Sawhorse in the Mill

It’s been awhile since I posted a mill image – well any image I guess – so here is one from the Pacific Mill taken this past weekend during our latest Historic Mills Photo Workshop.  Bob Lussier and I spent the entire day with a great group of photographers shooting a variety of buildings within the Pacific Mill complex.  I even had time to grab a few shots for myself, including this one.  I didn’t recall seeing this small sawhorse in any of my previous visits here, so I had to grab a shot.

Three Windows

It seems like every window in every mill in Lawrence, MA is huge.   I’m talking 10 feet tall huge.  And they’re everywhere.  One after another after another lining the extensive walls of these massive buildings.

Which is why these three tall and skinny windows on the 5th floor of one of the buildings in the Pacific Mill complex caught my eye the other day.  Bob Lussier and I were able to get a few hours to shoot the mill in the morning on New Years Eve, and although I was late (sorry Bob), I spent most of my time exploring this particular space.

I’m sure there’s a reason that these particular windows are there like they are, but candidly, I really don’t care why.  They just looked great perched above this old workbench, and that’s good enough for me.

Pacific Lights

After several months of phone calls and emails, Bob Lussier and I were finally able to obtain permission to access and photograph the Pacific Mill complex.  While the main building is mostly occupied by various commercial businesses, several vacant buildings remain, although some are slated for renovations in the near future.

We only had a couple of hours, so we spent our time in the empty building featured here, as well as the turbine room of the main building (images to follow later).  These huge empty spaces provide so many photo possibilities, and one of my favorites is to capture the light coming in through the enormous windows.   I’m hopeful that we’ll be able to come back again in the winter when the sun is lower and is casting even longer light patterns across the floor.


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.

Yacht Club

This building/shed at the Sandy Bay Yacht Club in Rockport caught my eye the other day while I was there photographing the harbor. Those are sailboat masts in the background, and I was drawn to the various lines and textures that this scene provided.  The light was very flat, so I decided to convert to B&W.

Broken Window

What I really found interesting when I was photographing this abandoned school was the contrast of old and new.  In many places the paint was still bright and colorful, yet there was trash, broken windows, falling ceiling tiles, etc. as well.  I found myself seeking out scenes where the old and new were evident at the same time, and was able to do so in this image as you can see the brightly painted door and wall through the broken window pane.

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.

Light Grid

In addition to all the great details to be found in the Stone Mill, one of my favorite things about it is the way the light comes through the giant windows.  It leaves beautiful patterns all over the floors, which can really add to an image.  For this shot I chose to focus on the light from a single window, but I have some others to share in the future showing a broader array across the entire floor.  Let there be light!

Have a great weekend.

Window Sill

It’s back to the Stone Mill for today’s image.  This is one of the small rooms that you can find on the third and fourth floors of the mill full of interesting things to discover.  I call this room the Paint Room because some kind of painting activity must’ve occurred here during it’s past.  There are paint splatters on the walls, doors, furniture, etc., all of which can add some nice additional color to an image.  It was the red paint on the wall that actually caught my eye for this shot.  That along with the window panes, light and shadows, it all comes together to provide an interesting composition.