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4 Decades of Panoramas – Analogue & Digital – By Jordi Fradera

July 7, 2020

In 1977 I abandoned the 110 format and bought the Pentax ME camera with its 50mm lens, it had insufficient angle for the panoramas I wanted to photograph, so I bought the Pentax SMC 28mm f 2.8 wide angle thinking that it had solved the problem, but it didn’t, I needed an even greater angle.

Among my hobbies was touring the Pyrenees. The views were exceptional: Hundreds of lakes, immense landscapes, fauna and flora, beautiful villages etc… What to do? The solution was to put together some desperate “collages” to preserve those landscapes in my photo albums.

As a modest photographer, I only had simple means that were also easy to transport. The “collage” of the first panorama was really desperate, it was based on photos processed by a neighborhood laboratory and I had a hard time finding the optimal cut line for the assembly, but in the end I did it. Now it seems so primitive…

From each of the panoramas you can see the scan of the “collage” on paper pasted in an album and the same image mounted and edited with PhotoShop / CorelPhoto using the digital files scanned from the 35mm negatives. My albums contain at least 70 panoramas mounted in “collage” and are part of family memories.

In no panorama did I use a tripod or take additional precautions. I also do not know what were the techniques that the professionals of the time used to mount their panoramas although I can imagine them.

Film Panoramas

Scanned from paper image

Mounted from scanned negatives

Date: 07-26-1980
Place: Ordiceto Lake 2,390 m – Huesca Pyrenees (Spain)
Camera: Pentax ME
Film: Kodak 200
Shots: 3 horizontal

Scanned from paper image

Mounted from scanned negatives

Date: 20-10-1984
Place: Finisterre – Costa de Coruña (Spain)
Camera: Pentax ME
Film: Kodak 200
Shots: 2 horizontal

Here you can see how I saved all my photos and panoramas as well as the simple tools for “collages”

Mounted from scanned negatives

Date: 20-10-1984
Place: Cregüeña Lake 2,637 m. 45.4 Ha – Pyrenees of Huesca (Spain)
Camera: Pentax ME
Film: Kodak 200
Shots: 3 horizontal + 1 vertical + 1 horizontal
Angle: 260º

Scanned from paper image

Mounted from scanned negatives

Date: 06-29-1988
Place: Estany de la Gola 2,250 m. – Lleida Pyrenees (Spain)
Camera: Pentax ME
Film: Kodak 200
Shots: 2 horizontal

Scanned from paper image

Mounted from scanned negatives

Date: 06-27-1993
Place: Estanyet de Besiberri 2,160 m. – Lleida Pyrenees (Spain)
Camera: Pentax Z1
Film: Kodak 200
Shots: 2 horizontal

Scanned from paper image

Mounted from scanned negatives

Date: 08-21-1997
Place: Tikal (Guatemala)
Camera: Pentax MZ5
Film: Kodak 200
Shots: 2 horizontal

Scanned from paper image


Mounted from scanned negatives

Date: 03-21-2002
Location: Al Azhar Mosque – Cairo (Egypt)
Camera: Pentax MZ5
Film: Kodak 200
Shots: 2 vertical

Digital  Panoramas

The digital format has changed everything, I keep panning and it’s easier but less exciting. Now there is no waiting for development and I can repeat the photos as many times as I want until they are good, then a simple editing job and it is finished.

In this environment the work is much easier, for the assembly I used the Photomerge tool from PhotoShop but once each panoramic was obtained I cut it and edited it with Corel Photopaint In some case (panoramic from Colón monument) I looked for matches in each shot and linked them directly with Corel Photopaint.

Finally in almost all cases they ended up as paper copies and pasted into my albums. Since 2002 I have added over 70 panoramic photos of digital origin to my collection, it has been difficult to choose the appropriate panoramic for this article.

Over time I used various cameras and did not use a tripod or take any additional precautions for any panorama.

Date: 05-07-2002
Place: Baborte lake 2.350 m. (Tirvia – Pirineu de Lleida – Spain)
Camera: Minota Dimage 7
Shots: 3 Verticals

Date: 05-02-2003
Place: 2nd hand market “Los Encantes” (Barcelona – Spain)
Camera: Minota Dimage 7
Shots: 2 Horizontal

Date: 04-19-2009
Place: Viewpoint from Colón monument (Barcelona – Spain)
Camera: Kodak P880 (Zoom to 24mm. Eq.)
Shots: 16 Verticals
Angle: More than 360º
Size: (4x 3.935 =) 15.340×1639 Px.
Note: I supported the camera in each of the 16 windows with negative inclination of the viewpoint.

Date: 13-12-2008
Place: Railway Museum (Vilanova – Spain)
Camera: Kodak P880
Shots: 5 Horizontal

Date: 12-30-2012
Place: Santa Mª del Mar (The Cathedral of the Sea – Barcelona – Spain)
Camera: Fujifilm HS30
Shots: 2 Vertical + 1 horizontal

Date: 01-12-2013
Place: Old market “Born” (Barcelona – Spain)
Camera: Fujifilm HS30
Shots: 3 Horizontal

Date: 11-09-2017
Place: Sant Pol – S’Agaró (Girona – Spain)
Camera: Sony A37
Shots: 4 Horizontal

Date: 20-03-2016
Place: Cathedral (Barcelona – Spain)
Camera: Sony A37
Shots: 2 Verticals

Thanks for your attention and patience, I hope that the article has been interesting to you, I have enjoyed doing it since it has helped me to remember special moments of my life.

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9 Comments

  • Reply
    Christopher James
    July 7, 2020 at 11:31 am

    Thank you Jordi! These are wonderful. I started making 35mm film panorama collages back in the day just like you did – but will less commitment and less success. I absolutely love your images. They have brightened my day immeasurably, thank you.

  • Reply
    David Allen
    July 7, 2020 at 11:59 am

    Ah! Fantastic!! Put me back in touch with my work I used to do before the onset of digital. Collage, drawing and cutting were all part of the process! Thank you, really enjoyed your write up!

  • Reply
    Rock
    July 7, 2020 at 3:42 pm

    Brilliant!

  • Reply
    Birkin
    July 7, 2020 at 3:50 pm

    Me ha gustado mucho ,si señor.
    Saludos.

  • Reply
    Kate Johnson
    July 7, 2020 at 4:50 pm

    Amazing results for your ‘handmade’ panoramas…all of them are great!

  • Reply
    Jordi Fradera
    July 7, 2020 at 5:38 pm

    Thank you all very much for your comments, I really enjoyed when I pasted the paper photos in my albums and now presenting and sharing this article. Regards

  • Reply
    Mike Hannon
    July 7, 2020 at 7:57 pm

    What a charming article! It makes me nostalgic for the physical process of assembling a panorama… even though I never did it. But I remember a classmate in art college doing one in 2003.

    I love the pic of your panorama tools. I want that scissors!

  • Reply
    John Sullivan
    July 8, 2020 at 1:23 am

    Jordi

    Beautiful photographs! The church is spectacular! I like to do panorama too. I have found that Adobe Lightroom has a merge feature that is much easier than Photoshop, it also seems to be less prone to failure. I also like the iPhone pano feature its great when I don’t have my camera with me.

  • Reply
    DeeDee
    July 8, 2020 at 2:46 pm

    Jordi, I love these! What great memories. Thank you for sharing them! The photos and scenes are beautiful. I wish I would have thought to do these kind of panoramas back in the day – how creative. 🙂

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