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Thread: Panormas: Go W I D E

  1. #1
    Airhead GS convert...
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    Quote Originally Posted by bricciphoto View Post
    This is a fascinating thread. I love seeing and hearing about the diversity of gear and each person's shooting interests.
    I enjoyed the links, too. I'd heard of him already, but his photo work is at least as dazzling as the cameras he builds!

    If you like weird cameras.... my two current favs are my pair of panoramic cameras: 35mm Widelux FV from 1955, and about 1905 Kodak Panoram using 120 film. Not necc. easy to use, but when I get it right, wow! P&S cameras are still good for the shots I don't want to spend so much time / effort on.



    Page on Panon 35mm Widelux FV:
    http://www.jumboprawn.net/jesse/cams...elux_over.html

    Photo of a Widelux:
    http://www.jumboprawn.net/jesse/cams...widelux_br.jpg



    Widelux Results:
    A 360-degree pano of Meteor Crater:
    http://photo.net/bboard-uploads/00MuRe-39070884.jpg

    Great destination for a GS; Crystal CO:
    http://photo.net/bboard-uploads/00Nyp4-40918384.jpg

    Penny Hot Springs on the Crystal River:
    http://photo.net/bboard-uploads/00NypR-40918784.JPG

    Local biker bar from May 2007 (from May 2007, burned Christmas Eve 2007):
    http://photo.net/bboard-uploads/00NrLy-40718584.jpg

    Uploaded Widelux photo is group at Washington DC's BMWBMW Square Route Rally; I was the keynote speaker and did a book signing - June 2006.




    Page on Kodak Panoram #1, about 100 y/o, with photo of camera at top:
    http://www.vintagephoto.tv/no1panoram.shtml

    Kodak Panoram results along Route 66 this past summer:

    Geronimo Trading Post, eastern Arizona:
    http://photo.net/bboard-uploads/00O1Dy-40990684.jpg

    Oatman, Arizona; on old Route 66:
    http://photo.net/bboard-uploads/00O1EJ-40991184.JPG

    Roy's at Amboy, California, on old Route 66:
    http://photo.net/bboard-uploads/00O1EN-40991284.JPG

    Santa Monica, western terminus of Route 66:
    http://photo.net/bboard-uploads/00O1EW-40991484.jpg
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Best,
    Doug Grosjean
    Pemberville, Ohio
    douggrosjean@gmail.com

    Author of "Wheels"
    http://www.authorhouse.com/BookStore...kid~32002.aspx

  2. #2
    R12ST bricciphoto's Avatar
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    Hey Doug, Thanks for sharing your links and pics. I was tempted to ask if you had shots online when I saw your list of gear in the earlier post. I love panoramic images. I'm familiar with Widelux (as a camera--never used one). I had a X-Pan for a while, but it became increasingly harder to find a local lab to process the transparencies and my scanner wasn't the best. I loved the need for precision in terms of exposure, level and parallel composition--and the hunt for interesting subjects.

    Out of curiosity, do you use filtration (i.e., center ND filter)? And have you ever shot vertically, say in a forest or cityscape?

    I really liked the shot of the intersection in Santa Monica (like them all, but that one spoke to me).

    I'm sure you're familiar with DoubleTruck magazine. You should submit some of your work to them (recognizing their focus is journalistic), but you have some interesting shots.
    Ben Ricci

    Rides & Drives: '07 BMW F800ST Low, '07 Porsche Cayman, '06 VW Jetta TDI & '05 BMW R1200ST

  3. #3
    Airhead GS convert...
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    << Hey Doug, Thanks for sharing your links and pics. I love panoramic images. I'm familiar with Widelux (as a camera--never used one). >>

    You're welcome, glad you liked.

    << I had a X-Pan for a while, but it became increasingly harder to find a local lab to process the transparencies and my scanner wasn't the best. I loved the need for precision in terms of exposure, level and parallel composition--and the hunt for interesting subjects. >>

    Composition gets tougher and tougher the farther around you go. I have maybe 2 of the 360-degree panos that I've shot in the past year that I actually like. One is the Meteor Crater, other is the main street of the town where I live. Whole town in a single shot, including my apt.

