Going to Prison

As a member of a large photography group, we occasionally got access to places that were off limits to the general public. One such site was the abandoned Tennessee State Prison here in Nashville. In recent history it had been used as a movie set for “The Green Mile” and “The Last Castle.” We were very excited to get a look at it. It looks like the perfect eerie prison for film.

I’m not sure what camera I had at the time (I’d say at least two cameras ago) but my style of photography was already starting to emerge. What I look for today I was looking for back then.

We weren’t supposed to go into the actual prison wing but what photographer listens to rules when on the hunt.

I really got a sense of what life must have been like for the inmates. It was a truly a soul-shattering place. I didn’t stay in cell block area for long, it was too sad. I wandered looking for graphic images:

And those that added a poignancy to the visit.

We are getting less and less access to these types of places, for good or bad. But if you can get me I’ll be there!

contributed by Sandy Burr   all images ©Sandy Burr Photography

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