For the record …

… the zoo is way more fun with a 5-year-old in tow. Especially when you use the 5-year-old as an excuse to do all the extra stuff your parents couldn’t afford to let you do when you were a kid, like riding the zoo train and feeding the parakeets and making a pressed-penny souvenir and buying pink lemonade in a purple sport bottle shaped like a gorilla.

Happy accident: I’d forgotten my digital cameras when we went to the zoo, so I gleefully seized the opportunity to go lomo with a 35mm disposable from the zoo gift shop.

I stopped by Walgreens on the way to church tonight and dropped off the film for one-hour processing. By the time I returned an hour and a half later, my pictures still weren’t ready, because the machine had thrown a fit and kept spitting out 4×4 squares instead of 4×6 rectangles, and the technician had only just figured out how to fix the problem. He made me a set of the usual 4×6 prints you get for $6.99, but I liked the square prints so much that the photo tech let me have them for free.

They look awesome: hypersaturated, a little grainy, a trace of lens distortion (hooray for plastic lenses!) … I wouldn’t have noticed without the funny dimensions, but these images are very evocative of the 126 camera Mom and Dad used for taking pictures of me at the zoo when I was 5.

I’ll post pictures when I get a hand free to scan them. In the meantime, if you’re looking for a good way to kill a summer afternoon, I highly recommend a trip to the zoo with a cheap camera and a munchkin….


4 thoughts on “For the record …”

  1. I love the zoo! I just realized it’s probably been three or four years since I was last there. That’s a tragedy. I’m learning about geocaching and letterboxing — I want to take my siblings on a treasure hunt one Saturday. It looks like such fun.

  2. Yeah … we were all supposed to go to the zoo the day we got laid off, but then the plan fell through because we couldn’t afford to spend eight bucks on admission because we didn’t have jobs any more.

  3. The old 126 took fairly clear pictures. I think what you are remembering was the old Kodak Disk camera where the film looked like spokes in a wheel. It had a center hub that fit on a shaft inside the camera. Very easy to load, but the quality of the finished pictures was dismal. Very grainy and no detail much at all. But it was all the rage when you were little and we were young and poor and stupid to boot in that area, so that’s what we had. I used to have a 127 when I was in junior high and it took blurry pictures, or maybe it was just me. I could only afford black and white film and not much of that… Jamie will have it lots easier. He will probably inherit my digital when we get a new one, and he can take all the pictures he wants for free. Maybe it won’t take him so long to get where he can take a decent picture because he’ll be able to practice a lot more. Bet I know what he’ll take a picture of first–the bok-boks.

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