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Bump Chair Shop – A Constant in a Changing World

  • June 1, 2013

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In a world that seems chaotic and ever-changing, it is sometimes refreshing to see things that are constant. I had the joy of shooting an old chair shop recently. Little did I know that Mr. Bump was a local legend! This shop, as you can see in the photo above, has been around since 1870; and it looks like things haven’t changed too much over the years.

Let me explain the next photo and my attempt at an artistic interpretation. The photo is actually comprised of two separate shots merged in Photoshop. The sky was a long exposure using a 10 stop ND filter. This causes the streaky clouds in the sky and and the motion-blurred trees. normally I don’t like blurry trees, but I was trying to depict a volatile, changing external world. The barn and old truck were taken with a second shot. They depict the constant and steady nature of Mr. Bump, unchanged by the world. Even though I haven’t met him personally (yet), I was able to learn about him some from Patrick Usdrowski, his grandson.

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I don’t know what kind of tool this is, but it made for an interesting scene. I’m sure those two rusted tin cans are there for a reason too.

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This is the main shop. Be sure to view each of these in full sized view by clicking on them or you’ll miss out on the details. I love old tools and license plate in the window, the items propped against the wall, and the “Wheeling” metal base under the window.

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Ok, I’ll admit it… I couldn’t find a way to get this next photo to really stand out on its own. Still though, it captures the old, weathered, constant structure that has served this craftsman well for years.

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An old wood pile, some barrels… no telling what came in the barrels, but they made for an interesting scene in my opinion.

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While I was shooting, Patrick Usdrowski stopped by when he saw my car. Lucky me! We were able to chat for quite some time about the shop and his grandfather. He even let me inside. I only had time for one photo, but I absolutely love it! The old tools, the rustic wooden bench, the belt-driven motor lathe… As I heard the stories about Mr. Bump, I couldn’t help but think about my own grandfather. My Grandpa Turner was a great man who the entire family turned to. He was a toolmaker and he would have loved seeing this workshop.

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You may know that I’m a sucker for old cars and trucks. I’m really not a car fanatic, but I do love the old ones. This one reminds me a lot of the old Chevy at Dr. Cox’s barn that I was able to shoot recently.

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Ever feel like you’re being watched? I was wrapping up my shoot and was startled by this cat. I have no idea how long he was there but I thought he’d appreciate a photo op!

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A few wildflowers scattered around the shop add to an already interesting scene.

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And finally, a shot of the barn with the truck. I’m guessing he holds supplies in there, but I don’t know for sure. I’m hoping to go back someday soon to meet Mr. Bump and see him at work. He is in his 90’s and still shows up to craft some impressive rockers. Keep an eye open for future posts! Use the link at the bottom of the page to subscribe to my blog to make sure you don’t miss anything!

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