This past weekend, I visited Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia. Many photographers have worked this ruin/museum and produced amazing images, inspiring me to visit a local place I have not seen in the 14 years I’ve lived here. I’ve also started experimenting more with dramatic light and knew this site would be challenging and offer a good exercise. I never expected to come away so excited about the images I captured on that day… so excited to photograph stills without anything living in them, so excited that I’m planning to return and to look for additional sites, my awareness now keen to develop a new project.
I have not been able to put into words yet what it is about making these images that captures me so. But it’s not about gloom and doom as much as it’s about the light, about illumination, opportunity, spirituality, the connection to the good in the world… an odd paradox for a prison. I suppose I’ll have to think about this. But the ray of light in this image reminds me of God rays coming through a cloudy sky laying their gentle beams of light upon the earth… here the single beam laying its hand gently upon a soul.
For more images from this day, visit the New Work gallery on my website: Rhoda Maurer Photography at Photoshelter.com