About

Hi and welcome to the world of classic film cameras and film! My name is Jak and I live in Vancouver, BC….the next best place to Paradise!

This is your site just as much as it’s mine, so feel free to leave your comments, suggestions, criticisms or whatever anytime! Go ahead!

General blah-blah-blah about me!

As I have mentioned elsewhere on this blog, the main point of placing my ideas online for the whole world to see, is that I want to keep  photography alive, yes, REAL photography, using film cameras and film.

Digital has reached a very good sensible level, and is continuing to develop slowly by the year…that’s not questionable. And at times, you may be surprised to see, I will indeed have digital equipment on review or on sale.

The point is that the whole purpose of using film and film cameras is the “feel” it gives you….right from composing and pressing the shutter, to perhaps handling the developing of your film and maybe even printing the results.

For me, nothing on this planet beats the feeling when you first see your very own film that you developed yourself, with the shots appearing in negative form….and then, the even more powerful magic of slowly moving the developing tray in your darkroom, and seeing your photo appear mysteriously from thin air…..alchemy come true in the 21st century!

How I was bitten by the photography bug!

Anyway, I digress….having been exposed (no pun intended!) to cameras since I was around 5 yrs old, I always thought of them as being magical things, but in those days, partly due to my young age and partly because money was very tight, I wasn’t able to get my hands on a camera till I was around 12yrs old…and that was when I was allowed to take our precious family camera, a Yashica tlr, on a school outing to Windsor castle, in merry old England!

Fast forward another 10 yrs from then, and I bought my very own camera, an Olympus Trip 35. With this camera, I literally shot as many photos as I could afford….remember, developing and printing was still quite expensive relatively in those days (I’m talking about the 60s and 70s). From then on, I was able to save money that allowed me to buy more cameras, new as well as secondhand, and that’s what resulted in my collection that I have to this day.

Where I used to live and where I am now!

Having lived in London, UK for many years, I decided to move out to pastures new some years ago, and ended up in that very fine city of Toronto, Ontario, where I established myself and worked for a while, but then, as you do, I began to feel trapped by the horrible and ghastly winters of Ontario (we’re talking temperatures of -35C or worse, a phenomenon called “freezing rain”, and heaps of snow piling up as fast as you can shovel it clear!), so I moved yet again to the more gentler climate of British Columbia, on the west coast of Canada.

It was there that I was offered work on a freelance basis, in, wait for it, London! In the end, any job is all about money, whether you’re a doctor, engineer or janitor, so I took up the offer, coming back to the place I had originally started from, albeit for a short term. The good thing is that these work placements are only temporary, so I can be back home in BC every time a placement ends.

About my partner-in-crime, and the one who runs my house–my Wife!

Anyway, aside of talking about cameras and film on this blog, I will be offering cameras for sale here as well…the reason for this is that the wife has been threatening to leave me if I didn’t get rid of my collection, as she says it has taken over the whole house! Well, between you and me, those are empty threats…she’s been saying that for over 30 years and she’s still here………;). Still, all praise to her for putting up with my foibles all these years!!

Other hobbies I have, what I do for a living and other mumbo-jumbo!

What else do I like in life, aside of film cameras? Well, rather than explain, here’s a list:

I love writing and reading ( I have written several books, though only in my imagination!). I also like drawing and painting (watercolours).

I like to think I’m dab hand at Tai Chi/Chi Kung/Yoga, having practised for coming up to 15 years now. I sometimes teach these if I feel like it or I have the time (only thing is, we all live in a culture now that demands instant gratification, which none of these disciplines give — the whole idea is to slow right down!).

I love old things; obviously cameras, cars, clothing from the 60s, etc.

My music, my passion—music from the 50s, 60, and 70s!

Music I love:

The Hollies, Marmalade, The Who, The Beatles, Beach Boys, Rolling Stones, The Supremes, Drifters, Miracles, Four Tops, Temptations, Doors, T Rex, Marvin Gaye, Mat Munro, Jim Reeves (!), E Presley, Ray Charles, James Brown, Sonny Boy Williamson, Howlin Wolf, Slim Harpo, Memphis Slim, Muddy Waters, BB King, John Lee Hooker, Jimmy Reed, Johnny Shines, Brownie McGhee, Big Bill Broonzy, UmmaGumma by Pink Floyd, Songs from a room by Leonard Cohen, etc…this list will be added to…!

