Stepping From the Dark / by Todd Henson


Stepping From the Dark, Battery Mount Vernon, Fort Hunt Park, Virginia.


Old, abandoned locations can be full of photographic opportunities. Walking along the ruins you may find an interesting alignment of shapes you can craft into an abstract image. Or you may find a feature to photograph from a less common perspective. Or, as in today’s image, you may find a nice combination of shapes that, if not at an abandoned location, might be a fairly ordinary scene. But by combining the shapes with the slow decay of time and the right light you just might find a photograph worth making.

This photograph is of a scene between levels at Battery Mount Vernon, an old military structure located at Fort Hunt Park, just off the George Washington Memorial Parkway in Virginia. It’s interesting to ponder what this location might have looked like when it was in use. How busy would it have been? What was up the stairs? What was down below? Who would have walked these steps?

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I found this scene while exploring the outside of the structure. It had recently rained and the sky was still overcast. Many of the walls and steps were still darkened from the rain, adding to the darker feel of the image. I was walking the lower level when I found this short stairway leading to the next level. The remains of last Autumn’s leaves still littered the steps and ground nearby. Partway up was an open metal door with soft, cloud-filtered light illuminating its opening. I had stumbled into a photograph waiting to be made.

If you like this photograph you can purchase it at my online store. Stepping From the Dark is available as wall art and on a variety of products.