Today’s Post by Joe Farace
I’ve always been fascinated with wide-screen images both in the movies and in still photography. I also enjoyed Jeff Bridges’ book, “Pictures by Jeff Bridges,” that features panoramic images that he made using a Widelux F8 camera on the sets of some of the movies he’s appeared in.
Mr. Bridges’s work inspired me to shoot some film using a Russian-made Horizon 202 panoramic camera taking exposure readings for this scene using a Gossen hand-held meter. The Horizon is an all-mechanical camera, no batteries included, no batteries needed and like Bridges’ Widelux has a moving lens. It is manufactured by Krasnogorsky Mechanicheskiy Zavod in Krasnogorsk, Russia, better-known for their line of Zenit cameras. The main characteristic of this camera is its rotating lens that takes in a 120° panorama as the shutter button is pressed. You can find them on eBay for about $175.
Having a camera with a 120-degree view on a 24 x 58mm film format and a 28mm focal length lens changes your way of looking at images and framing them. When combined with what must charitably be called an approximate view seen though the viewfinder with no focusing capability— guess it’s tough to do with a moving lens—the experience brings some spontaneity and maybe even a little inspiration into your photography.
The above image as made near my former home in Brighton, Colorado and I saw this scenes as I was driving down the road, jumped out of my car and shot a few frames—the Horizon produces 22 shots on a 36 exposure roll. After having the film processed and delivered uncut, I hand trimmed the negatives and placed the strips in one of the film holders that Epson provided with the one of their old scanners. After scanning and tweaking the images in Photoshop suddenly I’m Jeff Bridges, Nash Bridges, Brooklyn Bridges or one of those guys.
PS: If your shoot film or you’re just interested in the concept, drop by my main blog on JoeFarace.com and search using the term “Film Friday” to see some of my posts about shooting with film.
Along with photographer Barry Staver, Joe is co-author of Better Available Light Photography that’s aimed at film photographers. While now replaced by a version aimed at digital photographers, new and used copies of the original book are available on Amazon for less than seven bucks, as I write this.