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Ornate to the Less Ornate

In last weeks post about the stairs and clock in the bluestone that is belongs to Deaf Children AustraliaI talked about whether or not the students of the Deaf and Dumb Institution were allowed to use those stairs that were in the main entrance to the building.  I asked some people there and they weren’t quite sure, but I think the main staircase was built to impress.  I have another photo of it.

Top of the StairsYou can see the stain glass window in this image, and I hope I haven’t made it too dark for you to see the decoration on the stairs.  The wood work is very ornate and has some lovely details on it.

I like the perspective of this image, it has a surreal feeling.  At least that is what I think.   The window really stands out.  The colours are so lovely.

I haven’t processed it very well, I’m afraid.  I might have to try it again sometime, but I do like how the window came out.

Now lets compare it with another staircase.

The Boys EndThese stairs are the near, what would have been the boys dormitory and go up to the third floor.  The stairs look as they would have 150 years ago.  You can see the wear and tear.  You can see where the steps have been worn down by people walking up and down them for almost 150 years.  They are closed now, you aren’t allowed to go up or down them now, they need work and are too dangerous.  There was a sign on them, but I Photoshopped it out.

Different stairs in different parts of the building.  The ones above are very similar to the rest of the staircases in the building.  If you look closely the wood work on the above staircase is no where near as ornate as the one at the top.

I do think the first image shows that that staircase was there to impress, it was there for the visitors.  Not that there is anything wrong with that, and I am very glad that they did.  I love discovering little things like this in the building.

I know there is a story behind that stain glass window as well.  I don’t know the name of the person who did it, but apparently when he was at the school doing the window he used to teach some of the boys the trade of leadlighting.  He did other windows as well, I don’t know if you remember the stained glass windows around the front door.  I will try and find out more for you.

Remember, if you would like to donate money toward the restoration then please Donate Here.

74 Comments
  1. I went to Catholic elementary school…..so I learned to love beautiful stained glass windows. I certainly thought the sun filtering through the colors was magical.
    So, I automatically love the first photo! The second photo is kind of spooky….like if I were to walk up those stairs, trouble would definitely be waiting for me at the top. Or something. Maybe an angry Mother Superior. 😉

    April 24, 2013
    • How interesting Mary, I hadn’t thought of that at all. then again, I didn’t go to a Catholic school. thank you.

      April 24, 2013
  2. I love stained glass. I’ve read they can be challenging to capture (I’ve never had the opportunity to try), but I think you have done a marvelous job.

    April 24, 2013
    • You aren’t kidding, they are hard. I am pretty happy with this one. Thank you.

      April 24, 2013
  3. I love the wear of the stairs. It tells a story all by itself. You can see book bags banging against the treads and shoes dragging on the way to class.

    April 24, 2013
    • I know exactly what you mean, and you can see where the shoes have hit the next step. thank you.

      April 24, 2013
  4. Two lovely shots with great light.

    April 24, 2013
  5. What a beautiful contrast,seeing what is believed to be more important to have looking beautiful and the seemingly ordinary old stairs..truth be told as beautiful as the first pic is i am in love more with the second one,it seems more honest and the patina on the well and steps is warm and worn with many feet,who knows where those little feet are now. Beautiful 🙂

    April 24, 2013
    • I am with you, much prefer the old wooden ones, they have so much more character.

      April 24, 2013
      • You want to rub your hand along them,and i bet they smell great too 🙂

        April 24, 2013
      • Yes possibly, though I wasn’t really allowed to get too close, but I will see if I can find out the next time I am there. 🙂

        April 24, 2013
      • lol rub away 🙂

        April 24, 2013
  6. Frank Rossini #

    Great photos! I went to a Catholic boys high school – one beautiful ornate staircase for adult visitors and a metal and cement staircase for the students. You capture the contrast perfectly. They bring back memories.

    April 24, 2013
    • So it probably was done that way, it is quite interesting. I hope the memories are good.
      Thanks

      April 24, 2013
  7. bellezacorazon #

    precious ornaments. regards

    April 24, 2013
  8. I love this image. Not because of the subject matter but because of the feeling of light. Wonderful.

    April 24, 2013
  9. love old buildings and their special charms like this ornate staircase with it’s stained glass window. your sharing takes me there if for but a second. thanks.

    April 24, 2013
    • Thank you, there will be more to come, well I hope so.

      April 24, 2013
  10. I love the stained glass!! Nice awesome pic!!

    April 24, 2013
    • Thanks Lisa, I am really happy with how it came out.

      April 24, 2013
  11. 1annecasey #

    Beautiful!

    April 24, 2013
  12. beautiful lighting and composition–wonderful

    April 24, 2013
  13. Have been meaning to stop by and tell you how much I enjoy and appreciate your work. This one is especially evocative — stirs the storytellers within us all. Thank you, Leanne.

    April 24, 2013
    • No, thank you Beth, that is fantastic to hear.

      April 24, 2013
  14. The staircase tells the story so well. If only they could talk…

    April 24, 2013
    • The stories it could tell, huh.

      April 25, 2013
  15. As much as I love the stained glass and the ‘company’ staircase, it’s the humble, worn treads of the other that speaks to me. The scratches and scars, the bowed centers, and the light from the top tell the story. Great photos, and perfect juxtaposition.

