September 03, 1997

Mount Hope Garden Cemetary (Bangor, Maine)

The Mount Hope Garden Cemetery is beside the road that runs between Bangor and Orono, where I was staying. In the first three days I was in Maine, I must have been driven past it a dozen times, and each time, I marveled at its space and depth. In Halifax, all the graveyards are small, fully occupied, and generally flat. The pale stones, spread out on the dark grass, against the rising hills that run through the Cemetery were pure visuals to me, and I wanted to photograph it.
4"x5" film

I approached photographing the Cemetery in a similar manner to that which I use when I approach a fort - I see the image as strictly a series of flat planes, and set up my images accordingly.
4"x5" film

The fact that there was nothing in this graveyard that was parallel or perpendicular to anything else freed me up from some of the stricter rules of classic large format architectural photograph (no converging parallels or warped perspectives). Thus the second and third images, which are atypical for me - neither is a frontal flat image, and both use the qualities of the lens (in the first, a short telephoto, and in the second, an extreme wide-angle) to stress the elements that drew me to the subjects. 
4"x5" film
The fact that basic image corrections are so easily achieved with the view-camera often make me forget that occasionally these "flaws" can be used to advantage, producing emphasizing as opposed to distortion

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