Roll #19: Half Amish

Updated: Feb 20, 2020

Some things take a really long time. US Citizenship. College degrees. DMV lines. Finishing a 36 exposure roll on a half-frame camera.

After previously struggling with my Olympus PEN EES (see post here), I vowed to give it a second chance. Maybe it wasn't the broken light meter. Maybe it was me. Shortly after making this sacred promise, the opportunity to fulfill this promise arose with the Saturday morning sun.

My son, like any other toddler, loves animals. On walks in the neighborhood he points and yells "wow-wow" at passing dogs. When hanging out on the promenade of a local lake he chases after the ducks yelling "quack-quack." Recently through touch-and-sound books, he was introduced to, and gave raving reviews for, barnyard animals. Ever longing for the opportunity to be my son's hero, an idea came to mind: We would bring the animals which graced the pages of his touch-and-sound life.

With a full gas tank and Super Wings on the screen, we made way for Old Windmill Farm in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. It was a smooth ride until the last mile, which was spent behind a buggy.

Eventually, we pulled into the farm, dust clouds risings behind the car. After ringing a bell, a woman came out of her house to inform us how we would pay before placing us in the capable hands of our 12-year-old guide. I began snapping frames furiously.

Tractors on half-frame camera.

Tractors, cows, horses, pigs, chickens, and bowl-haircut blonde kid in suspenders. My son was loving it. We had found his happy place and it was an Amish farm in rural Pennsylvania.

Boy on Amish farm. Lancaster, PA.

After watching an Amish circus routine which included pigs repeatedly going down a plastic Little Tikes slide, feeding horses spaghetti, spying on goats, throwing feed at chickens, picking strawberries and milking cows, we transitioned to the final act...a hay ride.

By the end of the excursion, my son's cheeks were sore from smiling/giggling and my finger was sore from shooting away without a soft-release. Surely I was close to the end of the roll...but I wasn't. It was the roll that never ends.

I eventually had to finish off the roll on a less exciting adventure closer to home. Regardless, as you may have perceived by now given the small number of images in this post, very few of the 50+ images taken on our trip to Old Windmill Farm turned out. I have a feeling it would have been a different story had the light meter been working but we'll never know. It's times like these that we learn and grow. It's in these moments that we reflect less on the photographical experience and more on the journey and the laughs, smiles, and soiled diapers which occur along the way.

Camera: Olympus PEN-EES

Film: Kentmere 100

When: May 2019

Where: Lancaster, Pennsylvania

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