ST. ANDREW'S SCHOOL, SITE OF THE DEAD POETS SOCIETY
In 1989 the Australian film maker Peter Weir directed the film "Dead Poets Society," starring Robin Williams and including the young actors Robert Sean Leonard and Ethan Hawke. The site for the filming was the campus of St. Andrew's School in Middletown, Delaware (USA), my alma mater of the distant past. In 1988 I was serving as a member of the Board of Trustees of the School when the producers of the film approached the Board to allow Touchstone Films to shoot the film at the school. The Board allowed the filming, albeit with trepidation, knowing that a troubled young student at the school had committed suicide just a few years earlier, and the film's story contained the tragedy of a student's suicide. The film, however, turned out to be a genuinely sensitive work with deep social and psychological overtones, and displayed some of the most beautiful cinematography seen in any film. I also had the fascinating experience of seeing some of the filming, and meeting Robin Williams, who can be seen here). The private school for only 290 students now (but only 160 in my time, which happened to be the time depicted in the film) features one of the most beautiful campuses of any academic institution with which I am familiar, inspired by the architecture of Oxford, Cambridge and Princeton.
St. Andrew's School was founded in 1929 when the immensely wealthy patriarch of the DuPont Family had recently divorced his wife, and the Episcopal Bishop of Delaware suggested to him that he build five new churches and a very fine boy's school as a form of redemption. The churches were built, and so too the great school! I attended St. Andrew's School on a 'War Memorial Scholarship' for three years and received the impetus to subsequently pursue an education in theoretical physics at a number of great universities. My English teacher, a graduate of the school and subsequently Harvard, could have been "Mr. Keating," played by Robin Williams in the "Dead Poets Society." Chester Baum was enthusiastic, engaging, extremely knowledgeable and extraordinarily rigorous. In writing an essay, a grade of 80 (out of 100) was the most one could have aspired for; William Shakespeare might have been able to squeeze out a 90.
The image was shot in JPG+RAW using a Nikon D200, 18-70 Nikkor lens, the camera set on a tripod. I was attending an alumni reunion when I took the photograph on a late afternoon in early June.
If you have not seen "Dead Poets Society," I would recommend it highly.
dareco, cfreire, avene, Wandering_Dan, asajernigan, BWJ, AROBN54, daddo, bostankorkulugu, MLINES, Valerka, JCG, burGu, JPlumb, Manuj, danos, macondo, feather, chpp, paololg, gunbud, ChrisJ, stelli, jhm, giorgimer, ALIRIZA, salvator, Henryk_Bilor, COSTANTINO, Graal, TopGeo, jusninasirun, trekks, Didi, jonathan_hart, papagolf21, Uhu, Emile, belido, robertosalguero, jaywalker, isabela_sor, WepWaWet, jwmunro, paura, fulvio52, Silversnow, kdialyna, stego, xavshot, axiotea, crckt, mineelci, RGatward has marked this note useful
Critiques | Translate
dareco (17134) 2008-06-23 17:18
A very interesting note, a beautiful movie and a beautiful picture!! I love the architecture, and the lighting and shadows are very pretty!! A very lovely place! TFS and have a great week!
cfreire (11741) 2008-06-23 17:30
You show us a splendid shot followed by an interesting subject. I thought that everybody watched this movie that presents a beautiful story. The picture is wonderful well composed with excellent colors and contrasts. The shadows on the building's wall are very attractive and beautiful. Superb work!best regards, Consuelo
avene (12675) 2008-06-23 17:54
yes, "Dead Poet's Society" is among my favourite movies, it's elegant and both intellectual and emotional, which I find to be a rare combination. and there's something in the photo besides the location that reminds me of the movie, probably the intricate patterns of the shadows that create a feeling of a calm, sunny day. the path is a nice lead-in line, excellent work.
with best regards,
Wandering_Dan (3449) 2008-06-23 17:57
Hello, Bulent -
A nice picture and an even nicer story! Nice handling of the light, and good use of diagonals - both the building and the path.
asajernigan (21427) 2008-06-23 18:32
Your composition is great using the walkway to lead the eye into the shot. The angle of the building is fine allowing us to see the depth of the scene as well as nice detail. The lighting is great with the play of sun and shadow through out the photo. The colors are fine with excellent sharpness and clarity. The WS is a nice photo to have!
