I was so excited to finally visit Preston Castle during Photographer's Day! I've selected just a few photos to share from this past weekend. A big heartfelt thank you to my ballerina and the people who organized the day. If you haven't visited this landmark, it is worth the trip to Ione, CA.
The Beauty of Contrasts
Ever since I heard about this castle, and that they held Photographer's Days there, I knew that I had to somehow make it into a personal photography project. The artist in me loves contrasts...what better contrast than shooting a graceful ballerina in the rooms of a place as old as Preston Castle? My excitement in seeing the amazing architecture was nothing compared to the feeling I had when I stepped into all of the different rooms. The uppermost floor that we were allowed on still had beds and toys from when children still lived there. It was hard not to imagine what it must have been like to be a frightened little child in such a cavernous place. What would the walls say if they could speak?
Preston Castle was built in the late 1800s as a place to rehabilitate juvenile offenders. This impressive building eventually came to house orphans as well. This fact made me sad as I have a young son and hated the thought of him being in a place such as this for a minor offense, or worse yet, being an orphan. There are even stories of nefarious happenings in its history. It stayed occupied until the mid 1900s, after which it became vacant and fell into disrepair. It is now owned by The Preston Castle Foundation; they hold several events during the year to raise money to renovate and repair it.