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The Orphanage by Ian English

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Composite image. During the recent Red Bubble Rumble in Goulburn NSW Australia, Dianne and I found the abandoned and vandalised orphanage. The second image taken in our studio is Melissa who is 15 and for a first time model, was very professional.
Nikon D700 24-70 f2.8 tripod
ISO 200 f20 @24mm 1/3rd – 20sec sec 7 x RAW files tonemapped in Photomatix Pro2 and processed with PS CS5

Featured in: Creative Talented & Unknown 17 Nov 12 Featured in: Full Frame 18 Nov 12
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St John’s Orphanage, Goulburn
The Orphanage was opened in 1905 by the Sisters of Mercy and The Catholic Church, with the foundation stone laid and blessed on the 17th of March by Bishop Gallagher of Goulburn. It was one of the first orphanages to be built in Goulburn. From 1905 until 1912 St. Johns housed both males and females. In 1912 St. Joseph’s House of Prayer was opened which became Goulburn’s girls orphanage.
St. John’s orphanage had many extensions after it was established. A west wing and a chapel was added in 1919, then a new east wing and a rear room during the 1920s. A hall was then constructed and completed in 1932, and an extension to the south wing in 1938.
After 71 years in operation, the building closed in 1976. It is a reportedly haunted location. The orphanage site is listed as a heritage conservation area under Goulburn Mulwaree Council’s Local Environment Plan.2 It was used from the late 1970’s to the late 1990’s as Youth With A Mission Base Goulburn, where people young and old came from all over the world to do Discipleship training Courses and to serve on staff in this Christian Interdenominational Organisation.
Two stories from boys who lived there. There must be many more, all different !!
“I was at St Johns for 7 yrs from 1965-71 and in 66 we celebrated its Centenary, so it will be 150yrs in 2016. I’ve mixed emotions in regards to the above as there were good and bad memories flooding through, looking back on them now it was a unique experience and seeing it now so run down its sad. I know boys suffered, as did myself at times but it also had an environment that led the imaginations to roam and adventures were had. Most memories could be made into movies as it really was an experience!!!!”
“Iam sixty seven years, found this web sight & the photo brought back my life at st johns,the goverment placed me there when Iwas four years old, the home losely used!! was a life of hell for me:raped by a older boy at four also raped by the handy man R. M. till he left. doing the washing for the school at a very young age no schooling for me as I had to work . the thing that I hate the head nun ( mother Gen)for was the public floggings on the sat nights, the only thing that kept you going was the mates you had made,we lived a hard life the nuns did not like the life at the home & showed it.
I was very lucky that Fred & Eileen Thompson & Meg took me in their home for holidays at age nine & showed me Love to this day I thank them for that love. Meg & I still talk on the phone & have holiday, thay are the reason that I met my wife. it was in 1947 to 1957 that I & my brothers where at the home.”
More info on St Johns

I’m a Sydney based photographer. Photographic interests are the outdoors, people, action, HDR and creative works as well as pretty much everything I guess.

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  • Julie  White
    Julie Whiteabout 2 years ago

    Outstanding image Ian.

  • Thanks very much Julie !!!

    – Ian English

  • normanorly
    normanorlyabout 2 years ago

    Outstanding Ian

  • Cheers Norman, hope to see you tomorrow at the Rumble meet up.

    – Ian English

  • jean-jean
    jean-jeanabout 2 years ago

    Superb !

  • Thanks Jean :))

    – Ian English

  • jainiemac
    jainiemacabout 2 years ago

  • Thank very much for the feature Janie :)))

    – Ian English

  • billyboy
    billyboyabout 2 years ago

    Very cool perspective and mood Ian. Nice job also of getting the model’s attire and attitude in sync with the theme.
    Nice work !

  • Such a nice comment Bill, thanks so much mate really appreciate your time :)

    – Ian English

  • Lloyd  Armstrong
    Lloyd Armstrongabout 2 years ago

    Great photo the model looks so professional I think she will have another go she enjoyed herself well done

  • She is professional mate, has a great connection with the camera. Love to do more shoots with her and friend(s). !!! Thanks very much.

    – Ian English

  • Simon Penrose
    Simon Penroseabout 2 years ago

    really nice work

  • Cheers Simon, so pleased you like it and thanks for the fave !!

    – Ian English

  • Revenant
    Revenantabout 2 years ago

    Congratulations! You’ve been featured in

    Just click on the banner to enjoy your feature in the bubble’s premier full-frame photography site.


  • Thanks very much Stefan, greatly appreciated !!!

    – Ian English

  • © Kira Bodensted
    © Kira Bodenstedabout 2 years ago

    11-18-12 Congratulations!
    Your outstanding work has been featured in ART UNIVERSE

  • Thank you dear Kira :)

    – Ian English

  • Phil Woodman
    Phil Woodmanabout 2 years ago

    Ian, outstanding work … yet I find the lower section pf the girl’s dress a little confusing.
    Phil W.

  • Thank you Phil. The costume had a really raggety piece around it. Meant to make it a bit waifish :))

    – Ian English

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