Saturday, July 25, 2009

Chernobyl Journal: HDR Photo Journey to the Zone of Exclusion

Chernobyl Journal: HDR Photo Journey to the Zone of Exclusion

It was exactly 01:23:45 AM (UTC+3) on 26 April 1986 when reactor #4 at the Chernobyl plant, near Pripyat in the former U.S.S.R., exploded and sparked a chain reaction ending up with what we know today as the worst nuclear power plant disaster in history. A huge plume of highly radioactive fallout, 400 times more than during the atomic bombing of Hiroshima (Wikipedia), was exploded into the atmosphere and over an extensive geographical area. But 23 years later, for Swiss decay photographer Timm Suess the Chernobyl ground-zero is also the stuff dreams are made of. At least his dreams.

Like Stalker in Tarkovsky's sci-fi masterpiece, filmed 7 years before the Chernobyl disaster, Suess takes us to a stunning photo-journey into one of the most horrific, abandoned and destructed areas on the surface of earth. While the "Zone" parts in Tarkovsky's fiction film where shot at a deserted hydro power plant on the J├Ągala river near Tallinn, Estonia, Suess' Chernobyl Journal is an overwhelming HDR photo documentary project chronicling a two-day trip taken in March 2009 through the real thing – the Chernobyl zone of exclusion. Packaged into an online presentation on Suess' website, the must see collection includes approx. 450 photographs as well as a few short videos. Below are a few samples we find particularly interesting.

The Road to Chernobyl

Chernobyl Journal: HDR Photo Journey to the Zone of Exclusion

Road towards Chernobyl town, still outside the zone (Source). More from this set, including pictures taken in the town of Chernobyl nearby Suess base camp, here.

Red Forest

Chernobyl Journal: HDR Photo Journey to the Zone of Exclusion

Panorama of the Chernobyl power plant, view from the railway bridge (Source). More from this set, taken around the Red Forest area near Pripyat, Chernobyl, here.

Pripyat Center

Chernobyl Journal: HDR Photo Journey to the Zone of Exclusion

The Pripyat city administration building. The radioactivity sign was probably placed there after the accident (Source). More from this set, taken in the city square of the ghost town of Pripyat west of Chernobyl, here.

Apartment Building

Chernobyl Journal: HDR Photo Journey to the Zone of Exclusion

Another corridor in an apartment block in the ghost city of Pripyat near Chernobyl (Source). More from this set, taken around an apartment block in the ghost town of Pripyat near Chernobyl, here.

Amusement Park

Chernobyl Journal: HDR Photo Journey to the Zone of Exclusion

The Ferris wheel in the ghost town of Pripyat near Chernobyl (Source). More from this set, taken around the amusement park in the ghost city of Pripyat near Chernobyl, here.

Swimming pool

Chernobyl Journal: HDR Photo Journey to the Zone of Exclusion

The public swimming pool in the ghost town of Priypat near Chernobyl (Source). More from this set, taken in a public swimming pool in the ghost town of Pripyat near Chernobyl, here.

School Greenhouse

Chernobyl Journal: HDR Photo Journey to the Zone of Exclusion

Greenhouse of a school in the ghost town of Pripyat near Chernobyl (Source). More from this set, taken in and around the greenhouse of school #1 in the ghost town of Pripyat near Chernobyl, here.

Ship Graveyard

Chernobyl Journal: HDR Photo Journey to the Zone of Exclusion

Liquidator boats at the ship graveyard north of Chernobyl (Source). More from this set, taken in the North of Chernobyl, where the old liquidator ships went to die, here.

Around Reactor Island

Chernobyl Journal: HDR Photo Journey to the Zone of Exclusion

Cooling tower of the unfinished Chernobyl reactors 5 and 6 (Source). More from this horrifying and thrilling set of pictures from and around the Chernobyl Reactor Island, including reactors 1-4 and unfinished reactors 5 and 6, here.

For more see Chernobyl Journal:
http://timmsuess.com/chernobyl-journal/

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