“PANORAMA” RAY HERBERT
Photographer and painter "Panorama" Ray Herbert Jr., of Atlantic City NJ, was an Atlanta transplant who died in 1997. He earned the "Panorama" nickname from the 1904 Kodak Cirkut camera and over-sized contact prints that he used to make his art. His early career spun from quick-print tourist shots on the Pier to large convention work. Eventually settling in Atlanta, he built a professional photography and printing studio. He had already acquired his antique camera, but had only begun to realize its potential outside group pictures of corporate congregations. With eyes wide open - receptive and passionate - Herbert began capturing Atlanta's rapidly changing landscape within a frame that was undeniably his own. He illustrated the escapades of his new neighbors in Atlanta's mill village Cabbagetown, invented mythologies, and made ordinary folk into fantastical heroes. When the 500 ft rolls of ten inch film became cumbersome, a similarly shaped plank of wood and paint could suffice to replicate his own work. He found Atlanta, fell in love with it and had a vision for it. And, much like his work, everything was happening at the exact same time.
Often called the "Mayor of Cabbagetown," Ray Herbert chronicled daily life in his adopted neighborhood through the familiar panoramic photographs he took with his antique camera. Before he died of a heart attack in 1997, Ray had become regionally known for his skillful photos, but he was best loved by locals for his generous spirit.
His legacy is carried on by his son, Panorama Ray III, as well as Atlanta local Shawn McElroy. Both still shoot the #10 Cirkut camera made famous by Panorama Ray Jr.