To another door that goes… nowhere. And yet another stair.
On the ground floor of the tower, looking towards the room with the chair (prior post) and the stairway to the next level. The floor was really bad, it was soft with a few holes where earlier visitors had broken through.
The stairways of this place are interesting… each floor has a different style of stair. A narrow spiral stair takes me up to the second floor. This photo is looking back down the stair to the first floor.
This is the start of what I hope will be a bit of a series. It is about an old property (the original buildings are dated 1866) that I have been dropping in on for more than a year now. Much of it has sat empty and decaying for many years, but the site is not abandoned – it is used by the town for low-income (and I suspect, no-income) housing. Recently, efforts have begun to clean the place up.
I have a lot of photos from this place and now that I have some idea of the story I want to tell with them, I can start to process the shots. Rather than save them up for one big blog posting, I am going to dole them out to you as I finish with each.
Over the past couple of months I have pulled together a small group interested in making some creative photos. With people in them. What’s the big deal with “people” you ask? Well, all my experience has been with rather inanimate scenery… waiting for the light to be right and choosing how to frame the subject is about the extent of the creative options available to me. Putting my emotion into a shot in a way that you, the viewer can see, can be a struggle sometimes. But when I add a person to the shot, all of a sudden I seem to have dozens of creative variables to work with… something as small as a raised eyebrow can change the whole tone of a shot. What a challenge! Two of the group members are acting as my models, the third is make-up artist/theatrics coach. Two of these three ladies are also accomplished photographers in their own right. We envision producing a series of shots exploring an ongoing battle between the two ladies, in the vein of Betty vs Veronica (or perhaps Spy vs Spy for you MAD magazine fans). The opening shot in the series introduces the two models and raises the question whether we might be just looking at two faces of the same woman.
I sometimes forget just how amazing the countryside is around here. Then I go out and see it through my viewfinder and it’s like seeing it again for the first time. This happened to me again earlier this week. I started out in the lush greenery of the Silvercreek Valley, following the creek as it stepped down the escarpment.
Then I hopped in the truck and went ten minutes down the road… to a different world. Not lush. Not green. Not alive. Yet serene and attractive in it’s own way.
I have driven by this old farm for twenty years… last week I finally stopped in to take a look around.
C’mon, admit it… you were a little surprised to see the words “art” and “Hamilton” in the same sentence, weren’t you?
I think it is a matter of how you look at things. I set aside any preconceived notions about the city and set out to find something artful about it. On the highway into town, I made a stop under the Skyway bridge.
This struck me as being an abstracted representation of the heavy industry visible just across the bay from here. (The mundane reality is that it is an inverted reflection of the Skyway bridge in the canal.)
With my affinity for all things rusted and eroded, it was a given that I would find some interesting things in the old industrial core.
Along the waterfront, there is a collection of tugboats painted in the cheery colours of a child’s toy.
The next photo is a more traditional view of Hamilton… old, industrial and worn… yet I am oddly attracted to this photo. Perhaps it is the juxtaposition of the seemingly misplaced advertising message in amongst the tanks and pipes of industry?
After dark, the lights of industry become a thing of beauty. On a surprisingly warm Friday evening, I was content to sit on the edge of the escarpment and take in the view spread out below.