How I Got the Shot #8

Victory Mills was built in 1918 and served as a cotton mill until 1929.  The operation was moved to Alabama where labor was less expensive.  For a while after, the complex was used for carton manufacturing before be abandoned completely.

The town of Victory is just south of Schuylerville, home of the Saratoga Battle Monument and the National park Saratoga Battlefield.

The old building is secured behind a chain link fence that is posted No Trespassing.  Though I know some photographers who have snuck into the compound, I decided to stay within the law and photograph it from the street.


The fencing is high enough to be seen in the image as you stand right in front of the building.  My initial thought was to use a zoom on the turret part and do a long exposure to get nice cloud blur.  Framing it up that for for a couple of test shots, I noticed that while nicely isolating the subject, the zoom took too much of the old facade away.  Moving slightly down the street and off to one side afforded me the opportunity to see Victory Mills through the view finder with just a little of the fence showing at the bottom, something that could easily be cropped out.  An alternative idea was to back my truck as close as I could to the fence, and put my tripod in the bed giving it more height.  But the wind was so blustery, I could feel it shake the truck.  I opted for the tripod on the ground, tethered to a tent stake for extra stability.


I used a Lee Big Stopper, a 3 stop grad and a circular polarizer to bring the normal 1/60th exposure down to 4.75 minutes at f/16, ISO 50.

I think the long exposure version of the image is far more compelling.




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