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Horizont panoramic Camera

I’ve recently bought a new / old camera, the Horizont Panoramic camera.

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Its an old Russian camera and I think this one was made in 1976.

Why?

I love panoramic images! I think the format of panoramic images creates interesting and diverse photos with a range of moments throughout the frame. Its also closer to how we see. I love the work of Jens Olaf Lasthein and also the landscape work of Colin Prior.

I find it frustrating when you get a nice panoramic shot with a digital camera (using the in-camera stitching) and someone or something is cut in half because it moved. These cameras remove that issue! I can shoot panos with many people moving around with less problems (check out some of my digital panoramic work in the site menu).

I like to get photos in-camera so I like thinking in panoramic shots and composing for that type of shot, not just stitching loads of photos in photoshop or cropping off the top and bottom of a wide-angle frame and hoping for the best.

The camera is also great looking piece of kit!

The Camera

This is quite a fun camera to use. When you are looking for photos, you need to be thinking in the panoramic format and what would work for the type of shots the camera makes. This will take a bit of time to get used to, but could end up with more interesting images. It is quite quirky and unusual and creates a distinctive look as it bends all straight lines in the image. I actually find this quite pleasing and organic.

It is hard to compose the shots with such a wide viewfinder. You kind of need to look around the inside of the finder and check the edges before you take the shot, since you can’t really see the whole image at once. The lens on the camera is 28mm as well, so I will need to learn to get closer to the action.

You attach a handle to the camera (shown on the right in the above image) to the base, for stability and to keep your fingers out of the way of the camera’s wide view. The drum rotates on the front of the camera that houses the lens, when you press the shutter.

This camera has no focus control and focuses to infinity at all times. This is due to the the lens being inside the central drum in the camera. So, to focus, you just need to contol the aperture. At f16 the camera focuses to 1m so I was trying to keep it as close to f16 as possible. The images were not as sharp as I would have liked but that could be down to a number of factors.

I got a lot of puzzled looks as I was out and about with this contraption!

Film photography

This roll was Kodak Pro Image 100. I think I prefer stronger tones, so will probably try using some Lomography colour negative film the next time or Fujifilm Superia Extra 400.

I checked exposure with an app on my phone and it seemed to get it pretty well bang on in most occasions. I’ll need to learn how to offset the exposure based on what is in front of me, since a few shots could have been underexposed a stop or two.

Film sticking

I lost the first 4 or 5 photos from the roll because the film stuck in the camera as I was rewinding it back into the spool. I’m not sure if this was the fault of the camera or because I loaded it incorrectly, but I rewound the film to a point and the film wouldn’t rewind any more. So, I had to open the back and push the film around until I could keep rewinding it.

I’ve since bought a super cheap roll of film and have tested out rewinding with less problems. Who knows what happened!

Light Leaking

The main issue with most of the photos I shot was the light leaking in the outdoor shots. I’m not sure if light leaking is coming in through the lens and the shutter is just not shutting correctly or if it is coming in through the edge of the drum. I’ll have to put it in for a service to see if they can sort it at the shop.

Overall, this camera is a lot of fun to shoot with and if I can get the light leak fixed, hope to keep shooting panos with this machine.

Here are the rest of the photos that made it out of the camera, including the last one, which was partially exposed when I opened the back.

Going Analogue

So I’ve started taking some photos again! I’ve shot some photos on holidays over the last few years and so on but I’ve not really had my heart in it.

But now I’ve started shooting again. I’ve picked up my Lubitel 2 camera that I spotted in a window of a shop in Turkey a few years ago, covered in dust. Its an original camera, not one of the new Lomography versions that are out there now so I get a lot of light leaking and banding in the photos. But I love it! It all adds to the texture.

Shooting manual was a total gamble and I’ve been guessing settings the whole time. It uses 120 film and I’ve not really figured out how to shoot in low light conditions yet but its all good.

I’ve included all of my photos that I’ve shot below and not adjusted anything, so you can have a look and see all my bad shots.

I’m really just happy to try and see what happens now!

Brighton Birds

Brighton Birds

North Lanes

North Lanes

First colour film photos

First colour film photos

Look out over athens

Look out over athens

Stairs in Hydra

Stairs in Hydra

Photos from Greece

Photos from Greece

Travelling in Nepal

I've just uploaded another collection of photos, this time from Nepal.    

Nepal Photos

Nepal is steeped in culture and religion.   It is tough but welcoming.   It is a dangerous place with freak storms, massive landscapes and dangerous festivals.   The people are welcoming and friendly.   The food is simple and tasty.   It is a place with endless paths, millions of steps and soaring mountains.

I can't go into detail about the entire trip around Nepal since I would need to write a book.   Suffice to say it was an experience.  

We went to the birthplace of the Buddah in the town of Lumbini, where pilgrims travel from around the world.   We travelled up into the mountains to the town of Tansen, where we went on a trek, quite unprepared and got lost for 11 hours.   We saw a goat being sacrificed in a temple on the summit of a mountain.   We travelled to Chitwan National Park where we went out into the jungle to see Rhinos and ended up getting plunged into darkness in the most collosal lightning storm I've ever seen.   We stayed in Kathmandu on and off for the 2 months and enjoyed the chaos of the city and the Buffalo momo's.   We witnessed the Nepali New Year at the Bisket Jatra festival where men pulled massive tree trunks into the air with ropes.   We watched as the towns people pulled a huge chariot through the street, killing 4 people over the course of the 8 day festival.   We went on a 9 day, self navigated trek into the Annapurna mountains, up to about 12,000 feet and almost got to Annapurna base camp.   We watched the sunrise over the Himalaya's every morning at 5 before going on 7 hour walking treks.   We went on another trek for 8 days into the Helambu areas of Nepal, to visit remote Buddhist villages and to see the Langtang mountains.   We went to many buddhist monasteries all over the country.   We walked along ridges in the mountains with the clouds below us.   We seen strikes and protests in the streets of Kathmandu.   We met hundreds of people from the cities and the countryside all over Nepal with a different outlook on life from the West.

That's a bit of a rush through events, but if you want to hear about it or fancy going yourself, get me in the pub with a pint and I'll tell you all about it.   If you have ever wanted to see the Himalaya's, go for it.   Its amazing.

Next gallery will be some panoramas from Nepal.