Right outside of Tempe, Arizona is a little piece of paradise called Papago Park. It is an expanse of red rocks and desert and it is also home to one of Phoenix’s great attractions, the Zoo.
It was a rainy, cold morning, about 50 degrees (F). Not really a day that most would want to come to a zoo but my buddy and I hoped that the weather would turn around for the better and so we sojourned on. It was easy to tell the locals from the travelers because all the locals were bundled up in parkas and gloves, huddled around a heater while we were in our light jackets and flannel shirts. Now part of that might have been that I refused to wear a heavy coat being in Arizona but that is entirely beside the point.
I had an old Canonet QL17 GIII with me to capture the day and a bunch of rolls of Kodak Gold 400. I had gotten it from my mom who bought it back in the 70’s. The big f1.7 lens really helped when I had to get inside and dreary morning shots like these:
Our hoping for better weather paid off as the clouds parted and the sun started to warm things up. We were also lucky that the bad weather had scared off most of the people, but not the animals, which were very active:
Especially when the sun finally came out:
We made it a point to methodically go through the zoo and not miss a thing, granted this might just have been me trying to get the best deal for our money; I’m frugal (read: cheap) like that. As stated above, the zoo was basically built into its surroundings and had a very natural feel to it. It is also situated right next to the Desert Botanical Gardens which we went to the next day (article to follow soon).
PS. The otter was very friendly.
Tim Pawlak (aka 110isnotdead on LOMO) is a Librarian, writer, photographer and amateur historian (gotta use that History Degree somewhere). Massillon, Ohio (about an hour south of Cleveland) is where he calls home. He loves to get the feel of every new town he comes to and capture it on film. So if you make your way down the mighty Tuscarawas River, you’ll probably find him with his head buried in a lens.