Holga Panorama How-To
I wrote an article on this for Toycamera.com (along with another toycamera-fan) and figured some folks here would like to know about it as well. Therefore I have modified the article for this site.
After getting great feedback on this http://www.apug.org/gallery/showphot...sort=1&cat=500 picture, I wanted to share my technique:
Article by Melisa Taylor (known as "Ambrosia" in some circles)
Holga makes a panorama camera?!!! What?! Where?!! Well, actually no, they don’t. But you can make your Holga take ‘panorama’ pictures by doing the "Ambrosia Shuffle"!
I was in New Orleans March 2004 taking tons of pictures with my Holga Toy Camera and my Diana Toy Camera when I got inspired to try something new. I had previously seen a ‘Holga Panorama’ online, but it was 3 different scenes joined…When I got to New Orleans and saw how all the buildings are ‘joined’ together, and all the life and art on the streets, I knew I wanted to give this a go.
The first thing I had to figure out was how I was going to make the picture ‘join’ together in exposure. On a previous roll, I watched the arrow on the advance knob, at the same time I watched the numbers in the red window. I had determined that from one number to the next, it was one complete turn of the advance knob and a couple clicks between each number.
During all of this, make sure your lens is always at the same distance and ‘aperture’ to keep the image consistent.
I took the first picture, and made sure to step sideways without changing my distance to the subject and made sure that the ground was still even (even ground in New Orleans??!!). Then I got to the next section and took the next picture, repeating the steps, I took four exposures total (actually five, but that one had to be cut off because the ground level and the angle changed). When I was done, I had 4 joined and slightly overlapped exposures. (see image- “French Market Place” in my APUG Gallery).
I found this to be a very simple way to do it and was very pleased to see that my first try had been so successful!
Now that the image is taken, what next?
Now that you have taken your first ‘Holga Panoramic’, you might be wondering how you’re going to print your image(s). This part can be tricky, as your negative will probably be too long for even a 4 x 5 inch negative carrier (I believe the only way you will be able to do this is by limiting your exposures to 3, but even then you are cutting it close and you won’t know until you keep trying and check the results).
Having a lab print it…(I know...it's a scary thought to some!)
You can have a custom pro-lab do it digitally *gasp*, by scanning your negative and printing it onto a long sheet of photo paper. Don't worry, you're not committing a mortal APUG Sin. *Remember* you took the image on FILM. This is how I had to get it done. I admit I didn’t have time to ‘shop around’ and find other ways at other labs, so there might be other ways they can do it. It may be hard to control yourself once you realize just HOW big Photo-labs can print. I went up to 5 feet on mine! I recommend having them try a smaller one first so you verify print quality before you spend the big bucks on a really big one. Or, fly by the seat of your pants and just supersize it!
Printing it yourself digitally…If you have the right type of negative scanner, photo-quality digital printer, and paper you can do this at home, although you will probably be limited on the size. I don’t have these options yet, so I have no way of testing it.
But...I don't have a Holga Toy Camera yet!
Go out and get a holga or another medium format plastic "toy camera"! You can get them all over the net, Ebay, holgamods.com, freestyle photo, etc. They are easy to use. Give yourself a week and one roll with the camera to get familiarized with it and by the next roll you should be a pro! Let go of all the technical jibber jabber and have some fun! That's what these cameras are made for!
Using other ‘Toy Cameras’…Although I’ve only used a Holga for this, it can also be done using a Diana camera or one of the many (cheaper) Diana clones. Just make sure the camera is medium format (6 x 6) and plastic and you're set!
Is there another way of doing a "Holga Panorama"?
Yes, but you will have to go to Toycamera.com and read the article I helped write with Mark Skorj. He adds his technique and some photos and diagrams. I can't include that part of the article here, because I didn't write that part.