August 22, 2000

A Ruined Mill (Canajoharie Creek, New Hampshire)

I flew back to New England from Long Island, New York, early in the morning, and was met by a photographer, Bill, whom I'd known for a while through the web, and who'd invited me up to New Hampshire, where he lived, for the day. Bill had previously told me of an old abandoned mill site up in the New England Hills that he thought I might be interested in photographing. I was more than keen to see what he'd described. We drove directly to the space and walked back into the woods, until we came across the remains.
35mm transparency film
All that remained of the 19th century mill were the dry stone walls (walls without mortar) and a few rusted pieces of machinery - mainly the gears from the mill-shaft and wheel. The hour or so we spent walking around the space lead to a number of different images; the early work was created with the 14mm lens on my 35mm camera, using a 400 speed slide film. I was a little hesitant to use such a high speed film, but as I wanted to hand-hold the camera, and the woods were a little dim, it was all I could do.
35mm transparency film
After completing an entire roll of the 400 speed film, I shifted to a roll of Fuji's new Provia F, which while restricting my image-making to brighter subjects (mostly those in direct sunlight), gave me a much higher quality image. With this film, I focused on some sun-lit foliage, and the large rusting gear which lay amid the water in the centre of the mill's remains. The slow moving water had reduced much of the mechanism to a algae and rust-covered blob under the water, but where it emerged, it was definite and defined, showing very little wear or weathering. Working carefully to keep a sense of the roundness of the gear, I tried to make an image which showed both the deterioration that resulted form the years of slow decay, and the grace of the original.

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