August 31, 1997

Fort Knox (Prospect, Maine)

Fort Knox is a massive granite structure overlooking a bend in the Penobscot River in Maine. It was constructed to defend the river (and its towns and industries) from British naval assault. Fort Knox consists of outlying batteries, multiple shooting galleries, and a central building, which overlooks the remainder of the fort.
4"x5" film
The most interesting element of photographing Fort Knox was that it essentially was the American response to Fortress Halifax. The basic architectural elements are the same, as are some of the design features, but in other areas, the two defense systems differed wildly. This first session at Fort Knox was short, as we arrived at 6:00pm, and the light was fading. It wet my appetite though, and made me hungry to return and bring into my camera more of that which presented itself to me.
4"x5" film
The pleasure of photographing at Fort Knox was twofold - the strong monolithic nature of the architecture was familiar to me, one of my favourite things about the Fortress Halifax forts, and yet the fort itself was new to me, undiscovered country so to speak.
4"x5" film
The combination of these two factors made the hour or so I spent photographing on this day seem vaguely surreal - I was familiar with the format of the fort, but the actual application was new and visually exciting. Much of what appeared on the ground-glass of my camera was strangely familiar, yet never enough to be was almost like I had been to the fort before.

The light ran out before my enthusiasm did, but I was bound and determined to return to the fort again, to further explore and commit to film the images that sprang out to me.

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