Scranton Lace Co. Photography Workshop
Posted: 16th June 2010
Location: Scranton Lace Co., Scranton PA
April 2, 2017 10:30 AM - 3:00 PM
The Site: Established in 1890 and incorporated in 1897, the Scranton Lace Factory was once one of the premier producers of a variety of textiles ranging from tablecloths, napkins, yarn, lace, laminates, and many others. During World War II they provided parachutes, tarpaulins, and camouflage netting to the allies. Scranton Lace is an enormous complex that once employed 1,400 people and boasted its own gym, barbershop, theater, four lane bowling alley, and an infirmary for its employees. Risky investments and advances in technology led to a slow decline in the textile mill's prominence. In their final days the staff had dwindled to fifty (given the size of the buildings, one wonders how often they even crossed paths) and had average annual sales of about six million. In 2002 they finally shut their doors, and thus an era of prosperity and pride for many of their employees ended as well. This location and its history are also featured in a chapter in my book, Abandoned America: The Age of Consequences.
The Workshop: During the workshop I will be on hand to help you get better shots - these environments can be pretty tough to navigate photographically and I encourage you to come with questions. You will have five hours to explore the factory as you wish - there will be a tour and a photography demo lesson, but you are not required to attend them. I know some of you are just taking the tour to see the location, and if that's the case I'll stay out of your way and let you do your thing. Learning to use a tripod, what file format to shoot in, how to compose shots better, what ISO, F-Stop, and shutter speed affect, and how to do things like exposure bracketing are very important to your results. Don't feel afraid to ask me even questions that may seem silly to you. I want you to leave with pictures you're proud of. I've been doing this for a while and want you to learn from my mistakes and successes.
Safety: There is no electricity or working bathrooms, and you need to be very aware of your safety. I encourage you to always pay attention to your surroundings. A site manager will be on hand and following their directions is critical. If you do not you may be asked to leave the site. You will be asked to sign a waiver before you enter acknowledging that you are entering a potentially unsafe environment and that you will not hold either the owners or myself liable for any harm that may befall you or your equipment. Obviously the first priority on the trip, even before taking great pictures, is making sure that you are safe - but you will need to be the one looking out for that. Potential risks include but are not limited to uneven terrain and fall hazards, insect/wildlife bites, and airborne/environmental contaminants. We will take precautions to ensure the safety of participants but by signing up for the workshop you are acknowledging that you accept known and unknown risks are present and will not hold any organizations/individuals involved in the workshop liable for any injuries or damages that may occur. You MUST wear a respirator for this workshop. If you have questions, feel free to send them to me.
What to bring:
- respirator/dust mask
- a bottle of water
- sturdy boots that protect your feet
- your tripod
- a fully charged cell phone
- your camera manual if you're unsure how to change settings. I can help you find the information you need in the manual but most cameras have their own ways of accessing features and changing settings and that makes things a lot easier.
By signing up you agree to the following terms: Please make sure you check the email associated with your Paypal account for confirmation/updates! Your Paypal receipt is your confirmation, an email will follow with further details no less than a week prior to the event. You will need to sign a waiver to participate in this event, a sample of which can be found here. By signing up for this workshop you agree not to use information attained before or during the workshop to illegally trespass or set up alternate workshops/events.
REFUND POLICY: If you are unable to attend an event and notify me at email@example.com more than 30 days prior to the event, you will be issued a full refund minus a $40 processing fee. Because of the extremely limited tour spots, if it is within 30 days of the event there are NO REFUNDS UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES except in case of workshop cancellation by Abandoned America. You may give or sell a paid spot in the workshop to someone else if you are unable to attend but admission may not be transferred to another event. There is always a possibility that the workshop may need to be moved to a different date based on severe inclement weather, safety concerns, or site manager's limitations. If this is the case notification will be given immediately and a refund will be offered if attendee is unable to make the alternate date. We cannot be held liable for travel, rental, or other costs incurred by attendee in the event of workshop cancellation. We do make every effort to ensure all events run on schedule. All sales are final.
If you have questions or are thinking about signing up, please read the Workshop FAQ Page! Send me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need to know anything else. If the PayPal link is immediately below this there are still open spots.
April 2, 2017
By Lisa: Is the building still there? And if so, are they still allowing tours. I'd love to get photos of this place!
By Carla: How many participants do you take on your photo tours?
By Matthew Christopher: Lisa: Yes, as of Spring 2014 there are still workshops you can sign up for. The information and sign up are above. Carla: It varies by site. This one can manage as much as 22-23 people, but some others like the Lansdowne Theater, which is much smaller, maxes out at 11-12.
By B: Hi! Is there still space? I'm interested..
By John: I notice you say you recommend wearing a "respirator/dust mask". How bad is it for wearing contacts and is it just dust? This recommendation isn't on any of your other workshops.
By Matthew Christopher: B: There is! As long as there is still a Paypal link the workshop is still open for sign-ups. John: To be honest, the site is filthy, which is why I recommend a respirator here (I also do at Pennhurst and a few others). I have not had people complain about problems with their contacts - I wear them and I'm fine - but I always recommend being overprepared and overcautious if you're concerned.
By Kristin: Thank you for offering this workshop. I just registered and am really looking forward to it. My grandfather worked here back in the 1930s-1960s but I've never seen it.
By Angela: Hi Please let me know if you are offering this workshop again in the fall. I would love to go. Thanks
By Rev. Frank Phillips: Just a long shot of a question. Could a place like this ever be revived and offer making lace again?
By Kelly Klee: Hi. I realize you offered a tour last year. Will there be any upcoming tours available? I'd love to be a part of this. Thank you>
By Jeanne: I too wish that it could be resurrected as lace items, especially the quality, older laces that they made are so collectible!
By Jeremy Lelii: Are there still spots available for October 8?
By Michael Quinn: I have a friend that is in possession of one of the Lions heads from the Lackawanna Pennsylvania Bethlehem steel building. She would like to sell the head but she like to know value. Is anyone there able to help us?