clock work cameras

a 1996 re-creation of a panoramic photograph using a Cirkut camera

Toronto. Panoramic photographs were popular early to mid last century. Group shots were often the subject of panoramics. Various ways were used to create images with one extra long side – mostly horizontal but occasionally vertical.

Cameras could be steady and their lens and shutter rotated from side to side (eg Kodak Panoram series). Or both camera and film could be rotated (eg Cirkut). A prank that was possible with the rather slow rotating Cirkut camera was to appear twice in a photograph. Someone on the far edge of the group once recorded had time to run quickly in back and appear once again on the far side!

When computers of suitable power came along, a series of overlapping stills could be stitched together to create a panoramic photo. Modern day smart phones simply have an option to create panoramas as you carefully rotate either side to side or up and down following an arrow on the smart phone screen.

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