Some of the more interesting things you find in the old mills in Lawrence are the writings/scribblings of those who have explored the mills in the past.  I’m assuming that whoever wrote “boo” on this door several times were either there at night, or had been there at night in the past.  The mills aren’t too scary during the day, but they certainly can be at night with only a flashlight to guide you.  With this shot from the Stone Mill, I was originally more interested in the doorway that is framing the room beyond, but once I saw the the word boo written a few times on the door, I made sure it was part of the composition.

Cart in the Attic

One of my favorite mill scenes to photograph is the attic of the Stone Mill in Lawrence.  The 19th century architecture and gritty details of this abandoned space never ceases to fascinate me.  There are also several interesting items in the attic that you can use to anchor a shot of this open space, and this cart is one of them.

I have made many attempts to get just the right shot of the cart in the past, yet success still eludes me.  While I’m very pleased with this image, as well as several others I have made of the cart, I will continue trying to find that elusive mix of composition and light that needs to come together to get the shot I seek.

In the meantime, have a great weekend everyone.

Light Grids II

I thought I’d start the week with another image of the beautiful light that streams into the Stone Mill in the early morning.  You can even see some of the light patterns on the ceiling, which I believe is from the sun reflecting off a car windshield or something in the parking lot below.  A twofer.

Light Grids

It’s been a while since I posted an image from the Stone Mill in Lawrence, so here’s one today.  This side of the building really benefits from the morning light that pours in through it’s massive windows.  The patterns created on the floor are beautiful, and really change depending on the season.  Winter is certainly the best time with its low sun, and if you get there early enough, the shadows form the window can reach almost halfway across the floor ( I wasn’t there that early this time).  I honestly never get tired of shooting here.


Ok, well maybe it’s not a real dungeon as evidenced by the fact that there’s a huge window (a dungeon no-no), as well as the fact that it’s three stories up in the Stone Mill.  But when I saw this door, a dungeon was the first thing that came to mind.  There’s even a chair for the guard to sit.  The light coming through the window was perfect for this scene, and I decided to give the image a very dark B&W treatment to give it a more sinister dungeon-like feel.

And by the way, this would make a very efficient dungeon, as this door leads to a connecting passage to the mill across the way.  A passage that doesn’t exist anymore.  So take one step out this door, and you’ll find yourself on the pavement three stories below.  Ouch.

Night at the Mill

I’m very excited about the new Nighttime/Light Painting workshop that Bob Lussier and I will be hosting this weekend at the Stone Mill in Lawrence.  We will be leading a small group of photographers through the various abandoned parts of the mill, for what should be a fantastic night of shooting and learning.

While we of course really enjoy photographing the mills during the day, there’s something about being there at night that is very cool.  The ambient light coming in from the moon, as well as the various exterior lights outside, creates a unique mood compared with what we can capture during the day.

This image takes advantage of the red light coming off the exit sign, as well as the yellowish light coming from outside into the stairwell.  We added a little blue light on the stairs with some light painting, and the result is a multi-colored image that you just couldn’t accomplish during daylight hours.


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.

How Much is that Chimney in the Window

When shooting subjects I’ve photographed many times, such as the Stone and Everett Mills, I’m always looking for interesting compositions that I haven’t previously used.  This particular image was more fortuitous than planned, as the reflection of the smokestack of the Stone just happened to catch my eye as I was getting in my car to leave a shoot at the mills this past spring.  Sometimes being lucky is better than being good.

The Office

Here is another image from our recent night shoot at the Stone Mill.  Before we even went inside, I knew that this room was the first place in the mill I was heading to try some lightpainting techniques.  Definitely a work in progress, and I’m looking forward to our next excursion there.