Gate Valve

Today’s image is from the recent Historic Mills Photo Workshop that Bob Lussier and I led at the Pacific Mill complex in Lawrence.  While the majority of our time during our workshops is spent teaching and providing guidance/tips on what to shoot, we do manage to find some time here and there to shoot some stuff for ourselves.   This particular shot comes from the old turbine room in one of the mill’s massive buildings.

As much as I’d love to take credit for finding this composition, I must admit that I stole it from one of our participants.  Well I asked him if he was ok with me stealing it, and he graciously agreed.  Now no one really “owns” a particular composition of course, but there are unwritten rules of etiquette that certainly apply.

Anyway, this perspective/angle is one that I had never contemplated, yet one that I loved as soon as I saw the image on his LCD.  I was drawn to the arrangement of the three valve handles, and chose a shallow depth of field to accentuate the closest one.  I’m sure there’s a lesson in this story somewhere like the student has become the teacher.  Or the teacher has become the student.  Well either way, I think you get the idea. 🙂

Exit the Stone

The Stone Mill at night is an incredible thing to photograph.  Between the random sources of light inside and the light coming in from the outside, all sorts of photo opportunities exist.  Aside from the main entrance of the mill, the third floor landing where I took this shot is probably the brightest area in the whole mill at night, and was the only place you don’t need flashlights to navigate.

If any of this sounds kinda interesting, please check out our upcoming Light Painting Workshop in October from Historic Mills Photo Workshops.  We’ll be spending a few hours in the Stone Mill exploring its dark corners, and using various lighting techniques to get really interesting shots of the mill.  Sorry for the plug, but we’re very excited about this event and wanted to share it.  🙂

Stone Long Exposure

After our recent Historic Mills photo walk around the Lawrence mills, I spent a little time trying some long exposures with the Stone Mill.  It was mid-day, but there were some great clouds moving quickly over the mill which looked to have potential.  I experimented with a variety of shutter speeds to finally get the look I wanted, and knew I was going to convert to black and white based on the harsh light.

And speaking of Historic Mills photo walks, we just so happen to have one coming up in a few weeks on July 27th.  Please visit our site for more information about this free event, as well as several other great events coming up in the next few months.  Between now and October, we have a full-day workshop, a photo walk for the Essex Heritage Trails and Sails event, and a new night time/light painting workshop that we’re very excited about.


Today’s image is one I grabbed during our second Historic Mills Photo Workshop this past weekend.  After seeing Bob Lussier’s post on his blog yesterday, I was inspired to copy him and do something similar.

While my time during the day was spent working with our participants, I did have my camera over my shoulder with the 50mm prime to grab a few shots of everyone shooting away.  But temptation is strong when I’m in the Stone Mill, and I just had to grab a few shots here and there.  No tripod, no brackets, but still a few clicks now and then, such as this shot of an old cart in the attic space.

The workshop was fantastic as we had a terrific group of photographers with us for the day.  The feedback has been great so far, and we’re looking forward to hosting more workshops in the fall.


Night at the Pacific

Expecting a nighttime shot of the ocean, weren’t you?  Well you’ll have to settle for a night shot of the Pacific Mill instead.  I’ve probably said this before, but the Pacific Mill complex is my favorite mill to shoot from the outside.  There are many different buildings to shoot, with these great connecting bridges going in all different directions.   The light and shadows throughout the day and night are also tremendous.

Have I peaked your interest?  Then I hope you’ll join Bob Lussier and I for our first Historic Mills Photo Walk on June 8th.  It’s free, and we’ll be walking around many of the mills that you may have seen on our respective blogs.  Please check out our site for more information or to register.

Have a great weekend, everyone.

Escape Routes

Walking around to the north side of the Stone Mill, I noticed the interesting patterns of these fire escapes and had to grab a shot.  The reason I’m posting this image today is because I’m pleased to report that no one tried tried using these this past weekend during our first Historic Mills Photography Workshop.  🙂

The workshop actually went really well, and based on the feedback we’ve received so far, I think it’s safe to say that our participants felt the same way.  Bob Lussier and I were so fortunate to have such a wonderful group of photographers joining us for the day, as well as the support of our incredible partners at Everett Mills Properties and the Lawrence History Center.   And we’ve already seen some beautiful images posted on our facebook page from some of the participants, which really brings a smile to my face.

So now I’ll end this post with a quick plug for our next workshop coming up on May 18th.  There are only a handful of spots remaining, so please come visit our web page for more information.

Stacked Windows

Whenever I’m in the mills and see these beautiful old-school windows stacked up somewhere, I’m always hopeful that they’re just waiting to be refurbished to be used again when these spaces are repurposed.  Or at least sold to someone interested in preserving their charm.  Many of the spaces we now photograph, including their windows, will eventually be updated and used by new businesses and organizations.  And while I love the fact that they’ll soon be contributing to the revitalization of the local community, part of me feels saddened that one day they will no longer resemble their original state.  This is one of the things that drives my passion to photograph them… the ability to preserve their memory in my own little way.  That, and the fact that they also look really cool.

Hello Dolly

A quick post today as I deal with a broken furnace on freezing cold day.  🙂

This is an image from a mill that Bob and I recently had the opportunity to photograph thanks to one of the many wonderful mill owners in Lawrence that is supporting our photo workshop efforts.  I just love finding pieces of equipment in these mills that help tell the story of the work that may have been done there in the past.  As I’ve mentioned probably many times before, the historical significance of these historic mills gets to me as much as the photography itself.

Also, be sure to check out our first of many blog posts from Bob on the Historic Mill Photo Workshop site!


Today’s post is a special one as we are officially launching Historic Mills Photography Workshops.

Bob Lussier and I have been working tirelessly to create a photo workshop program in and around the mills of Lawrence, MA, and it’s finally here.  We both have a true passion for these mills, not only from a photography perspective, but also from a historical and cultural one as well.  We’ve been working with some wonderful partners in the local community, and we couldn’t be more excited to bring these workshops to life, starting with our first workshop coming up on Saturday, April 6th.

Please take a moment to visit our website, and let us know if you have any feedback or questions.  We also plan to be active in social media, so please check out our Facebook page too (you can even “Like” us if you want!).

Oh yeah… today’s image is the roof of the Stone Mill taken from a window in the Everett Mill, coincidentally the two mills which will be the locations for our first workshop.

Please help us spread the word.  Thank you.