By The Lake Where I First (?)

By The Lake Where I First (?)

Warped panoramas depicting Panther Hollow Lake in Pittsburgh, PA. Pinhole camera with 120mm film.

Four images


By The Lake Where I First (?), Pinhole camera


Ego Death, Pinhole camera


Panther Hollow Lake, Pinhole camera


Ground and Sky, Pinhole Camera


By The Lake Where I First (?)

Statement by Sumeet Banerji

‘By The Lake Where I First (?)’ is an account of the location of my first psychedelic experience: Panther Hollow Lake in Pittsburgh. I went back a few months later to document the spot. 

Trying to recreate the experience visually was never going to work. All I could do was suggest the idea of an “alternate visual matrix” – that is, how things in my visual field were being distorted in a mysterious but logical way. I tried to create images that were grounded in reality even though they were warped (The panoramic warping was created by the way the film was wound – The pictures are made with a cylindrical pinhole camera loaded with 120mm film. The images have not been digitally edited or manipulated. What is seen is directly from the film. The exposures are around 20 minutes long. The technique is very similar to my Shroomscapes series). 

This circular way of winding the film has a resonance with Virtual Reality footage. If you look at VR stills without a VR apparatus, you see these warped panoramas. It shows the pre-processed version of how we understand a 180 degree visual field.

Given the topic of the photographs, it was very important to me that the images not be distorted or manipulated by digital means.

I wanted to create psychedelic imagery without heavy color, bright neon, etc. Since I wasn’t trying to accurately draw my experience of my surroundings, I had the ability to embark on a subdued and quieter description of the psychedelic experience than I was used to seeing.