Feeding the Nation and the Snowflake Ride

My batch of Fuji Velvia 100 film – the shots I took last August at the New York State Fair – have come back, and man are they swank.

Case in point. Early in the day, while many fairgoers were enjoying the carnival rides, I had a pack of Fuji Velvia 100 crammed into my Rolleiflex Automat MX. Okay, I could capture another Ferris wheel photo, it’s not like I haven’t taken a zillion Ferris wheel photos at fairs in my lifetime…

Oh, wait, what’s that? Isn’t it one of those swinging scrambler rides? Those things are neat. Especially when someone else is riding them. Let them get airsick.

I’ll just stand right here … wait for the ride to swing at just the right angle …

And …


Got it.

A little post-production work, and we now have “The Snowflake Ride.” Get it? You know, from this angle it looks like the riders are on a big metal snowflake … oh, you do get it. Sorry, didn’t mean to Chucksplain that one.

The Snowflake Ride. Rolleiflex Automat MX camera, Fuji Velvia 100 film. Photo (c) 2021 Chuck Miller, all rights reserved.


Later in the day, I came across a demonstration of wild predator birds, as conducted by a bird sanctuary. There were owls, there were hawks, and there was a big fat patriotic eagle.

And you know I wanted a photo with that eagle.

But here’s the thing. Eagles are protected under Federal law. While the sanctuary may own an eagle as part of rehabilitating the animal for future release in the wild, or protecting an injured eagle from further damage, ordinary citizens may NOT possess an eagle. They can’t even possess eagle feathers. That’s the rule.

But I did make arrangements with the sanctuary to have them bring out the eagle, so that I could at least photograph it. I didn’t want one of those poses you see in tourist magazines, where the holder artificially raises and lowers their arm, forcing the eagle to spread its wings for balance. I simply waited while the handler fed the bird some tasty mouse treats.

And on the last shot of my twelve-shot exposure roll …


Got it.

Feeding the Nation. Rolleiflex Automat MX camera, Fuji Velvia 100 film. Photo (c) 2021 Chuck Miller, all rights reserved.

Yeah, kinda spared you the gory details of the eagle chomping down on mouse sashimi. You’re welcome.

At this point, I’ve now decided to move the dual exposure photo I posted last Friday out of the Competition Season 2022 pile, and have designated either one of these two images for consideration as my “Shot at the New York State Fair” photo for Syracuse next year.

Listen, this stuff is important. Trust me on this.

My goal for 2022 is to get images that are completely out of my comfort zone, and still find a way to make them work.

So meet two of those images.