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Ellis Island Workshop «Joe McNally Photography


It’s been a while, with the pandemic and the general frenzy of the world, but on September 22nd and 23rd we will once again proceed, one day, Ellis . Island Photo Workshop.

The abandoned old hospital wing at the southern end of the island remains a hauntingly beautiful place, reminiscent of the days when Ellis was the main gateway to America. It’s filled with ghosts that you can sense. The rooms, lit only by window light, beckon the camera.

It was a rare opportunity that we had, to roam these halls, to work with Save Ellis Island Foundationwonderful people, committed to preserving the important history of this revered site. Ari Espay and I will lead the group, along with Liza Politi. During the day there will be snacks and lunches, a short class on the use of flash, and the ability to photograph buildings and rooms, along with stunning NYC views. We arrived on the staff ferry early in the morning from Manhattan, approaching the island during the sunrise hours. The workshop officially ends at 3:00 pm and all participants are welcome to visit and enjoy the museum at the end of the day until catching the ferry back to Manhattan.

It is a place of beauty and deep memory.

I’m sure that what has impressed all of us, especially those who travel, is that the world is a very uncertain place. We will be returning to Ellis this September, and there is no telling when this opportunity will arise again. I can’t wait to go, because this place holds a special memory for me. It was the site of my first sizable story for National Geographic. I am still fascinated today, in 1988, by the beauty and emotional resonance of this small island in the middle of New York harbor.

Hope to see you there. Workshop registration and information here.

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