I Visited the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone with an Infrared Camera

A few years ago, I visited the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone with an infrared camera. We always hear praises of the might of Mother Nature, how it renders useless mans’ creations and bears life above the ruins. Well, it’s something that is always felt, but never on such a huge scale. This place IS the place for these contrasts.

It’s pretty hard to describe the overall atmosphere I experienced during this trip. Despite the events of 1986, the ruins, and the rust, I didn’t have grim feelings while traveling there. On the contrary, it felt like I was in a “kind of” paradise on a different planet.

Thirty years after the fallout, while men still stay away, the forests, the animals, the plants, everything is thriving, revived by nature.

These photos were shot during a 2-day trip in Chernobyl’s exclusion zone with a full spectrum camera and a 590nm infrared filter from Kolari Vision.


The Nuclear power plant sarcophagus, Chernobyl Exclusion Zone

Simon – a human-friendly fox, whom often approaches groups in the exclusion zone, asking for food.

Bumper cars in Pripyat’s amusement park.

The monumental trail with the evacuated villages’ names on either side.

A trolleybus in one of Chernobyl’s scrapyards.

The Bucket (machine part) that was used to clean the roof of the failed reactor after the fallout, Chernobyl Exclusion Zone.

A lake within the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone.

The iconic 26 meter tall Ferris wheel in Pripyat’s amusement park.

The rotting grand piano in the concert hall of the abandoned town of Pripyat.

“Duga” radar system, used as part of the Soviet anti-ballistic missile early-warning network.
Shot from the bottom, Chernobyl Exclusion Zone.

Abandoned farm in Chernobyl Exclusion Zone.

Butterflies and flowers in the forest, Chernobyl Exclusion Zone.

Pripyat Sports hall, Chernobyl Exclusion Zone.

The Azure Swimming Pool in Pripyat, Chernobyl Exclusion Zone.

About the author: Vladimir Migutin is a photographer who explores the world with an infrared camera. This article was also published at Kolari Vision