I spent the day in an Asylum... a real one (LAST PICS ADDED)

Discussion in 'Scenic, Architecture, and Travel' started by entropicremnants, Apr 28, 2013.

  1. entropicremnants

    entropicremnants Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jul 16, 2012
    John Griggs
    I spent the day in an Asylum... a real one (FEW MORE UP)

    It's a challenge to enter, and a challenge to shoot. It is IMMENSE. These first 6 images are just a start. There should be at least that many more.

    I made a very early morning visit to what was once one of the largest mental hospitals in the United States -- or even the world.

    It's been shut down for decades but it still stands -- a monument to mental illness stretching back to the 19th century.

    To enter it you must travel long distances underground through abandoned steam tunnels which I did alone and that was a little scary -- but it was worth it. The next shot shows part of the tunnel and it's a 15 second exposure I "light painted" to illuminate it. It's about an 1/8 to 1/4 mile long...

    The Subway by Entropic Remnants, on Flickr

    Bright and Cheerful Curtains by Entropic Remnants, on Flickr

    Ward 10 by Entropic Remnants, on Flickr

    Come and Play with Us! Forever, and ever, and ever... by Entropic Remnants, on Flickr

    All Must Die Alone... by Entropic Remnants, on Flickr

    Kroeger by Entropic Remnants, on Flickr
  2. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    Who knows what tales lurk within the walls there.....

    And then there's all the lead paint....

    Might want to save your shots for anyone writing a book about the place :wink:
  3. BarefootPilgrim

    BarefootPilgrim Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Dec 23, 2009
    Westchester, IL
    Eeek! Scary stuff but good shots. Superb job on the light-painted tunnel. Hope you weren't breathing any of that lead paint :eek:
  4. rparmar

    rparmar Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 14, 2011
    Limerick, Ireland
    Great shots!

    But please do not do this sort of thing solo. Too many things could go wrong, from rotten floorboards to protruding nails. Take someone with you and be safe.
  5. poisson rouge

    poisson rouge Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 13, 2013
    "A little scary" he says... :D You're crazy, but thanks for the photos. I would have been frightened to death going in there alone.. :eek:
  6. slothead

    slothead Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 14, 2012
    Frederick, MD
    John you are quite the adventurer aren't you. I don't think I would have the nerve to do that. But your images are superb! Well done.
  7. entropicremnants

    entropicremnants Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jul 16, 2012
    John Griggs
    THANKS! I may redo these shots. I rushed the PP and they may reappear magically altered, lol.

    Actually I have friends who are published about this place, lol. I'm a latecomer.

    Heavy metal, man, lol. I get tested for lead at work, never come up hot. Really, asbestos is probably more the hazard and I forgot my stinking repirator when I left the house!

    Thank you!

    And I appreciate your sensible concern and thank you. However (and you knew there was a "but" didn't you?), I can't wait on folks. I had two other folks lined up and both bailed. I've been exploring solo for a long time and for me it's actually a spiritual thing and I know that sounds weird. But I love it.

    There are no guarantees in life, and your advice is sound... sadly my way of living isn't, lol.
  8. entropicremnants

    entropicremnants Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jul 16, 2012
    John Griggs
    Tom, we should do one together sometime. I know some less scary ones that still have some good image opportunities if you'd like. I think I owe you instructions on how to get into the breaker I posted before -- but if we could do a trip on the buddy system it's actually better for both of us.

  9. tdekany

    tdekany Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 8, 2011
    Everything in these pictures are superb! Love the processing.
  10. emptysensor

    emptysensor Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 8, 2011
    Excellent job. When I first look at each shot I think about where the place might be, and the peeling paint, and the solitary dirty basketball, and the broken piano, and what it might have been like to be there, not what equipment or techniques were used to make each shot (even though the light painting is excellent). To me that is the litmus test of great photography.
  11. entropicremnants

    entropicremnants Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jul 16, 2012
    John Griggs
    THANK YOU! I'm probably too much of a perfectionist, lol. Maybe I won't change them. I'm so tired right now (I'm still working on shots, lol) after being up since 3AM that I'm probably too sensitive.

    THAT is an INCREDIBLE compliment!!! I think any photographer who considers themselves and artist (and I do whether I am or not) want's you to see what they saw -- the humanity in the desolation in my case. Sometimes a composition is just cool to look at and doesn't say anything, that's true. But we try, lol.

    So if you are looking at these and thinking or feeling something that's TREMENDOUS and thank you.
  12. entropicremnants

    entropicremnants Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jul 16, 2012
    John Griggs
    Okay, new batch -- I'm not going to comment these much now but I will later. I ran into several people within the walls and have some stories to tell but they must wait until later.

    Sitting by the Window on a Spring Day by Entropic Remnants, on Flickr

    Imagination is the Poop by Entropic Remnants, on Flickr

    Hair Dryer by Entropic Remnants, on Flickr

    Drying My Hair by Entropic Remnants, on Flickr

    Self-Renewing "Green" Desktop by Entropic Remnants, on Flickr

    Life During Wartime by Entropic Remnants, on Flickr

    I will comment the next one. If you look carefully you can see a couple of things: the frame of this picture is painted on, and it's been painted over several times. Judging from the ukelele and the hair/clothing styles this was painted back in the 1940's. But later it was painted over and the peeling of the paint since abandonment has revealed a past "masterpiece".

