This image was shot yesterday late afternoon. I had come to the University of Virginia Medical Center in Charlottesville with the idea of photographing silhouettes of people against some large windows in the Medical Center main lobby.

Somehow however, the gravity of this place of suffering and healing made me uncomfortable with the notion of documenting and in some measure exploiting, the very personal dramas being played out in this institution.

Instead I wandered over to the so-called “Corner District” a few blocks away adjacent to the University campus. “The Corner,” as it’s locally known, is a shabby mélange of shops, bars, bistros and ambiguous businesses mostly catering to the bohemian tastes, whims and proclivities of university students. It also functions as a gathering place for mendicants, the mentally ill homeless and silent, solitary occupants of benches and outdoor café seating. I did find some good images–the shot of the parking lot attendant’s shack I posted yesterday was probably the best of that lot.

After a few hours roaming around alleys, parking lots, maintenance areas and side streets I headed back to the parking deck near the hospital where I’d parked my car. As I walked the final block to the deck (which is visible in the lower left corner of this image) I happened to glance up at this walkway which connects a parking deck with the second story of the hospital. The assemblage of geometric shapes, the dramatic late afternoon sky and haunting black figures crossing the walkway seemed a thought-provoking composition and I shot a half dozen frames.

This was I think the best of the six. I gave it an HDR treatment and converted it to B&W. I hope it communicates a little of the mood of that facility with it’s looming, uncompromising institutional presence–containing and directing the fates of the anonymous human beings who come and go in pursuit of its austere promise of less pain and more time, against the backdrop of eternity.


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