I’ve been shooting a lot of panoramic images over the last few years. There’s something about the wide 1×3 aspect ratio that really appeals to me.
I have a few different cameras that I use for this, but more often than not I am usually shooting them with my Mamiya RB67 ProSD with 35mm film in a 220 back. Shooting with the RB in this manner creates a double-wide 24mm x72mm image, and allows a great deal of flexibility by allowing to carry one camera with several backs for different film and aspect ratios. I also have a home-made plastic mask that I drop onto the viewfinder to use for composing the images – the mask only shows the area between the sprocket holes, even though the entire portion of the film including the area around the holes is exposed for each image.
On February 29th of this year, before the COVID-19 pandemic and stay-at-home orders ensued, I had the chance to go to Cincinnati with a few film photographer friends to photograph the last night the Skystar Ferris Wheel was in operation in the Banks district on the Ohio River. After February the temporary Skystar wheel was to be torn down and moved to San Francisco for 2021.
We arrived on the Kentucky side of the river about 1 hour before sunset so we could get set-up to catch the sunset and blue hour. My plan was to include the Skystar in every image if possible and shoot with the wide 37mm lens on Kodak Ektar 100. Ektar is my go-to for color film work due to the fine grain, vibrant colors, and easy-to-predict reciprocity failure for long exposures.
After blue hour ended we moved in closer to the Skystar via the Roebling Bridge walkway and shot the wheel at different angles for several hours. It’s nice going on-location with other photographers instead of dragging my poor spouse along with me -– I never once had to worry that I was taking too much time or dragging things out. As it turns out we all finished up about the same time and were ready to go by a few hours after sunset.
All images were from one roll of Kodak Ektar film. Developed at home with UniColor C-41 chemistry and scanned on Epson V600 scanner.
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