First of all I want to say that once again you amaze me Cameron. The places you show us here are just magnificent each time and this time – this photo – really hit me, so I decided to dedicate it a critique.
Whit that said let us begin with the composition than some technical stuff and finally my thoughts on the impact shall we?
Composition: In my opinion the Picture has a very clear composition there are clear borders between the foreground, the dust/ dirt part, and the background which would be the overgrown garden. The sides are confined by walls which gives us a clear direction in this case the center where you will automatically look. A nice detail regarding the walls is that the wall on the overgrown side is a bit out of the picture which adds to the atmosphere on this side, makes it bigger and kind of soft.
Ok before I forget it, the most prominent piece would be the pillar in the perfect center of the picture which you notice immediately and can fix your sight on. This pillar is also the key point of this picture as it divides each of the important parts of the picture, floor and ceiling left and right hallway and together with the other pillars hallway from garden. Also important is the sky which would be the vault ceiling because it confines our sight so you can't drift away in the sky but more important because of the different structures of the two sides and the resulting atmospheres.
Only one thing I want to mention, the center pillar is in the perfect center of the image which has the effect due to the structures of the ceiling that the right hallway seems a bit larger and more prominent. A small shift with the center to the left could have been useful here although it could maybe obstruct the line of sight.
The only thing that really itches me is that although the pillar is in the center you are not in a 45° angle to it. The only effect – or the only one I noticed- is that the arch on the left side of the center pillar (that one to the next pillar) and the one on the other side end on different heights. I know it’s not much but that really kind of disturbs the peace of the image for me.
Some technical stuff: Not much to say here all the important parts are there. The histogram is a nice Gaussian curve. No hard shadows. Very good depth of field. On the other hand the small pieces of sky that you can see trough the bushes seem a bit burned out but that’s not really important here.
What seems a bit odd is the range and distribution of green tones of the leaves, especially around the top of the center pillar and in the second arch of the “green” hallway a bit to pale in my opinion.
Ok now comes the best part, I’m starring at this picture now for over an hour trying to understand what makes it so captivating. I think it can put it like this. Apart from the clear line of sight that makes you fantasize about the garden and what else there could be it’s the harsh difference between the two hallways that mesmerizes me every time I look to either side. You have the right side clear edge`s harder light not so much nature. And then the left side or green side or nature side or whatever. As I said before due to the wall being a bit out of the image it seems more open the light is softer and you can see further in garden than on the other side. The ceiling with the visible brickwork just adds to this as there are not really clear lines compared to the other side, it seems actually more organic.
So to summarize this into one sentence: This picture has everything you need to stare at for hours thinking about whatever, even the small flaw that keeps you awake. I love it.
The thumbnail almost looks like a single image mirrored (with the mirror running down the middle of the print), but obviously, what we are seeing are two distinct sections of one structure. I love how one side looks so different from the other, just due to the presence of the overgrown vegetation. I would love to explore such a place, but as you said yourself, so many of these abandoned structures get destroyed by vandals, or even just by over-curious but careless people. Thank you for helping us to see these forgotten places and for preserving them as they are within your amazing photos.