Eastern State Penitentary, Philadelphia (image heavy)

Discussion in 'Scenic, Architecture, and Travel' started by agentlossing, Jul 14, 2014.

  1. agentlossing

    agentlossing Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jun 26, 2013
    Andrew Lossing
    One of the cooler historical sites in Philadelphia, at least in the midlly twisted point of view of my wife and I, is Eastern State, the first penitentary in America and a historical site that is being kept up in an interesting way. The main routes through the place are kept up for safety's sake to allow for self-guided tours, but they are allowing the place to continue to age and decay naturally with only a minimum of upkeep, so it is a very picturesque location, as you might imagine. While I didn't capture the exterior, imagine a mock-medieval fortress of high stone walls, complete with (non-functional) battlements and slit windows, nestled right into downtown Philly near Penn State. Everything about the place oozes austerity, as it was designed to inspire penitence in the hearts of its occupants, a form of remediation that was new at the time (prisons tended to be nothing more than holding pens for criminals at that point in our history.

    I went back and forth for awhile with how to process these photos, as I knew I wanted to emphasize the textures you could see and feel in the place, but wasn't really experienced with tonal contrast and that sort of thing. I think I've settled on something I'm happy with, but feel free to critique; you won't hurt my feelings, and I look to improve!

    P1040967 copy1 by lakonian117, on Flickr

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  2. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Great (and creepy) set.
  3. flamingfish

    flamingfish Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 16, 2012
    ^^ what Steve said. Eastern State is a terrifying example of how good intentions can go very, very wrong. You definitely captured the creepiness!
  4. jamesgehrt

    jamesgehrt Mu-43 Regular

    May 20, 2014
    Easthampton, Massachusetts
    James Gehrt
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  5. Livnius

    Livnius Super Moderator

    Jul 7, 2011
    Melbourne. Australia
    Good work mate....awful looking place. A canny local tourist operator should offer overnight stays, perhaps schools should do sleepovers as a part of their 'education'.
  6. flamingfish

    flamingfish Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 16, 2012
    No sleepovers, but they do "haunted house" tours around Halloween.

    It's also available for weddings. Really.
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  7. ex machina

    ex machina Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 3, 2014
    Northern Virgnia
  8. Harvey Melvin Richards

    Harvey Melvin Richards Photo Posting Junkie

    Feb 15, 2014
    Southwest Utah
    It looks like a place I would want to avoid, so I think you captured it's essence.
  9. Crdome

    Crdome Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Sep 11, 2011
    West Central Indiana
    I'm blown away with your imagery!
  10. agentlossing

    agentlossing Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jun 26, 2013
    Andrew Lossing
    Thanks folks! I saw while I was there that they do a haunted house, which sounds like it takes the cake for scariest Halloween house just about anywhere!

    I settled on a few filters in Perfect Effects that I saved as a preset and was able to do the editing work fairly quickly and easily (which shocked me). I wanted to capture the look and feel of the crumbling place while at the same time moderating the light a little bit. It was noontime (and hot!) so what light you did have was shining in through windows and doors, along wwith some muted skylights, and we were going from blinding light to darkness as we passed through. I felt like I was missing the full effect since my eyes were constantly trying to adjust. I tried to expose to capture the details, which often meant slow shutter speeds, so I made a lot of use of railings, doorways and other elements, and bumped ISO as little as I could.