This is the 1914 carousel at the Columbus Zoo (home base of Jack Hanna), in motion no less. Seeing it on our first visit to the zoo during its nighttime Wildlights celebration, I was instantly enthralled—old carousels hold a place in my heart due to the workmanship put into the always high-spirited animals, the fancifulness, the delight they bring to one and all. The increasing rarity of these delightful gems only adds to my interest in them. They’re works of touchable, rideable art—why do so few seem to care about antique carousels?
This one actually spins at a pretty good clip, and to be honest, with all of the little crumb-crunchers aboard, I didn’t want anybody’s face to be recognizable for the obvious reasons; thus it seemed wiser to me to simply let the photos be a bit blurred to protect the little ones (and not infuriate any parents who happen by the photos!). I keep saying to myself that I must head back to the Zoo during daylight hours to photograph this beauty—perhaps I could even get some alone time with it!
This is one of my favourite photos from the evening, but I’ll confess to you that I seem to be alone in that:
That’s all right with me, though. I love the brilliant spinning lights, the blur we know are horses and children zipping by the gigantic wreath, and most of all, the mother and child standing at the rail, watching others enjoy the ride. Their stillness seems contemplative and calming as the carousel whirls before them, and that seems all the more important during this usually-mad time of year. I took this from outside the carousel enclosure; thus the floating purple lights reflecting from the window with my lens as close to the glass as I dared!
Here’s another I’m not so sure about—it was completely dark inside the carousel house save its own lights and the Christmas lights outside, making the images a little tough to work with for someone who doesn’t normally shoot at night, but I did at least have fun with it:
Also, I happen to very much like the stiff-maned spotted horse in back. Hey, a woman can have her favourites!
Gadling has a list of ten special carousels that you may enjoy; there’s also Carousel Corner, a site dedicated to vintage carousels remaining and lost (talk about an inspiration to get out and shoot more!); a history of the carousel; and an article from the always-interesting Collector’s Weekly asking, “Where Have the Carousel Animals Gone?“. An Ohio (FIELD TRIP! Who’s with me?) manufacturer of wooden carousels has a page of carousel photos for our enjoyment as well. Yup: New project idea.
Any other carousel fans out there?
Have a wonderful Monday!