The Dusty Brick Hallways of Ft. Jefferson

This is Fort Jefferson in The Dry Tortugas, once a military out post and now a state park. To get here you board a ferry in Key West and spend a few hours traveling west out into the gulf. The fort encompasses almost the entire island and at one time was covered in canons to protect the interests of the U.S. and these territorial waters. At the time it was quite an undertaking to construct this lonely garrison in the middle of nowhere. The fort is made up of 16 million bricks shipped from the northeast during the 1840’s to the 1870’s and it is the largest masonry structure in this hemisphere. It’s original purpose as a military outpost was abandoned and it eventually became a prison for Union deserters, then a national park. As the name suggests The Dry Tortugas is dry, no water except what the wind and rain provide. Supplying this outpost with the essentials became too much of a burden at the time and as a result it was left to the elements. Today is it a nesting habitat for several species of migratory birds, a museum fort, camping grounds for a few hardy folk and an easy place to snorkle.

The shots I took look down the dusty abandoned hallways that were once filled with canons, soldiers and provisions. You can see the turret mount traces in some spots and imagine what a bustling scene it once was. I chose to develop these images as black and whites because the color for me was distracting, it took away from the light and dark, balance and play. Black and white lets one focus on the architecture, the heaviness of the brick, the endless dusty hallways and memories of times past.


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