Brass Valley: The Fall of an American Industry

Brass Valley: The Fall of an American Industry
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Thursday, October 4, 2007

Wired


One of the challenges I took for myself almost two years ago was to capture the noble roll of the Northwest hills, and I'm always on the lookout for good sites or supporting characters to help tell that story. A month or so ago I got access to the Collins Farm and discovered these giants striding across the hilltops. When the sky is clear you can follow them with your eye over all the intermediate hills and right across the top of the big hill in the background. I've been trying since then to compose them into an effective image.

This morning I set out 45 minutes before dawn in hope of again finding fog again in Sharon Cemetery. In the previous post Dick called me, "a fog specialist." In truth, I'm just learning how this fall, fog thing works, and I'm even beginning to learn to adapt and roll with the billows. When I came over the hill east of Sharon and found myself rising into the fog, I suspected I would be disappointed. To shoot the cemetery I need a fog that settles into the valleys, not one that brushes over the hilltops. As I came out the west side of Sharon and passed the cemetery there was no fog, but just a mile further I quickly rose into a fog that made me strain to see the road ahead.

Adaptation: Collins Farm lies low in the hills and has broad prospects across the valley that I might be able to shoot. In fact, light fog separated the barns of the farmstead, and I spent some time shooting there. By the time I had hiked up here the fog had thinned a bit, but the hill behind me, like the hill in front, was still blanketed in. Somewhere in the fog in front of us is Sunset Ridge Farm, perhaps just two or three towers on.

After many tries, at last a shot of the striding giants that satisfies me! I'm hoping that when I print this there will be enough differentiation to suggest the intermediate hills. It's going to be close.