Chris and I went prowling around the Skagit Valley the other day and stopped at a big feed/mill operation.
I was behind all the buildings, trying to be innocuous, staying out of the way, when a guy asked if I wanted to see what it looked like inside.
No-brainer. I scrambled up four rickety wooden steps and entered a world of sound, dust, cobwebs, and heavy equipment. "Feel free to shoot whatever you want."
Major adrenaline rush. But it was dark, dark, dark in there.
I did what I could (bumping the ISO up to 3200) but my exposures were mostly way too slow and I was shooting hand-held, so sharpness and depth of field didn't hold up the way I would want.
But here you see the back wall of one of the rooms, shovels propped against a wall, a closeup of "cow cornflakes," a warning sign, and then a shot of the man who was so kind and generous to have invited me in.
In addition to working in the mill, he's also a farmer, a writer, and a (black and white, Mamiya RB67) photographer.
I e-mailed him the portrait and then saw it come up on his Facebook page that evening. It was a hit! Lots of comments, lots of joking, lots of feedback. Made me feel good.
I will never forget his hospitality and this glimpse into his life.
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