AROBN54 (11475) 2008-06-23 18:43
Warm greetings, my friend, Bulent,
Lovely photo and as always, a wonderful note! I love the dappled light made by the light and shadows and the walkway leads in beautifully. Beautiful color and nice detail and I like the way the main builing is at an angle. That was a very sensitive and touching movie and it must have been an honor to have been a part of it. Many thanks and kindest regards,
BWJ (3094) 2008-06-23 18:57
This picture of St. Andrew's is just eloquent with the diagonal patterned walkway leading in, the trees casting shadows to reveal lovely texture, and pure natural colors for a sunny day in June. Your note is superb as well!
daddo (26754) 2008-06-23 19:06
Merhaba Bulent Bey. It's the dappled light and the screen of foliage that give the building added charm and accentuate the poetic mood of the shot.The structure looks inviting with its big windows and warm light on the masonry. Nice depth to the image.Selamlar. Klaudio.
bostankorkulugu (42426) 2008-06-23 20:27
sevdiğim o müthiş filmi hatırlatan hoş bir kare olmuş bu profesör... belki bir ik öğrenci hayat katardı ama bu haliyle de nefis... selamlar...
MLINES (12516) 2008-06-23 21:43
Hi Bulent, An excellent composition of this rustic looking campus. It must be a pleasure to study here. What i like is the absence of any wires which too often clutter this sort of photograph. Excellent ambiance. TFS. Murray.
Valerka (8171) 2008-06-23 22:00
Here is another appealing shot by you, an undeniable pleasure to the eye with this interplay of sunlight and shadows on the fresh green grass and the stylish house at the far end.
You are right,the place is inspiring and, no wonder, why a film has been made.
burGu (4840) 2008-06-23 22:46
Merhaba Bulent Bey,
Cok kucukken seyrettigim, ama o zaman bile derinligini idrak edip alip kitabini okudugum film...
Simdi o cok iyi bildigim okulun fotografini gormek, gune onunla baslamak cok hosuma gitti. Sanirim en kisa zamanda tekrar filmi seyredecegim...
jasmis (58022) 2008-06-23 23:00
Amazing place and superb reference to my favourite director's movie.
JPlumb (3159) 2008-06-23 23:08
Hello Bulent, it seemed to me when I watched this movie that it was a very beautiful campus, and this shot of yours does it justice. The detail and colour seen on the brickwork and trees is very good, but it is your lighting that really sets this one up as a great shot. The light and shadow detail seen here is beautiful. It is always kind of neat to be able to associate and know where something seen in a movie came from. Your association is just that much closer and better. Very nice presentation.
zeynepe (0) 2008-06-24 0:21
Merhaba Bülent bey,
Bu güzel filmi hatırlattığınız için teşekkürler, bir daha izlemek istedim bu güzel kareyi görünce.
Manuj (441) 2008-06-24 0:27
wonderful shot with rich green shade
good focus with fine details
nice sharpness and lighting.
nice perspective and point of view
thanks for sharing
setenay (7706) 2008-06-24 0:27
Merhaba Bülent Bey,
Geçen ay TV.de yıllar sonra -Ölü Ozanlar derneği- filmine yeniden rastladığımda aynı ilgi ve beğeni ile izledim ,Bülent bey bu okulun öğrencisiymiş diye eşime de bahsettim.Çocuklarınızın Robin Williams la anı fotoğ.da çok hoş.Bu güzel tarihi mekanı bütün görkemi ve çevresinin güzelliği ile harika tanıtmışsınız. Elinize sağlık ,tebrik ederim,selam ve saygılarımla
JCG (35129) 2008-06-24 1:09
I believe that this film, become celebrates, passed there is not a long time on a French television channel. I understand that this photograph revives beautiful memories on the turning of film and the memorable meetings as I note it on the photo WS
Beautiful photograph on this part of this school. I like the light which creates appreciable shades through the trees. Pretty glance and thank you for the interesting note as usual.
With all my friendships and with soon,
danos (97519) 2008-06-24 1:44
nice presentation of the St. Andrew's School with the well management of the light and the shadows.I like the hight trees that with their branches cover the upper part of the frame, as the narrow alley that lead the eye to the school and create perspective in the scene.I saw the film Dead Poets Society years ago and i must say that was en excellent one.Well done.
