Photographs made with Thomas Roma's 1x 3 Camera
PANNAROMA-NYC is an exhibition of photographs made with Prof. Thomas Roma's 1x3 panoramic cameras. PANNAROMA-NYC creates a conversation between veterans Friedlander, Roma, and the late Raghubir Singh with successive generations of contemporary photographers– many of whom were students of Romas' over the past two decades (twelve are MFA graduations from Columbia University). The exhibition features a range of photographic styles and print types that find their confluence in both Roma's artistic influence and the cult of the machine.
The first Pannaroma– a play on the word '"panorama" and the name of Roma's wife "Anna Roma"– was built for the photographer Lee Friedlander in 1986. The camera body starts off as a Nikon F 35mm SLR which is stripped and the film frame is machined to a 1x3 proportion [24mm x 72mm]. The altered Nikon now acts as a film back and is attached to an alumnium plate which secures it to a high-quality medium format lens which can optically cover the wide frame. The custom bright line view-finder of the Pannaroma sets it apart from other panoramic cameras, providing the operator with precision framing from 3.5 feet to infinity. Lee Friedlander received the protoype, next a pre-production Pannaroma was built for Raghubi Singh, and over the next 18 months a total of 31 cameras were manufactured.
In 1972 Thomas Roma built his first camera, an aluminum and wood 6x9 medium format designed for his own use. He soon established Siciliano Camera Works and went into proudction on the 6x9 Siciliano- a cmera that was embraced and cherished by an elite group of photograhers. Visit http://www.sicilianocameraworks.com to see the range of cameras produced in Roma's machine shop over the years.
This is the third incarnation of the exhibition, which began in New Orleans at the UNO-St. Claude Gallery (Nov 21010), then traveled to the Miami Dade College Kendall Campus Gallery (Sept 2011). The photographers Stephen Hilger and Tony Chirinos are responsible for organizing and curating those exhibitions and provided help and assistance to Kai McBride, who organized and installed PANNAROMA-NYC.