Photographer finds beauty in eerie abandoned places of worship
These illuminating images show the crumbling remains of some of the world’s places of worship.
The shots include golden chapels, overgrown synagogues and eerily silent rooms that were once used for prayer.
They were visited by Matthias Haker, a 31-year-old photographer from Potsdam, Germany.
Adding to the general intrigue of his images, Matthias never discloses the location of a shot – not even the town, country or continent.
Matthias keeps the locations secret “simply to protect them,” he revealed.
He also doesn’t believe background information is important for such pictures, allowing people to use their imaginations to envisage what a location was like.
Matthias also creates informative and powerful names for his images – such as ‘Silent Prayers’, ‘The Golden Chapel’ and ‘The Parish is Gone’.
Finding such locations requires plenty of planning.
In the past, Matthias has mapped out complete tours of abandoned locations, only to arrive and find that some buildings have been torn down or are impossible to enter.
Though aging, decaying buildings – and images of them – may stir feelings of sadness, Matthias tries to bring out more vibrant emotions in his photography.
He said: “In general I’d say my work is all about beauty.
“Even though I can understand the sadness that overcomes some people when seeing those buildings in the desolate state they are in, I usually do not try to express sadness, creepiness or anything like that in my work.
“The process of aging and dereliction is just fascinating and absolutely beautiful to me.
“For that reason I don’t like muted colours or pictures that look frightening due to the dark tones.
“The structures that come to life through the aging or even death of a building – the reconquering of Mother Nature are just plain beautiful I think.
“I try to convey this message in my pictures.”