In the spring I was able to go and photograph at Silo City in Buffalo, New York. This has to be one of the most unique places to hold a photography workshop, as we were able to photograph inside and outside these huge silos that have not been used in a very long time. Modern silos were invented right there in Buffalo as it was the last city before Niagara Falls and all the grains and minerals from the Midwest would have to be unloaded from barges and placed on railroad trains to head east. I learned while at Silo City that all the silos were constructed from a continuous pouring of concrete that would last over a week and had hydraulics that would lift up a form as they poured. This seemed incredible to me as I looked at these huge buildings and realized that the concrete never stopped pouring until the building was completely built.
Walking inside the structures is both fascinating and a little scary when you peer down open spaces to the ground and windows to the outside, but that doesn’t stop you from getting lost in taking in all the textures and machinery inside the building as you photograph. There are about five buildings that we are able to explore and photograph at this location and each one is as unique as the other with a new photographic opportunity around each corner. I was there for two days and did not explore all five buildings, but I’m looking forward to going back this fall and exploring the last two that I did not photograph. We had great weather for this workshop and very calm waters for Lake Erie for this time of the year and the images with water in them look fantastic. I was told that is not always the case so I felt fortunate to be there with the water being as calm as it was.
We also have the opportunity to go to Buffalo’s old waterworks building and photograph inside what has to be some of the largest water pumps I have ever seen. There are four pumps inside this room and to say they are massive is an understatement, it would have had to have been deafening to be around these water pumps when they are actually working at supplying water to the city of Buffalo. What I found interesting as I photographed inside of this building was that they had streetlights around the pumps and it made me think I was at a park outside.
I am very excited that I’ll be going back to Silo City and the Buffalo pumping station to lead a photography workshop with Mark Milo this fall. What is even better is that I plan to light paint both inside and outside at Silo City. I did a little the last time I was there, but I’m looking forward to doing more light painting inside the silos as well as light painting the outside of the silos again.
If you would like to join me this fall at Silo City Workshop here is the link: http://www.visualarchaeology.com/Visual_Archaeology/Silo_City_Workshop.html
And if you have any questions please send me an email.