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Hours of Darkness - Night Photography

Hours of Darkness is a collection of Night / Low Light Photography Featuring Color and Black & White photos created using film and digital cameras. Night Photography of various subjects from Architectural, Industrial, Travel, Nautical, Landscape and Transportation to Modern Ruins and Abandoned Asylums.

Night Photography has long been my primary focus in photography. This is because of the final product. I believe what makes a good photograph is a photo that makes you feel something the moment you look at it. For me all these photos do that. Night Photography is the process of capturing the movement of time. The final result is a photo that can't be seen with the naked eye. Night Photography requires a commitment. Most of the photos on this site are 4-8 min. exposures. And in the surrounding days of the full moon you may come away with only a few good photos after hours of work.

Night Photography shows many subjects in a new light. I have long been fascinated with Modern Ruins and Abandoned Places and photographing these places at night adds to there allure. Abandoned Asylums such as Central Islip Psychiatric Center, Kings Park Psychiatric Center and the semi Abandoned Pilgrim State Psychiatric Center. These places are filled with fabulous Architectural Details and massive landscapes of Abandoned Building and all have an interesting history. Also the Industrial Ruins of

A brief history of some of the locations photographed on Hours of Darkness.

Central Islip Psychiatric Center:

In 1887 New York City purchased 1,000 acres for a farm colony at $25 an acre. The farm colony officially opened May 6, 1889 with a total of 49 male patients from the city’s Wards Island mental facility. Six years later there were 1,000 patients at Central Islip. In 1895 the state legislature put all New York City asylums under Manhattan State Hospital of Central Islip. By 1914 there were 122 buildings, and by 1955 there were 10,000 patients and more than 1,000 employees. At that point it steadily declined as therapies improved and the state budget tightened. In 1996 Central Islip Psychiatric Center officially closed with its remaining patients being transferred to Pilgrim State.


Kings Park Psychiatric Center:

In 1885 the city of Brooklyn established the first farm colony in a quite farming community. The Kings County Farm consisted of more than 800 to care for the poor and mentally ill. The farm colony originally opened with 55 patients.

As new building went up, so did the patient population. Soon the same problems that were plaguing the cities Asylums overcrowding and patient care were apparent at Kings Park. This lead to protest by the public and medical staff  which lead to the state taking over both Long Island Farm Colonies in 1895.

By the 1900 the patient population had grown to 2,697 along with a staff of 454 and as time went on Kings Park grew to have more than 150 permanent buildings, including a bakery, Laundromat, amusement hall, bandstand, library, furniture repair shop, and nursing school. This made the Psychiatric center self-sufficient and therefore not very dependent on the rest of long island. In 1954 Kings Park Psychiatric Center hit 9,300 patients and after this the hospitals population began to decline. Drug therapy combined with a push to “decentralize'' psychiatric patients into community facilities or outpatient treatment reduced the need for the large psychiatric hospital. By the 1980’s KPPC was a shell of its former self with many of it buildings being abandoned as it downsized. In 1996 Kings Park Psychiatric Center closed and its remaining patients were transferred to Pilgrim State.


Pilgrim Psychiatric Center:

Pilgrim opened on October 1 1931 with 825 acres  and a population of 100 patients that were transferred from Central Islip Psychiatric Center.  Named for Dr. Charles W. Pilgrim, Commissioner of Mental Health in the early 1900s. Nine months after it opened Pilgrim was caring for 2,018 patients. In 1954 Pilgrims population hit its peek of 13,875 patients. After this just like the other Psychiatric Hospitals the population began to decrease.

Pilgrim was the largest facility of its kind in the world when it was built. The hospital was self-sufficient, in that it had its own water works, electric light plant, heating plant, sewage system, fire department, police department, courts, church, post office, cemetery, laundry, store, amusement hall, athletic fields, greenhouses, and farm.

Today Pilgrim Psychiatric Center remains open. It is the last of the large farm colonies on Long Island. Although the  future of Pilgrim is uncertain with many of its buildings laying in ruin or abandoned and much of its property has been sold to be redeveloped.


Fairchild Republic Company:

In 1926 The Fairchild Airplane Manufacturing Company took over a small aircraft company east of Farmingdale. In 1931, Alexander de Seversky opened another aircraft company. Seversky set a world speed record on October 8, 1933 in a plane his company built in which he flew at 177.79 mph. Then in 1938 his company was reorganized and become Republic Aviation Corp. In 1965 Republic Aviation Corp. was taken over by Fairchild Hiller Corp. of Maryland. In 1987 the plant closed its doors ending one of Long Island’s great aviation companies, which produced the P-47 Thunderbolt fighter, the F-84 Thunderjet, F-105 Thunderchief and A-10 Warthog.


Liberty Industrial Finishing:

Liberty Industrial Finishing opened up operations in the late 1930’s, manufacturing aircraft parts and trailers, also metal plating and finishing operations, including anodizing, electroplating, dying, and painting. Over the years there have been many industrial businesses since Liberty departed. Now the land is a superfund site after all the years of poor environmental practices.

Hours of Darkness - Night Photography - Low Light Photography - Black & White - Film & Digital - Galleries Featuring: Architecture - Abandoned Asylums - Industrial - Nautical - Modern Ruins - Transportation - Travel - Landscape