Monday, May 29, 2023

Around the lagoon in Menomonee Park

About two years ago I started working with 4x5 film, then, after getting the gig at the Trout Museum, I became obsessed about making the medium format cameras for those workshops. I vowed to again pursue the large format path and finally got to it recently but was devastated when I destroyed the first six sheets of film I exposed last week. I promise to get back to it with the appropriate systematic approach to see what caused the loss of those exposures, but to restore my spirits, it seemed best to crack on with one of the two dozen or so cameras I've made in the last biennium. The Crackon seemed like the obvious choice, loaded with Kentmere 100.

With no plan in mind, I kept rejecting scenes that I had covered before while riding through Menomonee Park. Crossing the bridge over the inlet to the lagoon, I noticed the concession stand on its eastern shore which is a bit off the bike path. I hadn't photographed it except at a distance.

It's also the station for the miniature train ride that circles the north lobe of the lagoon. 

The train is stored in this black little tunnel between two rows of trees. Going through it is part of the trip.

I couldn't proceed along the shore because two families of Canada geese were hanging out on the path, so I had to walk around the ornamental garden separated from the lagoon by a row of tall arbor vitae with a row of crab apples in front of them.

The geese were right at the end of the aqua bike rental dock so I couldn't go out there either.

The lagoon is divided into two halves where Pratt Trail crosses over the Cooper Wells Bridge. It was built in 1921 as a veterans memorial, named after the unfortunate first Oshkoshian to perish in the Great War.

Looking down from the bridge at the southern end, which is surrounded by the Zoo.

Inside the zoo, a water feature with a foamy circulation pattern.

A log cabin with windows for viewing the grey wolves, who kept coming around from behind the building to see what I was doing. Some mornings they put on a tremendous howling performance, probably waiting to get fed. I would have never guessed it was just two sisters and their brother.

The elevated viewing platform next to the raptor enclosure, home to Cayuga, a bald eagle who lost part of a wing from a gunshot wound.

The stairway down to the ground level of the enclosure.

And finally someone to pose for me. The llama intently watched me set up the tripod and when I was ready swung into this regal profile and held it for the two second exposure.

The Crackon has .27mm hand-drilled pinholes, on the axis and 13mm above it, 45mm from a 6x6cm frame, although all of these turned out to be with the axial pinhole. The Kentmere 100 was semistand developed in Caffenol.

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