State ‘pen' in focus

| 29 Sep 2011 | 02:43

Local photographer returns to prison...again and again Ogdensburg resident and award winning photographer Paul Michael Kane has just released a new book entitled “Captured: The Ruins of Eastern State Penitentiary.” A nearly three-year long project, the book collects 72 photographs of the prison, which was built in 1821 and shut down 150 years later. Today, the location is a historic landmark, with annual haunted tours during Halloween and it has become a favorite Hollywood backdrop for actors like Brad Pitt and Bruce Willis. The book has a companion Web site featuring audio commentary for each image within the book’s pages — giving a brief talk about the subject and a look into the technical details of the photographs. “I first became aware of the prison from a show on the Travel Channel,” said Kane. “It was on one of those ghost hunting shows and while the program was mildly amusing, I was fascinated by what was being shown in the background and I knew I just had to shoot there.” Kane’s first visit to the Philadelphia-area penitentiary was in October of 2007; he’s returned several times since to capture the prison at different seasons. “What is most amazing is that in only three decades or so, Mother Nature has already begun reclaiming her territory over the prison walls.” Some of the imagery captured by Kane shows vines growing inside the prison cells and ivy crawling up the 30-foot high perimeter walls. Earlier this year, 88 of his Kane’s images — including some taken at Eastern State Penitentiary — were featured in a deck of paranormal cards called Konxari Cards ( Kane is also a graphic designer and writer. His designs have been seen on book jackets for novels, on comic book covers and were featured on a “Star Wars” movie poster. He’s written for such publications as the International Writers Open Forum and Art Scene International. For more information, visit Kane’s site: