Location: Hospital District of the Charleston Naval Base
Client: Jamestown Group
(scroll down for gallery)
Note: Thank you to Katherine Daughtridge from Thesis Content for the opportunity. One of my favorite shoots in years. These are the “befores” of the old medical buildings in the Hospital District of the Charleston Naval Base along the Cooper River. The goal is to place the camera in the same spot after the Jamestown Group does what they did to Chelsea Market, Brooklyn Naval Yard, Philadelphia Naval Yard, etc to Charleston Naval Yard. It is a BIG DEAL. Spanish Colonial and Mission style architecture can be seen throughout the buildings’ design. There is a cool vibe up there. A lot of these images are 20-30 second exposures allowing for more depth of field and finer detail. I captured traditional architectural images and I also archived a lot of the dilapidation, patina, graffiti and just the general feeling of the buildings’ current state of decay. I have more images I will post of the Charleston Naval Hospital, the Power Systems Building, the Three Sisters buildings, Marina Barracks, etc etc.
Note: One day right as dusk was setting in I was by myself shooting with a bluetooth speaker playing funk music for hours. The speaker died as I walked into an overgrown quadrangle where four buildings come together completely boxing in the area now looking like a cliche horror movie set from the 1980s. One building was a former psychiatric ward. Something I wish I had not known. So much graffiti and satanic symbols everywhere… It makes your heart race. So maybe 10-15 minutes after the bluetooth speaker dies I find myself in the middle of the quadrangle shooting my very last shots of the day… and then suddenly…. I can just tell I am not alone. I can just feel someone or something else is in the same wooded area as me, but the sun was so low that it was dark. I stop and just listen. Motionless. It’s there. I book it into the psychiatric ward as it is the closest building. I had not shot anything in that entire building yet and I did not know how to get out of the building complex…. to escape the “scary noise” behind me. Realizing the psychiatric ward was MUCH darker for some reason and I saw zero way of exiting the buildings… I had to go BACK through the courtyard to get to the one way I knew how to get out of this maze. I am a grown man…. but I held my camera, elongated tripod still attached and super heavy backpack…. and I ran like a frightened 8 year old girl through those trees, through the other building’s super long super scary corridors (see long scary corridor photos below shot earlier on the same day), down a few flights of stairs…. and out the door like something was chasing me. It wasn’t. Probably a squirrel or mouse… but that is what it is like shooting pre-restored architrectural photography sometimes. Other photographers may not have made it out of that situation and could possibly perish… but not this photographer.