    I wonder who painted it? An inmate? A staffer?

    Rediscovered by Entropic Remnants, on Flickr

    Saved You a Seat in the Cafeteria by Entropic Remnants, on Flickr

    Ol' Rockin' Chair's Got Me by Entropic Remnants, on Flickr
  13. slothead

    slothead Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 14, 2012
    Frederick, MD
    Fantastic stuff John! Don't work too hard.
  14. spatulaboy

    spatulaboy I'm not really here Subscribing Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    North Carolina
    Great work John! Thanks for sharing your adventures with us. It's a sight most of us rarely see.

    Also I didn't see any purple blobs. lol might be mistaken for ghosts :tongue:
  15. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    Keep em' coming - that desk is something else! :yahoo:

  16. rozza

    rozza Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 2, 2013
    New Zealand
    Wow, what an absolutely amazing set (and such an intriguing subject) :2thumbs:

    And I agree with emptysensor's comments. Brilliant!
  17. entropicremnants

    entropicremnants Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jul 16, 2012
    John Griggs
    A couple of stories of odd things that happened

    Thanks, everybody!!!

    I have a couple of stories to share about weird things that happened while I was there.

    The Sound of Music

    I was in a room doing a shot -- which turned out to be rubbish -- when suddenly the intense quiet was filled with what seemed like unbelievable loud music! Totally startled I stood there for moment dumbfounded before realizing somebody must be in there with me hiding and their phone had started to ring with a very loud musical ringtone. So I advance cautiously in the direction of the music to see where they might be.

    I took about 4 steps towards it when suddenly I realized it was BEHIND me. Turning and looking down I saw a very nice, large HTC Android phone lying in the debris of the room.

    So I answered it of course, lol. It said "Jason" as the caller so I picked it up and said, "Hello, Jason!". The caller paused, then very hesitantly said, "Ummm. I guess you found the phone." -- He sounded very young to me (and was I found out later). I told him, "Yes. I'm in the [location censored] and I found it in the room with thousands of cup lids on the floor on the first floor. He asked how long I'd be there and I told him it would be hours. He said he could be there in a couple of hours.

    Later it rang again and we said we'd try to find each other but the day before had been his first time there and I said I was on my first time there and we couldn't determine a place we both knew so the plan was for me to be on the first floor of the main building and we'd try to find each other.

    This guy has to be the luckiest son of a gun alive. First, I happen to be there when he calls the phone, and second, he ended up coming in at the door where I was standing. I thought I heard him in "stereo" and said to him, "Say something really loud." He did and I told him he was right outside the door of the room I was in. Unbelievable.

    His name was Mike and the phone was his brother's actually but for some reason he was coming to retrieve it. He shook my hand offered profuse thanks and left. Weird event, lol.

    An Ominous Rumbling

    As I was making my way back to the tunnels, I stopped to take the shot posted of the weird modern rocking chair and the pipes with the valves I called "Old Rockin' Chair's Got Me". Suddenly I heard a faint rumble like somebody had say flushed a toilet upstairs or something and the drains were gurgling which made no sense as this place was totally turned off in every way.

    It got louder and louder and I began to be alarmed. Again, in the eerie silence of these places everything seems louder. It has a deep staccato rumble I just couldn't identify. I crouched by my camera and tripod and watched out the door.

    Finally, it was near and I saw flickering light in the dark basement corridor. All at once two guys with dust masks on, gloves, lights on their heads, and huge shopping cart full of papers RAN by me. One turned and saw me there and said, "Hey!" and they stopped.

    In north Jersey accents they said, "Yo! Whatta you doin'? Lookin' for ghosts?" I said, "No, just taking pictures. You guys WORK here or something?" They laughed and said that no, they were amateur historians who come to get old documents and we introduced ourselves. They had a shopping cart full of them and it was very heavy. It was that cart that made the strange sound coming down the hallway.

    We chatted for a bit and they told me the sherriff and fire departments were conducting drills on the other end of the property so stay out of sight and I told them I was leaving but thanks for the heads up.

    You never know who you'll run into on an explore, lol.
  18. woof

    woof Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 18, 2011
    The present.
    Great sets. Really outstanding.

    Love the 16:9 shots. Don't see enough of that.

    Come play with us... is my favorite, followed closely by all must dia alone.

    Will be interested in seeing more.

  19. littlefish

    littlefish Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 22, 2011
    Glos., UK
    Excellent. I admire your spirit. Have you thought about converting a few of these to black & white?
  20. entropicremnants

    entropicremnants Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jul 16, 2012
    John Griggs
    Thank you!

    I am in a "phase" I guess you could call it where I am really in love with color and its nuances. Some of these might be brilliant in black & white but right now that's not where my head's at.

    I appreciate the suggestion though.
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