Brass Valley: The Fall of an American Industry

by Emery Roth

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Upward Glance

NOTE: This image is more satisfactory if viewed in full screen mode. CLick the image.

PHOTOGRAPHER'S DIARY: If windows are like eyes that see in and see out, their stare responds dynamically to the smallest changes of my camera lens. Yesterday's window was decidedly downcast. Whether one passed through both windows into the golden world beyond, or looked right to the low horizon that isn't really there, the trajectory is downward, a path reinforced by the window mullions. However, today's window is an ascendant glance. Again, the mullions point the way though the motion is slower, but we are buoyed by floating forms that occasionally almost come to life and especially gather and rise along the right edge of the window.

A small movement of the camera changes the relation of the mullions and tilts the gaze, but an even smaller movement sends the distortions and reflections of the glass tumbling. Where windows are doubled, as here, these changes are magnified. Additionally, movement forward and backward changes the relative sizes of the windows. These two photos were taken on two different days under different lighting conditions. How do I balance the fun of finding & shooting images among so many options, with the tedium of reviewing and choosing from the "contacts"? Although I made 91 exposures, four stood out to me. That's a lot. These two seemed like a natural pair.

I must remember: In spring the late setting sun may reach this face of the window directly, and I will be able to shoot from the other side, backward through the two windows, and create a left-handed companion to either of the images posted so far. Or maybe it won't work at all.