Exploring mines and caves can be a challenging task, to say the least, and it comes with its fair share of risks. As many photographers will admit, though, sometimes the most dangerous shots to take turn out to be the best ones.
Russian photographer Mikhail Mishainik is no stranger to risky photography shoots. He’s well-known for exploring a number of Russian industrial sites and capturing dazzling shots along the way.
More recently, he explored an abandoned ore mine in the Russian Ural Mountains, and the results were incredible. Check out his beautiful photos below!
The Ural Mountains only began being mined during World War II, and the mine has long since been abandoned. This shot captures the disarray of what remains of the mine and the lighting makes the scene look unreal, almost fantasy like.
The Soviet Army was diligently trying to find materials that could fuel their war efforts. This mine appears to have been well-used during its mining days.
Considering the Soviets were in quite a rush to secure these resources and they were experiencing great losses in the war, it’s easy to understand why they had little concern for safe mining practices. Their main focus was efficiently mining the ore.
Further to the point of safety, what can be seen in this shot is wooden beams precariously holding up the mountain. As unbelievable as that sounds, technology at that time was not what it is now. One can only imagine what it would’ve been like to work in these dangerous mines, and even the danger photographer Mishainik was likely in when he took this shot.
Although mines such as this were of great use to the Soviets during the war, their overall poor construction led to rapid decay within a decade after the war. Many now lay completely abandoned throughout the Ural Mountains.
Despite heavy decay, the mines still held up well enough for Mishainik and his friends to thoroughly explore their cavernous interiors. They appear to have been well equipped for the task with the right gear.
The long list of dangers in these mines continues with much of this particular mine being flooded by groundwater. The amount of work required to restore these mines to their working days would be immense.
Fortunately, no one was hurt while exploring these mines. The results were some truly amazing photos, so it seems to have been well worth the risk. This final shot shows the massive scale of this mine, along with how spooky it is without anyone working in it. The mine looks like it would be a great setting for a horror movie!
Mishainik has a large portfolio with lots of other photos. If you’re interested in seeing more pictures of amazing abandoned locations in Russia, be sure to check out his homepage.
We didn’t know abandoned mines could be so cool, but this one certainly is so make sure to share with a friend!