The railroads were the industrial veins that grew through the wilderness, allowing pioneers to exploit the resources found in distant places. These trains moved people west and north, and they brought resources back to industrial centers. Are they good or bad? Probably both. This image is of the Onawa Trestle, the highest wooden train trestle in Maine just south of Boarstone Mountain (which is the peak in the photograph), and with the moon looming overhead without judgment.
Images tell stories. When I came across this old house in Albion, Maine, it spoke to me and I wanted to photograph it. I only had a long lens with me so I decided to build the photograph by combining detail shots to create a whole. As I worked on the photograph, piecing the details together, I found myself considering the details. The old TV antenna, the lightning rod, the vine climbing the side of the house, and the thick hedge that obscures the face of the building. Each detail seemed to tell a story of its own, they made me think about how each came to be—how the labor of the past continues in what exists today. It felt like a letter from the past of this house, it said that this was someone’s home. I imagined someone, such as my grandmother, writing letters, touching on these labors that still stand today, though the letter writer is no more.
A jet full of passengers whom I imagine are returning home from Europe headed for Boston; an osprey with an alewife returning to its nest after fishing in the Sebasticook River. Neither are aware of the other, but as an observer of the world, we can see both simultaneously, the gift of learning to see. As Dorothea Lange said, “[a] camera teaches you to see without a camera.” I like that, I’m still learning.
This is a double exposure of the same view. One exposure is focused on the Hutamaki mill where they make paper plates. It’s in Waterville across the Kennebec River; the second exposure is of a bird’s nest in the trees on the Winslow side of the river. Two dreams, existing side by side, both dependent on the Kennebec. One dream is that of the human spirit to create, to turn a profit, and to simply earn a living. Another dream, that of a songbird, following an innate desire to build a simple nest in which to raise a brood and start a new generation. Both the mill and the nest are there to further the dreams of the future, two different futures in the same place.