Daily Inspiration #276 by Damian

Hi Steve,

I’ve haven’t managed to visit your site as much as I would have liked lately, but saw the recent “The Break-Up Letter” article, which I though was very funny. You can’t really argue with many of the points Paul makes, but I can’t agree with the conclusion. When you land a shot, nothing digital can beat the M9.

Anyway, I’ve been back to using film again recently with the M7 and 28mm Elmarit on a recent trip to Chernobyl, Ukraine. I have to say it is one of the eeriest places I have ever been.

The nearby town, Pripyat, where the workforce lived was evacuated (all 50,000 people) in 3 1/2 hours and remains a ghost town inside the Zone of Alienation. Radiation levels have dropped now and it is possible to make short day trips into the area, which is when I took these.

Some of the stories of the people that went in shortly afterwards, including firefighters, miners, soldiers and leading scientists of the time are truly admirable. Many knew the consequences but volunteered anyway, and collectively avoided something much worse.

Anyway, I know its against the rules, but I attached a couple of extra ones as I couldn’t decide, so leave that to you. Films used – Reala, Velvia and Rollei Ortho 25. In the last image, that’s the failed reactor in the background.

Many thanks, and keep up the great work,


PS more can be seen on my flickr page here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/damian_b/sets/72157627767253678/


  1. Many thanks for all the feedback. Glad people found them interesting, it’s worth to experience for first hand if you get the opportunity. The most remarkable thing is when left unattended, how quickly nature takes back over. From a distance it was hard to see the buildings through all the trees.

  2. This is a terrifing place. The atmosphere in the pictures give me the same feeling as the day it happend. I was waiting for my girlfriend (outside) when I heard the news on the radio. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Great shots, Damian!

    I went through your entire flickr album, and you’ve got lots of very nice shots, but the photos of the Ferris wheel and the abandoned doll that Steve posted here were the most powerful ones, IMHO…

  4. Damian: it’s nice to know that I’m not the only guy shooting film with an M7 and a 28mm Elmarit. I shoot b&w and use other lenses besides the 28mm. I also have an M8.2 and an M6 TTL. Very nice shots of a terrible tragedy.

    • Sorry Michiel, didn’t mean to be confusing. All I meant was that the M9 is the best digital camera I’ve used (never tried MF digital) and IMO its fantastic. But if I had to choose, I’d probably still opt for film.

  5. Yes, just a remark first on the break-up letter,- all is true and that is EXACTLY why i love my M9 sooo much, its like a classic car, but in mint condition. I wont change it for anything!
    nice pics Damian, i will love to see it someday.
    So many places to go , so little time.
    Steve keep-up the good work, Great site!

  6. Looking forward to visit there one day soon just for the experience. Earlier this year I had the opportunity to visit the sister reactors at Ignalina here in Lithuania, which is in the process of being decommissioned. Thanks for sharing your images……hopefully one day we will be rid of these terrifying threats to man and nature…..

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