Tuesday Viewsday: Hanna City HDR

Uh oh… triple X… guess we’re going to be a little naughty for today’s post! No, don’t worry; nothing like that, I promise. Instead of looking at an image from the past few years, let’s take a look at one I shot this past weekend during the Hanna City Work Camp HDR workshop.

For those wondering, the workshop was a total blast and those who attended really learned a lot, even if there were some computer difficulties there near the end. In the days since our excursion to Hanna City, I’ve seen a whole load of new HDR images in the Flickr streams of attendees and have received some really great questions about the process, which always means good things; I believe that curiosity truly is the mother of creation.

As for the site, Hanna City Work Camp is an abandoned detention facility located just west of Peoria. For an HDR shooter, this place is truly heaven; even the students were begging to stay for a few more minutes when we left. I hope to return there in the spring and our faithful guide, Rick, was more than kind enough to let us come shoot and said we can come back anytime.

HCWC is now maintained by Peoria County (a special thanks to Jenny at Peoria County for all her amazing work arranging the site for me), but it has a long history; starting off as a radar station for the Air Force, it eventually became a detention center for juveniles, then for adult prison trustees with less than six months left on their sentences.

In the years since, the radar was purchased by the FAA and is still used to this day, but the funds to keep the facility open were diverted elsewhere and now the County maintains the property until such time they can look at a proper use for it in the near future.

Until then, it’s a photographer’s paradise loaded down with abandoned buildings, broken windows, peeling paint, rusty metal, and loads of litter scattered throughout; when I imagine the Rapture, this is what it looks like as if everyone just left in a hurry and didn’t care what happened when they left. Simply put… it’s awesome.

So what do you think of the shot? What do you like or not like about it? I’d like to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

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