I shot these during a walk around my town (Raleigh, NC) on a partly cloudy morning. I’ve been in a bit of a photographic slump lately, so I reached for the panoramic swing-lens camera, hoping to shake things up a bit. I paired it with Svema Color 125, which is one of my favorite color negative stocks, owing to its unique color palette.
The Widelux F7 is a fun camera. The viewfinder is not particularly accurate and the film plane is curved, so it’s important to keep the camera level. I usually hold it at waist or chest level and compose with the arrows on the top, paying close attention to the spirit level. It is a similar experience to shooting my pinhole cameras.
Oh: you also need to be aware of your fingers at all times.
If you hold the camera in the standard way, you’ll get fingers in your shot every time. I usually grasp it on the top and bottom and fire the shutter with my thumb. The smallest aperture on the Widelux is f/11, and there are only three shutter speeds (1/15, 1/125, and 1/250).
Focus is set to ~10 feet, which means everything from ~3 feet to infinity is in focus at f/11. I brought a meter, but I didn’t use it at all. I decided to keep the shutter at 1/125 and set the aperture to f/11 for sunnier shots and f/8 for cloudy/shady shots.
I feel pretty good about this trip, and it has made me feel better about photography in general. Not fussing over camera settings or focus was really liberating. I walked around some familiar areas, but I found some new angles and pops of color amid the grey urbanity.
The clouds were a blessing and a curse. At times, they obscured the sun when I wanted it, but they also made the skies much more interesting. I processed the film at home using the Unicolor C-41 kit and scanned the images using an Epson Perfection V850 scanner.
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This series is produced in conjunction with Hamish Gill's excellent 35mmc.com. Head on over to read the other half of these stories there.
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