So, anyway, please read on and drop in regularly…I’ll be happy to hear from you or read your comments anytime…feel free to comment on the pages here…happy reading and welcome once again……

 

 

67 Responses to About

  1. hellenjc says:

    Although I’m a digital camera user ( as you have seen and thanks for following 1500 Saturdays) I use the minimum of post take manipulation mostly none at all with only occasionally adding a bit of contrast or lightening a bit – I don’t use photoshop for example. ( not yet anyway!) If there has been manipulation it is obvious and I wouldn’t hide it ( see my santas in Venice photo on my Photomoania blog which I hope you’ll also choose to follow and please comment on http://helensphotomania.wordpress.com/ negatively if you must ;)
    I used to use ( and still have it ) an Olympus OM1 – for 25 years – and still take each photo as though I’m using film so try for 1 take usually taking a couple after as sort of insurance.
    Anyway nice blog you have here ;)

    • thats great! im a film user thru and thru, so i really am not into photo manipulation at all….after all, the camera is supposed to tell the truth, not create lies…!!
      thanks for your comments and i will be looking into your blog regularly from now!

  2. orchid says:

    hi there! what film camera type do you suggest for those migrating from toy to a real deal?
    nice blog by the way! i am drooling over your collection :)

    • hi! great to have you on board!
      dont worry…i know exactly what u mean…i used to , and still do use toy cameras myself!
      to answer your question, IMHO, you cannot go far wrong by using one of my most-used cameras of all time..
      the olympus trip 35! not the later plastic type..no…i mean the original metal-bodied version, made famous by david bailey in the uk in the 70s!
      youre spoilt for choice as you can pick them up from auctions easily…however, if you like a very, very special one, hand-customised with either a green lizardskin or crocodile covering, but totally original otherwise, drop me a line on harsum888@yahoo.com i have a few im selling!

  3. Mike says:

    Then there is the venerable Pentax 1000, bullet proof and works if the battery goes flat. (If you know the F16 rule it helps with exposure)
    Mike

  4. Hi again, and thank you for finding my blog, for your very kind words, and for following!!
    I love to find others who also loves film, and I hope that we will encourage more people to try film, or going back to film, whitch is what I have done.
    Happy to follow back!
    Have a nice evening!
    Marie

  5. Nin says:

    Thank you for drop by to my blog and leaving comments, that was an encouraging comment on my English as well as on my photography, as I really am still struggling using D-camera, let alone a film camera. However, your blog makes me think of going back to my ‘not so old’ film camera and try it out again….
    Nin,

    • filmcamera999 says:

      no problems, nin!
      i always say in my blog that i am happy to help anyone who wants to try out film and film cameras…i have been using them more than 30 years now and …ok, im not a specialist, but if i can help anyone, i am happy to do that! good luck!

  6. I enjoyed the things I read on your blog – being interested in taking photos (and having it as a part of my job, too) it was useful as well as educating. That’ s the way to go! Since there’ s so much we don’ t know but would like to.

  7. Thank you so much for liking and reblogging my photo! I’m still fairly new to the world of film so it’s really lovely to get feedback and advice from fellow film lovers like yourself. I just love how you described the developing process as “alchemy come true in the 21st century”!! I think that’s one of the things that drew me to film, just the pure magic of it. Can’t wait to venture into developing my own photos.
    casey,

    • hi casey!
      good to hear youre on the way to getting involved with developing your own films etc!
      its so easy once youve done it…and you’ll definitely be hooked! good luck!

  8. supernova says:

    Thank you for liking and reblogging my post and following my blog, I really appreciate this. I think your photography is superb and I have enjoyed reading your posts. I am an amateur when it comes to photography but I have caught the bug and wish to take it as far as I can go. I will look forward to your future posts with great interest and I wish you the very best. SN.

  9. yeti says:

    I see you’ve discovered my website and have shared some of its content here. Makes me feel great. Do it as often as you like. I’ll be reading your blog at times in return. I too love the old stuff. I don’t think people realize so much that old photos, or should I say film to prints, have all but disappeared and so too will those moments when someone wants to peruse their childhood — nowhere will there be that famous “shoebox”. Keep up your great work.

    • well, glory be!
      i say that because of your positive comment about being reblogged!
      only last week, i reblogged a certain lady’s blog that i really liked…and in return, she lamblasted me thru and thru..for using her post without her consent!
      i tried to explain taht consent is not reqd…in fact reblogging does your blog nothing but good, as you get free publicity for your own blog as well as the other person!
      anyways, all kinds of people are on the net….very rarely you get someone such as yourself who knows what its all about! mucho gracias!

