Industrial

This is a project of industrial night photography. The images in this project were all photographed with film. The results are natural. No manipulations were made to achieve the colors.

About This Project: Having spent most of my working life in one factory or another, I’ve always found an odd beauty, a kind of accidental artistry, in these places built for function, rather than form. To me, they have never been just factories, but grand and magical places, full of dangers and pollutions and monotony. There’s a child-like sense of mystery about them, a feeling that horrible crimes or hideous monsters are possible around every corner. Yet they are simply places of work, like second homes, and there is comfort in being there.

Perhaps because I no longer work in a factory, I began wandering these bleak industrial landscapes at night, the natural hum of traffic and machinery surrounding me, trying to recapture something. I wanted to photograph them in a way that expressed the way they made me feel, in images that are simultaneously eerie and serene, isolating, but without manipulating or adding to the scenes.

By using ordinary daylight balanced slide film subjected to time exposures, I was able to achieve what I was looking for. No special effects are used, either in printing or in camera. All are shot at night, usually between 11pm and 5am. The time exposures, from one to eight minutes, contribute a sensation of movement and crispness of detail. The intense color variations are simply the reactions of the film to various available light sources. No additional light sources are added. I use only the lights that were put there by the people who built or worked in or around these places, lights intended for a purpose other than my own. Every element is utilitarian in nature. To add lights would defeat the point. This makes workable compositions more difficult to find, but the hunt is more enjoyable, like searching for treasure.

Since beginning this project in 1998, many of these buildings have been razed, closed down, or renovated.