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Dark Night at Grace Hill 麗庭莊園

The ominous outline of the wedding chapel at night.

I went out riding the other night, restless with insomnia and hungry for adventure. On impulse I crossed into Neihu District to investigate reports of an abandoned wedding chapel formally known as Grace Hill 麗庭莊園 (pinyin: Lìtíng Zhuāngyuán). In the depths of the witching hour I arrived to find an entire complex of buildings cast in shadows. Mosquitos stirred from the foul ponds on the property and pricked my flesh as I surveyed this nocturnal landscape.

Around back at the abandoned wedding chapel in Neihu District.

Night photography is not something for which I have any particular aptitude—almost all of my work is handheld and subject to ambient lighting conditions—but this little mission afforded me an opportunity to practice. Tripod extended, I fiddled around with the settings on a new camera, momentarily stumped by the mechanism responsible for switching the lens into manual mode. After sorting it out (with the help of data surging through the ether) I shot the photographs seen here—and then ventured inside for a quick look around. There, in pitch black conditions, I stumbled upon several discarded dolls in the darkness, no doubt the remains of a photo shoot, not ritual magic. From what little I’ve seen I have good reason to return—and in the meantime, here are my first images of Grace Hill in the dead of night.

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