    << Out of curiosity, do you use filtration (i.e., center ND filter)? >>

    No, but sometimes I will use Photoshop and apply a gradient there. Usually, a "greater than 120 degree" shot I'll do at dusk, or on a very overcast day, or with the sun at its highest point. Otherwise the variations in light are too great. Note that the Meteor Crater shot is quite overcast. If the sun had been out, it wouldn't have worked.

    << And have you ever shot vertically, say in a forest or cityscape? >>

    Once in a great while, but not 360. Just 120, a single frame. It works great on some subjects, like Virginia's Natural Bridge, where no man-made straight lines will be noticed. Works less well on a tree, for instance. The base of the tree will be bowed out like the center of a football, and then the taper will be normal higher up.

    Cool thing about that weird bulge on straight lines - if you print the image, and curve it around your head, all the bowed lines become straight. It's a function of intersecting a plane and a cylinder (panos have a curved film plane).

    I have seen 360s done vertically. They're very neat, but rather disorienting. You have a long strip, half of it sky and half of it Earth. Worse are 360s that are not vert or horiz.... they're a diagonal slice. Some are art, all are strange.



    << I really liked the shot of the intersection in Santa Monica (like them all, but that one spoke to me). >>

    Thanks! When that was taken, I was really jazzed. We (my 12 y/o son and me) 'd just completed all of Route 66, like maybe 10-15 minutes earlier... After 2 weeks in the Jeep (softtop, no air) with my 12 y/o son on Rt. 66, I felt like we'd climbed a mountain together when we finally got to the Pacific Ocean.

    Different topic, for another thread, but when I'm really jazzed / excited, my photos tend to be more alive too. I see things more clearly and am more creative when the adrenaline is pumping. I suspect I'm not alone that way.

    << I'm sure you're familiar with DoubleTruck magazine (http://www.doubletruckmagazine.com). You should submit some of your work to them (recognizing their focus is journalistic), but you have some interesting shots. >>

    No, I'm not familiar with them. But I will be - thanks!
    Best,
    Doug Grosjean
    Pemberville, Ohio
    douggrosjean@gmail.com

    Author of "Wheels"
    http://www.authorhouse.com/BookStore...kid~32002.aspx

  4. #4
    BMW MOA co-founder bmwdean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DougGrosjean View Post
    If you like weird cameras.... my two current favs are my pair of panoramic cameras: 35mm Widelux FV from 1955, and about 1905 Kodak Panoram using 120 film. Not necc. easy to use, but when I get it right, wow!
    "Wow!" is a good description. These photos are fascinating and impressive.

    How do you stay out of the picture? Run around the camera as it goes?

    Now, is there a digital "Widelux?"
    Jeff Dean - Tucson, Arizona - BMW MOA Co-founder (1972)
    http://bmwdean.com/r1200rt.htm -- Friend of the Marque
    MSF Chief Instructor (1994) - Over 500,000 BMW miles (805,000 km)
    2007 R1200RT, 2014 R1200RT, R25/3, R51/3, R67/3, R68, R60/2 (x3), R69S, & R100GS

  5. #5
    Airhead GS convert...
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmwdean View Post
    "Wow!" is a good description. These photos are fascinating and impressive.

    How do you stay out of the picture? Run around the camera as it goes?

    Now, is there a digital "Widelux?"
    The Widelux does 120 degrees at a time, so I take 4 shots. I'm behind the camera each time. Related- on handheld, I do have to hold it just right to keep my fingers out of the scene, or car keys, or sleeves.... BTDT.

    Related:
    Some of the really old classic group pano shots, the guy on the far left would run behind the camera to the far right before the lens got to him, and he'd be in there twice. Called "double-enders." Invariably, that guy is grinning ear-to-ear on the right, regardless of how he looked on the left.

    No to a digital version, due to the curved film plane of the Widelux and the Panorama.

    Of course there's pano stitching of digi images, but much of the unique look of swing-lens cameras is due to that curved film plane. OTOH, I've seen stiched digital panos that included the weird bends of Widelux pics... so I guess with the right stitching software, you can get very close to an image that looks "Widelux."

