The morning was brisk and warm as i arose out of bed and began shaking the cobwebs from my limbs and packing my gear into a bag, The sun was high in sky even at 9am and it lit my room with yellow warmth. I threw some clothes on and tied my boots, the camera bag flew into the passenger seat and i was off! The destination? West Chester, PA about a two hour drive from my home town. The drive was pleasant and mellow taking back roads through small towns. I arrived in West Chester minutes before noon and was greeted in the parking lot by Paul ( @paullard ), i met him mid fall last year at a meet up in the Pocono Mountians and became friends with him and his buddy Hutch whom would also be meeting up with us shortly.
After catching up for a few Hutch ( @hutchins_photo ) arrived we wandered the streets of town before ending up in a local coffee shop and fueled our bodies with delicious caffeine. The weather was gorgeous so we enjoyed our creamy iced cups outside of the studio on the shaded porch with railing perfect for sitting and conversation. After some time Sarah arrived ( please give her a follow @dontsleeponsarah ) we entered into the car and went to our first destination of the day, an old farm house outside of town, this location was short lived as upon arriving a red rusted truck pulled up with a disheveled look about him and after a short conversation of trying to convince him to let us shoot there we knew we would have to leave so we jumped back into the car and off we went.
About ten or so minutes passed by and we pulled into a massive structure, after parking we entered a long massive structure encased with old factory windows on either side, inside the building was sectioned off with cages and what looked to be different shops in each. Machine shop, paint shop, mechanic, etc, as we walked we passed them all before reaching the last section and heading out the door across to another building. This one featured a massive car hanger with vents on the ceiling painting a rear wall with streaks of light. Passing through the rear wall and entering a stairway that led to a corner room with windows, Hutch had the brilliant idea to cover the floor with broken glass we found in a room or two over and we positioned a chair in the middle and directed Sarah on how we wanted her positioned.
From here we entered tunnels that led underground for miles up to the top section of the campus, this would be the hospital portion of the campus. We climbed down a narrow manhole on a ladder and entered the tunnels, they smelt of moisture and mildew and had pipes running on one side, the walkway wasnt tight by any means and was actually quite nice. We walked for a while peeking our heads out of an open man hole every so often to check where we were at. Finally we made it to the field just before the massive hospital building. Entering it we encountered a basket ball court with a floor that resembled waves more then flooring, we climbed over this and entered a hallway. The typical debris and chipping lead paint canvased the walls and floors. It was overcast at this point in the day and caused soft dim light throughout any room with a window.
We found the pool room next, a gorgeous in ground pool surrounded on one side with giant windows letting in massive amounts of pleasing light. At this point in the day we met up with Sean, a fantastic photographer also and an amazing poet ( follow him @seanascott ), after grabbing the few shots i wanted we moved throughout the desolate building climbing floor after floor and all taking stops to shoot at different times and in rooms scattered throughout before all gathering on the top floor where a room with giant colored blocks piled high almost reaching the ceiling and windows surrounding once again.
Here is where most of the shooting took place, Sarah was an amazing sport about everything and didnt think twice about crawling into dusty caves of bright colored blocks, or lying atop old mattresses, and even the floor for some shots, i cant thank her enough for this as it helped get some great images. At this point the sun was setting and everyone was about ready to pack it up, Sarah left for work while Sean, Hutch, Paul, and myself headed back to town and grabbed some post shoot beers and burgers before i said my good byes and headed back up north. The ride back i thought of no other way i would have rather spent my day, and also to just say yes when life throws you something ive made some of my best friends threw doing so and had some of the most amazing times. Get out and shoot and most importantly get out and live.
- Keep Traveling Friends