Panoramic photo, panoramic photography, welcome to
panoramicphoto.com, some personal comments on collecting panoramic photography
and some very interesting old panoramic prints!
Welcome to panoramicphoto.com
Within these pages we hope you will find some interesting
information about panoramic photography as well as viewing some outstanding
examples of this unique photographic format. Photographs are, after all,
the closest thing we have to a virtual time machine. Most of the people in them
no longer exist. The locations bare little resemblance to their former
configuration. A photograph is a unique and intimate glimpse of a
particular place and moment of time. Join us as we travel into the past...
My oldest panoramic photo has a date of 1906 although panoramic
photography had been around for several years by that time. The
panoramic camera is a unique invention in that it has the capability
of "panning" both camera and film resulting in an image that can
display up to a full 360 degree view.
most popular camera, at that time, was the Circuit camera,
a large, box-like machine that was mounted on a sturdy tripod and
featured a clock-like mechanism that would transport the film in one
direction while the camera panned in the opposite direction - exposing
the film (quite slowly) as it traveled past the lens.
For the most part, they were used to take pictures of large groups such
as school children, family reunions, business groups, military units and
the like. The negatives were quite large...as much as three or four feet in
length and as tall as 10 or 12 inches!
photographer would set up shop on location loaded with camera
and darkroom (usually a light-proof tent), and, in almost no time, he would be
ready to take pictures. The film could be developed immediately and soon
thereafter the photographer would begin making contact prints. In short
order, he, or his representative, would be out among the crowd offering
prints to those who appeared in the photo. I would imagine, at
that time, fifty cents or a dollar would be the going rate.
panoramic camera has the ability to capture a tremendous amount
of information. A well done photo reveals much about the people and places
of the past, of the traditions, dress, customs and life-styles of earlier days.
I especially enjoy street scenes and cityscapes with lots of people, activity,
billboards, signs, horse and buggies, old automobiles, fashion styles and
other glimpses into what everyday living was like when life was so much
Click here to view, what I consider, a true gem of a panoramic
This incredible image, one of many thousands on display at the library
of congress, is a classic example of the capabilities of the panoramic
camera. In this case, the camera pans a full 180 degrees from left
to right at the intersection of Main and Mill Streets, in Porterville,
California, in 1914. Or, if you prefer, step back into the time of tall
ships off the coast of California in this 1907 panoramic of
Redondo Beach, California. Another fabulous panoramic photographer
was George R. Lawrence who developed his own large-format camera
and developed a technique in which he took photos from hot air
Click HERE to view some more panoramic photos..
About the only panoramic photographs that one can find quite
easily nowadays are
mostly of military subjects such as army units, group shots of soldiers, etc. There
were literally thousands of these photos taken during and after the First World War
and many are still in circulation. These photos have little value to collectors and
although they do represent the era, they do not really have much universal appeal.
We, as collectors, like to find photos that have some historic value, illustrate
the era in which they were taken and express visually what life was like many
years ago. We, particularly, love old street scenes showing people, cars, horses,
carriages, trains, store fronts, and other images that capture your imagination
and whisk you back to a kinder moment in time.
have been collecting panoramic photos over the last 25 years. Many of these
have not been available to the general public, either because there was no practical method of
making copies or that they were just tucked away in someone's private collection. We now have
a unique way of sharing some of these one-of-a-kind gems, thanks to modern technology. State-
of-the-art scanners can now very precisely scan and stitch, which allows us now to reproduce
some of these precious moments of history. We are delighted to begin adding some of our finest
and most interesting panoramics to this website. Click HERE and watch this feature grow
over the next several months. Come back often, as we will be adding new pictures as
fast as we can find the time to spend on this project.
(The above project is being made possible with the invaluable assistance
Click here to
of Panoramic Cameras,
a fascinating chronological
history of the panoramic camera.
panoramicphoto.com P.O. Box 360, Cloverdale, CA 95425 (707) 313.4004
If you have any panoramic photos, or other old photos of interest, please submit a
description, along with your estimate of its value and we will respond promptly if we
are interested in making an offer to purchase.