By Marilyn Bauer
The Cincinnati Enquirer
It's the color that grabs you first. Then the surrealistic deja vu of the panoramic format. Thomas R. Schiff's Panoramic Ohio at the Cincinnati Art Museum is a high-excitement tour through down-home Ohio.
"It took me four years to get around the state," he says. "I had to go back several times to get the shots. And every time I went out I found more locations."
The locations include barbershops, country fairs, movie theaters and swimming pools. They also include the cockpit of a B-29, a formal English garden and an overrun garden of holiday lights.
The panoramas are not only beautiful because of their highly saturated color but also compelling for their curious 360-degree format and slow-speed shutter that makes picking out the continuation of a street or side of a building a bit of an optical game.
Schiff's photos also are in a book by the same name (Cincinnati Art Museum; $29.95).
An insurance exec for 30 years, Schiff has been taking pictures since grade school, starting with a Brownie and moving up to the Hulcherama 360 he uses today. For Panoramic Ohio he often had to mount his camera on a 25-foot tripod and then climb atop a bridge or building.
The acrobatic precision paid off.
A native Cincinnatian and Ohio University graduate, Schiff loves the Buckeye state, and this affection is apparent in every photo.
Panoramic Ohio through April 27, 721-2787.
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