Our location for the fourth day was a New Mexico State Penitentiary that had been shut down for almost 20 years. It was the second time I've shot at this location, the first was during a Keith Carter workshop eleven years ago. It's really a fantastic location. The prison scenes from the film All the Pretty Horses were filmed there, and the faux façade created by the film crew remain connected to the original structure. There is great light, texture, and a ton of energy in the place-much of it morbid. Before the prison was shut down there was a massive riot, and some 38 people were killed. There is also a gas chamber in the prison, although now they no longer let workshops photograph it. Eventually the entire prison will probably be off limits to workshops and photography. They have rules there, and photographers, by nature, are always breaking the rules.
Chris had us doing photographs that represented our fears and anxieties, stuff that got in the ways of us making photographs and our careers. This assignment was a no brainer for me. The prison was an obvious metaphor. It was my best day of shooting.