Have a nice day,Danos
macondo (19483) 2008-06-24 2:02
A nicely composed picture, with the lines of the path and the building intersecting in a pleasing way. The dappled light, pale but warm, on the building and lawn, looks wonderful. Your work was good here as the contrast must have made it difficult to control the highlights. I enjoyed your note, although I have seen the film. Quite a good one it was, too.
feather (51130) 2008-06-24 3:48
I saw "The Dead Poets Society" a long time ago; a re-run may be in order now I have some factual information to attach to it. The contrasting light looks difficult to handle, but there are some wonderful shadow patterns on the walls. Very well composed with plenty of diagonal lines to lead the eye. Well done
Mediterranean (0) 2008-06-24 5:07
yıllar önce seyretmiş olmama ragmen,
psikiyatrik açıdan degerlendirmek üzere geçen aylarda bir kez daha
seyrettik bu filmi ekip olarak...
kesinlikle farklı bir yaklaşımla izlediğimi farkettim
WS daki fotograf ve binanın gözalıcı mimarisi ile trekearth için müthiş bir paylaşım...
elinize sağlık sevgili profesor
chpp (4281) 2008-06-24 6:46
Very nice shot. the pathway has nice perspective and is inviting. The light on the house is really great and enhance the details of the architecture. May be a little hi contrast, but very nice job
paololg (31448) 2008-06-24 14:03
this is a perfect job of lights and shades on a pleasant and interesting subject. Excellent the POV that has allowed you to capture the whole building and the trees that surround it. A very beautiful image.
PS: I have devoted to you the last posted photo of mine because you are a great researcher of Leonardo.
gunbud (34066) 2008-06-24 20:30
Remember the movie well and Deleware is DuPont country.
Love the light you caught this beautiful old colonial architecture. All this beauty from the gun powder industry.
ChrisJ (113309) 2008-06-25 0:12
I like the dappled light on the cottage like structure. Good sharpness & tfs!
stelli (2993) 2008-06-25 1:10
I adore this movie; one of the best ever and Robin Williams can not outlast this performance! The POV of the picture is excellent especially those shadows from the trees give it a more mysterious "flavor" that reminds me of the movie. Thank you for sharing! Regards Stella
Oh captain, my captain!!!
azaf1 (15929) 2008-06-25 2:57
I was really pleased to see this capture of St. Andrew's School both for its very good composition and even more for the excellent note of the famous film. As a matter of fact, being a teacher myself, at the beginning of every year I have my students see the film only to draw their attention to the fact that reality is not only one but it depends on the perspective we choose, and therefore knowledge and information should be scrutinized to discover different aspects to it.
Thank you very much for sharing and with your permission I will have it printed together with the note and give it out before we see the film in September.
jhm (152264) 2008-06-25 3:10
Hello bets friend Bulent,
Old buildings have all the time a very great worth, I like this type building, maybe through my education.
You used the path excellent as depth line that us leads to the house. Also you play very well with light and shadows, this gives a very nice composition, and presentation.
Very well done, thanks friend Bulent for showing it.
giorgimer (34941) 2008-06-25 16:11
I loved that movie, very fascinating place. I like the way you managed the light and the shadows. Very informative note as usual.
ALIRIZA (16423) 2008-06-25 23:58
Merhaba Bülent Abi,
Ağaçların ardında ışık ve gölgelerle enfes bir mimari çalışma. Renkler ve kadraj harika. Ellerine sağlık...
Selam ve saygılarımla...
salvator (19110) 2008-06-26 1:24
Hello Bulent Bey,
Wooow, this is so nice. It has got a romantic air to it. The use of light, the sharpness and details, the true colors look superb.
Best personal regards. Salvator.
Henryk_Bilor (20799) 2008-06-26 9:41
Nice capture of the school.Interesting architecture and light. I remember the movie, I liked it, although it was a bit crazy...
Graal (102752) 2008-06-27 0:17
an interesting place, house and informations. Unusual picture in WS. Good document. I like it.
TopGeo (38216) 2008-06-27 0:28
Hi Bulent They was indeed a exceptional film and I congratulate you for the beautiful presentation of this school, that played role in her creation. Good note and picture with the trees and the shades as if you want to create a atmosphere of mystery I like this work,
TGULUMSER (13252) 2008-06-27 1:42
Hello Bulent Bey,
This wonderful film was played again in one of our TV canals recently. It is nice to see that place in your shot after the recall of that film. Magnificant old buildings in the heart of a beautiful nature,
Wish you a nice weekend, best regards,
Angshu (56750) 2008-06-27 3:12
Hello Professor 'A'
I've seen Dead Poets Society & also do recommend the same for viewing. I've seen the WS picture before, I think, you had attached the same to one of Kath (feather)'s earlier pictures, but a great nostalgic value. You've not mentioned, humbly Robin Williams is holding the sketch of this place, made by you. Having gone & seen your website numerous times, & seeing your talents in art (which could only be called your vocation) I can only say that I am really privileged to have known you here.
