Sunday, July 2, 2023

Walkin' in Kaukauna

I enjoyed the Photo Walk organized by Photo Opp last spring, including interacting with a lot of other film photographers. Last week another occurred in downtown Kaukauna, which I regularly drive through on my way to the Fox Valley Photography Group's monthly get-togethers. It took place in the early evening with the low sun filtered through the remains of a three-day air quality alert. The rather large group started at WI Creative Studio, which hosted the event, on the 100 block of Second Street, but became increasing more dispersed as we proceeded. I ended up mostly on my own, but it was fun to come around a corner occasionally, find a group and have a brief chat.

Across the street on the illuminated north side is this empty storefront with a bare metal grid which formerly held an awning.

The Look Back in Time antique store with it's attention getting window. On that Photo Walk in March, I kept getting distracted interacting with the other photographers and did three double exposures. The worst error this time was this one, done while in conversation and with two cameras pointed at me as well, using the rising pinhole instead of the one on the axis.

The Fox is divided into three channels through downtown Kaukauna. The first on this side feeds the Kaukauna City Hydro Plant and is crossed by a footbridge with a small park at this end.

At my direction, Photo Opp co-founder John Adams standing on a concrete bench pointing his TLR at me. He said he accidentally pressed the shutter during my exposure.

On the island between the hydro channel and the main channel is the original location of the Kaukauna Public Library, now located in a renovated factory on a different island between the main channel and the lock channel.

A lot of the buildings along the old industrial shores of the river have been renovated, but this one with the curious fenestration is still waiting it's turn.

A bare birch along the main river channel glowing in the evening sun.

A walking trail goes under the Lawe Street Bridge with these gothic arched windows matching the middle of the bridge supports.

A stairway that goes to the river level and it's gate cast long shadows into the tunnel.

Coming out of the tunnel, from three blocks away, I could see 313 Dodge nicely modeled in the evening light. By the time I got there, the sides were now shaded and the patios on both sides were full of diners. I set up between them in a parking space occupied by a motorcycle to get the front of the building still illuminated by the raking light. None of the patrons even looked up.

The retaining wall with buttresses against the hillside reminded me of Margaret Bourke-White's Fort Peck Dam.

That led me to walk back all the way to the Kaukauna Dam and the rocky Fox.

Later, everyone converged on one street corner (in the sun, go figure). Very extraordinary to see this large group standing around wielding cameras including a Rolleicord, a Leica, a Nikon F2 and a Nikkormat, a Hasselblad, an SX-70 and of course several serious DSLRs and Sony A7s, occasionally taking photographs of each other. I actually got in on the action, but that will have to wait for a significant bit of manic expression.

All done with The Little Mutant, .27mm hand-drilled pinholes on the axis and 13mm above it, 45mm from a 6x6cm frame. The film is Kentmere 100 semi-stand developed in Cafennol.

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