Pic Of The Week (16/2013) – Air Pollution Bulgarian Style

The notorious Republika thermal power plant in Pernik, Western Bulgaria (Image Copyright by Johann Brandstätter/JB Photography) The Republika power plant in Pernik, 35 km southwest of Sofia is fired with domestically produced brown coal. In 2009, the lack of an appropriate filtering systems earned Republika the debatable distinction of being named the facility polluting its surroundings […]

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Pic Of The Week (12/2013) – Old Railway Depot, Sofia

One of the empty halls in the old railway depot behind Sofia’s Central Station:

Old Railway Depot, Sofia
Old Railway Depot, Sofia

(Image Copyright 2013 © by Johann Brandstätter/ JB Photography)

The windows are overgrown with vines and I had to fight my way trough them to get this shot. I was leaning against the window frame to keep the camera steady while trying to avoid having my jacket (and my face) cut to ribbons on the glass fragments sticking out everywhere.

While there is a big fence closing off access to this area from the new railway depot there is an easy way in over a huge field of rubble between the station and the Sofia power plant. The whole area is an El Dorado for the ruins photographer and a home to many of the city’s disadvantaged people.

Canon EOS 50D & Tokina 11-16mm AT-X 116 Pro DX (@12mm); f/14; 1/25; ISO 500

More images like this on the ‘Industrial Ruins‘ gallery on my website.

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Pic Of The Week (11/2013) – Apartment Blocks in Pernik, Bulgaria

Apartment blocks behind the coal-fired thermal power plant ‘Republika’ in Pernik

Apartment buildings in Pernik
Apartment buildings near the ‘Republika’ power plant in Pernik, Western Bulgaria

(Image Copyright 2013 © by Johann Brandstätter/ JB Photography)

While shooting for my ‘Industrial Ruins‘ project in the city of Pernik, 35 km southwest of Sofia, I saw this desolate scene near the ‘Republika’ power plant. The plant is notorious for its enormous output of air pollutants – most notably sulfur oxides – yet people still live in such close quarters to the facility. Although ‘Republika’ looks like a ruin it is still in operation (not always a contradiction in Bulgaria).

The impression is indescribable, almost like in a war zone, to the right – just outside the frame – huge piles of coal dominate the landscape, behind the buildings two cooling towers blow out steam.

Canon EOS 50D & Canon EF 24-105mm L IS USM (@85mm); f/7.1; 1/100; ISO 400

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History on the Rubbish Dump

While shooting industrial ruins for one of my projects I came across this interesting cardboard box, obviously from an era long past:

History on the Rubbish Dump
History on the Rubbish Dump

(Image Copyright 2013 © by Johann Brandstätter/ JB Photography)

I found this little piece of history on an empty lot behind the Central Railway Station in Sofia (the smoke stacks and cooling towers belong to the Sofia Thermal Power Plant).

 

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Pic Of The Week (24/2012) – A Remnant From Communist Times

The communist star  is still guarding the Shamot AD ceramic plant east of Sofia:

Communist star on an industrial chimney in western Bulgaria
Communist star on an industrial chimney in western Bulgaria (Image Copyright Johann Brandstätter / JB Photography)

Nobody ever bothered to remove this reminder of 45 years of communist regime on the chimney of the Shamot AD ceramic factory in Gara Elin Pelin, about 20 km east of the Bulgarian capital Sofia.

The factory is producing electric isolators and other industrial ceramics, but with the economic downturn in Bulgaria is far from working at full capacity. Like in so many other factories all over the country, the buildings are falling apart.

I took this shot as part of my ongoing project “Industrial Ruins in Bulgaria”, see more images from that project on my website.

Canon EOS 50D & Canon EF 4/70-200 L USM; f/5.6; 1/1600; ISO 200

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