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In Search of Lake Wobegon



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Having a Blast
Photograph by Richard Olsenius

Bowlus is always a blast on the Fourth of July. This tiny rural town of 250 people swells with pride—and spectators—for a day of old-time fun capped by fireworks that spatter the sky above the town’s grain elevator (circa 1926). “We usually draw about 3,000 people,” says Charlie Sobieck, owner of the elevator and member of the Bowlus Volunteer Fire Department, which sets off the fireworks. “We have polka bands, a parade with floats, a beer garden, a moon bounce for the kids, and pull-tab gambling (we call ’em rippies). Farmers have to go home in the afternoon for chores, but we draw ’em back at night.”



Camera: Wista 4x5 field camera
Film Type: Tmax 4x5, 400asa
Lens: Rodenstock 90mm f/6.8
Speed and F-Stop: 15 @ f/4.5
Weather Conditions: Partly cloudy
Time of Day: 10 p.m.
Lighting Techniques: Time exposure

SPECIAL EQUIPMENT OR COMMENTS:
The challenge here was to get the correct exposure on the elevator and then wait for the fireworks to finish off the exposure.


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