The purpose of photographically exploring this area of Alabama is threefold: to explore Alabama’s industrial and agricultural past, to look at the spirit of the structures (i.e. the stories behind the buildings) and to examine closely the resurrection of yet another Main Street.
Heralded as the “Pittsburgh of the South”, downtown Birmingham offers an illuminating look at this historically important iron-producing area of the U.S. The majority of our time will be spent photographing at the Sloss City Furnaces, now preserved intact as a National Historical Landmark. The ruins of furnaces predating the Civil War are incorporated as public parks and can be photographed during the Birmingham leg of the trip.
Wednesday we will head to Decatur, settled first as Rhodes Ferry Landing in 1817. Located strategically on the Tennessee River and at the crossing of two major railroads and with it’s own town bank, Decatur enjoyed growth and prosperity until the Civil War drastically changed the landscape of the community. It is estimated that the town changed hands eight times during the war and when the Union troops finally left the city in 1864, those buildings not dismantled for use by the northern army were burned to the ground. It was years before Decatur was able to rise out of the ashes but with the return of the railroad and the arrival of the 20th century modernity, Old Decatur (east of the tracks) and Albany (west) were rebuilt and established. We will be photographing in some of the buildings slated for redevelopment along Bank Street, as well in the Archer Daniels Midland Cotton Warehouse and old Decatur Train Station. For those interested in landscape work there is the Wheeler Wildlife Refuge, Pocket Parks in downtown and areas along the Tennessee River.
We will spend one day in Mooresville, the oldest town in Alabama. Although not a museum town, four buildings dating back as early as 1821 are maintained by the town to showcase not only historical buildings but to give a unique look at how average citizens can live with, protect and cherish the historical context and maintain an often-lost sense of small town community. The buildings we will be exploring include the Mooresville Post Office (1840), Stagecoach Tavern (1821), and two churches (1839 & 1854).
For all participants: Please bring two images – one of your own and one of a photographer who inspires you (not an original) - to introduce yourself to the group. If you wish to do so, you may also bring a small, representative portfolio of current work. Tillman will meet with each of you individually throughout the week to review this work.
Huntsville International Airport (HSV)
Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport (BHM)
Rental Cars: A rental car is a must for this workshop.
Lodging: Note: 3 nights in Birmingham, 3 nights in Decatur. Students should make their reservations directly with the hoteliers. If you wish to stay elsewhere you are free to do so. Group critiques will be held in a room in these two locations.
Birmingham: January 20 (Arrive Sunday)– 22 (depart Wednesday)
Hampton Inn Birmingham/Mountain Brook
2731 US Highway 280 South, Birmingham, AL 35223
Decatur: January 23 (Arrive Wednesday) – 26 (Depart Saturday)
Holiday Inns & Suites
1101 6th Avenue NE, Decatur AL 35601
Mention: “Tillman Crane Workshop” when registering for both hotels.
At the time of registration, Maine Media Workshops will collect an initial deposit of $150, plus a $55 registration fee. All other payments will be billed & collected directly by Tillman Crane.