Tom Schiff has a wide view of the world. Well, more to the point, Schiff has a panoramic view of the state.

Schiff is the photographer behind such coffee table books as Panoramic Parks, Panoramic Ohio and Panoramic Cincinnati, as well as CEO of Lightborne Communications, an Over-the-Rhine publishing and video company. As a hobby, the Hyde Park resident has spent the past few years shooting photos around the state.

What makes Schiff’s hobby unique is the film format he employs. Each foot-wide photograph is taken with a one-of-a-kind camera that swivels for a full 360-degree panoramic view of the subject. “I shoot with a Hulcherama 360 Panoramic Camera,” notes Schiff. “The shooting style offers a 360-degree angle of view — a snapshot of everything around the photographer, from every angle, all at the same time.” The camera sits on a tripod and rotates automatically, taking up to 64 seconds to capture a circular photo.

From the famed Y Bridge in Zanesville to the annual Amphicar Club Swim-In in Celina, Schiff revels in the state’s quirky festivals and offbeat attractions. At Wynkoop Airport in Mt. Vernon, for instance, he photographed the WACO Aircraft Reunion. (WACO is short for the Weaver Airline Company, which manufactured the plane during the barn-storming era.) “These are pretty deluxe planes, the Cadillacs of aircraft.”

Schiff, a life-long Cincinnatian, graduated from Ohio University. Although much of his professional career has been in the insurance business, he’s experimented with photography since his childhood (a Kodak Brownie was his first camera). As a boy, he began making contact prints in a small darkroom he set up in the basement coal bin of his parents’ house. By time he was working as a photographer for his high school newspaper, he’d become entranced with the work of Ansel Adams and other famous photographers.

Schiff is a founding member of the Images Center for Photography, a Cincinnati gallery and professional organization for photography enthusiasts. Although a hobby, his work has been shown at the Baltimore Museum of Art, the New Orleans Museum of Art and the Milwaukee Center for Photography.

“Photography is my passion,” says Schiff, for his part. “There are few places I’d rather be than behind a camera.”