  10. Pingback: Many Thanks To ‘Dear Kitty. Some blog’ for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award. « Digging History

  11. supernova says:

    Hello my friend congratulations, I’ve nominated your blog for the ‘Very Inspiring Blog Award’

    The rules for this award are at:

    http://detectingblackpool.wordpress.com/category/general-information/

    Best wishes, SN

  12. Hey, a film noir fan! Thanks for visiting The Derby Killer…I love film noir as well, and I try to post a review of a noir film every couple of weeks, so keep your eyes peeled!

    Also, I’m a collector of Super 8 and 8mm movie cameras, although I stopped a few years ago, when I ran out of places to display them, and they slowly began to disappear from thrift shops and Goodwill stores, where I never spent more than $10 for a camera! Now that I have a small but decent collection to show, I figured my money would be better spent on groceries!

    • hehe! too true about collecting cameras, todd!
      ive got over 50 cameras in the house…more in the garden shed…..hence why i always offer some of them for sale…to make way for…ahem…more cameras!

  13. Jura says:

    Thanks for the re-blog. I’m looking at your website now as I am interested in learning more about old cameras and you seem to be very knowledgeable. More information and some pics about our Rolleiflex here: http://juraphotos.wordpress.com/2012/12/15/rolleiflex-redux/

  14. Alison says:

    Hi
    Thank you for following my blog, and for the reblogging. I see you currently have an interest in stories about India. It’s certainly an amazing, if somewhat baffling place.
    Hope you’re back in Beautiful BC by now. Vancouver is our hometown (when we have a hometown) – it’s a beautiful part of the world.
    True confessions – I’m a digital girl myself :)
    Cheers
    Alison

  15. Alison says:

    Oops, I see you are back in BC (just read “me now”)

  16. angelinahue says:

    Hello! Thanks for visiting my blog & re-blogging my post. Look forward to reading your blog and happy shooting!

  17. Angie says:

    Hi! Thank you for the follow and reblog of my post. I’d love to get a really good camera one day.

  18. Now MY kind of person… the music especially !!!

  19. Anna Failla says:

    Thank you so much for following! It means a lot :) You have a lovely blog and take truly amazing pictures! Love, Anna

  20. Thank you for following our blog :) B&M

  21. limr says:

    From what I read here, we have some things in common! I feel the same way about film as you do, though I don’t yet know how to develop and print my own film. I’ve been wanting for years to take a class, but it hasn’t quite worked out yet. It will happen – I’m just not sure when!

    I’m also an author of imaginary books ;) I haven’t written them yet, but for now, I write on blogs (both the Modern Day Dinosaur that you’ve already found and generously shared with your reblog) and my language blog, As a Linguist (http://asalinguist.com). I also teach writing for a living.

    I look forward to exploring your blog. My boyfriend has just finished a roll of film using a pinhole camera he built from an old Brownie, and I’ve been a bit envious. I might screw up my courage and follow your instructions for creating my own pinhole camera (and I won’t let him help me!) :)

    • hmm..yes, sounds like we do have a certain similarity of interests!
      i also write…technical writing im afraid, nothing interesting like a novel etc.
      only reason why i havent tried that is fear of failing and not being able to pay the bills!
      as you know, writing is not regular money..it comes in ebbs and flows, whereas bills do not.
      regarding pinhole cameras…thats real photography…the plans i have on my blog here are just one idea..ive made pinhole cameras from coc-cola tins, baking powder, shoe polish and candy tins of all things!
      its fun, relaxing and costs very little…my latest love is making my own journals…i hope to offer some for sale here, with a photo theme to them!
      thanks so much for dropping in!

  22. Raquel says:

    Hi Jak!

    It was nice to read that! Quite funny too! Oh the dilemma about the film and digital camera. My dad is a photographer and he had the bug that bit me! :) he was always a fan of the film cameras and had few of the good ones, like the Hasselblad! Too bad he sold it after so many years! I still remember both of us going out and shooting with that beauty. He was very resistant to the digital world, but once he got his first one, he was hooked! :) I’m a fan of both, cause both have their magical touch! However, the film is the heart of photography and I’m glad I could play with it for many years, before the digital took over my life. Today I own a Rebel T3i, since money is short and it’s not my profession, I decided to go for it and buy it. I’m really happy with Canon, but my old, beautiful film camera, a Nikon, is still with me, waiting for a ride.
    I didn’t know you live in Vancouver. I would love to have a coffee one day and chat about photography!

    Nice work you do! Please keep film alive!

    Cheers,

    Raquel

    • hi, raquel and thnaks for responding!
      yes, as you say, for me, film is it…i also use digital but when i want to really enjoy myself, i always use my film cameras.
      and because i only shoot black and white mainly, i process my films myself, so the cost is really low.
      i live in burnaby, but most times im in vancouver downtown, trying to get some shots of the hidden parts of the city!
      next time youre there, i’ll be happy to have a coffee.
      i’ll be arranging a street shooting day in vancouver sometime in august or september hopefully…why not come down then?

  23. artsifrtsy says:

    I am working on shooting film on a regular basis again. You are so right about the “feel” not just of the image, but of the act of shooting a film camera, that is a feeling I have missed. I enjoy your blog and I am very green with envy of your fine collection of Olys :)

    • thank you!
      im glad you like what i have to say about film!
      i was talking to a friend recently who is firmly into digital now, altho he was a film user for some time.
      he keeps complaining that if he uses film cameras, he has to slow down too much…he has to compose carefully, think about his settings etc etc
      my answer to that was…well, thats whats so wonderful about film…you DO have to slow down…and that can only be a good thing!
      as for the collection, that keeps coming and going…when i get fed up with one, i sell it and by another with the money!

  24. Merci de suivre mon blog. CIao!!!

  25. Hello Jak… I enjoyed readihg your about and nice meeting you here via WordPress… Merci beaucoup too for dropping by in my blog and leaving me a comment or two :) I highly appreciate this. See you around!
    Dolly

    • merci beaucoup pour votre compliments, madame!
      Mon français n’est pas très bon, mais j’espère que vous le comprendrez …!

      i last spoke and wrote french many years ago…and it shows…hope you can make out what im saying…!

  26. Jim Work says:

    Jak……thanx for the hook up on my blog. I have to admit my propensity for favor to the Rollie. My dad was a camera repair craftsman and he gave me my first Rollei when I was 12. He had put it together from “spare parts”, so it was an individual custom model. He was a certified Rollei repairman who had been trained at the factory in Germany. I turn 65 in a month and I still have that 2’8F sitting on my desk. No disrespect intended, but he called Yashicas “Yashitamats”. Hey, we both love “the blues” though…………happy tunes, en theos…..jim
    http://www.jimwork.com

    • hey, jim!
      great to hear from you!
      ive always loved the Rolleis, right form the diminutive Rollei 35S to the ones i use most now, the tlr’s.
      but im no expert…and freely admit that a little knowledge is very definitely dangerous!
      great to hear about your dad, too….he mustve been a helluva guy.
      and yashicas? well, they can never ever match a Rolleiflex for sure, but for me, my yashicamat has sentimental values…its the first camera i was ever allowed to use as a child…and i still use it now….thats well over…XX years now….!
      good to have linked up with someone in my favorite US state….mainly cos a lot of John Wayne movies were shot there, so they say….aside of the blues which i love more than anything else, i also love my westerns…anytime they run one on tv, that door of mine remains shut until its over…!
      why dont you mosey over to BC for a drink or 3 if you get the time, jim?

  27. Cara Olsen says:

    Hi Jak,

    I appreciate you finding my author website, Cararosalieolsen. It’s so good to meet you! I feel like I have, you know, after reading your bio. This made my day “she’s been saying that for over 30 years and she’s still here………;). Still, all praise to her for putting up with my foibles all these years!!” Congrats to you both! I look forward to your posts.

    Blessings,
    ~ Cara

    • hi, Cara and thanks for dropping in!
      yes, i really do feel sorry for her sometimes, with me hogging 3/4 of the house with my stuff, while she barely has any space for her stuff! but anyways, those are my problems….
      so glad to have read some of your work…im honored to meet such a hugely talented writer…i feel so small when compared to professionals such as yourself!
      rgds, jak

      • Cara Olsen says:

        I feel the same way for my dear husband, forced to house his wardrobe in a sliver of “our” closet. :-) But I think if it’s these problems being dealt with, we’re not doing too bad, right?

        Thank you for those kind words . . . I appreciate them greatly. From what I’ve seen, you’re no joker with a camera.

        Talk soon!

