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  1. #1

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    Panorama whole school photograph, how is it done?

    Long ago when I was a mere slip of a lad, I can remember this old guy who used to turn up at school with a funny looking camera on a tripod and a pipe that smelled like an garden bonfire. All the pupils in the school had to be arranged on various benches and chairs etc.Then the magic moment, the old guy would command everyones attention and press the shutter. The camera would whirr and click for a second or two and then fall silent. The result was that you got to buy a photograph of every kid and teacher in the school on that day. Sadly I have lost mine. The period I am speaking about would be the early seventies,would the camera have been a roundshot? The print looked like a contact print of a full length of 120 film, is that the way these very wide panoramas are done?

  2. #2
    nexus's Avatar
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    isn't that by a panorama camera a widelux?????

    the actor jeff bridges is into photography and he uses a widelux. it sounds so cool i've never seen one of those.

    www.jeffbridges.com

    From the introduction of the book, 'Pictures':

    I've been taking pictures and making movies for most of my life... I started taking pictures in high school. I set up a darkroom and would lose track of time, developing and printing for hours and hours, listening to FM radio in the red 'safe light'. I must say, I never really enjoyed developing negatives. It's probably the most important part of the whole process, but what I loved was the printing - watching those images come out of the 'soup'. Seeing that proof sheet of those pictures I'd taken weeks before and forgotten all about - that's what I loved. To this day, looking at a proof sheet for the first time is like opening a Christmas present I've given to myself. What a great surprise - to see what the camera saw; what worked and what didn't; to feel the moment of the picture all over again.

    Most of the photographs I take are done with a Wide-Lux camera. It's a panning, still camera. I use the 35mm version. It's got a 28mm lens that pans nearly 180 degrees. Instead of a traditional shutter, it has a slit that, as the lens pans, exposes the film.

    The first time I came across one was in high school. We had been gathered together to take our class photo. The photographer had a Wide-Lux. He explained how it worked. Some kids figured if they ran very quickly, they could beat the panning lens and be in the picture twice. They were right. Years later, I started using this technique to take pictures of actors creating the theatrical masks of Tragedy and Comedy. The result was someone frowning and smiling at himself - all on one negative.

    Photography took a back seat when my acting career took off and I didn't get back into it seriously until 1976, when I did the remake of King Kong. I was playing a character named Jack Prescott. Jack was a Paleontologist and he happened to carry a motor-driven Nikon with him wherever he went. In preparation for the role, I started taking pictures again.

    The Wide-Lux came back into my life on my wedding day. Mark Hanauer took some photographs at our wedding party with one. I really admired them - the way they showed movement and slurred time. There was so much information in the picture - so much to look at. It's almost as if the camera has peripheral vision - registering multiple stories within a single frame.

    The Wide-Lux is a fickle mistress; its viewfinder isn't accurate, and there's no manual focus, so it has an arbitrariness to it, a capricious quality. I like that. It's something I aspire to in all my work --- a lack of preciousness that makes things more human and honest, a willingness to receive what's there in the moment, and to let go of the result. Getting out of the way seems to be one of the main tasks for me as an artist.

    When my wife, Sue, who was taking pictures professionally at the time, saw how much I enjoyed the photographs, she gave me a Wide-Lux as a belated wedding gift. I started carrying it around as a snap shot camera, taking pictures of family and friends. When I was making a movie, I sometimes took pictures there, too. The Wide-Lux frame is a lot like the 1:8:5 ratio of a typical movie. Because of its panning lens, it functions as sort of a bridge between still photography and moving pictures.

    In 1984, when I was doing Starman, Karen Allen saw some of my Wide-Lux shots and suggested that we combine them with Sid Baldwin's (the unit photographer) to make a book for the cast and crew. Karen's brainstorm marked the beginning of a series of privately published albums. These were given, in appreciation, to the cast and crew of 16 of the films I've worked on since. Each album celebrates the work we did together. The book, 'Pictures', is a collection of some of my favorite shots from those smaller albums.

  3. #3
    Helen B's Avatar
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    It might have been a Cirkut.

    Our school photos were done with a Cirkut. We would be sitting or standing on benches arranged in an arc of a circle - so we appeared to be in a straight line and the school building behind us appeared to be curved away from the camera.

    If you were on the back row at camera left you had the opportunity of being in the same picture twice. After the camera had passed you, you ducked down, ran behind the rest of the pupils, then squeezed in at camera right, hopefully before the camera reached there.

    Best,
    Helen

  4. #4

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    Depending on how long ago the whole school photograph was taken it could have been done in several ways. The Cirkut camera mentioned above and also the so called banquet formats could have been used. These banquet formats are still widely used by photographers today. These would have been the Folmer and Schwing, Korona, and even one of the Deardorff models. These would have been in the 7X17, 8X20, and the 12X20 formats.

    It is my understanding that the Widelux is more current vintage.

  5. #5

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    i went to a school where the senior class was photographed by a cirkut camera too. it was something like 1200 students and there were always the people who would run from one end of group to the other so they would be in the image twice. kind of a tradition you might say ..

  6. #6
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    The Cirkut camera was the classic tool for this sort of thing. It produced a large format neg, so every student would be recognizable. Kodak discontinued Verichrome Pan in this format about a year or two ago, but J&C is selling rollfilm in Cirkut format, and I gather that dedicated users of the format have been cutting down aerial film for some time.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  7. #7

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    btw Clayton Tume is a registered member of Apug.



 

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