July 12, 2010

Bolton Emerson Americas: Long View


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When I walked onto the main production floor of Bolton Emerson Americas, this was the first shot I actually “saw.”

There was plenty to shoot before I saw this, but sensory overload hit me when I walked in. My head was pivoting back and forth trying to focus on something. I saw this barrel of tools and decided to try to use it as a leading foreground element.

This main building is one floor with a very high ceiling – my guess is 30 feet high. The walls are a tapestry of glass panels, designed to allow as much light in as possible. The place is lit additionally by a series of lights, similar to streetlights. They provide a distinctive orange glow throughout the building.

The glass panels and high flat ceiling also, unfortunately, retain the heat. Last week with the temperatures in Lawrence hitting 100°, the machine shop floor was as hot in the morning as it was when they shut down the day before. So said Frank, 20 year employee.

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  1. The thing that struck me about this photo is there so much detail in it but the nice foreground element allows the viewer to start from the front to back of the photo.

    What a great series you have going on here…looking forward to seeing more.

  2. The person taken the pictures does not know a milling machine from a vertical lath but that is not why im writing about this place was ran my a superindentant that came out of the old school wore a black suit every day to work the place was hot as hell in the summer and h cold in the winter the pay was cheap and the work was not good this pace is now what it looked like back in the 50s nothing has changed what you see is what it was a hell hole of a place to work in a shoe town was a tex- tile town .i came to this place to give them work but having Sean the condition of there inspection equipment and machines i walked out can you see this place drilling a simple hole in sheet metal and measuring the dirt was all over the place like it was the bottom of a sunken ship so be it