Rick Corrales, 48; Ex-L.A. Times Staffer Invented 360-Degree Spinshot Camera

Times Staff Writer

Rick Corrales, a former Los Angeles Times photographer who helped win the 1984 Pulitzer Prize for public service with his photos of the Southern California Latino community, died Monday. He was 48.

Corrales, who also invented and manufactured the 360-degree Spinshot camera and was an innovator in 3-D animation software, died of stomach cancer at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Bellflower.

A Times staff photographer from 1981 to 1995, Corrales held patents on his panoramic camera and two special handles he invented to support it.

He set up manufacturing in 1990 at his Whittier-based Corrales Cameras and sold about 1,000 Spinshot units before digital photography began to overtake film cameras.

"He was a lifelong friend and a very brilliant engineer," said Raleigh Souther, a former Times photo editor and Corrales' partner in another company, Motion Graphix, which they established in 2000. "I am deeply saddened."

Their company, based in Orange, specializes in lenticular animation and markets "Get Flipped" software to theme parks and other entertainment venues. The system can create two-view, hologram-like photographs for use as souvenirs, party favors or identification badges.

From 1995 until setting up the company with Souther, Corrales worked in developing lenticular software for Lenticular Development Inc. and for a division of Kodak.

Born in Pico Rivera, Corrales built his own darkroom when he was 10. He studied music at Whittier College, then earned a bachelor's degree in photojournalism from Cal State Long Beach.

At The Times, he was assigned first to its Southeast suburban section and from 1993 to 1995 to its Nuestro Tiempo section.

In addition to working on the 1983 Latino series, he photographed the 1984 Olympics.

Corrales' other inventions included pinhole cameras ranging from a palm-sized model to a modified 55-gallon drum, and a special camera that enables doctors to photograph the iris of a patient's eye.

Corrales is survived by his daughter, Kristina; father, Manuel Corrales; mother, Emma Lewis; and seven brothers and sisters.

A memorial service is scheduled for 9 a.m. Saturday at Rose Hills Memorial Park, 3888 Workman Mill Road, Whittier.

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