I have finally completed work on the photographs from the Lonaconing Silk Mill. It has been abandoned since 1957. I feel like I have been working on the pictures since 1957, too.
The photographs are an effort to reveal the dignity that comes with hard work. I also tried to stay true to my love of shape and color. I am hoping that the difficulty of what it must have been like to work there comes through as well. I thought I might share my efforts at how I tried to do that.
It begins with the photograph itself. The inside of the building was dark and cold. There is no heat. Many windows are broken and things are a bit of a mess. I wanted to show how the spirits of the workers can be revealed by the machines on which they worked. I did that by trying to choose angles that reveal the gears and machinery they dealt with. It is not hard to imagine the noise and dirt. The shot of the shoes was the most obvious effort at sharing my thoughts on the efforts the people exerted.
I underexposed most of the photographs to try to infuse a bit of a creepy feeling. I wanted it to seem as though someone's spirit might still be there. The steps are the best example of that effort.
When I finally had chosen the ones I wanted to use, I worked mainly in a software called Perfect Photo Suite by OnOne. I used filters that were helpful to the feeling I wanted. Some had a more gritty feel so I used a group called Grunge. To get a more creamy look, I used a group of presets called Glow. The box of bobbins uses a touch of a glow filter. I wanted the gritty look to remind us of the hard work and the glow look to get a feeling that we are looking at something from the past.
I hope you enjoy the photographs.