  28. “This is a copy paste message”

    Hi there my name is Almeida Garcez, and I´m a freelance illustrator and writer.
    I love to listen, and interpretate the power of words.
    My work is mainly focus on social issues, philosophy, and existentialism.
    Right now I´m into a very personal project, that I think it´s the answer for all forms of life – collaboration.
    I illustrate people´s phrases, songs and wandering thoughts, I´ve called it Abandoned Illustrations.
    The reason that I´m “reaching” you, it´s because you followed me a couple of weeks ago.
    I hope it wasn´t a mechanical reaction that bursted out of you.
    I hope the first reaction I caused in you, was good, and my work truly made you reflect.
    We both know it´s easy to follow someone, since we already do that in our role in society,
    and in all sorts of ideologies.
    Please unfollow me if you only intended to sell your marketing.
    If you didn´t returned to my blog after you followed me, please go to:
    http://almeidagarcez.wordpress.com/about-the-guilty-preacher-spirits-link/
    http://almeidagarcez.wordpress.com/about/
    There you can take a look at the topography of my reflections, and overall geography of my brain.
    If you come to a conclusion that after all you don´t like my interpretations and analogies, please unfollow my blog.

    Kindest Regards
    Almeida Garcez

  29. I really can’t stand when people come to other people’s places and make it all about themselves, such as, “Hey, thanks for following my blog! blah blah blah about ME.”

    So I won’t do that. :0) I must say though, I’m really glad that I know there are people out there that embrace film photography to your degree- that’s exciting! I wish so much that I could shoot film, but it’s pretty expensive, and, I’m a poor girl. It’s a pleasure to meet you though and I’m looking forward to viewing more of your work. xo

    • yep…i agree 100% with what ur saying…film is getting expensive, but heres the thing…for me, its only expensive when i use color film…cos it needs to go to a lab for processing…most times i use b&w, which i develop myself…its very cheap once u have the chemicals etc….then i have a choice of scanning the negs or printing them using an enlarger….its time consuming, but id rather spend the day in my garden-shed-cum-darkroom, than sit around watching boring tv! mind you, i always try and watch any western movie if i can…just love the westerns!
      as for what u say about people blagging on and on about ME ME ME…unfortunately, the world has many of these people…they can be in your family or in your group of friends…im like u…i cant stand them at all, and try and get away soon as i sus out their personalities…better to keep your mouth shut and get away rather than say something that will get them wound up even more against you! that said, there are times when you DO have to say something…otherwise people will trample all over you…i learnt that after many years of keeping silent….i used to think silence is a virtue…which it is…but people see it as a weakness, and before u know it, they pile on the pressures…!
      im glad i got to come by ur blog…look fwd to reading it regularly!

      • Hmm…thinking I might need to look into that garden-shed-cum-darkroom. :0) (I just need to get a shed.) Heheh…I’m so intrigued with distress in photos and have been for years + film grain + blur. My heart is really given to pinholes and the old vintage blur and pushed exposure- and I love all of the flecks and damage going on throughout it- those are the things that are most beautiful to me. (I’m totally not feeling the whole ‘digital perfection’ thing.’) And yes, our world is full of people who love to go on about ‘their greatness’ (Facebook, Twitter) but really, it’s just the people who are in love with themselves and want to publicize every little thing (50 times per day) that I’m not feeling. I call it being “Facebook famous”. (There’s a reason I don’t have FB. WAY too many egomaniacs there.) That, and the bad photography. Wink.)

        Thanks for sharing your darkroom experiences with me! It’s been a real treat. :0)

      • hey! good to hear from you again!
        i know exactly what u mean about your passion for grain, blur etc in film….thats one reason why i still use film.
        by the way, i think i posted an article on my blog with details on how to build a very simple darkroom setup in a wooden shed….try searching my blog, i think its there someplace!
        i dont know where u are in the US…i guess i havent read ur blog in details as yet….otherwise i could have helped you build your darkroom, no probs there at all.
        its really very simple and u dont need any special tools or anything…just somebody willing to give u a hand.
        as rgds facebook/google etc…its making me kinda sick what these guys are up to with our presonal data…im no expert, but ever since i posted a short article about this subject yesterday, my email inbox has been overflowing with examples i never even knew about…showing what we are unwittingly revealing every single day on these social media pages….im just preparing another article now so if you do get the time to read it, please do…it will be on the air tomorrow, god willing.
        oh and if you like grain, blur etc…try some of my posts about the Japanese guy Daido Moriyama…you’ll love his work!

  30. It looks like I can’t reply to your ‘comment’ in that thread so here is my answer [you may 'reposition' it accordingly!!] :
    ok and kala, as much as this weird world of ours permits! I hope you are well and good, my friend! …and happy! ;-)

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