I had the opportunity to visit Mansfield, Ohio and spend 5 hours inside the Mansfield Reformatory. The reformatory was the site of the 1994 film “The Shawshank Redmption”. You also see remnants of studio props from “Air Force One”. I had so much fun wandering around this incredible facility. I walked away with a camera full of amazing images.
The reformatory has been closed since 1990 and apparently suffered from several years of neglect. Now in the hands of a conservation group, the Reformatory is available to tour, but if you want to photograph the facility and really get a sense of the space it is best to go with a dedicated photo tour instead of trying to snap the occasional shot during the public tour.
I have made arrangements to return April 17th, 2015 to host just such a photo tour. The group will have access from 11am until 4pm. Price per person will be $75. When I went, we arrived in town early enough to stop in at the Mansfield Coney Island Diner for a bite to eat prior to heading in to the prison. The only food available on-site at the prison is a vending machine of soft drinks, so you want to be sure to eat before arriving, so you can focus on photography for the entire time without getting hangry.
If you love exploring old relics, then this is one for the bucket list. Fans of HDR (High Dynamic Range) photography will have their hands full in Mansfield. The prison lends itself to big bracketed shots, and you will love working the post processing to pull out all the incredible details.
If you want to join in the fun you must pre-register. Call the studio to reserve your spot!