COSTANTINO (64788) 2008-06-27 5:08
thanks a lot for your useful notes very important and very interesting..
your shot is simple but well done with warm colours,lighting and contrast of shadows
bravo,compliments from GREECE
jusninasirun (17162) 2008-06-27 20:25
Hello Bulent. Maybe you can bring the DVD of the title on your next trip to Malaysia so I can watch :-) Excellent composition with light cutting across the architecture. The shadow casted by the canopy of the tall trees adds perspective to this shot. Very well done and have a wonderful WE. Best regards. Jusni
trekks (14348) 2008-06-27 20:55
Always useful to read your Note and such a clasic looking architecture building, very academic institution.
Didi (60588) 2008-06-28 7:57
Interesting lights balance between shades and highlights in this nice peacefull place who look like an old English traditional school.
Well done my friend.
jonathan_hart (21276) 2008-06-28 8:26
beautiful POV and composition of this famous place, indeed a great movie,
excellent play of light and tree shadows
papagolf21 (101008) 2008-06-28 13:59
Bonsoir, mon bon ami Bulent,
Je me souviens en effet de ce fameux film qui ne peut laisser personne indifférent.
J'ai beaucoup apprécié la note d'accompagnement ainsi que la photo présentée en bonus.
Force est de constater que de pouvoir étudier dans de tels bâtiments ne peut qu'inspirer les âmes poétiques et littéraires.
Un grand merci pour ce très intéressant reportage.
Uhu (8567) 2008-06-28 21:35
Dead Poets, oh it's so sad. Anyway, great photo and extremely amazing note as well! I like everything here, starting from the composition till note! Great.
Emile (20352) 2008-06-28 21:51
Beautiful architecture, quite similar to the schools you see around Philadelphia like Bryn Mawr's campus, long recognized as one of the most beautiful in the country. Wonderful shot captured with nice colors and light, really a very lovely place. Very good note related to the good movie Dead Poets Society. Your WS with Robin William and members of your family is a good shot to keep for good memories.
Wish you a nice Sunday and great week ahead.
Bluejeans (64251) 2008-06-29 3:40
Aqui e que foi feito o filme "The dead poets society" gostei muito desse filme , o lugar é lindo com toda esta vegetação criando sombras nas paredes da universidade , boas cores , belo ponto de visão , parabéns!!!
Um abraço Gonçalo
nivaldo (15417) 2008-06-29 4:20
Interesting movie, interesting shot and a very nice capture in the WS !
Good oportunities ,Bulent, yes!
Good chances for you all !
Um abraço, Nivaldo !
belido (19934) 2008-06-29 6:37
before mention about this great site, I'd like to congrat you for this superb highlight/shadow management. It's really a good feature in this composition. Your parallel story about the movie is also a lot interesting. Thanks for sharing those images!
robertosalguero (284) 2008-06-29 22:38
Unfortunately I didn't see the movie you mention but I know about it. It must be an experience to attend such a reputed school like this one. Your image is very nice and shows a good angle of the building. The architecture is detailed showing the classical lines of the older schools in England. Nice composition and interesting note. Thanks Bulent :-)
agustos07 (973) 2008-06-30 0:34
This is a great capture and very well presented! Thanks for all infos!
jaywalker (16101) 2008-06-30 4:21
Hi Bulent, A lovely view of this old school, I have seen the film & have it in my DVD collection, I like your angle of attack, looking along the path with the large tree cutting the centre, the light is very good & nice colour, TFS, kind regards Wilson.
delic (6735) 2008-06-30 11:37
I do remember the movie. I didn't know you went to St. Andrew's. Nice photo with challenging contrast, and an even better note... Best wishes,
fkokol (1636) 2008-07-01 7:06
Guzel notunuzla daha da anlam kazanmis kareniz. Isik ve renkleriyle harika bir kompozisyon. ellerinize saglik,
jwmunro (286) 2008-07-01 16:50
Hello Bulent -
This is a fine image as you handled the contrasts very well and were able to keep some blue in the sky. Using the path as a leading line helps keeps this image from becoming a pretty snapshot of a college campus. Well seen and accomplished.
Thank you for sharing.
fulvio52 (8314) 2008-07-03 10:48
the way I see it : the subtlety of your light management is the most striking thing in this shot. Not an easy one, by far not, but you truly did a great job.
Wonderful shadowplay, perfect use of that path to lead the eye into the picture, outstanding atmosphere and note. My compliments!
And thanks for visiting recently my "Single Dutch", I really appreciate your time and kindness.
