Perhaps this is the last photoshoot for me at the Old Sugar Mill. It looks as though there has been some accelerated cleanup in some areas, new concrete poured in others, the locker room has been completely cleaned out of lockers and being renovated, and even the usual broken door we use to gain entry has been padlocked shut. For those couples that flock here for their engagement shoots, the window is rapidly closing on that urban decay setting. Pretty soon, the mill will be no different than shooting at touristy Old Sacramento, which is not necessarily bad, but also not very original.
For this photograph, I was not exactly sure how safe or solid the concrete beneath me was. I was positioned on a 3 foot wide piece of concrete set between two 6-7 foot circular holes where large metal boilers used to stand and extended between floors. The boilers are now gone, so these giant holes remain. While this section of concrete had some sort of I-beam support, it was rusty. Furthermore, the concrete was cracked and spalling from the underside had caused holes to appear. I had walked in this area in my previous visits, but you never know. Nothing ruins a weekend shooting more than falling 3 or 4 floors in an old mill!
EXIF data: Nikon D7000, center-weighted metering mode, 42mm, ISO 100, 1/20 sec, f/11
Old Sugar Mill, Filtered Sunlight, Windows, Blue Skies. Clarksburg, California. February 16, 2013. © Copyright Steven Tze – all rights reserved.