Please read everything below and then CLICK HERE to see what happened.

Or click here for  HOME




Advertising that "The Hitherto Impossible in Photography Is Our Specialty," and using kites to fly a huge panoramic camera, George Lawrence managed to capture an image of San Francisco never seen before.    



Everyone is aware of the photo, but we did something about it!






Rare 19 inch focal length DAGOR lens made in 1905


                        A full size replica of George Lawrence's "captive airship" camera.


The Mission:


The huge panoramic camera was mounted in a helicopter and positioned so the angle of view is similar to the original scene.

Although flying kites should be the method of choice, more important is to obtain the correct image.  Air space restrictions, and common sense required the use of a helicopter. The new image was shot from the exact location as Lawrence achieved in 1906.

Since the same type of camera, lens, and film size were used, the end product produced a photographic image with the identical clarity and dimensions of the original Lawrence photogrraph.  This effect cannot be duplicated with modern equipment.



CAMERA - Copy of Lawrence's 22" x 55" panoramic camera fitted with a vintage 19 inch Dagor lens from the same era and similar to what Lawrence used.

Reshooting date - April 11 18th 2006.  Lawrence actually took his view weeks later than April 18th, 1906, but the importance of the April date is obvious. A team of professional photographers from IAPP (International Association of Panoramic Photographers) and KAP (Kite Aerial Photographers) assembled to provide camera and kite demonstrations at locations in San Francisco.  Various panoramic cameras were shown in use from antique to the latest versions made.

Besides the great Lawrence aerial image, other photographers created panoramic views of the great earthquake and fire.  IAPP photographers and anyone else interested in helping will be rephotographing scenes using paning cameras invented before 1906 and contemporary equipment as well.

The end results provide excellent documentation for future generations.

The Team:

Ron Klein -

     Team leader, Ron is a past president of the International Association of Panoramic Photographers and has received numerous awards for his panoramic work. An avid home machinist and experimenter, he created the reproduction of the big Lawrence camera in less than two months.

Tom Yanul -

    Well known as the foremost authority on George Lawrence and his fascinating career. Tom has build several Lawrence style panoramic cameras and uses them proficiently.  Without his expertise the huge Lawrence camera could not have been completed. Please see his web site about Lawrence

Doug Chadwick -

   A panoramic photographer specializing in the use of antique Cirkut cameras, Doug brings years of experience to the scene and will be using modern pan cameras as well as antique machines in this project.


Henry Jebe -

     Excellent with building and flying Lawrence style kites, Henry also fabricated a smaller version of the Lawrence panning camera and he DOES fly it with a kite.

Additional Team Support:        
Bill Andrew Gary and Jan Heger     Dave Riccio  
Alex Baumgarten Geir and Kate Jordahl     Gordon Roth
Tony Baxter Ron Karabaich     Joe Sonneman
Dale and Ellen Campbell Rick and Jaye Johnson     Abe Sousa
Richard Chalfan Wil Landon     Phil Stelling
Dr. Roy Christian Ken Loken     Gordon Taylor
Kevin Flynn Jon Loring     Michael Westmoreland
Arthur and Dee Hart Bill McBride     Richard Wood
  Arland and Bina Harris Michael Orlove     Fred and Jean Yake
  Tom Yanul - " Lawrence of America"  
  Dr. Simon Baker - George Lawrence  
  Library of Congress - Lawrence images  
  IAPP - International Association of Panoramic Photographers
  1906 Earthquake Centennial Aliance  
  Digital Imaging Association  
  South Bay Helicopter  
  Scott  Haefner's SF Kite Project

BACK        NEXT

For further information, contact Ron Klein: