The Tomb of Pedagogy

When we moved from the dungeon of the gym at Hall Summit Elementary, we entered the only classroom building—two stories with hallways on both floors bisecting the school. The place was over-stimulating for a shutterbug.  Every time I would settle on something to photo, something further down the way would grab my attention. While Dave was setting up in one room, I succumbed to just exploring, leaving all my gear on the bottom floor save for one strapless camera & lens. Many of the doors were fused shut with rust or permanently closed by someone driving metal wedges between the door and frame. One of these was the room pictured above that I wanted desperately to enter with its lone dusty school desk in the vacant area. Of course, I could have crow-barred it open or busted out the window but I try to just go with the grain with these places, sticking to the motto of “take only photos, leave only footprints.” Instead, I decided to shoot through the foggy & stained plexiglas. All the gunk on the window was giving the AF fits since I was trying to get focus on the desk and floor. Switching to MF helped sort things somewhat. In the end, I took it for the sake of just documenting over the photogenic.  I was pleasantly surprised when I came across it in the set. Not the technically best of the shoot, but one of my favorites with all its imperfections.

As for processing, this is pretty much straight out the camera. In Lightroom, I used the toning section for the sepia and grabbed an adjustment brush with an exposure bump to lighten the desktop a tad.  Lightroom’s exposure brushes are pretty much the dead even equivalent to burn & dodge tools in PS.

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9 thoughts on “The Tomb of Pedagogy

  1. This one has to be my absolute favorite so far. A viewer can immediately start to spin a story while looking at this photo. It’s almost as if you’ve stepped into the mind of a former student and are looking through a haze of memory. Great job.

  2. The title of the post scared me a little, what with me being a teacher, but the shot is amazing. I love the composition and the sepia tones, and the stained window adds the perfect touch to the mood of the empty, abandoned room.

    • I taught for a few years and it was a bit arresting to see these classrooms like this. Although teaching wasn’t always sunshine & rainbows, the classrooms were always vibrant and lively.

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