You have a wonderful day. I'll be seeing you,
paura (47186) 2008-07-03 11:56
Interesting note and well composed photo in this post. A very beautiful place indeed.
Abraço do Brasil.
Silversnow (2319) 2008-07-04 9:50
Wow, very inspiring story you have there :D
It's not often that you post a new picture, but when you do it's a roller-coaster in history!
Great shot btw, a bit overexposure in the tree leaves but otherwise nicely captured venerable building :)
danyy (0) 2008-07-04 14:07
quelle superbe galerie tu as. Sans doute une de mes favorites, pour la qualité de ses photos tout autant que la diversité des sujets.
En voici une qui me ravit pour ses couelurs chaudes et ses lumières douces.
Un excellent POV , avec une route qui guide le regard.
kdialyna (3148) 2008-07-06 2:40
I agree with you Bulent about the film.
A really very good one.
The place looks great and to the film and to your photo, with the bright colors and the very interesting from architectural point of view, buildings in which nobody can imagine the drama that happened with the student.
I wish you nice Sunday
zeca (19762) 2008-07-07 23:44
Beautiful photo, Bulent! The lights are very nice! And what a great architecture! Excellent composition, with emphasis to the lights..
stego (24132) 2008-07-08 3:46
It looks like I have been away for more time than I thought I had.
It's indeed a lovely place and I bet I am not alone feeling a bit envious of you for having attended such place.
The POV is very wise and the light management is remarkable, as that mix of sun light and thick shadows is often a nightmare to tame.
xavshot (69835) 2008-07-09 22:21
Belle photo qui replonge directement dans l'ambiance du film. J'aime bien la lumière et les jeux d'ombre des différents arbres sur cette architecture. Joli travail.
axiotea (21651) 2008-07-11 5:02
I don't remember I've seen this movie, but for sure have heard about it!
There is a peaceful atmosphere coming out from this image in which I like the way you've presented a part of the school and yard.
Thanks for the detailed note and photo in ws!
All the best
Greg1949 (9011) 2008-07-12 5:08
Bulent, I get a kick out of how you don't ever seem to do anything in a small way. This shot is interesting and the note is wonderful as always. It looks to me a great deal like ODU in Va. Everything about the shot is great, you have the technical side mastered for sure.
mesutilgim (95050) 2008-07-12 7:17
Selam sevgili Bülent,
Bu filme ait kitabı okumuştum önce daha sonra da filmi görmüştüm. Bu kare beni o günlere götürdü.
Çok güzel ve başarılı bir bakış açısı, enfes kompozisyon.
Göznüne gönlüne sağlık.
Selam ve sevgiler
kibele66 (3087) 2008-07-16 9:27
Merhaba Bulent Bey,
I watched the famous film "Dead Poets Society" with my kids again and again.But this time I told them about you and your story in the famous school too.
The photo of your son in the WS with Robin Williams is great too. Thanks for your informative notes which make us to learn more and more through your photos.
selam ve saygılar
crckt (7218) 2008-07-21 14:48
Hi Dr. Atalay,
I have seen that movie, it is indeed a great one. It was fascinating reading your notes. Must have been quite an experience to be there while the film was being shot and then later watching it and reliving your school days.
This shot and your WS are both really nice, thanks for sharing.
meltemi (0) 2008-08-25 2:26
I recognize the photo you sent me, the view is so sharp, the clarity is amazing, there is a real feeling of "being there". The composition is superb, it comes out very fine, and the note is very enjoyable. A lot of details to look at too. I just love looking at such scenes, yours is outstanding.
All the best.
RGatward (20086) 2008-09-01 0:42
Yes, sure an exellent contribution, but you can add to it yourself, it's an open theme.
Urs (14082) 2010-09-16 18:27
Interesting there even is a dead poet society, I have never read about it. Your note - as usual - is very interesting and full of details, that makes a good reading. Good light management to use the sun and shadow to highlight the building. Subtle pastel color hues. Well done. Thanks for your critique of my butterfly. No, this shot was auto focus, I was too lazy to do it manually and moreover, the butterfly was so fast, not steady sitting on the flower, so I had only one choice auto focus, and now the lens 70-300 has to go back for a second warranty repair, it does not focus anymore, neither auto nor manual.
- Copyright: Bulent Atalay (batalay) (38777)
- Genre: Places
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2008-06-07
- Categories: Architecture
- Camera: Nikon D200, 18-70mm DX Zoom Nikkor
- Details: Tripod: Yes
- Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
- Theme(s): Film locations [view contributor(s)]
- Date Submitted: 2008-06-23 17:02
- Favorites: 1 [view]