Brass Valley: The Fall of an American Industry

Brass Valley: The Fall of an American Industry
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Sunday, February 15, 2009

Checkered


PHOTOGRAPHER'S DIARY: I have a special love of clear textures, especially when opened by light. Consider this photograph a sampler of farm textures. Much more than most, it benefits from extreme zooming. Viewed on my monitor at 100% (1 pixel of original, captured photo for each screen pixel on the monitor), the image is roughly three-and-a-half times as large as the monitor. If printed at this scale it would be over five feet across.

Of course on my monitor I have to take it in pieces, but zoomed at that level, the hand wrought hardware of the heifer-barn door can be seen in some detail, and in the shadow of the gutter on the cow-barn I see where the installer twisted the wire hangers. Naturally, the three, mowed fields reveal three, distinct textures, but every blade of grass in the front field is visible right to the stone wall. At this magnification the decaying roof of the old cow-barn is a tilescape of debris on which my eyes graze, and in the depths of the shadows behind the dead, curling vines, the weathered planks and iron banding of the back silo stand clear. This texture overlay creates real space rather than murk behind the vines. I wish you too could zoom in and peak through the window, but unfortunately this jpg copy, reduced as always for the internet, pixelates long before any of these features come into focus. Putting aside the aesthetics of chunk viewing, I hope it provides some pleasure anyhow.