Several years ago a helicopter dropped a photographer with a special camera on one of Switzerland's highest peaks. His spectacular photograph of a 360-degree panorama of the Alps was printed in a fold-out book and called the "Top of Switzerland." Now comes Mark Segal, an engineer-turned-photographer who has modified a camera made in 1916 to take similar shots. The camera sits on a special tripod and spins slowly in a circle while constantly exposing a roll of very long film. Segal can create a mural-like photograph of anything that could best be seen in a complete circle. Imagine a panoramic view of yours, the loveliest yard in the neighborhood. Or the drama at a cocktail party plump with beautiful people, or the warmth of all your friends gathered to wish you the best at your wedding. One additional delight: As the camera sweeps the scene, people can pop into different parts of the photo. How many people appear at least twice in the photo below?
Panorama Photography. 2141 Newport Place NW. 223-2618. Two black-and-white contact prints 10 inches deep by up to 50 inches wide, $200; color contact print, same size, $350.