Friday, May 29, 2009

The Wondrous Widelux

By now, no doubt everyone's seen Bruce Jackson's beyond incredible panoramic photos of Cummins Prison in Arkansas during the mid 70's. And as Jackson well points out, photographing anything with a Widelux can be an experience in itself. And the images it's capable of producing can be positively infectious.
The camera is quite the dinosaur in style and function (3 shutter speeds, fixed focus), and hardly the most reliable in operation- despite the look and build of a tank. Nevertheless, it does give you that unique format in one very compact, moderately priced package. The viewfinder displays about 80% of the image, so you have to get closer than what you see, or your subject can recede into the background. Sometimes you get too much distortion and it really spoils the shot, other times you hardly notice it at all, or it lends just the right touch to make it all worthwhile. Bottom line, you never know exactly what ya get when you push that release (watch those fingers!), but it's forever earned its permanent right of stay in my camera bag.

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