The Camp Lake Photographs

The photographic presentation that follows has been many years in the making. I first started work on this technique using Kodak Carousel projectors and a dissolve control in 1971. I then progressed to a device I created using an enlarger and an old Mitchell 35mm movie camera. Doing dissolves one frame at at time proved very frustrating and time consuming. In addition, 35mm motion picture film processing was very expensive and then there was the problem of where to show it. I gave up.

Recent advances in widespread use of broadband internet, faster computers and large displays led me to believe that the time was right to try it again.

This presentation simulates a slide show that would have consisted of 8 projectors and 4 dissolve control units and some sort of control unit. For me, this comes closest to a cinematic experience using still photographs as the source.

Enough about the technique.

The photographs that you will see were made during a week I spent as a guest of an architect friend in Toronto who was building a geodesic dome in northern Ontario in Canada. The year was 1969 or 1970. I was in awe of his talent and energy, not to mention the beautiful spot that he had staked out to make a home. I developed the negatives, but never got around to printing them.

I left Toronto shortly after and went to New York City where I lived for two years. I think it was a combination of frustrations while trying to develop the technique mentioned above and the lack of public interest at that time in photography as an art form that caused me to move to Washington DC and begin a new life without photography. About two years into my new life, I received a visit from another friend from Toronto, Fletcher Starbuck. Fletcher informed me that Rory had passed away. His canoe, the only form of transportation to his property, had capsized on a cold fall day while he was trying to carry a large load across the lake.

So, Rory... wherever you are, sorry it has taken me so long to do this, but here are the pictures I took of your house. Hope you like them and I hope that this example of your creativity, boundless energy and drive might inspire others.

While we were leaving Toronto to head for the lake, we had a little misunderstanding with the Toronto Police Department. We were confined to a cell while the matter was straightened out. The officers at the jail were very nice, commenting that they didn't often get college educated people and were kind enough to let me keep my camera which we used to photograph each other in a situation not likely to be repeated. The jail pictures are at the end of the show.

Added Photographs
Rory visited me in New York in 1972. We took a trip in my van up route 9W to a place along the Palisades. There is a waterfall and ruins of a pool and formal garden which was my escape from the city when I needed it. Unfortunatly it was a cold, wet winter day. Mixed in are photographs from other times of the year. A guy I worked with, Ian, came with us along with his girlfriend (soon to be wife) and his roomate.
Music is Appalachia Waltz and is courtesy of  Mark O'Connor from his CD Crossing Bridges.

Norman Bringsjord website

Artists who have been influential to me, in no particular order are: Chris Marker, Garry Winogrand Diane Arbus, Mike and George Kuchar, Red Grooms, Edward Weston, Kenneth Anger (Eau D'Artifice), Maya Deren (Meshes of the Afternoon) Werner Herzog, Nathan Lyons, Minor White, Jean Luc Godard...and many, many others.

Feel free to leave comments. There are 15 comments.

leetaylor said...
"beautiful photography Norman - little bit strange thing with the gif... Love to see some current work - send me a link. Thanks! Lee"

Mary Spring said...
"I loved the music and the story the pictures told.... but I have so many questions. Did he get to finish the deck, is it still there, why did his friend wear those red shoes? Maybe, I'll never know... but I enjoyed the ride. You are a true artist, Norman."

albert said...
"beautiful, norman. goosebumps all over the place. and then there's the nostaglia to deal with, something i don't normally revert to. but you've succeeded. your art is greatly appreciated."

3ton said...
"It is very touchy, full of nostalgia pictures. Thanks for the magic Norman."

Steve said...
"I suddenly feel like I was there. Of course I wasn't. but you captured what it was like to be young then."

Ian said...
"Norman, I and I'm sure many others would agree, missed out when you gave up photography as a career. This "slide-show" ahead of it's time, coupled with the music is haunting and thought provoking. Thank you."

Trevor UK said...
"Really touching and emotional. I realy liked the waterfall sequence. You must produce another one."

Macon Cowles said...
"You have a beautiful soul, my dear friend Norman. It is so nice to to take a seat in this room that is filled with your life, and to make contact with you after an absence of 45 years. I could feel the rise and fall of my chest, breathing in and out, as I was held by these photos portraying your friend."

Susan said...
"Amazing to see this lovely tribute, especially after learning that Fletcher Starbuck himself just passed away a few days ago."

Mike Barnett said...
"this is really special. If there is anyway I could get this on a cd or dvd I'd be very happy to paypal you some cash or send you some music or something. Best wishes Mike"

Dan said...
"Very nice. You really do have something special. I second that the waterfall sequence was absolutely breathtaking. You make me a proud son."

Joel said...
"Very beautiful, I will be building my own home in the woods soon (and for a while was going to do a dome), I see it as feeling the way those photos made me feel. The colors, the hair, the clothes, made me wish I was born 10 years sooner and left high school in 69 instead of 79. Oh, how my life would have been different (perhaps)"

Jody said...
"Absolutely beautiful. Don't you think for one moment that your efforts were wasted! Bravo . and Bravo again!"

Merryl-Jeanne from Camp Lake said...
"This is so beautiful and takes me back to being amazed at watching the progress as Rory built. Your link has just now reached some Camp Lake folks and now will be circulated around the lake."

Gerrylann Mason-VanGelderen said...
"My sister, Merryl-Jeanne, sent this to me. I always knew this was an amazing structure but when you see how they started out, I am even more amazed. The next time I go the cottage I will see if it still stands."

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