December 31, 2010

Pacific Mill Machine Shop II


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I spent a few hours with Brian Matiash at the Pacific Mill Machine Shop yesterday. That machine shop is in the top 3 of my favorite places to shoot. Its not a big place, but it has a lot of character.

My previous visits here were all in the early morning, around 6:30 AM. There wasn’t a lot of light hitting the floor at that hour, and the electric lights don’t really work. So shooting from mid morning through early afternoon provided a wonderful variety of light through the two sets of windows in this tiny shop.

My goal in this shot, as in much of my mill work, was to capture the character of the location. Aside from a couple of things put there for storage, nothing in the room appears to be less than 20 years old. It is a step back into time.

The newspaper from 1980 on the counter, the 1948 calendar taped to the inside of a locker door, and the “Buy War Bond” slogan beautifully written in calligraphy on the side of a locker, are all voices of the past lives of this shop.

There are plans in the works to convert the space to a museum of mill machinery artifacts. I hope it comes to fruition.

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  1. I always appreciate seeing the shot as it was taken in person and then having it infused with the photographer’s imagination and stylization – as is the case with this image.

    Wonderful job bringing out all of the detail in these machines, as well as controlling the light and shadows really well.

  2. You had me at “chair”! This one rocks, Bob. Really love how you’ve managed to show the wonderful light and shadows falling on everything! The details here are truly sublime! Definitely one of your best, in my view!

  3. What a great shot – the detail that you’ve highlighted is great as is the light. You’ve also nailed the atmosphere beautifully.
    This doesn’t look abandoned at all, it just looks like you’ve got there before the workers.