    April 24, 2013
    • I think I agree with you, there is something more about the old wooden stairs, they also seem to represent the humbleness of the building. Thanks Marie

      April 25, 2013
  16. both photos have their individual charm Leanne…I love old buildings, especially abandoned ones, the visuals are thought provoking…exactly the way we are wondering what went on in this building…like you I tend to think the front stairs were for looks and the back stairs were for the children…

    April 24, 2013
    • There is also a huge difference in the width, the main stairs are much wider. I love old buildings too, though this one isn’t abandoned. We don’t get many very old abandoned buildings of this size here. If people move out, then usually others move straight in, or they are knocked down for something new. I hate the knocking down.

      April 25, 2013
  17. they are each beautiful in their own way. i am reminded of the way we present ourselves ‘upfront’ – our appearance to the world/first impressions/visual, vs. how we really are and feel inside, maybe our stairs have suffered some damage over time, but they are well worn and filled with experiences and lived in.

    April 24, 2013
    • That is beautiful. I love that, thank you.

      April 25, 2013
  18. What a contrast between the two staircases. I bet they each have their own interesting stories to tell of those that once walked upon them.

    April 24, 2013
    • Yes, that is very true. One rowdy, the other more sedate.

      April 25, 2013
  19. Pat #

    The window is really beautiful, but I love the shot of the staircase. Such an air of mystery.

    April 25, 2013
    • I think the wooden stairs are winning this one, haha. I think also it has to do with how they have just been left, they are what they are. Thanks Pat.

      April 25, 2013
  20. I love that stain window … but my pick has to be the other staircase … the softness in the old wood in the steps …. That haunted darkness in the top of the stairs. I really like that photo, even if there isn’t any prettiness about it, those worn steps have stories to tell.

    April 25, 2013
    • I think the prettiness is in the old factor and how we can see the age in them. I hope that makes sense. Thanks Viveka.

      April 25, 2013
      • Yes, it makes loads of sense *smile

        April 25, 2013
  21. I’ve also had some problems photographing stained glass and I know that you must use proper technique to render them accurately. You did an excellent job here.

    April 25, 2013
    • Is there a technique, I must look it up. This was a HDR and it seemed the best way of doing it, though it doesn’t always work. Thanks

      April 25, 2013
  22. Fascinating window, Leanne…and difficult to process, but you captured all the great detail, and the colors are sumptuous! I could almost hear ‘the lads’ racing up and down those steps…and causing all the damage over the years…not exactly a ‘creepy’ image, but it does have some mystery about it, especially if it stood alone, with no identification of where it is. Nonetheless, usually a staircase signifies some sort of ‘hope’–but this one, not so much!

    April 25, 2013
    • I didn’t know that staircases signified hope, how interesting. It is funny how we can think of staircases as being creepy, going somewhere unknown, but we think of doors like that.
      I am quite happy with how the window came out, though someone, oneowner, said that there was a technique for it, so might have to check that out.

      April 25, 2013
  23. Each shot worked – I do prefer the second image – eye of the beholder and all that.

    April 25, 2013
    • I think the second image has been the most popular by far. People like those simple wooden stairs. Thank you

      April 25, 2013
  24. The rear stairs has the more foreboding feel to them.

    April 25, 2013
    • That is interesting David, why do you think that?

      April 25, 2013
      • It seems to have that darker space feeling. In the front staircase, the stained glass window projects a warmness, welcoming feeling. The rear stairs, not so much. When the institution was in operation, those rear stairs was probably more lively.

        April 25, 2013
      • I like your observation and suspect you are spot on. The wooden stairs definitely say work stairs. Thanks David.

        April 26, 2013
  25. Oh those stairs…wow!

    April 25, 2013
  26. PK #

    Leanne, the stained glass is amazing. So rich and vivid. What a dream-find for photos. You have such a talented eye. Looking forward to seeing more. PK

    April 25, 2013
    • How lovely, thank you. It has been a dream find and it is great as I can go back any time I want to and try new things. I really need to get back and do the outside of the building.

      April 25, 2013
  27. Wonderful juxtaposition of the stained glass window and the wooden pillar on the stairs in the first picture. Such features are a characteristic of your images, which make viewers keep coming back! I also liked the way you analyzed the surroundings (interiors) of this place.

    April 25, 2013
    • Thank you so much, that is wonderful to hear. I often don’t really know what to do, so I take heaps and some stand out more than others. It is wonderful hearing what people like in my work.

      April 25, 2013
  28. fantastic images…. they don’t build things like that anymore….. fantastic

    April 25, 2013
    • They really don’t, thank you.

      April 25, 2013
  29. Both great shots. I particularly love the way you captured the stained glass though – that shot has such a strange atmosphere to it. The lighting in the second shot is just plain creepy.

    April 26, 2013
    • I was pretty happy with the stained glass as well, it certainly came out better than my first attempt. You aren’t the first person to say that about the stairs in the second shot, Thanks

      April 26, 2013
  30. Old stairs have such a history. Every scuff, every nick etc tells a story.

    April 26, 2013
    • Yes, it makes them so much more interesting I think. thanks

      April 26, 2013
  31. I think you are correct about the first staircase being used for show. The detail on the wood look a little dark, but you can still see the craftsmanship. The photo of the other staircase does look quite creepy!

    April 26, 2013
    • Yes, there is a lot more detail and it is far more ornate than the other one. It seems many think it is creepy. Thanks

      April 26, 2013
  32. I love your photos of places like this. YOU bring out a quality in something/some place that others would miss.

    April 30, 2013
    • Someone else said something similar. One of the people that works in the building, said that they like how I find things and how photograph things that they think are very ordinary.

      April 30, 2013
  33. Reblogged this on Sherry's Space.

    August 1, 2013

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