Brass Valley: The Fall of an American Industry

Brass Valley: The Fall of an American Industry
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Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Etude in Diagonals


This afternoon I gave in to the urge to shoot sunset in the area around Amenia, NY. I've been resisting late shoots there because it means I get home to dinner much later. On a normal evening I can usually hold myself down to under 150 exposures. On the way to Amenia I saw this barn, and I could not keep the car from pulling to the side of the road. I took just five shots of the barn of which this was the last. It was also the last shot of the evening. By the time I reached Amenia a haze had come in diffusing the sunset, and all the sites I knew looked unappetizing.

I drove around for awhile hoping to stop somewhere, but it never happened. Finally, I told the GPS, to take me home by the shortest route. To a GPS "shortest" is distinct from "fastest." As it turns out, the shortest route from the spot I'd wandered to quickly turns to dirt then cuts through Taconic State Park and then, still dirt, enters CT. All in all, I think I passed over two mountains, through several dark chasms, past one area where the side of the chasm was so steep the road was falling away and barricades narrowed passage to a car width; it took me 40 minutes to get to an intersection and a bit more to get back to pavement somewhere above Salisbury, CT. I never knew there was such a road in the area. By the time I reached the ridge in Sharon, the sun was a fire ball through the haze, and a deer posed just 50 feet off in the field, but the car had already fallen into back-to-the-stable mode and was not to be resisted.

In spite of only catching 5 images, I'm delighted with the evening's shoot; one takes what one is given, and I prize geometries such as this. I've had many evenings where I shot over 150 images and had nothing that pleased me as much as this.