Phantom Rides

One of the features of early cinema that really intrigued audiences was the Phantom Ride, or Panorama.

This was where a camera was placed in the front of a moving vehicle such as a train or a tram and then set off on its journey.

The sensation that it offered the spectator was different to those experienced in normal, everyday life.  Very few people would have sat on the front plate of a locomotive as it sped along the tracks on its journey.  Hardly anybody would have sat in a moving car.

The Phantom Ride allowed the audience to see their world in an entirely different, faster and more fluid way.

It’s by the very nature of the unblinking, unflinching Long Take that we are allowed to experience this sensation.

After I’d been out exploring the Lumiere minutes last week, I decided to pop my camera up on the front passenger seat of my car on my journey from the village to our home, to see what a phantom ride would look like today.

It was fun topping and tailing it in the edit, as I was able to speed through my daily journey in a matter of seconds.

For context, before you see my phantom ride, here’s one from many years ago.  View from an Engine Front, Illfracombe:

Here’s my more recent offering, Phantom Ride from Dervaig to Penmore Mill.


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