I must admit. I never thought I would see the inside of a penitentiary. I am a clean cut guy with no nefarious deeds to my name. Plus, the though of incarceration makes me break out in sweat. However, my love of photography takes me to strange locations and infuses me with more tenacity then I thought possible. So, with my camera as my guide, I decided to take a tour of East State Penitentiary. This is a location that screams to be shot. No pun intended. The derelict walls and structures create a cornucopia of textures and shapes that allow for various angles on interest. The only issues I had with this location was the limited access. If you are a fan of architecture I recommend taking a tour. However, if you plan on taking pictures, I recommend you take these three things in mind. Firstly, bring a tripod or mono-pod. Most of the penitentiary is dark with beams of light cascading around the structure. A tripod with allow for longer exposures and cleaner images (Note the grain in the first image). Secondly, go early. The less people in the location the better. It decreases the likelihood that you will have to compete with a someone else for a shot. Particularly, someone taking pictures with an ipod or iphone. A Three, try HDR. The second shot I provided below is an HDR image. By taking three images an combining them, I was able to gain more detail that I ever could with one exposure. As far as lenses and cameras, shoot with had you have and with what you like. It's an expression of your art. Not mind. Just have fun!
I will take my own advice an revisit the penitentiary. Next time I should get cleaner images, and hopefully, a few more interesting angle. I can't wait! Maybe I'll see you there!