THE ABANDONED POWER STATION & THE RE-DISCOVERED MAMIYA C3
THE BEAUTY OF INDUSTRY
Part of my core being rebels against the Picturesque. As an aesthetic, I find it false, imprisoning and rather obvious. Instead, my eye is often drawn to that, which some might deem as ugly or a visual blight.
Industry falls nicely into this category and is something that I find rather visually appealing. Removing any thoughts of capitalism, destruction of the environment or the retreating countryside – it has a beauty in its formal, bleak and constructed nature, sometimes virtually approaching a macabre aura surrounding it. Factories, power stations, refineries, car parks – I love them all.
As mentioned in the past – everything is and can be beautiful if gazed on in the right way (see my post I never saw an ugly thing in my life).
So to our story for today. The other week I was driving along in the Mach when I almost veered off the road in excitement, as out of the left of my peripheral, the huge edifice of an abandoned power station loomed into glorious gaze. Distractions such as this are a danger to me when I am driving as I desperately try to peak a glimpse whilst maintaining full driving capability.
On this particular day, there were three fold of such distractions: 1) an enormous wind farm in the distance 2) a small glimpse of Thanet Earth (Europe’s biggest Greenhouse) and 3) an abandoned power station. To say I was in visual heaven would be an understatement.
Now, you might think as a Photographer I would screech to a halt, leap to attention and start snapping. But no. No my mind works in a very singular manner – I was driving to somewhere to achieve a particular goal and therefore to deviate off this would be unthinkable.
Luckily enough for me, the Good Lady Hannah was sitting beside me and began her semi-regular torrent of persuasion that I should not exist in such a one dimensional brain space and act with the spontaneity that graces the great and good. A marginal tussle of stubbornness occurred after which I relented and parked up in a questionable lay-by.
Hurrah for GLH is all I can say because as luck would have it, I was armed with my old steed – the Mamiya C3 Professional. This was my first ever medium format camera – a beautiful twin lens, square format beast that served me well for the best part of 18 months. Recently, I have cracked the old girl out once more for a new project I am a working on, to be revealed at a later date. Needless to say for now, the project is Black & white, medium format and Square – hence I was well prepared for this chance encounter.
So I shot a few rolls and was very pleased I did, because the Power Station looked as good on film as it did through my peepers and the side window. Below are a few of the more interesting shots.
As a brief side – please forgive the slightly poor quality of the images, but they have been scanned from negs at not the greatest resolution on a rather dusty neg scanner. Also they were shot on a fairly old film which I suspect had started to deteriorate – but it is all I had!