•COMING IN SEPTEMBER, 2015•

Brass Valley: The Fall of an American Industry

by Emery Roth

Friday, June 4, 2010

Broken

PHOTOGRAPHER'S JOURNAL - This was the first abandoned farmstead I found when I got to Peter's Valley last month. It's a short distance from the craft center where we all stayed, and I found it on my first drive up the road after I arrived.

It is often the details that speak most clearly to me. The suggestion of modern, overhead, garage doors usually make a barn unsuitable for photographs, and so I questioned my own attraction to this one. I didn't bother photographing it that first morning, but when I returned the next day the clouds were perfect. Unfortunately, another photographer with a medium format camera was set up in front of it for a long shoot. He had no interest in the clouds and was set up ten or fifteen feet in front and just left of the barn door. I struggled to find angles to cut him out or that placed him so that I could delete him in Photoshop, but such compromises rarely work. I knew where I wanted to stand. Fortunately 30 minutes later when the photographer moved, the clouds were still good, and finally I was able to stand exactly where my instincts told me to. Others may find the battered barn door incongruous. For me, it is the voice in conversation with the sky. I wonder what the other photographer got.