May 18, 1998

Returning to Fort Knox (Prospect, Maine)

6x12 cm film
During my first trip to Maine in August 1997, I was surprised to discover the incredible visual space of Fort Knox, about 45 minutes south of Bangor, in central Maine. Having done so much work with the Nude recently, I thoroughly enjoyed spending an afternoon at Knox, working at leisure with light and space, perspective and view. Someone recently commented that what he liked about my work was the light, how tactile it was, and how I used it to shape the image. The spaces at Fort Knox are all about light and shape, and the bright, overcast afternoon we had at Fort Knox provided the perfect crayon with which to draw the images.
4"x5" film
I have not made many architectural images recently for two primary reasons - 1) I have an iron in the fire which would dictate a very concentrated body of work with Architecture, and 2) I have had models to work with - buildings and ruins (I hope) will be around another day, but a chance to work with a model may pass, and it is simply not worth the risk of missing an opportunity to work with the Nude to work with a building that could wait for another day.
4"x5" film
All this said, it was very enjoyable to spend three hours working at my own pace in a space as visually rich as Fort Knox. With a model I am always conscious of time, not wanting to bore or annoy the focus of my work - with a fort this is never a worry (although sometimes the younger people who are with me get a little tired of waiting) and I can spend as long as I want on perfecting an image on the ground glass before I expose it - or decide it doesn't work. In the afternoon at Fort Knox I made fourteen 4"x5" negatives, three of the strongest of which are displayed here. If I had worked faster and shot more, there would certainly have been more to work from, but I am very doubtful that it would have generated more to work with.

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