As the end of the year is coming, I wanted to share with you the best photographs I took in the last ten years in places where abandoned places are reclaimed by nature. I have always been amazed by how Mother Nature has a way of making herself known even in the most surprising of places despite our efforts. Nature doesn't need much space to thrive: give it an inch, and it will grow a mile! What could happen for our planet to look like it does in these pictures in a few decades is also really interesting.

What would happen if mankind suddenly disappeared from the face of the earth? Imagining the answer has fascinated people since the dawn of time and the answers vary as our society changes and evolves.

As we are facing many challenges today (pandemic, deforestation, pollution, global warming, armed conflicts), "Luxuria" reminds us as a memento mori of what could be our world tomorrow...

In this series of photographs, I invite you to travel with me through this post-apocalyptic world of your imagination!

More info: Instagram | romainveillon.com | Facebook

#1

Luxuria: The World Without Us

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oktopus
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1 month ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Given the tunnel-like way of the tree growth, and the rail heads not being rusty, I'd say this is a line in regular, though maybe not frequent use.

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Personally, I've been fascinated by abandoned places since childhood. I would imagine that, like many people, discovering the decaying house at the end of the street is a memory we all have deep inside of us. For me, it was the abandoned truck factory near my grandmother's house that I used to explore every summer.

When I encounter such a place, my goal is that everybody can travel into the past with me and make up the stories they decide they want to: Why was this place abandoned? What happened to the former owners? What used to happen in this room? People make their own kind of answer.

It makes them go into their imaginary world and become the hero of their own adventure where they are the detective. Each story will be different from one another, and that’s what I love. To me, my pictures act as a new kind of “Memento Mori”; they are here to remind us that everything has an end, and that we should enjoy it while it lasts.

With my series of photographs “Luxuria: the world without us”, I wanted to convey an environmental message in my book by showing what the world would be like if we weren’t there anymore, meaning that if we continue on this way, humanity's disappearance could be one of the consequences. That’s what I prefer working on, when ivy takes over everything.

We can see what the world could look like if humans disappeared from Earth. We are all fascinated by this post-apocalyptic vision. Maybe we need to be the witness of that to enjoy what we have and the time in front of us. As I said before, the main thing for me is that people create their own stories when they are looking at my photographs.

Yes, some of the texts you can find in my book clearly state Earth becomes a better place when humans are not present.

I take the example of Chernobyl or the border between the two Koreas to explain it: Scientists have studied and witnessed that thirty years after the explosion of Chernobyl, the Chernobyl exclusion zone has become a haven for wildlife, with lynx, bison, deer and other animals roaming through thick forests. It is now the third-largest nature reserve in mainland Europe and has become an iconic – if accidental – experiment in rewilding.

The same happened in the no man's zone in Korea: Animals and plants we thought to be extinct were found there by scientific crews and are thriving there without us. But for how long?

#6

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FindingFoodFluency
Community Member
1 month ago (edited) Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Big fan of haikyo (Japanese for abandoned spots), especially the amusement parks!

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The most amazing place I had the chance to photograph in this series “Luxuria” is definitely the abandoned theme park of Nara Dreamland in Japan.

It was an amazing experience to explore Nara Dreamland; I already had seen images, but the vegetation really took over the park now and makes it a different place. The atmosphere is strange when you explore there. At the same time, it is sad and peaceful. 

When you think about all the good memories that have been made there, you become nostalgic for the time when the park was full of joy and people. You want to hear kids scream and have fun again there! But it stays an incredible source of wonder.

#8

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Sarah Grace Bennett
Community Member
1 month ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This is kind of what I mean when I say I want a house that looks one with nature, but I want one that is less eerie

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Just trying to imagine how it was and what stories happened when it was still active! The picture of the second roller coaster with these incredible spirals... You can see all the vegetation gaining ground on the roller coaster like it was slowly eating it. But also because you have an incredible circular movement in the photography. It puts you in the middle of the photograph and makes you feel you are riding the roller coaster with me!

The most amazing place I had the chance to photograph in this series “Luxuria” is definitely the abandoned theme park of Nara Dreamland in Japan.

It was an amazing experience to explore Nara Dreamland; I already had seen images, but the vegetation really took over the park now and makes it a different place. The atmosphere is strange when you explore there. At the same time, it is sad and peaceful. 

When you think about all the good memories that have been made there, you become nostalgic for the time when the park was full of joy and people. You want to hear kids scream and have fun again there! But it stays an incredible source of wonder.

Just trying to imagine how it was and what stories happened when it was still active! The picture of the second roller coaster with these incredible spirals... You can see all the vegetation gaining ground on the roller coaster like it was slowly eating it. But also because you have an incredible circular movement in the photography. It puts you in the middle of the photograph and makes you feel you are riding the roller coaster with me!

#11

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Pam Hobbs
Community Member
1 month ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

The echo of history drifts silently through abandoned halls.

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#12

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Mixed Reality Portal
Community Member
1 month ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

McDermott's Castle, Lough Key, County Roscommon, Ireland. Beautiful place.

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#13

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#14

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#15

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your mother(she/her)
Community Member
1 month ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

how do all of these look like they’re from a post-apocalyptic quest movie

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#16

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Bruce Thompson
Community Member
1 month ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I'm imagining a lot of wonderful memories made over the years in this once stately home.

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#18

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J Clausen
Community Member
1 month ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This would have been a bird cage for tropical birds .

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#19

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Sarah Grace Bennett
Community Member
1 month ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

The druid got a little too excited in the local tavern

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#20

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Amanda Lawshe
Community Member
1 month ago (edited) Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Banks would rather let homes fall into disrepair than donate or sell them below value to organizations that can use them to help people and it’s ridiculous and should be illegal. They’re clearly not going to make their money back on them anyway so why let this happen?

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#24

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CallaghanLive
Community Member
1 month ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

If only humans could simply step away and let Mother Nature reclaim what was originally hers.....

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#25

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J Clausen
Community Member
1 month ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

That was a gazing pool until a tree fell in it.

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#27

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Pam Hobbs
Community Member
1 month ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Daphne! You left the window open again!

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#29

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J Clausen
Community Member
1 month ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Murals on the walls, just forgotten with the vines. So sad.

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