photo credit: copyright Dan Currier, professional photographer, Richmond, VA.
I've always been mildly obsessed with my friend and photographer Dan Currier's #urbex series from an abandoned textile mill. I think the combination of my love for textile manufacturing and antiques makes this picture both haunting and exquisitely beautiful in the same moment. Every detail; the rusted hangers, torn canvas on the dress form, beautiful gray fabric draped on the iron press - art pieces frozen in time. Urban photography is the art of finding abandoned (or old) buildings and photographing the history and unanswered story left behind. Although, not an abandoned NC mill, it is a stark reminder of the number of US mills that have closed both here in our state and around the country.
Photography has been my hobby for over 20 years and filled the void for creativity in my world. My father was also an avid photographer and had a darkroom in his architectural studio. My love for the darkroom and taking an image from enlarger to chemical bath was actually greater than being behind the camera. There was a patience to the art of photography with film. You had to think about each shot, as to not waste film unlike digital today, which has it's advantages, but in my opinion doesn't force a fine tuned eye for your subject. Once negatives were ready, even the process of developing prints required patience. Swirling the chemicals around the fiber paper waiting for hints of black and white or sepia to emerge was actually thrilling. It creates a delay in the creative process vs the instant gratification of digital photography today. Don't misunderstand my appreciation for digital's place! Editing fashion photography for the website wouldn't be possible without PhotoShop and being able to quickly high key a look or edit for social media.
But, for those of us who remember a slower time and appreciate watching something come to life in your hands ~ whether clothing, photography, or sculpture, the memories of swirling chemical around a black and white photograph right before the image appears . . . will always be a bit magical.