One of my main inspirations when picking the theme of abandoned was the events that took place in Chernobyl and the Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster in April 1986. Outside of photography, history is something that interests me and it was through this thirst for knowledge that I came upon the incident in Chernobyl.
I discovered more information about the Chernobyl devastation when I was 12-13 years old when I played through the game Call of Duty 4 Modern Warfare and there is a stealth sniper mission where you have to sneak through the abandoned city of Chernobyl and you can really feel that apocalyptic atmosphere within the game level. It is from here that I have expanded my interest in the location and as soon as I found out about the project ‘Abandoned’ i already had Chernobyl in my mind.
I have been inspired by the idea of a whole city being evacuated and the people who left the city not knowing that they would never return. The aspect of the forgotten, the left behind and the never seen again is what really solidified my decision to explore the theme of abandoned. The idea that items that once had a purpose and a value to someone are no longer cherished or used is something which can be seen in the photos of Chernobyl. This is a strong theme throughout the documented evidence of Chernobyl after the radiation leakage took place. These are the key themes I want to show within my photo series.
If you were to return to Chernobyl today a lot of the buildings and flat complexes still contain household items such as chairs, beds, wardrobes etc still all left in the same place that they were all those years ago when the city and surrounding area got evacuated.
The photos here document the life that once lived in these different buildings, I can see links between these harrowing images and those taken by Alison Brewster. Through my analysis of these images of Chernobyl, I can see how the viewpoint, angle and lighting of the images can change the mood and impact that the photo can have on the viewer. These aspects enable the different features of the photo to stand out, such as erosion on the walls or the new life of nature taking over the place of human life.
When I am on location for my shoots it is essential that I keep these aspects in the forefront of my mind if I am to enhance the eerie and isolated themes seen within my inspiration.
Throughout this project i am going to be referring to Chernobyl a lot especially when i try and create a scene in the abandoned house or building.