HDR Photography Project – a sneak preview

The Empire Cinema, Bridgetown, Barbados.

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I’ve been working on a project for the past year and breaking from my norm.  It’s still in progress and I’m building up a body of work that’s going to be released to the world perhaps next year.  But I wanted to give you a sample of what to expect.  The images are HDR photography (High Dynamic Range) and I layer 5 identical images together taken at different exposures.  The result is very dramatic.  To add to this I’m obsessed with derelict buildings and this type of photography works rather well in such places. Textures, shadows, light and colours I find are rich and unique in these haunting, eerie, bewitching places. I’ve been lucky enough to explore and photograph such locations both at home and overseas.  Let’s start off with this one…the Empire Cinema in Bridgetown, Barbados. It started life as a theatre back in 1907 and was closed in the 1970s.  It’s in a terrible state of repair but still so beautiful and hopefully it will be restored one day. Please let me know what you think!



  1. Carly Sayell says:

    Well done Kelly! So good to see your project on-line.

    When you first told me you were into derelict buildings, I thought you had gone mad! But now I have seen these amazing, inspirational, works of art, i can see the attraction. (also having been on a shoot, how exciting it is too!)

    Hope you get a lot of interest and I’m sure the public would love to have one of these works of art on their wall.

  2. Mark Hiorns says:

    great photos, Kelly.
    HDR certainly helps to convey the atmosphere inside this building. What a shame that such an important building has been left to die a slow death here in Bridgetown.
    There are many people here who remember watching movies at the Empire, I even heard a story once, from an elderly man, who said he remembers sitting behind 2 sailors from the U-boat that sank the “Cornwallis” in Carlisle bay, during the second world war.
    Keep ’em coming..!!

  3. These pictures look great. It is unbelievable that we drive by such a wonderful building in our capital city so often and it is left to deteriorate in this way.

    I have some wonderful plantation properties that are going the same route.

    I look forward to seeing more of your work Kelly.


  4. Lesley Desborough says:

    Your pictures really show what a lovely building this was, and could be again if only the powers that be would get their act together (pardon the pun) and sort it out before it is too late. Maybe your pictures could be circulated somehow to bring home to people just what has happened to this landmark building. Barbados should be proud of its heritage, not let it disintegrate before our eyes. Still, you know that….. Anyway, great works of art as always Kelly – well done!

  5. Gordon Ashby says:

    Your pictures are paradoxical. The images are hauntingly beautiful and evocative. And sad because of the circumstances of the neglect and possible demise (hopefully not) of such an amazing structure. Sam Lords Castle would be an amazing shoot as well. Keep up the good work. Brilliant technique for this sort of thing.

    • Thanks for your wonderful comments Gordon. On the subject of Sam Lord’s Castle – I have actually started a project there! I have to revisit to cover all of it but it was an amazing shoot and I look forward to sharing what I have soon.

  6. Just tweeted this Kelly – stunning images. There must be people all over crying out for this kind of work on your special places..

  7. Vicki Telford says:

    Hi Kelly,
    Thank you for affording me the opportunity to “see” inside of this historic building.
    It is indeed unfortunate that it has not been restored for use today. It could assist in revistalising Bridgetown. I do think there is a ‘plan’ for it but not sure of time frame of execution.
    The images are great….think they could be used to set a scene in a movie!
    Thanks again

  8. Hello Kelly…Great stuff…I look at those shots and wish I had done them!
    I`m looking forward to the Sam Lord`s Castle photos.

  9. Bobby Cash says:

    Love the pictures Kel i only whish i could have been there to hold your very exspensive camara equipment for you. Anyway the pictures tell a story of what was and what may be again and the colours are gorgeous. Look forward to La Mola. Lots of love to you

  10. Kelly, these are incredible and impactful pictures….very well done….. I am one of the Trustees of BEAT foundation who have presented a proposal to Government to restore the Empire Theatre to its former glory and are now waiting on and hoping for a positive decision from Government so that we can proceed. We would love to have your photos displayed (with your watermark) in the billboard on the home page of our website. You can check it out at: http://www.beatbarbados.com and if this is something you would consider kindly email me at: jim@beatbarbados.com to discuss further. – Keep up the good work!!!!