An Outing at Bethlehem Steel

A few weeks ago I was invited on an outing with the Livingston Camera Club. (Yes, as you might suspect, it was with the infamous Carla and the club of which she is a faithful member.) As it was my first experience going out with a camera club I was not sure what to expect. I shouldn't have been concerned; it was a lovely day out with some very nice people (and talented photographers to boot!) My theory when shooting in a new place is always "safety in numbers!" It makes for a much less stressful outing in parts unknown.

While this post could very easily fit into my history blog, and may still, I wanted to get some photos posted before my little website turned to desert sands. The general history of the steel mill is easily found and tells a tale of the standard rhythms of boom and bust that go with most big industry. However, I would like to find some hidden stories because a large mill like that in a small Pennsylvania town has got to have some skeletons in the proverbial closet. 

The mill was truly a remarkable place to shoot and I highly recommend any and all photographers who have a chance to check it out. There is a bit of something for everyone and I know that I will be back, time and time again, for new discoveries.

When shooting a location for the first time, especially something like the steel stacks, it can be pretty daunting. There are certainly the good wide shots of the full vista, but the nooks and crannies are the true gems. There is so much detail and texture to be found within the crumbling and rusty infrastructure that it's difficult to know where to start (and sometimes when to stop!)

While great fun, it is not without challenges. I had an interesting conversation about one such challenge that I thought I could manage very well, thank you very much. When I got home I realized I had failed miserably. Rather than fall into a screaming heap on the floor I decided to reach out to an expert for advice. Stay tuned for a future blog post where I will unravel the mystery and hopefully learn a few things. 

I consider this my exploratory outing. You know the one where you figure out how to get there when your GPS doesn't know it exists. 

The initial outing where you can discover where the walkways lead, where the restrooms are located, and how far is the nearest good eats for a large group.

Oh, and also the general feel for the environment. Sussing out best times for a return trip and light quality that best suits the subject. (But seriously, bathroom stops are just as important!) So please stay tuned! There will be more fun and frolic just around the corner. (And I am fairly certain that Carla will not be far behind.)