Saturday, November 15, 2008

320/366 Three Doors, originally uploaded by Amberture.

Today I took a tour of closed and locked up St. Elizabeth's Hospital. We weren't allowed inside any of the buildings (unlike previous tours...) but there was a lot to see and photograph. Anyone that knows anything about me or my photography knows that decay, industrial devolution, and rotting old barns are some of my favorite subjects.

From the flier we were handed during the tour:
"St. Elizabeth's Hospital was a landmark in the mid-nineteenth century social reform movement that sought to provide care fo the mentally ill. Dorothea Lynde Dix, a noted American social reformer, philanthropist, author, and educator, helped establish St. Elizabeth's as the Government Hospital for the Insane in 1852. Its purpose, according to the March 3, 1855, legislation that organized the hospital, was to provide 'the most humane and enlightened curative treatment of the insane of the army and navy of the United States, and of the District of Columbia.'"

This photograph came out looking similar to how you see it now - the vignetting was ambient due to an overhanging porch roof. The RAW file looked quite a bit muddier than you see it here but Photoshop cleared that up on auto. I pushed the contrast and sharpened it up a bit; moved the dark levels down just a tad. I experimented with some high-pass sharpening but wasn't pleased with the result - it seemed to put tiny specs of white into the shot and just didn't have the right feel. I have to say I'm very pleased with this one, particularly with the gradient of light moving down.

More St. Elizabeth's photos in my Flickr.

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