Eleanor Caputo - Studio 18 Galleries | Preston Castle Workshop

Preston Castle
Ghostly Slow Shutter Workshop

4 hours • Limit 10 persons • $199

The 230 acres of land, which is known as Preston Castle, was bought in 1890 from the Ione Coal and Iron Company. Located in Ione, California the cost on this land was a mere $30 per acre and received 100 acres donated. The building’s cornerstone was set on December 23, 1890 and there were 2500 people there to witness it. The bricks were made at the San Quentin and Folsom prisons and were made with sandstone that was quarried a mere six miles from the town of Ione.

The land was purchased to build the Preston School of Industry, which was a progressive action in the process of rehabilitating youth rather than imprisoning the juveniles, according to the State Legislature. The first wards were sent to the Preston School of Industry on June 13, 1894 although it was not officially opened until July 1 of that same year. Electricity by a water wheel powered dynamos were installed the next year to power the incandescent and arc lights. The school remained open until 1960 when the new facilities were complete.

Although there was not an abundance of violence in the Preston Castle, there was one reported murder in 1957. The victim was the housekeeper of the castle Anna Corbin. She was found in a small closet off one of the kitchens bludgeoned to death. There was never a conviction of this crime, although there was a suspicion of one of the inmates, despite multiple trials. They say that Anna Corbin’s ghost remains at the castle.

There was also a fatal escape attempt by 20 year old Samuel Goins. On his third attempt to escape Preston Castle, Samuel Goins was shot in the back by a guard. He is buried in a cemetery close to Preston Castle. He is claimed to be seen still wondering the halls of the school.

There also is believed to be a ghost of a young boy, about the age of 11 or 12 that lingers at the castle. It is not believed that his death was any cause other than a medical condition, perhaps a gallstone or appendicitis. Not only did they house the juveniles at Preston Castle but also the staff and facility lived on the grounds as well. It is these areas that are claimed to have a number of residual haunting. The Castle has been featured on various Tv programs such as Ghost Hunters and was featured in Merle Haggards autobiography film.

There are 23 grave sites in a cemetery near Preston Castle. This is where Samual Goins is buried along with 16 other juveniles that most are believed died from disease. Visitors have claimed that they have been overcome with an intense feeling of depression and fear when around the graves along with cold spots.

Have your camera ready, you never know who may be in the room with you!

What can I expect?

You can expect 4 hours of exciting, information packed, fun! Visitant on the Stairs - Award winner

You will be learning how to use your manual settings on your DSLR camera to create ghostly apparitions.  This is a creative workshop so be unique, think outside the box and get ready to learn! 

2 hours with a live model dressed in vintage Victorian attire

2 hours of free roam photography. You will be allowed to roam within the safe areas of the castle and grounds to explore and create on your own if you choose.

You will have hands-on mentoring throughout the workshop

You just might see a real ghost so always have your camera ready!


What you should bring and other useful information

Preston GhostVisitant II Camera(s): All Studio 18 Gallery DSLR workshops require a Digital Single Lens Reflex Camera with interchangeable lenses. You may bring a point and shoot or film camera as well to use during your free roam time. The lighting is such that you may want to bring 400 ASA film.

Lens: Bring as many lenses as you want to carry. You can never have too many choices. You never know what you are going to find. However, for this course, I recommend a wide lens like a 17-40mm or a fisheye 10-20 or so, for a more dramatic effect. A fast lens of 1.8 or 2.8 would be ideal.

Tripod: A tripod is essential for long exposures and low light situations. It doesn't need to be expensive but a tripod is required for all workshops.

Filters: A graduated ND (neutral density) filter is a must have tool in any photographers bag. If you don't have one it isn't crucial for this workshop, but it will be for our outdoor workshops. I recommend the Cokin P Series kit. A circular polarizer would also be a good idea for our outdoor excursions.

Preston ghostHaunted Halls Storage Devices & Batteries: Bring at least 4 gigs of camera cards. You may bring a laptop however there is probably no electricity available for charging anything. So make sure all your batteries are fully charged and that you have extras.

Flash: You might want to bring a flash for a little light on the subject, however, It is not necessary, the flash on your camera might work depending on the diameter of your lens as it can cast a shadow.

Lunch or money for lunch: Bring snacks, non alcoholic beverages and a lunch. We break for lunch.  Usually food is not far away but it can be, so it is best to bring a bag lunch or small ice chest.

Please arrive on time: As a group, it is important to be on time so as not to hold up the rest of the group. Be considerate of others and try to work together and draw your inspiration from one another. Believe me, you will not want to waste a minute of creating time in this "Haunting Castle".

Preston GhostVisitant In The Rocker Transportation: Each student is responsible for their own transportation to the workshop location. However, car-pooling during the workshop is encouraged both to minimize the number of vehicles at shooting locations and to get to know one another - and it isn't bad on the pocket book either.

• Weather and Clothing: Poor weather can make for dramatic photographic opportunities, so if rain is in the forecast, pack a light jacket or rain poncho and bring something to keep your camera dry like a shower cap or a plastic bread bag. Dress in layers as weather can be unpredictable in the Sierras. An umbrella is always good whether it is raining or sunny as it provides shade and comes in handy for various shooting uses.

• Refunds & Cancellations: Our workshops are limited to 10 people. Once a spot is filled it is considered no longer available. Therefore we can not offer a refund. This policy is necessary to assure that those who sign up are serious about the adventure and will not back out, ruining the opportunity for someone else.

If for some reason we have to cancel due to severe weather, etc. you will have the option to reschedule or request a refund.

Contact us at 209.257.1761 for more information