The Washington Park Alignment

As I’ve become more comfortable with my Russian panoramic camera, I’ve decided it’s now time to see if I can properly align my shots to look more natural.

And to do that, I wanted to photograph the bridge that spans Washington Park’s lake.

I’ve photographed that bridge before, and one of my award-winning photos, The AGFA Bridge Over Ansco Lake, captured the bridge’s beauty and efficiency.  But now I want to capture that bridge while setting my camera at a specific location.

Essentially, I need to be about five meters away from the bridge’s center.

Standing right in the middle of the lake.

Yeah.  Chuck has not developed any webbed duck feet, and he is not descended from any mermen or mermaids.

February 8, 2015.  An early morning photographic run.  Off to Washington Park I go.  And as I drove toward the park, I kept thinking to myself… I know the weather has been cold and bone-chilling for days, how can I be sure that the ice surface at Washington Park is thick?  Yeah, I’ve walked on the Washington Park ice before… but that was five years ago.

Be that as it may… I made a promise to myself.  If there was any possibility that the ice wasn’t solid or if there were any issues about stepping on that frozen surface… then I would cancel the photo session and photograph something else.  Trust me.  I don’t look good as a frozen Chuck-sicle.  No.

I arrived at the park.  Only a few joggers and dog-walkers around.

And I looked onto the icy surface of the lake.  And I saw something that gave me confidence.


There were footprints in the snow.  That means that people were able to walk on the frozen lake and walk off it as well.  There were no “the footprints disappear at this location” issues.  Whew.  Okay, Chuck, get the camera, get the tripod, and get going.

Oh yeah, and post the hypothesis statement.

Experiment with Krasnogorsk ФT-2 “Raskolnikov” camera

PARAMETERS: To photograph the Washington Park Bridge so that the span reaches from edge to edge.

SOFTWARE: Efke KB100 35mm film.


I swear, one of these days I’m going to get a T-shirt made up with the camera and the words “Onward, Comrade!” in English and in Russian.  Ha.

Okay.  First step on the ice.  No cracks.

Next step.  I can do this.

I walked to the center of the lake.  Tripod secured into the ground.

I checked the spirit level on Raskolnikov.  Perfectly centered.

And I got this shot.

Washington Park Bridge, Albany NY
Washington Park Bridge in Winter. Krasnogorsk FT-2 camera, Efke KB100 35mm film. Photo and frozen toes by Chuck Miller.

Nice like ice.  I may never get a chance to take this picture again.  And if I can get shots like this – all ultra-wide and panoramic with this little Russian shooter…

Yeah.  This will certainly work.

Because I have a feeling that this picture will find a home, either in my competition season or in my charity season.

You know what?  I’m beginning to like this Russian camera more and more.  I mean, it’s got a ways to go to surpass my three current camera faves – my Nikon Df, the Kodak Medalist II and the Rolleiflex Automat MX…

But I’ve been shooting more with Raskolnikov than I have with the others of late.

Especially if I can get images like this.  Hell yeah.