I'm happy to announce the release of my first book - Beauty In Ruin - The Asylum Nudes. This book is available in hardcover and softcover, in 8x10 format, and weighs in at 104 pages.
The Beauty in Ruin body of work involves a series of environmental figure studies shot within the interior of the former Northern Michigan Asylum for the Insane, later known as the Traverse City State Hospital. The hospital operated for about 104 years, before it was closed down and left empty, and time and the elements took their toll. Thankfully, through the work of a number of people, restoration efforts have begun to breathe a new era of life into these buildings.
The images featured in this book were shot in the unrestored sections of the buildings over the course of 2007 and 2008.
The hospital was constructed according to the Kirkbride plan, which was a method of architecture designed to promote the process of healing by taking into account the environment of the patient - specifically centered around humane treatment, sunlight, fresh air, landscape, among other things - essentially, using the concept of beauty as an integral component of the healing process. Despite the state of some of the buildings, these traits are still quite evident - from the complex array of ductwork feeding from the spires as a means to circulate fresh air, to the way the buildings almost resonate with sunlight at certain points in the day. I've attempted to capture some of these elements in this series of work.
The book essentially has four parts which center around some of the unique characteristics of this environment - textures and contrast, studies which use the natural lighting of the interior as a focal point, architectural facets, and then some of my own interpretations, which involve various photo manipulations (long exposures, multiple exposures, etc).
All images in the book (with the exception of "The Secret Passage") were shot using unmodified natural light, either through traditional or infrared cameras.
The book and a series of about 20 large format photos will be featured at the InsideOut Gallery in Traverse City, MI from December 5th, 2008 to January 7th, 2009. Additional exhibition information will follow.
Purchasing information can be found on the Books section of this site.