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Tango Metropolis: Panoramic Pictures Shot on Rolls of 35mm Film

Thomas Kellner: 40#26 New York, Night at Times Square, 20-23 p.m., 2003 , C-print, 136,5x42,0cm/53,2"x16,4", edition 20+3

Thomas Kellner: 40#26 New York, Night at Times Square, 20-23 p.m., 2003 , C-print, 136,5×42,0cm/53,2″x16,4″, edition 20+3

The title sounds simple enough, but that’s definitely not the case with these pictures. Just imagining how these shots were made is giving me a headache. German photographer Thomas Kellner created these amazing panoramas of famous landmarks using 35mm film… lots of it. Instead of printing the shots, he scanned the film strips themselves and pieced them together in a mosaic of panoramas called Tango Metropolis.

Thomas Kellner: 40#07 New York, Skyline at Brooklyn Bridge, 2003, C-Print, 68,2x55,9 cm/26,6"x21,8", edition 20+3

Thomas Kellner: 40#07 New York, Skyline at Brooklyn Bridge, 2003, C-Print, 68,2×55,9 cm/26,6″x21,8″, edition 20+3

The rolls come in long strips, so we can only imagine the painstaking task of planning the different rows and columns it took to create these photos. It’s not perfect obviously, but the fact that these still turned out to be recognizable representations of the Golden Gate Bridge, the Brooklyn Bridge, The Strip, etc. is quite a feat.

Thomas Kellner: 42#03 Paris/Las Vegas, 2004, C-Print, 91,0x90,0 cm/35,5"x35,1", edition 20+3

Thomas Kellner: 42#03 Paris/Las Vegas, 2004, C-Print, 91,0×90,0 cm/35,5″x35,1″, edition 20+3

Thomas Kellner: 42#16 San Francisco, Afternoon at Golden Gate Bridge, 2004, C-Print, 91,0x90,0 cm/35,5"x35,1", edition 20+3

Thomas Kellner: 42#16 San Francisco, Afternoon at Golden Gate Bridge, 2004, C-Print, 91,0×90,0 cm/35,5″x35,1″, edition 20+3

Prior to Tango Metropolis, Kellner created other panoramas but on a much smaller scale. The series was called Monuments.

Thomas Kellner: 33#36 England, Stonhenge, 2002, C-Print, 68,2x25 cm/26,6"x9,7", edition 20+3

Thomas Kellner: 33#36 England, Stonhenge, 2002, C-Print, 68,2×25 cm/26,6″x9,7″, edition 20+3

David Hockney, who is considered “one of the influential artists of the 20th century“, did a similar project, except he did not use scanned film strips. While he also took several photos of the same subject and pieced them together in a mega-photographic collage, the effect is not quite the same as in Kellner’s Tango Metropolis, though not any less outstanding.

While not everyone can appreciate this style because the end result is a distorted image, I still respect the idea and the process behind it. Some people might say that photography is just as much about the process as it is about the end result, while others will argue that one does not need to explain his/her work to make it interesting.

Feel free to share your opinions in the comments below!

Patricia Ramos the author

I am a freelance photographer who is no stranger to smudged lenses, long hours in front of the computer, heavy camera bags (and the back aches that ensued) and missing lens caps. If you know what I'm talking about, you probably have as much love and passion for photography as I do.

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