit Pripyat, I still admire the photographers who chose to embark on this adventure. Their pictures of Chernobyl are truly incredible, showcasing a preserved city frozen in time for decades. Each photo has its own story hidden behind the walls of abandoned buildings. The preserved objects in the rooms and streets that were once full of life but are now completely empty and overgrown with vegetation evoke a sense of eeriness in me but also a sense of fascination.

Some photographers focus on documenting the complete silence and loneliness you feel when walking through the streets. Others concentrate on details and emphasize the beauty of the abandoned buildings and remnants of culture. In any case, the photos of Pripyat are something special, and I admire the creativity and courage of the photographers who chose this adventure.

Although I have decided not to risk my health, I am aware that Pripyat is one of the most fascinating cities in the world. I hope that someday we will find a way to visit it without risking our health. Nevertheless, I will continue to be fascinated by photographs of abandoned cities and express my creativity in other locations… 💪

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