Raskolnikov and The Intersection

Off and on, I’ve tried to create a “weave” photo, which would entail warping-and-wefting two different types of film together into one cohesive image.  But none of my cameras had enough wide-angle ability to do it either properly or productively.  At least nothing that would work as well as I preferred.

So right now it’s Raskolnikov’s turn; let’s see if my Krasnogorsk FT-2 ultra-wide panoramic camera can achieve this weave.  First … the hypothesis.

Experiment with Krasnogorsk ФT-2 “Raskolnikov” camera

PARAMETERS: To shoot a series of images that will span a road intersection, and then weave the finished negatives into a single artwork.

SOFTWARE: Two rolls of Fuji Velvia 100.


Any time I shoot a picture with Raskolnikov, it comes out three times as wide as your average 35mm camera shot.  So let’s use that to my advantage.

Now comes the next adventure.  I need to find a street intersection in the Albany area that will be equal parts vibrant and stunning and distinctive.  And I need to access this intersection without fear of traffic or pedestrians or people who don’t understand what I’m trying to do.

But every place I looked at had one logistic problem or another.  Dangling traffic lights.  Streets that were too wide.  Shadows from buildings.  Sneakers that dangled from power lines.


So I drove to various locations in the Helderbergs.  Nada.  Nope.  Not good enough.

More yecch.

Finally, I found my spot – a location off Route 157 on the way to Thacher Park.  The main route had an intersectional spur of Beaver Dam Road.  The sun was at the perfect angle to avoid any distracting shadows.  And outside of some telephone lines, it looked like the best location for me.

More yeah than yecch.

Raskolnikov in its test location on Route 157. Photo by Chuck Miller.
Raskolnikov in its test location on Route 157. Photo by Chuck Miller.

I put the first 35mm cartridge in the camera, tilted the camera on the X-axis to a 30° angle and shot ten pictures along the Y-axis in a sweeping, panning motion.  Then I unloaded the camera, packed a second cartridge in, tilted the camera 90° on the X-axis to an opposing 60° angle, and hit another ten-shot panning run on the Y-axis.

Twenty ultra-long shots on two 35mm cartridges.  Yeah, this should work.

Monday morning.  Two cartridges dropped off at McGreevy Pro Lab.

And as I scanned in each image… I started to notice there would be some serious issues with this project.  Even with the sun at my back, at certain times during the process my camera was angled in such a way that the camera would pick up bright sunshine in the focal plane.  This caused half the picture to be washed out.

Also, using Fuji Velvia 100 was not the smartest move on my part.  Color slide film is extremely exacting, and every time I adjusted the camera, I got an ever-so-slight color adjustment with every exposure.  Urgh.

So scrap the weave for now.


I did find two shots – which I called A3 and B3 – and blended them together to see if they would match up, not in a weave, but in a cross.

And granted, this is a bit rough… but here’s what came out.

The Intersection. Krasnogorsk FT-2 camera, Fuji Velvia 100 film. Photo by Chuck Miller.
The Intersection. Krasnogorsk FT-2 camera, Fuji Velvia 100 film. Photo by Chuck Miller.

Well now…

And granted, this is a first-time effort on this… and it wasn’t what I was originally planning…

But it IS a step in a new direction.

And it’s not perfect, it’s barely “hey look what I did” worthy.  Still, this is why experiments are performed.  Everybody knows Alexander Graham Bell perfected the telephone.  They don’t know about the 200 times he tried and failed in creating that phone.

Now I must change some of the variables for the next time.

Variable one.  Go to black and white film instead of slide film.  It will help control color seams.  Use something nice and crisp like efke or Fuji Acros, or maybe even a roll of AGFA Scala 200.

Variable two.  Look for an overcast day to minimize shadows.

Variable three.  Make this work, dammit.

Make this work.