Balykchy, Kyrgyzstan has been called many things, mostly negative. The former Issyk-Kul hub of a bustling Soviet industrial machine, they built many things here from boats to walls. They produced flour and housed a large number of military troops. Although never meant to be a resort area (they built Karakol for that,) all these people had families in need of fun things to do. Sometime in the late 80s as problems in the USSR began showing up, this amusement park was built. No one I’ve talked to has old photos of it but there used to be more attractions they say. The park continued run for 15 years or so but as replacement parts were unavailable, different rides slowly stopped working. Some are gone forever, some exist in the dilapidated state you see here.
While shooting this ironically named ‘New Beach’ I tried something a little different. All the shots below were JPGs straight out of my Fujifilm X-E2 using the new ‘Classic Chrome’ film emulation which I love and thought was perfect for this spot. I used my Fujifilm XF 14mm F2.8 and an awesome new to me but probably 40 year old 40mm f/2 Helios lens made in the old USSR.
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