Hippo Manchester
December 15, 2005

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Arts: Capturing history with a panaramic view

Local photographer Ron Boucher teams with wife Diane at the Hatfield Gallery

By George Pelletier   gpelletier@hippopress.com

Hatfield Gallery owner Diane Boucher discovered a photographer 36 years ago – when she married him. Her husband Ron, who specializes in panaramic views, shot his first 360 degree image when  he wsa in Vietnam. “I was there and I had a camera ready,” he said. “I got a tripod and got on the bunker and did a 360 of the whole area. Back then it involved scissors and tape.” Boucher said that he recently unearthed the original negatives and put them together digitally. “It works a lot better this way,” he joked.

Diane Boucher said many people were looking for prints and photos of panaramic scenes and was looking for art for her gallery. “We try to feature mostly local artists and right now we’re doing wallspace,” she said. “An artist will come to us and if they’re art fit our gallery and will sell, they rent the space with no consignment.” That prompted her to include some of her husband’s work. “Diane actually suggested pictures around Manchester,” he said. “I had done one for myself, when they knocked down a bridge. I did a before and after image with it.”

Boucher began photographing Elm Street, with sweeping panaramic shots. He often climbed (with permission) to the tops of building and churches to capture the subject. “I wanted to show how Manchester has grown,” he said. “And with a lot of old pictures of Elm Street, it’s hard to determine where things are. So I thought, why capture these images for somebody in the future?

Ranging in size, and spreading as large as 9 feet, Boucher’s work can be seen in many local busineses and restaurants. And in March, Boucher plans to make his historic photo excursion a multi media presentation. “I’m taking old photos of Elm Street and projecting them, via slide show, as if you’re walking down the street,” he said. “And then project the new images, on top. IT will be like taking a tour back in time.”

The Hatfield Gallery is located at 831 Elm St., Manchester, 627.7560.