Brass Valley: The Fall of an American Industry

Brass Valley: The Fall of an American Industry
order now for delivery by Sept. 2015

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Something of their World



"Work benches, tables, and chests of drawers are stocked with sundry medicines like eyewash, mercurochrome, and spirits of ammonia. Even the workers' toilets suggest something of their world: eight stalls shared two rolls of paper, mounted on the outside. Faded, gaudy, umbrellas are tucked everywhere and women's shoes—perhaps thirty pair-—are hung on spindles and tossed into tag bins. They are all early fifties style, with pointed toes, chunky heels, and well-creased insteps, thrown aside by workers after eight or more hours of moving up and down the mill aisles. What took place here?" 



PHOTOGRAPHER'S JOURNAL: The bathroom was excessively dark, almost beyond shooting. For that reason, I dismissed it when I discovered it late on my first visit. However the rusty doors were interesting, and with time now, I decided to try to make something of them.  There  was a grungy beauty about the place, but it was an awkward space to shoot, and in the end, it was just a bathroom.  

To catch a shot that added context, I squeezed into the corner of the room, my unfolded tripod creasing me into the corner while I tried not to think about what I was squeezing into. This was the second floor on the leaky corner of the building. The roof was failing just here above the third floor. While shooting I used a flashlight to paint a bit of additional light.

The shot speaks well to the quotation.  Whether it has anything of its own to add to the conversation, I'm unsure.