Treasure Chest

Okay, I have to admit straight up that this box did not contain treasure. Yeah, I was disappointed, but not surprised.

I guess it could possibly have contained treasure at one point – but perhaps someone who had been there before me had taken it all. More likely, however, is that this could have been a toy chest.

It’s located on the third floor of an abandoned girls school and, judging by the condition the place is currently in, will soon fall through and be located on the ground floor…or in the basement. This place was dripping with water and floorboards had fallen through all over the place.

After tentatively walking along the corrider I popped my head in this room and saw the chest (the door is off the image to the left of the chest) but didn’t really think much of it. I continued on my way around the floor taking photos of other things.

After spending some time on this floor I was about to head back down to the second level when I decided I should really pay the chest another visit so wandered back over to this room and made my way in to stand in the corner.

The light wasn’t great. It was starting to get late in the day and the natural light was starting to go down quite quickly, especially in this part of the house which was away from the sun.

I took a full set of exposures of this shot, from -4 through to +4. I especially wanted the under exposures as the light that was coming from the window often seems to blow out in these circumstances and I wanted to try and minimise that as much as possible. In the end I only ended up using 3 brackets -2/0/+2 and it worked out okay.

The light coming in from the window was pure white, and so I had to decide what I wanted to do with it. Part of me thought that gray would match the rainy weather we were having that day and more closely resemble how it was when I was there; however as I worked on the rest of the image I did feel that it needed a little colour somewhere and I only had two real choices of where to put this.

My first thought was to have a yellow light glow coming from the chest itself. This really would have made it seem like a treasure chest (or perhaps lead the viewer to feel that it contains the soul of Marcelus Wallace) but I decided I wanted something a little more natural looking and opted, instead, to add hints of a blue sky outside. This gave the image the colour burst I was looking for without drastically altering it from what it is into something completely make believe.

I like how it turned out though, and from the moment I had stuck my head into this room intially I had no idea such a shot would have been possible. I’m glad my gut told me to go back for another, fuller look before heading back down the stairs – otherwise this shot would have been missed completely.