View Full Version : Widelux news photo on front page...

01-02-2008, 11:50 AM
I didn't shoot any Holiday scenes with my Widelux (panoramic camera), but....

At about 2:00 AM on December 24th, a local bar / pub (Ray & Jet's) and several other businesses burned down in a nearby small town of Genoa, Ohio. The fire took out maybe 20% of the downtown business district, at most.

That bar hosts "Bike Nites" through the warm summer months, when dozens of Harley-Davidsons line the street, and a live band plays at the bar.

In a strange twist of fate, I'd photographed that strip of main street, with the motorcycles parked alongside both sides of the street back in May. Months ago, I'd sold a matted / framed copy to the bar owner. He liked it so much he took it home and hung it there. I had a replacement printed for myself, and hanging on my living room wall.

Turns out the buildings in my shot were *exactly* the buildings that burned down on Christmas Eve.

The day after the fire, I emailed the image to a local weekly paper, and they bought it and ran it in their print version of the paper (but not on the Net). If curious about the article, you can go to
www.presspublications.com and search for "Ray & Jet's", which is the name of the bar that burned. That article is still front page on the Net.

Then two days after the fire, I went to a local meeting of the merchants who were affected by the fire, and citizens showing their support. I took my matted / framed version off the wall, and sold 3 more smaller (about 6" x 18") prints of it at $25 each.

The bar owner, when he rebuilds, wants at least one other BIG print - probably 4' long, to decorate the new place. He thanked me very sincerely for having shot the scene in the first place, and for selling him that first print. We both noted that things can change literally overnight...

So anyway, I made some money and made several people happy at a sad time. Feeling a little bit like a vulture at the moment, but the money spends the same as any other money, and the buyers are glad to have the prints.

Oh, and just like the old-tyme Cirkut photographers, I've got my name and town signed in white in the lower RH corner of the print - as well as my email addy, in case of repeat sales. And to discourage people trying to reprint it themselves. I also like the idea of having the print longer than a scanner, which should also discourage all but the most clever from making copies at home.

It's the first news photo I've ever tried to sell, so I'm still jazzed.... and sad. I liked the place.

01-02-2008, 02:34 PM

my browser does not seem to find a search field at "The Press", and that big search engine found that bar, but not that photo...

01-02-2008, 03:21 PM
Widelux photo, pre-fire:

Kodak Panoram photo, post-fire:

01-02-2008, 03:51 PM
Well, my first impression was: that's what I think a small US town would look like...

But then I realized that there is no person in sight. Don't know why, but (in contrast to cars) I somehow expect persons to be around those bikes. Which arouses a weird atmosphere...

01-02-2008, 06:14 PM
Well, my first impression was: that's what I think a small US town would look like...

But then I realized that there is no person in sight. Don't know why, but (in contrast to cars) I somehow expect persons to be around those bikes. Which arouses a weird atmosphere...

Agreed that it is weird, but people here are so used to using their cars or motorcycles to get around, that you really don't see people walking around at all. They ride / drive to the destination, go in, and sit down.

Some small towns here in the US have lots of people walking around - but the people walking are tourists.

The other thing is that the picture was taken at dusk, and the food and drinks and the live band was in the bar, and so there weren't a lot of reasons to be outside at that time.

Colin Corneau
01-02-2008, 09:57 PM
Proving once again that "you just never know"...working at a daily newspaper, we love it when people come in with stuff like this. At least to have the option.

Also nice to see the familiar curve and perspective of a Widelux shot; I have an F7 and love it.

Nice work, on the original shot and thinking what to do with it when the fire hit. Perhaps you might consider auctioning it off for some sort of fundraising?

jamie young
01-03-2008, 07:18 AM
Doug- Cool to see you using the kodak panoram. Any problems? Is it a #1?

01-03-2008, 10:45 AM
Colin - thanks! And agreed on donating a print or two to an auction. Townfolks are talking about raising money for the business owner through bake sales and raffles (to close an expected gap between insurance check and actual cost of getting up and running again), so I'll probably do it. It's the right thing to do, good Karma, good exposure to a receptive crowd, and it could result in a few more sales to people who don't place the winning bid.