    I'm guessing that making a curved digi sensor, for the small number of units involved, would be so expensive that there may never be a swing-lens digi pano-cam.

    Related:
    I'd like to someday own the ultimate swing-lens: a Cirkut camera. Can do a full 360 in one sweep, on film that can be from 6" tall to 16" tall. But the unit is big, expensive to buy (about the price of my Airhead GS), consumes film at a high rate, and then consumes lots of chemistry after. And finnicky, since they're almost all about 100 y/o. People who use them write that each firing of the thing is about $50 in materials....

    Here's a BMW-appropriate example of a "typical" Cirkut photo, of the **Butte MT*** m/c club, circa 1914. Looks like they still have pedals, and note the streetcar tracks. Also the level of detail with the BIG negs...

    http://memory.loc.gov/service/pnp/pa...0/6a25414r.jpg

    The site above has a search function. If you want to see lots of motorcycle events and clubs of 100 years ago, you can do so there.
    Best,
    Doug Grosjean
    Pemberville, Ohio
    douggrosjean@gmail.com

    Author of "Wheels"
    http://www.authorhouse.com/BookStore...kid~32002.aspx

  6. #6
    Airhead GS convert...
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    A goofy idea just hit me...

    That shot of Butte Motorcycle Club 1914 in the post above is public domain. Would be interesting to re-shoot it at the BMW MOA rally, same location, if any panoramic photography buffs are going to be there.

    Extremely unlikely I'll be there, or I'd give it a try. But I really doubt I'm the only one capable.
    Best,
    Doug Grosjean
    Pemberville, Ohio
    douggrosjean@gmail.com

    Author of "Wheels"
    http://www.authorhouse.com/BookStore...kid~32002.aspx

  7. #7
    Airhead GS convert...
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    Something else that gets to me about the panos (and then I'll shut up cause I've talked enough), is that in regular photography a person generally works to get close to the subject, crop out extraneous stuff, limit the scene to a small area, tries to tell a story, and in so doing, controlling what's in that story pretty well.

    In panos, that approach never quite works out as planned. By the time you have things as you want them off to the right, somebody's dog runs into the scene on the left, traffic on the street changes, the light turns green, someone else walks into the scene or walks out of it.

    The street scene in Oatman AZ with the HDs is a typical example. At first glance, I've done OK. Norweigan woman coming out from between the bikes on the left, and one of her fellow riders is striding down the middle of the street. But on looking at the enlargement at my desk, there's a mature tourist sitting extreme left under the eaves sucking on a water bottle, two people under the eaves to the right of the Norweigan female HD rider talking and perhaps drinking, a guy way down the road inspecting another bike.

    Another example would be the people in the hot springs. There's maybe 8 people in the pic, and everybody's doing something different, in their own little world. Because of that, candid group shots tend to look a bit like "The Last Supper."

    If a normal photo tells a story, a pano tends to be the whole darned book. And a really good pano, you keep finding things in it each time you look, that you missed the first time around.
    Best,
    Doug Grosjean
    Pemberville, Ohio
    douggrosjean@gmail.com

    Author of "Wheels"
    http://www.authorhouse.com/BookStore...kid~32002.aspx

  8. #8
    R12ST bricciphoto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DougGrosjean View Post
    Something else that gets to me about the panos (and then I'll shut up cause I've talked enough)...
    Hey, let's start a pano thread so Doug can talk more. I think this is fascinating stuff.


    Mods--can we move the posts related to panos to a new topic or do we have to start over?
    Ben Ricci

    Rides & Drives: '07 BMW F800ST Low, '07 Porsche Cayman, '06 VW Jetta TDI & '05 BMW R1200ST

  9. #9
    rocketman
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    Oh! Goodie! A place where I can post my ridiculously wide panorama!

    Think I'll just post a link thou, or no one will be able to read this thread!

