Jonathan Close is self-taught and has been taking photographs since the late 1970's. He began taking black and white images using 35mm equipment. He then progressed to medium format through Bronica 645 to Hasselblad 6 x 6. He felt confident with the square format and used this for quite a few years. Then in the 1990's Hasselblad introduced the Xpan panoramic camera and he then realised this was the format which met his requirements.

Although the quality of the Xpan lenses were fantastic and the format almost 7 cm long the detail for large enlargements was unattainable. So the decision was made to try the Fuji GX617 on a visit to the Lake District, Cumbria.

The results from this trip was at first glance fantastic but upon closer inspection some of the images had soft spots on them. Jonathan discovered that unless the film was loaded under tension (nothing of this was mentioned in the instruction book) this could happen.The quality and detail now available on the 617 format provided the quality he was looking for. The hunt was then on for the correct camera; this wasn't hard, as the only other camera available was the Linhof Technorama 617 S III.

This is the camera that he now uses for all his panoramic work.The camera has the facility to change the lenses, but the film has to be used up before this is possible and is the only disadvantage. Linhof have now solved this problem by producing a new body with the facility to use a dark slide to cut off the light from the film, so the lenses can now be changed at any time.

Jonathan uses exclusively Fuji Velvia film as he finds this to be the only film to capture correctly the amazing diversity of light and colour of the image before him at the time of taking.No filters or manipulation are used at any stage of the process. The image is as seen, with nothing added or taken away. He feels that it is worth waiting for all the elements in a photograph to come together and to let nature create the scene, then he captures it so others can enjoy the moment.

He focuses on the landscape because of his love of the outdoors and especially the Lake District in Cumbria. He now specialises in panoramic photographic images and uses the high precision Linhof Technorama System. The image size is 6cm x 17 cm, representing a format ratio of 3 to 1 and only producing 4 images to a roll of film.

The sheer quality that is obtained using this combination of format and the fine grain of the Fuji Velvia film is something that needs to be seen in print to be appreciated.Whilst using the camera on location many onlookers are intrigued by this unusual camera and amazed that you only get 4 images using 120 film.

Like most artists, Jonathan is very selective about finding the right location for his photography, but once the correct location is found, the lighting and mood have to be right before any image is taken. All the elements have to come together to meet Jonathan's high standards and he will wait for hours or abandon the shoot and return at a later date just to capture the perfect image. If the image before him does not move him then nothing will be taken, for he believes if he feels nothing at the time of exposure, then the viewer will not feel anything and the image will therefore have no artistic value.

Although he may travel to an area several times, he may only print one or two of the images that he captures. Choosing the best image keeps his philosophy of quality not quantity.

Once the image has been chosen, it is scanned on an Epson 4990 scanner, this produces a file size of approx. 400mb. The image then has any dust spots removed using Photoshop. The colour is balanced to match the original transparency; it is then ready for printing.

His Giclée Fine art prints are then produced using an Epson 7800 large format printer, the finest Ultrachrome inks on Fuji paper, which are light fast for at least 75 years. The detailed images that this process produces are so realistic that viewers can easily imagine themselves within the scene laid out before them.

Thank you for visiting 617PANORAMICS.COM and hope that you find some enjoyment in looking at the images.