Jamie - no problems with the Panoram. I got it almost a year ago, from Ritz Collectibles in Phoenix, for a trip down Route 66 to supplement my Widelux. I *think* it's the No. 1; it uses 120 film wound onto a 620 spool. For the take-up spool, I use a 120 spool. Works out well because then I don't accidentally lose a 620 spool at the lab.

Well, actually, one problem with the Panoram. Works fine both directions on the high-speed setting, but sticks on the left-right transit on the slow-speed setting. I can work around it, just need to keep it in mind.

Overall, it takes slightly sharper pics than the Widelux just due to the bigger neg, but Widelux is more versatile since it has more shutter speeds and adjustable aperture.

Oh, and on the 66 trip, Kodak Ultra Intense Color, 100 speed, worked out really well. The lens doesn't seem to have lots of contrast, so that film worked well in that camera to record colors pretty accurately.

On the 66 trip, the Widelux and Panoram together, along with a Rolleiflex, made for a great combo. Also had a modern non-film camera that buddy twisted my arm into taking, and that took (snap) shots that I thought I might not want to spend film money to get.

jamie young
01-03-2008, 01:18 PM
panorams that shoot 120 film are the #1 cameras. I put a little info on my web page on them.
I look forward to seeing more of your images. I'll have to try mine again. It's a 1D and I have to sand down the ends of the spools to fit the film in. I've been using a 120 film al vista, which works ok, though I'm not sure the negs will enlarge well.

01-03-2008, 03:18 PM
Hi Jamie,

I've done a couple enlargements of about 2' length or a bit more from my Panoram, one of a B-17 on Father's Day at a local airshow, the other of a friend's house (on a corner) in Phoenix.

The house enlargement I really went over with a fine-tooth comb, because it was to be a Christmas gift. My friend and his family loved it, by the way - they'd just moved to Ohio from Phoenix in the autumn. But with close examination, I noticed that the sharpness on the Panoram is best in the middle both vertically and horizontally. There's softness evident at either end. Which makes sense, because looking at the curvature of the Panoram film plane, I don't think it's concentric with the lens axis of rotation. I suspect the designers accepted a certain level of softness at the ends in exchange for a less curved film plane. If I'm correct, that means that the Widelux will also work better for stitching multiple images into a 360, than the Panoram.

I shot at least half the images on the Route 66 trip with panoramic cameras, and am doing a display in February at the local library on Route 66, and giving a talk on it as well. So I haven't had much time to put things on the Net, since I'm trying to get real things printed and framed and such.

Here's just a small set in a Photobucket folder, but most in this folder are Widelux:

Meteor Crater 360, Widelux 35mm, 4x, stitched:

Western end of Route 66, Kodak Panoram:

Geronimo's Trading Post on Arizona's Route 66, Kodak Panoram:

Hole in the Rock Trailhead, near Escalante UT, Kodak Panoram:


Colin Corneau
01-03-2008, 08:11 PM
I'm really interested in pursuing panoramic imaging more - haven't heard of the Kodak Panoram, so one more thing for me to research, thanks!

I had a friend (more adept at software than I) stitch together a series of Widelux images - worked very well. He also used a small digital P&S with some software he found to make perfect 360's...apparently the chip or centre of the camera was directly over the tripod head, making aligning the shots much easier.

Thanks for posting those shots, very interesting to see.

Also: one website I loved when I got my Widelux was actor Jeff Bridges'. Apparently he's been shooting with one for years.

01-04-2008, 11:17 AM
Stitching with the Widelux is nice and easy, with good matches, because if you look at it the tripod socket is concentric with the lens axis' of rotation. So if you level it out nicely, and then just take 4 shots at the 4 corners of the compass (90 degrees apart, but the image covers 120 degrees so you have lots of overlap), you can do a 360 reasonably easy.

I've seen Bridges' stuff - excellent stuff it is. Keep meaning to buy his book someday.