Rules for a good road trip should include eating lunch before you travel and making sure you print out the actual directions before you go. It's also guaranteed that the cell phone will not ring the entire morning you are getting ready, but the minute that reception might be kind of fluky that the phone will start to ring off the hook. I don't know, maybe someone put a sensor on my front door in case I ventured away from packing? *looks around for sister dear* (I tease)
I've been thinking about finding an old mill for a while since I saw a flickr friend's shot. So, after summing up his directions - hey, I'm great with directions - I got in the jeep and drove northeast to Albertville. I don't know that I've ever been to Albertville, but I've been as far as Boaz (shopping outlets!).
For the record, it was ONE stop sign not two. So the first time I drove by the place I thought, hey - that's a great building - I'll stop by there on the way home. Then, I got by the old guy driving 25 mph and was praying I didn't miss the light. So I followed the signs to a dead end road. But the good news is that I found a great tire swing in the winter dusky light. And I saw lots of cows and barns.
So I backtracked and realized coming at the building from another angle, it was indeed where I was supposed to be all along. Score! Old, falling down, decayed...all the things that I normally do not shoot. A challenge. I had the place to myself as the light was falling fast. An orange sun peeked between tall hardwoods and cars crept by the one lane bridge behind me. My hands were chapped and red as the temperatures fell into the 40's (I didn't wear a coat - what?)
A guy stopped and we talked about the beauty of the place...and how it must have looked in it's glory. The farmland near the mill is gently and rolling. As I packed up my gear, including the trusty tripod, the sky turned a beautiful combination of pale blue, lavender, peach and pink. Like a soft swirl of chiffon drapped over the cloudless sky.
I drove off the mountain watching the round red balloon sinking behind the hills. A thin layer of haze making stripes across the brillance and seeping a feeling wonder deep into my bones. Sunsets like that remind me there is beauty in all the stripped colors of winter's foliage. There is color there for those that search it. And, when I think my life is stripped of some it's plumage - there is color there too. A good lesson for a Saturday afternoon. And, I'm also glad that I went as the whim struck me and didn't wait for today to "plan better." (Seize the day, right?) Today, the light is flat and overcast. It's a day to watch the dvds I rented and to make homemade chili.
In the meanttime, here are some of the shots I processed. I've made some notes on some of them.
I added texture to this shot because (if you look closely) there is a huge power line support in the background. I'm not talented enough in photoshop to wipe out the lines...so this was my best solution.
As you can see, the light was falling when I took this shot. None of the building shots were as good as my friend's. I'm not sure what to do different but it will be a good challenge for me to keep trying.
From the power of the water and the speed, I can see how this was a great site for a mill. It makes me wonder what the landscape looked like back in the day. I hope to go back in the spring with the undergrowth is not so dead and gray/brown.
I love the colors of the sky reflected on the river.
I loved this treeline I saw as I was driving home.
The eye can see 20 stops of light they say, the camera sees 5. I wish you could see all the gradiation in color on this shot. It's my favorite of the day.