Friday, March 1, 2013

The Old Mill

PHOTOGRAPHER'S JOURNAL:  "A Day at the Mill, Pt.1":

I used all my powers to persuade the man to let me photograph the old factory sheds.  I followed him into the building as I made my case until we stood halfway down a long basilica-like space where a trailer served as his office.  The sheds come together at odd angles and were encrusted with rusted barnacles of past operations and promised a funhouse of adventure. He explained, the new owner had hired him to clean up.

He was alone, one man in a space the size of several football fields and loaded with equipment, some rusting and dead and some that looked like it must be the rummaged booty of failed corporations now dissolved and bankrupt.  The ceiling was leaking and the floors were greasy. He warned, "Gotta watch out for falling glass." In all directions the room seemed to disappear into shadows. There were places where stairs disappeared below the floor into darkness that I would never dare to enter.  Was that part of his job?  I also saw other dark doorways at grade level and off of catwalks high in the rafters.  I hoped he had a big crew coming. He considered my request slowly while he told me about other places he had worked and things he had done. He didn't seem at all busy. "Sure," he said finally, "you can shoot."