    Night shot of Alexandria VA looking north toward DC from the Washington Beltway two frames pasted together in post-editing

    http://roadrunes.com/images2/nightscape-3-1.jpg

    RM

  10. #10
    univers zero tessler's Avatar
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    If you guys are into Panos my friend Joergen Geerds is an up and comer in the NY Photography scene.

    http://luminous-newyork.com/

    http://newyorkpanorama.com/

    you can Zoomify this image on his site:
    Last edited by tessler; 01-24-2008 at 07:36 PM. Reason: resized image for other browsers

  11. #11
    @ the Big Muddy & I-80 bluestune's Avatar
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    Tessler,

    Your friend Joergen has made some really great images. Starting with stunning compositions, spot on exposures and then his ability to control the many different colored light sources makes for spectacular images. IÔÇÖm in awe and I hope he does well.
    1976 R90/6

  12. #12
    univers zero tessler's Avatar
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    Bluestune, thanks for the compliments. I'll pass them along to Joergen, (who may very well be joining our ranks in MOA in the coming months: he rode BMWs in his native W??rtzburg).

    His technique is quite exacting and almost entirely devoted to the panoramic format. I've even accompanied him on one of his shoots, spending a few hours on a roof overlooking Central Park one night (the shot "Moon over Central Park" was taken atop my office building).

    By the way, I neglected to compliment the beautiful work posted by DougGrosjean and Rocketman in this thread.
    Last edited by tessler; 01-24-2008 at 01:57 PM.

  13. #13
    R12ST bricciphoto's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing Joergen’s link. I think I encountered some of his work years ago when I was researching panos in my contemplation of acquiring a Hasselblad X-Pan. Superb shooting. I love the Pepsi sign image. Stunning. I know there is at least one other photographer shooting panos in NY, but more on a street photography level, but can't remember his name. His work was primarily B&W.

    Panoramic is such an interesting format in that one would think it lends itself principally to landscapes and broad vistas, but it works equally well in an urban environment in the hands of a talented artist.

    Jim Brandenburg is an example of a landscape/nature shooter who has mastered the format, as is to a lesser extent Tony Sweet.

    Doug--I just realized I recognize your uploaded image. That's the mess hall at Camp Westmar and I see a few people I recognize.
    Ben Ricci

    Rides & Drives: '07 BMW F800ST Low, '07 Porsche Cayman, '06 VW Jetta TDI & '05 BMW R1200ST

  14. #14
    Airhead GS convert...
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    Neat - a pano thread! I'd have never even thought of asking for such a thing, didn't figure there'd be enough interest.

    Wow - beautiful work in the last couple posts....!

    My swing-lens pano cams are not able to do night scenes (no way to get the lens to rotate *that* slow), so when I've shot night skylines it's on a Rolleiflex TLR with a panoramic head, which is a fixture with a built-in level and 10 (or 11?...I forget the exact number) of detents so that you set up the shot, take it, rotate to the next detent, shoot, etc. Then stich in PS. Whole thing has enough overlap that it's just perfect. Also 50 y/o....

    Rambling responses / thoughts below, to posts above.

    Re: Camp Westmar....
    Yup, that's the place. When I started speaking in front of the group, I was nervous as heck, but wanted a souvenir, so I asked if anybody would mind if I took a pic. I'd arranged ahead of time to have the kitchen lights all on, as bright as they'd go. I had 400 speed film that I could push-process, and had metered the light ahead of time. Nobody objected, so I wound the Widelux and took 2 shots. Then a half-dozen people at once went "What the heck kind of camera is *that*?" And the ice was broken as I explained. Wasn't the plan, but it worked out well. The pic won't stand up to big enlarging, ie, a little soft due to 1/15 second handheld and a 35mm neg. But at about 4x10, pinned to my cubicle wall, it's a real nice memory-jogger.

    I recognize about a half-dozen faces, in no particular order: Don Graling and son, Don Eilenberger, Gerry Barton, Joe Katz, John Ryan, and the organizers of the event, by the projector. As a guest, I wasn't local, so most people were unknown to me.

