I had never before physically visited the Coal Piers in Philly. Mentally, I had seen shots from there and tried to visually picture what I could express about this place. After arriving at this isolated destination, my first thoughts were not how interesting this place was but, more like ” I am never going to see my car again”. You park about half a mile from the site, at the corner of 2 dead-end streets… not the best part of town. Finally giving in to all my worst scenarios, I started to walk toward the piers. I began to relax and when finally seeing the place -BAM. My mind and camera just took over and started to create different vignettes of what I saw around me. I knew immediately that I was in a metering abyss, with most images running the gamut from 5 stops over for the highlights and 7 stops under for the shadows. As luck would have it, when I finally reached my car, it was still intact. I knew the photographic journey was only half over. My next step was to experiment with the HDR process and see if it fit what I saw as well as what I wanted to express.