This is the ground-floor landing of the grand floating staircase in the Worcester State Hospital clock tower. This shot was an incredibly tough nut to crack; during the blue hour, it would have required a 45-minute exposure, effectively wasting both nautical and civil twilight. I couldn’t spare both for one shot. Right at sunrise, there were some burn spots coming in, and I began to fear that I wouldn’t be able to shoot every floor of the staircase on what I knew would be my final visit before demolition. If the sun got too high in the sky – after the golden hour, that is to say – the lighting would be flat and boring. I had already shot every other floor (here are links to the second floor landing and to the third floor landing); I needed to get this landing! So while making other long exposures up on the fifth floor, I kept running down here to check the lighting. My legs started to hurt. But about half an hour after sunrise proper, when the sun was still a brilliant orange, it was no longer burning into frame – it was painting the rear wall with a dazzling orange glow. I ran, stopped the exposure I was working on, and brought my camera down for a 7 minute f/7.1 exposure here. This is what came out. Ten minutes later, this landing looked boring as all getout. But for a 15 minute window, it was pure beauty.