Going Back


A few weeks ago I took a second trip back to the Lonaconing Silk Mill in Western Maryland. When ‘time was up’ there last summer they practically had to drag me out. I knew there were many more subjects left to photograph and I wasn’t done! Having shot a lot of the machinery and wider scenes on my first visit, I decided to focus on more of the details this time. The shoes that workers had left behind when the plant closed in 1957 intrigued me. As the story goes, the silk mill workers went home from work one day unaware that the company would cease operations overnight. The next morning they were not permitted back in the building and personal items and tools of the trade were simply left in their places. For many of the subjects I composed both horizontal and vertical versions. I processed and worked on a variety of images in both color and black & white in order to explore their potential before settling on the collection to post here. I hope you will enjoy this trip back in time, when so many Americans worked in home town factories to make their living.

'Shoe Assortment'  © Denise Bush

‘Shoe Assortment’ © Denise Bush
Prints For Sale at Fine Art America (link top right)

'In Waiting'  © Denise Bush

‘In Waiting’ © Denise Bush
Prints For Sale at Fine Art America (link top right)

'Missing Person'  © Denise Bush

‘Missing Person’ © Denise Bush

'Left Behind'  © Denise Bush

‘Left Behind’ © Denise Bush

'Going Down'  © Denise Bush

‘Going Down’ © Denise Bush

'Basement Artifacts'  © Denise Bush

‘Basement Artifacts’ © Denise Bush

'Basement Remnants'  © Denise Bush

‘Basement Remnants’ © Denise Bush

'Retired'  © Denise Bush

‘Retired’ © Denise Bush

'Factory Fountain'  © Denise Bush

‘Factory Fountain’ © Denise Bush

'Ladies Toilet'  © Denise Bush

‘Ladies Toilet’ © Denise Bush

'Prince Albert (In A Can)'  © Denise Bush

‘Prince Albert (In A Can)’ © Denise Bush

'Crepe Tags'  © Denise Bsuh

‘Crepe Tags’ © Denise Bush

'More Spools'  © Denise Bush

‘More Spools’ © Denise Bush

'Tool Caddy'  © Denise Bush

‘Tool Caddy’ © Denise Bush

14 Responses to “Going Back”

  1. Absolutely wonderful photos, Denise. Wish I could have gone back too, you lucky dog … er, um, I meant puppy. Great exposures, great compositions.

  2. 2 Ken Henriques Jr.

    WOW great look into the past. Nice job Denise.

  3. Wonderful subjects, wonderful compositions, wonderful results. I love these images, Denise. I would love to see some of them in sepia tone. I think that they would look great that way too.

  4. 4 Jim Carter

    Beautiful! Love all the pics especially the B&W shots. The mood they evoke really represents the scene.

  5. Whats striking to me are your beautiful lines (Brent should be very aware of this) 🙂 …. from the lines in the chair pic to the oil can, you bring them together to make a truly fantastic composition. Glad you were able to get back.

  6. 6 Mary Fenton

    So glad you posted these. I loved viewing each one. Wonderful composition in every picture. This is one of my favorite places and I felt the same way as you. ..I think I was the last one out during our trip in March. I took a very similiar shot of the shoes on the chair and entered it in a local art show…and guess what… it sold! I think you might have even set up the shot! Perhaps we shall meetup again!

  7. 7 denisebushphoto

    Thanks Ken, Ken, Joanna, Jim, Mickey and Mary for visiting my blog and leaving comments. It is so nice to hear from you all and knowing my images are being viewed by people other than just me!

  8. Denise, I’m so glad you posted these. I’ll be doing a shoot there next month and I hope mine turn out as great as yours did. I especially like the red shoes and am glad you kept the color in that one. I also really love the spools (and I’m sure the mono was a good choice for it).

  9. 9 Deb

    Great job again! – as always. I love the select color of the Prince Albert can. How awesome you got to go back there again, it is truly a photographers playground.

  10. 10 denisebushphoto

    Thanks for stopping by Vicki and Deb!

  11. Thank you for stopping by on my blog and the like. and thank you for sharing these photos. Terrific story and wonderful blog. I just love them.

    • 12 denisebushphoto

      Thank you for signing up to follow my blog and for your kind comments!

  12. 13 Emilio Pasquale

    All of these are just amazing. The textures, the colors- or lack thereof. Very evovative and beautiful.

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