The charming anachronisms of Berkeley’s Normandy Village look particularly distinct on a rainy winter night. The odd experience of living there is already wandering into the nostalgic parts of my memories.
This Adirondack-y bridge connects SUNY Canton’s campus to town across a branch of the Grasse River. The photograph is a metaphor for the college experience: being a little apart from the regular world, in a place that’s just a bit magical. On one side of the bridge are normal houses, normal roads, normal life; across the bridge is a gently lit path through the woods. Very Rivendell-esque?
There are a lot of small, rural towns with the odd culture bloom of colleges planted in their cores. I think it’s the ancillary buildings, the old fraternities and club houses with their mix of higher grandeur and shabbier paint, that most signal one of these villages
That extra school year energy of students wandering the campus at all hours provides an extra energy to a sleepy place. I miss it in the summer.
Photographs with late-model cars and trucks have always been an odd challenge to my photography; they tend to appear as ugly, pedestrian chunks that I try to avoid in otherwise charming scenes. (The world has enough documentation of Toyota Corollas and Ford F-150s.) However, when I look back on old photographs from the mid-twentieth century, it’s inevitably the cars and the clothes of the past that are the most charming aspects. The common-car-filled images that I capture in the present must be a sort of investment; the boring cars of today will make this image a classic document of everyday life in 30 years.
These images are from the Genessee Country Village and Museum, which recreates some of the aspects of nineteenth-century American life. I thought that a bit of black and white photography (with an HDR touch) could be the perfect tool to convey the moment-out-of-time aspect. Here, a balloon is ready for launch.
The old buildings have a smallness to them that I appreciated: the distance between stories was not so large, and they feel on more of a human scale.