Brass Valley: The Fall of an American Industry

Brass Valley: The Fall of an American Industry
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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Milltown

ARISTOTLE: “Poetry is finer and more philosophical than history; for poetry expresses the universal, and history only the particular.”


PHOTOGRAPHER'S DIARY: Like the previous photo, this one also tries to embrace a significant portion of the Collinsville mill site. However, this one does so from a bit of a distance and through a long lens. In that way it brings together a variety of forms that most people passing would not see as related and heaps them on top of each other. The resulting image is, for me, less about Collinsville and more about industrial New England. For that, I prefer it.

The spot from which this was shot is very particular. It was taken just where the old railroad came down off the bridge over the Farmington River. I made a number of experiments moving right, left, up, and down. There were some interesting options that included the railing of the old bridge, but the balances and echoing forms clicked just here. Similarly, it is only late in the day that the sun penetrates the buildings to make the windows come alive. Now the leaves are on the trees, they are no longer scarecrows, and the force of the industrial forms is softened. Photos can be quite specific in these ways. I'll continue to visit this spot through the seasons ahead, and maybe I'll see something new or something better. It's sometimes hard for me to know when a shot will be superseded, but for now this one seems to have achieved my goals. The wanderings of the sun and it's effect on the land are hard to predict until they have been seen.

Statistics: ISO 400, 1/30 at f25, lens zoomed to 165mm