Featured Around town ... (PART 1)

Discussion in 'Olympus' started by MiguelATF, Mar 2, 2017.

  1. I live in Talent, Oregon, a small town in southern part of the state, whose population hovers somewhere between 6 and 7 thousand. I live in an old (1902) farmhouse just outside of city limits - where the countryside intersects, with varying degrees of discomfort, with the ever expanding city. Talent was formerly a farming community; now, in the new milenium, farmland is disappearing at a frightening rate. Near the end of February, we experienced weeks of inclement winter weather. A good time to sit at home, stoke the fireplace, drink a cup of hot chocolate and read your kindle. But I braved the freezing temps and sallied forth on several walks - on which I brought my small-but-not-quite-pocketable Lumix GM5 along, with a handful of equally tiny lenses.

    The first thing I saw was the open spaces of the neighboring farm.

    Farm field Arrow
    par MiguelATF, on ipernity

    Another rural neighbor was trying to give away the unwanted camper shell from an old pickup truck; but in spite of the FREE sign on it, it’s become a semi-permanent part of the landscape.

    by MiguelATF, on ipernity

    And of course, every small town has ubiquitous dirt roads, most of which will take you somewhere, if you only bother to walk down them.

    Dirt Road
    by MiguelATF, on ipernity

    In my town, on the literal border between ‘city’ and ‘country’, there is a factory; on cloudy days, the trucks parked outside of it, beneath massing rain clouds (precipitation is always threatening, in Oregon) look almost like a painted landscape.

    Trucks on a cloudy day
    by MiguelATF, on ipernity

    Most of the trucks are protected from the elements but some remain curiously open, bedecked with rusting chains, looking for all the world like mediaeval dungeons.

    Rusty Chains
    by MiguelATF, on ipernity

    And, speaking of rust, the factory has a small de facto mechanical graveyard, where yesterday’s valuable machines are slowly rusting away.

    Rusty Gears
    by MiguelATF, on ipernity

    Something about old rusting machines fascinates me; I move around, staring at them from different angles, wondering what they actually did. (And part of me, an irrational, speculative part, wonders if they ever really ‘did’ anything - or if, instead, they were simply part of an elegant 3-dimensional perpetual motion sculpture designed by a mechanically-inclined artist, or a dreaming engineer.)

    Rusty abandoned Machine
    by MiguelATF, on ipernity

    And wondering how - and why - the teeth of different gears intermeshed and what (if anything) that actually (might have) accomplished.

    Rusty gear wheels
    by MiguelATF, on ipernity

    Or simply speculating that the roundness of a machine wheel (which my mind’s eye can see spinning) has an almost mandala-like quality to it.

    by MiguelATF, on ipernity

    Or maybe it doesn’t: maybe it’s just all in my mind.

    The bigger, heavier machines sit patiently, under rain, sleet and snow, rusting away in silence. The smaller mechanical discards however are consigned to garbage cans, the first step on their journey to parts unknown.

    by MiguelATF, on ipernity

    END PART 1 (continued in PART 2)
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2017
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  2. theoldsmithy

    theoldsmithy All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jan 7, 2013
    Herefordshire, England
    Martin Connolly
    Great stuff Miguel, I love old machines anyway but you've captured (and processed) them really well here!
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  3. Thank you, Martin. I share your fascination with (and love for) old machines. And to give credit where credit is due, in terms of processing, at least, everything was shot in RAW but in undisciplined fashion, I resorted to several different post processing tools. Most of the old machine shots were processed through Lightroom (I'm using LR5), and I used (with some modifications) some interesting (and free) LR presets that the great contemporary documentary photographer, Eric Kim, was kind enough to share with his 'followers' and fans. I also used the latest iteration of the Analog Efex processing tool which is part of the Nik software suite and which works nicely (or should I say, 'plays nicely'?) with LR. As often happens, the initial RAW digital negatives were quite rich and malleable, but they came to life in the processing. So - your comment is particularly apt : - )
  4. theoldsmithy

    theoldsmithy All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jan 7, 2013
    Herefordshire, England
    Martin Connolly
    Interesting, I thought a couple of them looked like Color Efex Pro treatments, it's nice to see a more subtle use of Analog Efex.
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  5. mnhoj

    mnhoj gee aahrr

    Jan 27, 2012
    Well done Miguel.
    I really enjoyed visiting Talent thru your words and images.
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  6. Petach

    Petach Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2011
    UK, Essex
    Peter Tachauer
    Thanks for the "show and tell". Always interesting to see where other members live.
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  7. Ripleysbaby

    Ripleysbaby supernatural anesthetist

    Sep 9, 2011
    Cumbria UK
    Miguel, I've always admired your images. You take shots of stuff I wouldn't even think about taking. because of this Talent is now on my map. Great stuff !
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