Have a Wide Format Christmas

It wasn’t really a Christmas present, at least I don’t think it was, but my old pal Jason gave me a Russian-made Horizon 202 rotating lens panoramic camera as a gift.

I’ve always been fascinated with wide-screen images and had been reading Jeff Bridges’ book of panoramic images made using a Widelux on the sets of some of the movies he’s appeared in. I hadn’t shot any film during 2010 and just a few rolls in 2009 and here I was loading film and taking exposure readings with a Gossen hand-held meter. The Horizon, you see, is an all-mechanical camera, no batteries included, no batteries needed.

Having a camera with a 120-degree view on a 24x58mm 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 and no focusing capability (I guess that’s tough to do with a moving lens) the experience puts spontaneity and maybe even a little inspiration into your photography.

After having the film processed, I hand trim the negatives—haven’t shot slide film yet and don’t really plan to—and place 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 Adobe Photoshop suddenly I’m Jeff Bridges, Nash Bridges, Brooklyn Bridges, or one of those guys.

Author: Joe Farace

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