The Ceiling of the Great Hall~ Ellis Island, NY

Great Hall Ceiling

There is something about Ellis Island that tugs at you.  My Grandfather emigrated from Ireland, and landed there in the early 1920’s. His name, Peter,  is etched on the wall, as is my  Father’s name. Dad and my Grandmother bypassed Ellis Island in 1926, they were on one of the early ships to land directly on Manhattan and be processed through… to a new life, and a new  land.

The place drips with history, and you feel its weight everywhere you walk, especially in the Great Hall. Close your eyes, and breathe in… you can feel the crush of humanity around you  beneath the vaulted ceiling and perfectly aligned tiles- the souls that stood in line. You can feel their anxiety, perceive their fears… and almost touch their hopes. What we take for granted,  they prayed for, and risked everything to achieve. It’s an amazing place. A place that few pictures do justice, because they can’t capture the past and that rich heritage.

You need to be there… see the images and imagine it for yourself.

This shot was taken laying on the floor of the Great Hall (yes, you do get some odd stares…). Used a 24-70mm lens, wide open at 24mm, ISO 800, f8 @ 1/90 sec. Love the detail in the tile and the light coming in from the windows.  In post:

In Lightroom: Very little, increased contrast and recovery (get some light back into the windows, which were blown out  a bit)

In Photoshop: Brushed on a little Tonal Contrast to increase the “pop” of the tiles, Darken/Lighten center right over the hanging lamp (again, opacity was dropped to 20% or so)

Done. Printed. Image looks gorgeous. Will be one of those that makes you think about the people that were looking up at the same scene 100 years ago…

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2 Responses to “The Ceiling of the Great Hall~ Ellis Island, NY”

  1. Joe, great post and a great picture. This weekend I’ll send you the shot I have of you taking the picture.

  2. Very much enjoy your pics and blogs… keep it up Joe-Fuzz! xoxo

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