June 21, 2011


I feel very comfortable in this environment. I wish I could shoot in steel mills more often.  I worked in a steel mill, it was how I earned money to pay for undergraduate school.  I was a millwright and I worked at Bethlehem Steel, Lackawana, New York, Hot Strip #5.  My first day on the job, the foreman gave me my hard hat, it had a number on it, my number.   He said, "If something bad happens, this hat is not to protect your head.  It is to identify your body."

Big steel, long since closed down in Lackawana, except for one thing, the coke furnances are still on and Hot Strip #5 is always freshly painted on the outside when other buildings are left to rust.  I drive by when I am in town.

These images were taken in a smaller mill and are lit entirely from the glow of the molten steel, as hot as I remembered.

I am available for assignments in this environment, in fact, I keep a hard hat in the trunk of my car, just in case.