Not totally photo related, not just a journal. A bit of both.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Elevators in the sky

Elevators, Inglis Manitoba, 2007

I was watching a program on public television on Saturday night (after Dr. Who). It was a National Film Board documentary on  the removal of grain elevators from the prairies called Death of a Skyline. It mentioned that there were over 6000 elevators in North America about 60 years ago. Now there are perhaps a few hundred left. they followed one guy who was removing huge valuable pieces of lumber from them as they were being demolished to be later reworked into other things. One couple was driving North America photographing them. Another group in Alberta was trying to save theirs. There was footage of several being knocked down.

We seem to be hell bent on knocking everything down. Most recently around here, barns, farm houses and the like being razed for science and technology industrial parks or cookie cutter treeless subdivision on the outskirts of the city and elsewhere. There just isnt any sense of history in most people. If it's old, let it rot and knock it down.

I shot this series of grain elevators in Inglis, Manitoba in May 2007 and was looking at them after watching the program. I had slept in my old trusty CRV in the parking lot of the Husky truck stop in Brandon for about four hours. While it was still dark, I hit a Tim Horton's across the road and headed the 200km to Inglis to shoot them.

I got there around 645am, and checked the different perspectives and compositions while fending off the mosquitoes as I waited for the sun that never came. I remember it being heavily overcast that morning, and this angle facing South West might have had a different vibe had there been a sunrise, but it was cloudy the entire day. But I'm glad I visited Inglis and shot the buildings. It's pretty random for a city boy who never saw a single grain elevator growing up, but I really feel connected to some of the places I have visited as I criss crossed the country in the past decade.

The Inglis elevators are one of only two sets of surviving rail side elevator rows in Canada. While the town around them may eventually disappear, they are now designated and protected as a National Historic Site of Canada.

Mike

7 comments:

Alexia said...

What a stunning picture - the light is amazing!

Karen S. said...

Lovely view! and created in a manner it should be framed and shared! Thanks!

A Paperback Writer said...

Nice shapes. :)

Max said...

Great contrast in the picture. 3 very similar buildings, the brown one surrounded by the white ones. Nice!

Carmi said...

I grew up in a city - Montreal - where heritage was a dirty word and hardly a month went by when the mayor, hell-bent for "progress" - green-lit yet another demolition of an irreplaceable piece of our architectural history.

We were left with parking lots, concrete block buildings and not much else.

Thank GOD folks like you exist. Because otherwise we'd never have the chance to appreciate what we're losing, and why it matters so much to us in the first place.

The picture, as always, is stunning. The story you tell around it is, also as always, even more soul-stirring. Thank you for taking the theme somewhere I could not have imagined. How cool is that!

Pamela said...

skyline being filled with wind turbines

I like the elevators better.

PastorMac's Ann said...

"There just isnt any sense of history in most people. If it's old, let it rot and knock it down." - sad, but true. But, really sad.

What an amazing photo.