Photo: "Back to the Morgue"

I had the opportunity to revisit the Marine Hospital on a recent trip and I knew I wanted to spend some time in the beautiful morgue again, in an attempt to get a more refined shot. 

For the image below, I used one 125w LED panel to light the entire space. First, I set the panel inside the hood, aimed it upward, over the table and left it for a minute and a half on a low setting. Then I removed the light, placed it on the ground off-camera to the left and bounced it off the ceiling for another minute and a half at full power. 

Photo: "2A34"

The former U.S. Marine Hospital in Tennessee was constructed in the 1937. At this time, the Marines operated eight hospitals within the United States. The patients at these facilities received excellent health care here and weren't nearly as crowded as the Navy facilities. 

Photo: "The Morgue"

U.S. Marine Hospital, Tennessee

This morgue is very special to me, as it is the only one I have found completely in tact, copper head piece and all. 

This hospital was originally constructed in the late 1800's, but the main building was demolished and reconstructed in the 1930's. 

(Technical: Dark basement. 2min 20sec exposure. Lit with LED and incandescent flashlights.)

Photo: "Marine Hospital Morgue"

It's often hard for others to comprehend my interest in morgues. To most, morgues are considered depressing, gross or creepy. While I recognize these morgues resemble something many of us are afraid of, death, they are much like an endangered species that you have been lucky enough to stumble upon. 

When many of these asylums close, they often begin to experience foot traffic by kids, explorers, scrappers and taggers. For some reason morgues seem to be where people gravitate when they explore these hospitals. Sometimes scrappers will have taken the metal parts, but most often I find that taggers have put their names all over the tile walls and morgue doors, which to me, generally makes the morgue unworthy of a photograph. It is incredibly rare to find a complete morgue, undisturbed for decades. 

This morgue was in a pitch black basement. To light the scene, I used 3 flashlights: one bounced inside the hood (cool LED), one out of frame to the left (incandescent) and one out of frame to the right in the hallway (also incandescent.) My hope was to convey a natural looking scene, rather than something that appeared to have been light painted.