Infrared filters are known for creating weird, eerie, and haunting photos, no matter what you’re capturing. That is why taking a filter like that to an already creepy-looking place like the Chernobyl exclusion zone might make the scenery pictures you take look even more impressive. Photographer Vladimir Migutin did just that on his trip to the town in Ukraine that suffered the infamous nuclear plant disaster.
"It was a spontaneous decision," Vladimir told Bored Panda. "I was born in Belarus in 1986 (the same year that the Chernobyl disaster occurred), at the age of 5 my family left the Soviet Union. I have bright memories of my early childhood, and I wanted to visit some places in Minsk, to see how it changed since, and meet few friends that live there. Then the idea to visit Chernobyl came to my mind. I’ve searched the internet for groups that visit this place and have a valid entrance License. I had found an Instructor and a group from Belarus that planned a trip on an adjacent date.
"The only challenge that people have while planning such a trip is their superstition - that this place is really dangerous. After digging for some information on the internet it turned out that it’s not that dangerous at all. We didn’t visit forbidden places where the nuclear energy radiation levels are lethal. In fact, the average radiation level during this trip was pretty same as the radiation level on a 10,000-meter flight."
"It's pretty hard to describe the atmosphere I had during this trip and making this photo series, but it's as if I was in a “kind of” paradise - a feeling I can't recall since my last visit to Kokedera (Moss temple in Japan) two years ago. We always hear praises of the might of mother nature, how it renders useless men creations and bearing life above the ruins. Well, it's something that is always felt, but never on such a huge scale, and this place IS the place for these contrasts. 30 years after the fallout, while men are still away, the forests, the animals, the plants, it felt like everything is thriving, revived by mother nature. A bit pathos, but I really felt this way."
"For the UV and Infrared photography, I’ve opened my camera and removed the hot-mirror filter (the one which blocks the IR and UV wavelengths), thus turning it to a “Full-Spectrum” camera. Then I’ve ordered IR-Pass and UV-Pass filters to set in front of the lens."