Portfolio: Industrial Spaces
January 11, 2011 | by Nathan Harger
My process is different every time. Sometimes I stumble upon places, objects or spaces that I then go back and photograph. I also do research and travel to cities in the U.S. that are historically known as industrial, like Bethlehem and Bath in Western Pennsylvania. I’m not actually looking for anything specific; there’s no predetermined idea in my mind. I walk around these industrial sites until I find the shapes and structures that are rich in lines and geometric forms. I often travel to New Jersey, mainly to Elizabeth. It’s a heavily industrial city, a blue-collar working-class city. A friend of mine wanted to come shoot with me one day—he’s from Cleveland, which is where I grew up. He found it hilarious that I moved from Cleveland to New York, because I keep going to places that look like Cleveland.
As a photographer, I’m visually attracted to the same things I found compelling when I thought I’d be an industrial designer. When I started art school, I realized I liked the medium of photography and its immediacy more than drawing. When I take photos of these places that already exist I can then see them through my own perspective, instead of re-creating them through a sketch or a drawing. The photographs featured in the show were taken in New York, New Jersey, Ohio, and Western Pennsylvania.