Chernobyl’s Zone of Alienation - Darren Nisbett

‘Chernobyl’s Zone of Alienation’ by Darren Nisbett - exhibition at Rhubarb and Custard gallery in Eton, Berkshire, throughout July 2011.

Darren has twice visited Chernobyl to produce his body of infrared shots.

The Chernobyl photos include depictions of abandoned bumper cars, kindergarten beds, train tracks and vast Communist-era buildings. 

Darren says: “I’ve always been interested in visiting places that are off the beaten track - especially if they’re associated with darker moments in history. For me, photography trips have never been about exotic safaris or the arctic and my overseas travels have included Pompeii and Auschwitz. In the UK, I spend my spare time exploring and photographing abandoned and decaying buildings and castles; I also like our Victorian graveyards for their atmosphere and serenity.”

“At Chernobyl, especially on my second trip, I wanted to capture the sense overpowering sense of silence, the greys of the concrete and asphalt and the contrast of the increasingly dominant plants and trees. I was interested in the objects and interiors of the buildings, and the lives of the people that were left behind. From a personal point of view, it’s humbling to see the after effects and to meet the people that still work there, despite the risks to their health.”

Darren took the photos with a Canon 450D that has been converted to take infrared images using a 10-22mm wide-angle lens. He also used a Canon 5D Mark II with 17-40mm or 24-105mm lens and Heliopan IR filters. 

“The infrared filters transform what is seen by the human eye into a dreamlike image,” says Darren. “The processing gives the images the distinct ‘traditional’ feel of high speed infrared film with its characteristic grain, contrast and halation (light leakage). The images for the exhibition are printed using Silver Gelatine to further enhance the film feel.”

All photos by © Darren Nisbett
Read more about the project and exhibition - it is a fine site to explore


Unknown said…
Perfectly shown atmosphere! Excellent series, congratulations!
br said…
great!!! thank you!
I originally became familiar with Darren's work when we met on Twitter not so long ago. Great, great images! So wonderful seeing his work here, congrats to all of you!