New York Photo Review
Volume 3 Issue 25 SUMMER ISSUE AUGUST 2012 July 31 to September 4, 2012

Looking Around
Paolo Pellizzari
Ed Barnas
France, Saint Macaire, Tour de France by Paolo Pellizzari. Source:
Paolo Pellizzari, "France, Saint Macaire, Tour de France"

Paolo Pellizzari specializes in photographic panoramas. An avid cyclist, he has explored sports, crowds and the human landscape for well over a decade with a Noblex camera, a device using the century-old technology of a rotating lens and curved film plane to capture a 135-degree angle of view on film. When properly leveled, it creates an image with relatively little of the distortion we have come to expect in a wide-angle photography; aimed over or under the horizon, things can get curvy and interesting.

Panoramic images have a long history in photography. Over a century ago photographers combined negatives in the darkroom, used specialized cameras that rotated the lens, or moved the film to capture the widest possible view. During the resurgence of interest in old techniques in the 1970’s some art photographers resurrected the panoramic format, and, for a short time, Kodak even produced a one-time-use panoramic camera for 35 mm film.

With the advent of digital technology, basic image editing software allows users to stitch digital images together into panoramas on their computer. Since even that is too complex for many casual photographers, some point and shoot cameras now prompt the user to overlap individual frames on the LCD screen and then automatically create a panoramic image in-camera! While the means may have changed over the years, what has not changed is the goal: producing an image that is worth looking at. That still requires both the ability to visualize what will work in a panoramic format and the skill to capture the image.

USA, New York, Flushing Meadow  by Paolo Pellizzari. Source:
Paolo Pellizzari, "USA, New York, Flushing Meadow"

Ten of Pellizari’s images, scanned from the original film, appear on the walls of Anastasia Photo as Lambda digital prints, most 43-inches wide. Ranging from sport through cityscapes, the images vary in subject matter and mood, and even include an Oval Office portrait of George W. Bush.

The tour de France peloton going through a small town - shot from a height looking down, the bright colors of the cyclists jerseys, the centered traffic circle, and the architecture of the town create a flattened perspective. Despite the curve of the horizon, it reminds me of a perspective-less medieval townscape or an early American primitive painting. The juxtaposition of a street scene of sterile new construction in China and a series of adverts on the sides of obviously lived-in apartment buildings in India was striking as well. In another vein, the transit road in Uttar Pradesh contrasted with a slow shutter speed rendition of a similar scene by Martin Roemers seen earlier in the same gallery.

These panoramas really need the large size mounted on the walls. Unfortunately, that limits the number of framed images to a small, diverse sampling. While more work is projected on a LCD screen in the gallery, visitors should also look through the portfolio on the center table to see the full range of Pellizzari’s work.

Paolo Pellizzari

Anastasia Photo
166 Orchard St.
Lower Manhattan - East         Map

212 677 9725

Wednesday, June 6 to
Friday, August 31, 2012
Hours: Tues-Sun, 11 to 7