Friday, September 17, 2010

Behind Bars Once More

This past August I joined several friends from the Warrenton-Manassas Camera Club to shoot the old West Virginia Penitentiary in Moundsville, WV. The Penitentiary has a very old and interesting history. It is currently open during the day for tours. I called a couple years ago and asked about taking photos during the day and was told that was fine as long as I could keep up with the tour group. There was no way that was going to work. After shooting the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum last year during a ghost hunt, I decided that Moundsville would make an interesting subject this year.

Here is how it works. You enter the prison at 8:00 pm, get an orientation, and then tour the facility. After returning from the tour they order pizza and then set you loose to begin your ghost hunt. The group size is limited to 50 people. We rarely had any type of issue with our photographs interfering with the ghost hunters. Some time after midnight we were in an interior hallway with a bat. The bat would fly back and forth sometimes just a few inches over our heads. Needless to say we finished up pretty quick and moved on to another area.

While I really enjoy this type of lightpainting, I find it to be a huge challenge. Lightpainting the great outdoors is much easier. In an interior space your light is reflected and not always in a manner I like. But like anything else, with work I suspect I will be able to improve my process.

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