    Probably the coolest pano I've shot was this past September, in Ohio small-town Clyde (pop. 7,500). Local library had a 100 y/o fold-out postcard shot with a Cirkut, of main biz district. It was obvious where the photog stood, so I went out and re-shot it in Sept. 2007 with the Widelux, and stiched it together. Perfect match in stiching, and perfect match with the 100 y/o shot. Old shot has horses and buggies and hitching posts and women in hoop skirts, modern shot has traffic lights and cars and Harleys at the bar and teens hanging out at the corner. Wild thing is that many of the buildings are the same, and the commercial district, the busy part of town, hasn't moved an inch. Where the buggies were congregated in 1907 is exactly where the cars and bikes are clustered in 2007. Even pedestrians are in almost the same spots. Spooky or weird, take your pick.

    2 excellent books for pano photographers:

    Book: "America by the Yard" of Cirkut photography. About 2.5 hours of viewing, excellent images.

    Book: "Panoramic Photography" by Lee Frost. Gorgeous modern panos, color, and tips / tricks for making them w/ various methods.

    One very cool shot in the "ABTY" book is the dedication of Smoky Mtn. Nat'l Park. 1930s cars, thousands of people, the US prez at the time, and son of a gun ... it's now a scenic overlook that I've stopped at several times when in the area. That entire book is a trip through the first half of the 20th century. There's an early Indy 500 shot, the racecars barely a blur even, the bleachers about the same size at a high school football game, and the parking lot full of Model T Fords.

    The Cirkut cameras found a niche photographing large crowds, sometimes huge crowds prior and during WW2.... when they were used to shoot entire military units before shipping out. Sometimes tens of thousands in one shot.

    Smaller groups were shot by arranging them in an arc so all were equidistant to the camera and in focus. Most panos even with Cirkut cameras aren't anywhere near 360d, you just run out of interesting stuff before that, usually.

    I'd love to have enough volunteers at a rally to shoot a group of modern riders, the way the old groups were shot (arc, equidistant, etc), using my 120-format 100 y/o Kodak Panoram. But it's no small task to set up, as you have to lay out the arc (instead of a straight line), and sorta choreograph the whole thing. Volunteers have to be willing, too, and I suspect it would be hard to find enough volunteers / subjects. But wouldn't that be a neat shot to have on a wall, a bunch of modern riders on modern bikes in modern gear, set-up like those old shots? Maybe all the pano fans here would volunteer for each other at a big rally. Sadly I suspect there's only 5-10 of us, so the pano will look pretty anorexic. But if it turned out really well it could be the first fold-out centerfold in the MOA ON. I don't recall every seeing one in there before, but I could be wrong.

    Related:
    I've been taking candid pano shots of a group of co-workers when we go bicycling in the summer after work. Everybody grumbles at the time of the shot about it being a nuisance, but 6 month later several copies of those pics are hanging up in cubicles around here, and people look at them fondly and often.

    Hoping to attend the Oregonia Hillclimb in southern Ohio this October for some neat panos there, of the hillclimb and spectators and parking lot, all in one swoop.
    Best,
    Doug Grosjean
    Pemberville, Ohio
    douggrosjean@gmail.com

    Author of "Wheels"
    http://www.authorhouse.com/BookStore...kid~32002.aspx

  15. #15
    rocketman
    Guest
    [QUOTE=DougGrosjean;284709]Neat - a pano thread! I'd have never even thought of asking for such a thing, didn't figure there'd be enough interest.

    Wow - beautiful work in the last couple posts....!

    My swing-lens pano cams are not able to do night scenes (no way to get the lens to rotate *that* slow), so when I've shot night skylines it's on a Rolleiflex TLR with a panoramic head, which is a fixture with a built-in level and 10 (or 11?...I forget the exact number) of detents so that you set up the shot, take it, rotate to the next detent, shoot, etc. Then stich in PS. Whole thing has enough overlap that it's just perfect. Also 50 y/o....

    Rambling responses / thoughts below, to posts above.

    Re: Camp Westmar....
    Yup, that's the place. When I started speaking in front of the group, I was nervous as heck, but wanted a souvenir, so I asked if anybody would mind if I took a pic. [snip]
    QUOTE]


    I Thought I recognized that place! right in my neck of the woods its where the local club has the anual square route rally! kool shot.

    RM

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