Fractured (Monochrome) - Gladesville Asylum - The HDR Experience by Philip Johnson

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Fractured (Monochrome) - Gladesville Asylum - The HDR Experience by 


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RED BUBBLE FEATURE 21st October 2009
Gladesville Mental Hospital was a psychiatric hospital established in 1838 in the suburb of Gladesville, Sydney, Australia.

Description and history
Prior to 1838, people with mental or emotional problems in the Sydney area were housed in a “lunatic asylum” in Liverpool, a suburb on the south-east fringes of Sydney, or at the Female Factory in Parramatta, twenty-four kilometres west of Sydney. In the 1830s, construction of a purpose-built asylum began on the banks of the Parramatta River, in the area now known as Gladesville. The original sandstone complex was designed by the Colonial Architect, Mortimer Lewis, between 1836 and 1838.1 Patients were then transferred from Liverpool and the Female Factory.2

The first supervisor was John Thomas Digby, who sought to improve the treatment of the mentally ill, as did his successor, Frederick Norton Manning. On a visit to Sydney in 1867, Manning was invited by Henry Parkes to become medical superintendent of the Tarban Creek Lunatic Asylum. Before accepting, Manning went overseas and studied methods of patient care and administration of asylums; on his return to Sydney he submitted a notable report. He was appointed to Tarban Creek on 15 October 1868 and immediately reported on the isolation of patients from their relations in accommodation best described as ‘prison-like and gloomy’, the inadequate facilities for their gainful employment and recreation and the monotonous diets deficient in both quantity and quality. In January 1869 the asylum’s name was changed to the Hospital for the Insane, Gladesville, wherein patients were to receive treatment rather than be confined in a ‘cemetery for diseased intellects’. By 1879 radical changes in patient care and accommodation had been made. Gladesville was extended and modernized and an asylum for imbeciles set up in Newcastle and a temporary asylum at Cooma. Manning minimized the use of restraint and provided for patient activities

Equipment: Nikon D300, Sigma 10-20mm, Handheld

Technique: HDR 5 Bracketted Images, Photomatix 3.2, Capture NX

© Copyright 2010 Philip Johnson Photography, All Rights Reserved

See Also



asylum, australia, buildings, gladesville hospital, hdr, lunatic, sydney, tarban creek, windows, experience, window, delapidated, abandonned, philip, johnson, black, white, monochrome, abstract, framed, fine

Philip Johnson is a Photographer located on the Northern Beaches of Sydney. Specialising in HDR photography his works have been shown in galleries,published in Tourism campaigns. His work will also be available as Jig Saws through Crown & Andrews

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  • TimSouter
    TimSouterover 4 years ago

    Now THIS is what I’m talking about. Old abandoned places like this BEG for a HDR.You’ve done it more than justice.

    Any chance of a lift out that way if you feel like shooting it again?

    Also, how open is it?

  • Moorey
    Mooreyover 4 years ago

    You have the HDR down pat. Great pic, well done, lovely work

  • Sean Farragher
    Sean Farragherover 4 years ago


  • iamnirak
    iamnirakover 4 years ago

    Great shot Phillip,

    should of got into the Kew Cottages or KRS while it was still standing. I worked for a month there while they were closing the place down real spooky there. Have been working in the new Residentials 20 or so new houses on the old Kew cottage site still sends a shiver up my spine looking at the old manison Wilsmere that stands at the top of the new Housing estate.

    There definately spooky places and the stories that come out of those places errhhh! More shivers.

  • Tom Gomez
    Tom Gomezover 4 years ago

    Wow, also works well in mono Philip, it is even easier to pick out the amazing detail, super subject matter, fine work …

  • Cherubtree
    Cherubtreeover 4 years ago

    This is very the com and pov on this!

    BULLYMEISTERover 4 years ago

    Superb mate … at least you have glass left in your derelict buildings :-)

  • Kim  Calvert
    Kim Calvertover 4 years ago

    This is so cool, Love it!! I love old abandoned places.

  • Gary Gurr
    Gary Gurrover 4 years ago

    Stunning Philip.

  • Ron Neiger
    Ron Neigerover 4 years ago

    I love Black and White HDR nicely done

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