For The Term Of Their Natural Life - Port Arthur Historic Site - The HDR Experience

Philip Johnson

Newport Beach, Australia

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Artist's Description


If ever a place could be haunted this would be the place, now a historic site this site was a place of suffering and isolation ‘

Port Arthur was a prison, or convict settlement, from the…from 1830 through to 1877. It started off as a small logging camp, but in 1833 was expanded to become a full penitentiary. The main penitentiary is the building in the foreground, which was built later on. At its height, Port Arthur had about 1,600 convicts here, so it was a very large place. The convicts themselves – all men – actually described Port Arthur as being hell on earth. “They broke men’s spirits,” that’s their quote. I would say, simply, they drove a lot of men mad. Very unpleasant place.

The site was self sufficient and could provide most items the prison needed.

Easily the most imposing ruin on the site, the Penitentiary began its life in 1843 as a flour mill and granary. In 1857 it was converted into a penitentiary capable of housing over 480 convicts in both dormitory-style accommodation and separate apartments. Also containing a messroom, library and Catholic chapel, the penitentiary was flanked by the Watchmens’ Quarters, as well as a range of workshops and an ablutions complex. Gutted in the 1897 fires, the building lay derelict until a concerted conservation program began in the 1960s.

Technique: 5 exposures, Tonemapped in Photomatix
Equipment: Nikon D70, Nikon 18-200mm lens

Artwork Comments

  • Scott  d'Almeida
  • Keith Reesor
  • F.A. Moore
  • PSL1
  • Lois Romer
  • Philip Johnson
  • Melanie Roberts
  • BCImages
  • Lois Romer
  • Tamara  Kenneally
  • Davies
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desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait

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