I was out strolling with a camera on the 4th of July when I noticed some older machinery behind a building that used to house a print shop, on the west side of downtown . I stepped into the old parking lot and looked around. There were a number of ancient mechanical devices that did things like fold printed paper to make brochures. Another machine was used, I think, for staple stitching brochures and booklets. Some were just like a vague puzzle with no starter clues. Perhaps an old school printing craftsman would have known exactly what each was for, even though they were beyond salvage.
The parts were mostly monochrome and dirty so I thought they'd render better in black and white. The Fuji camera I was using has a black and white profile called, Acros, and it tends to add sharpness and grain to make photos more like what we used to get from the wet darkroom. The profile also gets me closer to the way I like the tones to appear in black and white photos.
I spent a few minutes fiddling around with my photos and then moved on. It made me a little sad because I remember ink-on-paper printing very fondly. We used to do a lot of it when I worked in the advertising industry. I remember many a middle of the night press check. The smell of solvents, the viewing booths with their color corrected lighting, and even the little, folding printer's loupes that we used to check registration of the plates. That, and the endless clacking, and soft roar of the four and five color presses. To see parts of the old way cast aside after decades of daily use seemed like a repudiation of all the art and craft of a certain age. All the angst and loss captured by a digital camera, of a subject that was so relentlessly analog.