Plastic Panorama Photography

I am often asked “What is a Plastic Panorama?” or “What is a Plastic Camera?”. Simply put, a Plastic Camera is just that! A camera made of plastic, but more importantly a plastic lens. My Plastic Panoramas are the same thing only I’m shooting with a Kodak “Fun Saver Panoramic 35” disposable camera made from 1992 – 1999. I usually purchased these cameras in line at our local grocery store for $10.95. I have purchased a dozen of these cameras over the years, and have run hundreds of rolls of film through each one of them, but in time they do eventually cease to function. I’m down to five functioning cameras, I just lost one last weekend.

What they look like new. A recent import from Great Britain (e-Bay).

Then I take off the paper carton. Take out the Kodak Gold 400 film.

Add a Yellow Gelatin Filter cut from a Roscolux Cine filter sample book.

The mask in place makes the “panoramic” format. With a very fine file I rough up the edge a little to give that irregular line at the rebate edge.

In the darkroom, or if I’m out in the field, in a film changing tent, I re-load the camera with Kodak Tri-X film, and tape up the seams with black camera tape. I like Tri-X film because of the soft grain, and the ability to nicely push or pull the film with great results. I use several cameras for each different lighting condition, then push or pull the film in the darkroom.

Kodak 25mm f=12 two element plastic lens.


Lenscratch Blog

A special thanks to Aline Smithson for creating lenscratch blog. If you’re not familiar with lenscratch it is a wonderful and very worthwhile blog highlighting some of the best fine art photography from around the globe. Aline posts a new photographer almost everyday. I am always delighted to see the new photography posted on lenscratch.¬†Lenscratch featured my own photography Saturday May 22nd, with a wonderful write up. Click here to view.

From the lenscratch post I was picked up by an Italian blog Click here to view. I used google translator to read the post since I don’t know Italian.

US-50 Across Nevada

Trish and I live just east of the geographic center of Nevada along US-50 “The Loneliest Road in America”. We moved to the small, remote, yet well preserved 1864 mining community¬†of Eureka in 2005, to pursue fine art photography. Eureka is located high in the mountains of the Great Basin Desert. The great light and crisp mountain air along with 300 days of sunshine make for a fantastic location to photograph. US-50 is the only paved road to or from Eureka so we have become very familiar with the landscape along its route.

North of US-50 headed towards Virginia City.

Fort Churchill State Historic Park, just off US-50 at Silver Springs.

Stillwater National Wildlife Refuge, north of US-50 near Fallon.

The Diamond Mountains, just north of Eureka.

Dirt track and the Antelope Range, just south of US-50.

Ward Charcoal Ovens State Historic Park, just off US-50 near Ely.

Lexington Arch in Great Basin National Park, just off US-50 at the Nevada-Utah border.

NEVADA book almost sold out!

I received a royalty check and statement yesterday for my NEVADA book, which is now being distributed by Ingram Books, since Graphic Arts Center went bankrupt last December. The inventory shows that there are only 495 NEVADA books left in the warehouse, out of a press run of 10,300. It is almost sold out! If you don’t have your copy yet, you better get one soon!

New Photographic Project

Ever since returning from FotoFest in Houston, Texas, I have been working in a new photographic direction. The reviewers at FotoFest helped me greatly in defining new concepts and ideas for projects. Now my head is swimming in fresh ideas, finding myself eager to get out and shoot.

My first idea is called “Where the Cowboy Once Roamed”, it’s a collection of images depicting the cowboy in the past tense. I have been traveling around Nevada searching for places where cowboys once roamed, finding broken down corrals, abandon ranches, and ranch houses, places of the past.

Abandon Ranch along the Reese River, north of Austin, Nevada

Detail of a once used corral in central Nevada

What’s left of corrals on an abandon ranch south of Battle Mountain, Nevada

Abandon ranch south of Battle Mountain, Nevada

Gateway to abandon ranch land in the Santa Rosa Range of Nevada

Abandon ranch with old car in Newark Valley, Nevada

Cattle Chute at an abandon ranch in Nevada’s Newark Valley

Where have all the cowboys gone?