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Photos of ghost towns and abandoned places

  1. May 20, 2013 #1
    I've resized my pics down to 640x428 to try and make this thread as easy to load as possible! My sincere apologies if there are too many photographs in the thread. I just thought it would be easier than spreading them out over several posts.

    I first developed a fascination with abandoned places in the mid 90's. I was about 6 when I was walking with my family in a remote part of Yorkshire. We stumbled across an enormous derelict factory in the woods, and I was completely dumbfounded by it. The place probably wasn't even that big, but it sure seemed it at that age. I couldn't understand how so many people had seemingly vanished from somewhere so big, leaving all their things behind.

    I suppose I always had an insatiable curiosity, but this experience triggered what will probably be a lifelong passion. I'm deeply interested in history, so I get a great kick out of discovering these kinda places. It wasn't until 2008 that I began traveling to Europe, and especially to former Soviet countries to document these places with my friend Koryssa, through photography. This is a bit of a strange hobby, some people get it, and others don't --- but below you'll find my photographs ranging from mid 2011 to August last year. I enjoy bringing these forgotten treasures back into the present where people can admire them. Enjoy!




    Ukraine

    Chernobyl was my dream explore since age 15 and it took me 6 years to accomplish it. I was then as I am now completely obsessed with Chernobyl. I never thought I'd get to see it with my own eyes. Here are my photographs of the infamous reactor, Pripyat and the surrounding exclusion zone.

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    East Germany

    Below is a former asylum, turned abandoned sanatorium in East Germany. I know that Adolf Hitler was treated here in WWI. Erich Honecker was also treated here in the 90's. There was a huge battle here in 1945, venture into the basement and you'll find lots of pockmarked service tunnels from the fighting, this place is way cool.

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    Russia

    The entrance to a Soviet ghost town I visited in September 2011, in the middle of nowhere. Took me hours to find it. I couldn't find out much about it, but I know they used to store nukes here in the 70's. They also brought scientists and their families in to work on certain projects. I came perilously close to being attacked by wolves during this one.

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    That's all folks, thanks for viewing! Hope you liked em.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. May 20, 2013 #2
    Fascinating places! Thanks for sharing!
     
  4. May 20, 2013 #3

    Borek

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    Fascinating places and great pictures.
     
  5. May 20, 2013 #4

    Borek

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    Made me think about some places in Croatia:

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  6. May 20, 2013 #5
    Припять has been on my places to visit for a while too, as well as Russia in general. I've seen some pretty weird photos on Google Earth.

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    Reminds me of Left 4 Dead.

    Unfortunately, it'll be a few years before I get enough money and time for a visit. Maybe I'll just find time for a month long tour of Europe.
     
  7. May 20, 2013 #6
    I am pretty jealous of you, Thomas1989.

    Lucky man! Great photos, thanks!
     
  8. May 20, 2013 #7
    Thank you all so much for your kind words and interest!

    Borek, that is a damn cool find. I love the peeling paint on the windows in the 2nd pic, and the way the leaves have grown in the 3rd pic is awesome too! Is that a Well in the final photo?

    Astrum, best of luck with your plans, Pripyat is a life changing experience for sure, a real eye opener. If you find yourself going to Russia, Ukraine or Belarus sooner than you expected and want some pointers, feel free to hit me up right here. I'm forever back and forth there and will be happy to help. I recognize the place in your pic, it's on the top floor of the school (the same place my gas mask picture was taken), creepy area.

    Haha, thanks encorp, much appreciated.
     
  9. May 20, 2013 #8

    dlgoff

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    Awesome photos Thomas.
     
  10. May 20, 2013 #9
    I may be going to southern Russia next year to visit a close friend, so if you'll be around, I'll certainly send you a pm. but it's somewhat far away from Pripyat. Caucasus.. :uhh:

    Мне интересно, ты говоришь на русском (do you speak Russian)?
     
