So just what is it about this particular building that has caused me to go into paroxysms of power-swooning?

Well, the sheer size of it for one thing. And, hand-in-hand with the size comes accessibility. It’s not only satisfyingly large, we could walk round and round and there were no fences or nearby buildings to block our views. I think the nearest business was the Eagles Bar (see last post) and I’m pretty sure their patrons didn’t give a whoop about the crazy women over by the Feed Mill.

Then there’s the matter of the rooflines.  I always concentrate on capturing roofs and angles no matter what I’m shooting, but I do that because they never fail to make me grin like a crazy person. In this case, I narrowly avoided a TMJ flareup.

This next one is the very first picture I took when I got out of the car. Please note the squatter in the upper window. He was briefly visible (and I think maybe his missus is peeking over his shoulder) and then nary a feather nor a coo for the rest of our visit.

The colors are wonderful.  There is something about the blue-gray on the main body of the building that I have returned to dozens of times already, mostly just to stare and go “ahhhh….” Then, factor in the red that has bled into rust up against that blue-gray and it feels as though the old girl is wearing an heirloom brooch…a lavalier, perhaps. All of this was enhanced by the univerally overcast and gray sky that day.

Finally, there is the matter of all that mixed surface texture: splintered wood, metal, peeling paint, broken glass and rust.

Tomorrow, we’ll walk around to the back of the building and eavesdrop on a dialogue between wood and red.

  1. Maria Milkie says:

    You have such a skilled eye, Mama D!

    • Maria! Thank you for checking out my blog and for your good words.Stay! Look around!
      You don’t know Maria, but she was once in my World History Class (6th hour rules!) and made a tip jar (!) that she passed around. (“Like the lecture? Get a laugh? Show some love and give some CASH!”) Made 18 bucks that semester…which I did invest in supplies for kids who needed them.

  2. Jeanne Heuer says:

    The rust runs look like fringe hanging from the bottom of a banner or a weaving, nice.

  3. What an eye…so much beauty with such unintended consequences by the original designer. Powerful.

    • Thank you. I’ve actually had the same idea as I worked with these pictures. How much thought went into “dressing” this building? (I’m sure you have a more technical term.) Was someone going for beauty or was this all strictly utilitarian?

      • Mostly utilitarian per the functional and budgetary requirements of producing a product efficiently and with strict adherence to a bottom line. But, as with all things designed, as this would have been, personal aesthetics enter in somewhere. Mostly though, for me, this building has all the industrial beauty of a sort shared by all “architecture without architects” throughout history.

    • This is just a bit late as a reply to a reply, etc, but…
      I very much liked your use of “unintended consequences” regarding beauty coming from unexpected sources. This term always comes packaged with an implied downside (the unintended consequences of spraying for insects, the unintended consequences of closing our borders…) To flip it and find the unintended consequences of rust or ruin or degeneration or even utilitarian building is beauty elevates that beauty to an “ah!” moment. The image is so lovely that it just makes me smile.

      I wanted to tell you that because I found myself using the phrase in that same way and I realized I had just borrowed it whole cloth from you.

  4. Thus the whole “unintended consequences.”
    On a parallel path, I think, the idea of wabi sabi: the beauty to be found in the patina of age or the dignity of an old structure. And that is what moves me.

  5. Marjorie says:

    These exteriors hold the promise of paintings. Might these unintendeds be the origin
    of contemporary barn quilts?

  6. Ah, Marjorie–you know me too well. The first one should be on canvas.

  7. I love the angles, colors and textures so much that I’m pun-less once again. How did you achieve the contrast with the white sky – exposure or post-shoot software? I don’t know much (okay, anything) about these things.

    • Good morning, Amiable! Thank you–those are exactly the things that make my head twirl as well. Here’s a short answer on the technical: for starters, blessed with a gray sunless no-color day. Yes! Then, I shot at about +2/3 for exposure and exposed it even more when I processed in camera raw, followed by using the curves mask to clean up the sky the rest of the way. The take-away here is not so my much my processing skills, but working on a completely gray day.

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