It was a Friday afternoon, and I needed to get to the library to return a couple of items before the late fees kicked in. It was a beautiful day, blue skies and the sun shone brightly as I mounted my Schwinn. The library was only about a half a mile away, and the route I rode took me past a place called Southern Pine Company of Georgia. From the outside it looked like a huge, old lumberyard. Through the windows old beams and planks were clearly visible, along with old wooden doors and other items that appeared to be salvaged from old buildings waiting to be torn down. I’ve often thought about the photo opportunities that must await behind those walls, but have never acted on my suspicions, until today. For whatever reason, I have been allowing myself to act on my instincts more frequently, and more often than not, I have been glad that I did. This was another one of those cases.
As I rode past the Southern Pine Company of Georgia, I noticed a few people standing outside. Trusting my gut, I pulled over. Looking around, the people who had been standing there just a few seconds earlier, were gone, so I went through the gated entry, and asked a worker where I might find the owner. “He’s standing right outside” I was told. “You mean the man with the gray sweater and the beard” I asked? “That’s him, That’s Ramsey“. OK, I’m getting somewhere. I know who the boss is and his name as well. I went into the office entrance and saw Ramsey as he was speaking with what appeared to be a couple of clients. I waited until they were through (just a minute or two) and they headed my way.
I introduced myself to Ramsey, and asked it would be OK if I took some photographs of the inside of his warehouse. He was more than kind, and said go right ahead. Whatever you’d like to do is fine with me.
I was a bit shocked at how receptive he was to the idea of letting roam about his business taking pictures. I had not told him what for, or why, or what would be done with the pictures, just that I thought his place was cool and would make great shots. Now I had a small “point and shoot” camera in my jeans jacket, but I really wanted to try out my new Fuji X-E2, and I just knew this place would offer a real challenge to the camera. The light was pouring in the skylights and the walls of old dirty glass, making for a contrast rich environment. Everything in the place was covered in a fine layer of dust and sawdust, so the ability of the Fuji lens to capture this fine detail would be put to the test as well.
I thanked Ramsey and Chris (the other owner who by now had joined us in front of the building), and explained that I would return with the proper camera equipment, and headed off to the library to get this now pesky task out of the way. For now I had real business to attend to.
I spent about 2 hours taking pictures of everything imaginable, including the wash basin tucked away in the corner where the employees could clean up after a hard days work. Before leaving, I again spoke with Ramsey and Chris, and thanked them for their kindness. Ramsey asked me if I would like to stop by the next day, for they were having a festival in the back courtyard, complete with beer, B-B-Q and reps from several local businesses. He thought this would be a great opportunity for me to meet some of the local business owners, and perhaps drum up some business.
Follow Your Instincts! Not only did I discover a place to shoot some great pics, but this could prove to be a foot in the door with several locals businesses. I thanks them both for the invitation. I offered to take pictures of the event gratis, and would provide them with copies of the shots I had taken that day in the warehouse as well. It seemed like a nice trade off for what might actually come out of this chance meeting.
Here is a link to their Website: http://www.southernpinecompany.com/index.html
To see more shots of the inside, just click on one of the 2 pictures above. This will take you to my Flickr page.