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Monthly Archives: June 2014
Don Normark passed away last week. Here’s the LA Times obituary: http://www.latimes.com/local/obituaries/la-me-don-normark-20140612-story.html#page=1
I met Don when he dropped in on a workshop I was taking in 1964 with Minor White.
He had just started photographing for Sunset magazine then. Don was a dear friend, almost a brother. We had in common that both of our fathers died in accidents when we were not yet 2 years old. Don’s father in a logging accident near Sedrow Wooley WA, where Don’s family lived in a small community which his grandfather had named Hoogdal after his home town in Sweden, my father in an aircraft accident (bush pilot in Alaska, died in 1944). Everybody loved Don, and everybody – that includes me. I worked for him in his darkroom, and worked with him as a colleague as a Sunset freelancer.
Don was just a really great photographer. A few people knew this. Don was, of all the photographers working for the magazine, the one who had probably more photographs in print than any of us. The magazine was then really a great picture magazine, albeit one that dealt with subjects that aren’t exactly glamorous, and Don was at the top. When Sunset was sold to Time Warner, none of us (well, maybe except one or two) ever got any more calls. Don had figured that his ample collection of four-drawer filing cabinets full of Sunset imagery would keep him busy and keep the money coming in, but that wasn’t happening. So, he went back to his 1949 images, when he found and worked in Chavez Ravine, photographing the community. The work that he had done at nineteen years old as a student at Art Center, the shows he had of that work, and the book that came from it made him famous.
I can’t get WordPress just to accept a link. The link to the L.A. Times obituary is at the top. Until I can figure this out, you’ll have to copy and paste it.