Northampton State Hospital – Trip 1

Photography, for me, started in Middle School.  My friend signed up for photography class and brought me in to the dark room to check out the prints he was developing from his pinhole camera.  I was instantly hooked.  The smell of the fix, the image slowly coming out in the developer, it was magic.  I started out with a homemade pinhole camera and moved up to black and white 35mm film.  I took photography numerous times throughout high school but, despite going to one of the best photography colleges in the country, I didn’t photograph for the next 9 years.

In 2005, the Canon 20D came out.  It seemed to me to be the first DSLR that you could get decent sized prints out of, finally solving my problem of not having a dark room.  I bought one and muddled around with it throughout the year but lacked the inspiration I needed to start shooting seriously again.  That all changed when I saw some photos online from people who would explore and photograph abandoned buildings.  The excitement was electric and I knew that I had to do this.

Northampton State Hospital, built in 1856 and closed in 1993 was the first place I explored.  I read all I could about exploring and Northampton online, but still didn’t really know what to expect in terms of soggy floors, security, etc.  On my very first trip I managed to get in to the North Infirmary (the interiors you see here are all from the North Infirmary) and the excitement was electric.  I was ridiculously nervous, but I was also hooked!  It was the beginning of a very long and interesting journey.