A Game of Chromatic Possibilities with the HydroChrome Sutton's Panoramic Belair Camera

This story begins with a curious photographer who one day had an idea: “What if I try to experiment with the HydroChrome Sutton's Panoramic Belair Camera and Ecoline?” The idea came to me one day while I was going through my drawer; and found some old Ecoline that I used during my college years. Ecoline is a liquid color ink that dissolves quite beautifully in the water.

Then I thought to use the HydroChrome Sutton's Panoramic Belair Camera to combine the two elements. My goal was to get the colored soft clouds dissolving in the water to frame my pictures. I have to disclose that it has taken me quite some time to get a decent result. Here is the journey that got me to my conclusion.

Photo by eparrino

Expect the Unexpected

The first time I went out taking pictures, I was excited. I thought it would have worked instant wonders without considering some logistic challenges. I was alone during the shooting, and I had to coordinate with the HydroChrome camera which requires me to fill the lens with water to have sharp images, and the colors filling to get the Ecoline effect. Once I got a grip on the two tasks, I was pleasantly happy to frame my pictures and shoot.

Photo by eparrino

Achieving your Vision

I wanted to have a slightly long exposure to get the blurring silhouettes of people walking, so I set my camera on bulb mode, pressed lightly on the shutter to avoid overexposure. The result was a satisfying blend between magenta and blue. I tried different lighting conditions and I'm pleased to say that even in full shade, combined with the blue liquid, I got a nice result:

Photo by eparrino

Don't Give Up

The images I got out of that roll were unexpectedly charming; however, they were not what I was looking for. I thought about my results and why I wasn't seeing what I expected. Moving on to the next film, I was determined to figure out my issue. At first, I thought my problem was my coordination between my shutter and filling in of colors into the lens. With the help and advice of colleagues, I managed to have more control over the simultaneous moments of filling the water and inserting the colors. Still, something wasn't there yet.

Perhaps, my shutter was too slow, and by the time I was pressing to capture the image, the colors were already dissolved, thus resulting in no effect at all. I then carried with me a small tripod to drastically decrease my camera shake. My setting was on N (1/100) for the shutter speed. At this time, I had more satisfaction with the final results.

Photo by eparrino


Alas, I concluded that the focal length of my lens would have not allowed the effect I was looking for. I did come close with one shot where you can see the stripe of magenta that I was pushing into the lens. Nevertheless, I would never have achieved the sharp lines of Ecoline dissolving in the water.

Overall to get the best results, you must fill your lens full of liquid to get a sharp image. Therefore, I was quite satisfied with this result as it gave a cool effect to the image. In the end, I wanted to get two colors in one image, and that proved possible.

Photo by eparrino

Don't be shy and share your HydroChrome Sutton's Panoramic Belair Camera experience by uploading your pictures to our Community! We would love to hear about your trials and successes, and look forward to your creative ideas!

written by eparrino on 2022-01-05 #gear #panoramic #belair #hydro-chrome

HydroChrome Sutton's Panoramic Belair Camera

A 35 mm camera and liquid-filled lens that crafts extraordinary perforated panoramics. Go loopy with liquids, wild for the wet look, and crazy with colors!

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