We're going back!
The Ohio State Reformatory in Mansfield, Ohio (http://www.mrps.org) is such a gem. It offers you the opportunity to immerse yourself in the art of photography. The structure is a mixture of architectural styles - but picture creepy gothic! This was the setting for numerous movies most notably Shawshank Redemption.
We selected the date for our visit to be MONDAY, June 10th. In the past we have gone earlier in the year and the stone & steel building is always cold and damp. We have chosen to go in June to let the temps rise and make it a more comfortable experience. NOTE: The building can be up to 20 degree colder than outside temperatures, so please dress in layers. Some spaces around the building are narrow. You are just asked to be aware of other tour guests / photographers walking through the area. You may bring models (subject to $10 entrance fee) tripods, lights and other photography equipment to enable you to be as creative as possible with your photography!
There will be docents available to answer your question and help those interested in learning more about the history of the Facility.
We get in earlier than previous years. We will be starting at 9AM, and we will have exclusive access to normally restricted areas from 9-11am. The staff will have a list of paid attendees, so if you are not required to be there right at 9AM. You can arrive on your own schedule. Since we are going later in the season, the Reformatory is open to the public that day starting at 11am, but I don't see it being an issue. The building is immense, the facility is in excess of 250,000 square feet, I think we should have plenty of space in which to work! They close at 5pm, giving us 8 hours!
The drive is a little over 3 hours, in the past I have always gone down and back the same day. This time we will be driving down the night before and staying at Travelodge by Wyndham Mansfield. https://bit.ly/2W2ORQj
You should be able to drive down and back within the same day. If you wish to carpool, please leave a note to that effect in the comments section and check back frequently to find others interested in sharing a ride.
Every guest is asked to sign a waiver. As a photographer, you will need to sign an additional photography waiver. Please fill out your forms ahead of time. https://bit.ly/2F5UPt5
There is no food at the prison, so eat before arriving. It helps to pack a cooler lunch so you can take a break and keep your energy. There are public restrooms on the property.
Here is the description from the website:
"The cornerstone laid on November 4, 1886 evolved into this magnificent Chateauesque structure. Cleveland architect Levi T. Scofield designed the Ohio State Reformatory using a combination of three architectural styles; Victorian Gothic, Richardsonian Romanesque and Queen Anne. This was done to encourage inmates back to a "rebirth" of their spiritual lives. The architecture itself inspired them to turn away from their sinful lifestyle, and toward repentance
The Reformatory doors were opened to its first 150 young offenders in September 1896. After housing over 155,000 men in its lifetime, the doors to the prison closed December 31, 1990.
Today the Ohio State Reformatory Historic Site receives visitors from all over the world. Every year tourists, movie buffs, thrill seekers and paranormal investigators walk through the halls of this majestic structure."
We need to have at least 20 photographers qualify as a tour and get the extra access. As such we will NOT be able to offer a refund unless the trip is cancelled/rescheduled. All non-photography guests are $10. Please note, anyone with a camera will be assessed the photographer's fee. If you were to go on your own the fee for a photographer is $150.
Bob will be giving a group instruction at 10am and 1pm on composing and shooting for HDR. He will also demonstrate using Neutral Density filters to create long exposures which allows you to be in the image part of the time, thus making yourself into a ghost!
Lastly, Mansfield is a cute town. Be sure to stop there before or after the photo adventure to dine and to photograph the town!
Please contact us with any questions.
Bob & Juliann DiTommaso