  11. May 21, 2013 #10

    Borek

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    Junior was there, and from what he has seen and told me in many places objects that were left by the inhabitants were later arranged by visitors to make a more dramatic effect.

    There was plenty of a peeling paint in the place :wink:

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    Final photo... most likely it is a stone hut (known locally as a "trim" or "bunja"). Well should be next to it.
     
  12. May 21, 2013 #11
    Thanks dlgoff!

    Can I hazard a guess at Volgograd? :-)

    Hmm, the Caucasus... I'm actually in the process of organizing a trip to Chechnya myself. Most people avoid it like the plague, but my friend is always bobbing down to Grozny to see friends, so I'm gonna try my luck while the place is relatively stable. She's Russian though, I certainly wouldn't risk going solo as a foreigner.

    I speak basic Russian, enough to get by.

    Thanks for the pic, Borek --- you've a great eye for detail!
     
  13. May 21, 2013 #12
    Nah, it's right near Elbrus (she's part Caucasian and Russian, which we're planning to climb. She's cautioned me from going near Chenyna or Dagestan.

    Those places really messed up. Although I'm sure you'd be safe for a short visit, you've gotta be careful with the spread of radical Islam and what not. I've heard that the police will harass us "westerners" for money.
     
  14. May 21, 2013 #13
    No pictures of Centralia, PA. I'm slightly saddened.
     
  15. May 21, 2013 #14

    Andy Resnick

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    Fantastic photos- what lens(es) are you using?
     
  16. May 22, 2013 #15
    Sorry about that mate. I'd sure love to go to Centralia, but there are other places taking precedence right now. Kadykchan in the Russian far-east, Hashima Island in Japan, and the old mining towns and gulags in Vorkuta to name a few. I'll probably move on to the US in a few years though.

    Cheers Andy! :-)

    These were all taken with my Canon 10-22mm. At the time, I had a few other lenses being repaired following a potholing accident. They ended up getting dunked along with me. I missed out on tons of photo opportunities because of that.
     
  17. May 22, 2013 #16

    Borek

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    The picture with not-a-well was taken with the same lens.
     
  18. May 22, 2013 #17
    I am jealous! Ever since I was 16 I have wanted to do a photo tour of the ghost towns in the US.

    Thanks for sharing! Awesome pics!
     
  19. May 22, 2013 #18
    You should try out the abandoned six-flags down in New Orleans.

    I fancy myself a bit of an urban-exlorer, but am not the picture-taking type, and honestly don't have anything too novel to share, considering the Midwest lacks a certain historical background that makes these abandoned places just that much more appealing.
     
  20. May 22, 2013 #19
    I thought I'd throw this one in, as I'm greatly encouraged by all of your feedback so far. Thanks again everyone!

    If you're like me and you love religious buildings, this one is for you. This derelict church isn't far, only 5 minutes from my front door on foot. It dates back to the 17th century but has been greatly modified and repaired over the years. Despite these efforts, it has major structural issues and has been closed for at least 10 years. The ceiling is caving in through water damage and the walls are probably just as unstable. People like me have been trying to get in for years, but the guy responsible for maintaining it has done a fine job of keeping people out. I went to talk to him about the possibility of photographing the place. I know of a few other people who had tried and failed in the past, so I was shocked that he actually let me in. It was a great privilege.

    Exterior


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    I try to avoid HDR whenever I can, but the lighting was so awful in some of these pics that I had to do something to try and balance it.

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    Rectory

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    ^ This was the last thing I expected to find in a church. ^ Just shows how long these certain parts of the rectory have been closed for. It was probably out of use long before the church itself.

    I hope you enjoyed this brief tour of St Augustine's Church.
     
  21. May 22, 2013 #20

    lisab

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    Wow, those are amazing :!!). Abandoned places give me the creeps, for rational and irrational reasons. But your photos bring out their beauty and mystery. Really nice, I'm so glad you're posting them!
     
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