A site for sore eyes…!

Just recently, I received a follow on here from a young lady

who has a fascinating ability to write really wonderfully ethereal


So I mosied over to her blog, and found an even greater point of

interest….it’s her Tumblr page….check it out, I think it’s fab!


Posted in Classic film cameras

A very Merry Xmas and a Happy and peaceful, healthy New Year to you all…!

Posted in Classic film cameras | 4 Comments

A view of downtown Vancouver that may disappear soon…

dte1Picture 621

The other day, I managed to catch a glimpse of something that may not last very long in that part of downtown Vancouver called the DTE…the downtown east.

Sure, the area has it’s problems…substance abuse is rife…as is homelessness and prostitution.

In a way, some of the people themselves are to blame, as the Govt has apparently setup shelters for the homeless many times, but the people concerned prefer to live on the streets.

Nothing new….much the same goes on in any city around the world.

The first picture above has accidentally captured 3 main things that are set to happen soon in the DTE….the first is redevelopemnt…I ahve circled the start of it in the photo….that building used to be a magnet for the homeless and drug traffickers just earlier this year…since the Govt decided to bulldoze the old building and redevelop it as new apartments and commercial premises below, the problems have disappeared.

In a way, I find it cruel, but also liberating…it is making the area safer and bringing in more trade.

The next photo shows a group of people openly dealing with drugs on a side street…the same street also has hookers in the evening touting for business from passing motorists. This too will most probably disappear once the redevelopment picks up pace…a bad thing? Tell me what you think!

And finally, third…see that part of the street in the second photo where the tarmac has come off? You can just make out the olde worlde cobbles that the street used to be paved with…a bit of history that again, will go once new road surfaces are laid out.

So, and innocent shot, but which has captured so much. A picture can tell a thousand words!


Posted in black & white photography, Classic film cameras, journaling & writing | Tagged , , , , , ,

More life for your cellphone…!

Fact 1 — this post has nothing to do with cameras!

Fact 2 — the subject of this post is always at the back of every cellphone user’s mind

So, with the above as footnote, here is what you need to do to eke out the use of your iPhone for as long as possible…like me, I’m sure your phone has conked out at the very time you need it most!

1 Turn down the brightness level when you can.

2 If you need even more juice, shut off wireless connections such as Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.

3 We were always told to discharge your battery all the way every time you used it. That went away in the 1990s, when we started using lithium-ion. Even so, it’s still a good idea to exercise a battery once a month: Run it until the device turns off, and then charge it until full. That will keep it charging up to capacity.

4 Kill background app updates.
The last thing you need when your battery life is hanging on for dear life is some random photo app you downloaded three months ago sucking the life out of your phone while it updates.

Turn it off by going to Settings → iTunes & App Store. Scroll down, and under a section called Automatic Downloads you’ll see Updates. Turn that off. But, remember, this means you’ll need to either update your apps manually or remember to turn this feature on again when you’re at a full charge.

5 Switch off wi-fi, Bluetooth and location services, until such a time when you really need them.

These are a few of the most draining functions that kill battery life…for more tips, click here


Posted in cellphone art photograhy, Classic film cameras, journaling & writing | 2 Comments

A few shots taken just yesterday…..!

I don’t know about you, but I just relish the rainy weather, especially when I’m not working!

Even when it’s pouring down, and if I have time to spare, nothing will stop me from making a boiling hot cup of coffee, grabbing my umbrella, and walking out in the downpour, coffee in one had, umbrella in the other, into my garden, to just stand there watching and listening to the magical sights and sounds of primordial rain.

And sometimes, I even have my camera with me to record some of that magic.

So it was yesterday, when I captured these few shots here….I think they capture that magic quite nicely!

Picture 614

Picture 615


Posted in Classic film cameras | 4 Comments

For the 10, 000th time…why I shoot film!

It’s an everygreen question I get asked every time people see me using my classic film cameras in town….downtown Vancouver BC that is.

Why do I still shoot film?

It’s such a loaded question, that once I start, the conversation carries on for an hour or more, usually within the comfort of my favorite coffee shops in Water Street, Main and Hastings, or Yaletown!

So here are my reasons, encapsulated and bottled up in neat little packages for everyone to remember! But don’t forget, this is what I think about film….your ideas may be completely different to mine, in whihc case, let’s beg to differ!

1 Probably the number one reason I use film is because I like the way my prints look when I create them in my darkroom  It’s the closest representation that I have ever seen to what I visualize in my minds eye

2 I can produce prints with film, not possible if I used a digital camera.

3 Film images have a three-dimensional unknown x-factor quality, as opposed to a harsher almost sterile look that you see with digital.  This has to do with the way that our eyes work. Seems to be somewhat true about hi-fi music as well, played using traditional vinyl records on a turntable with stylus etc and of course, valve powered amplifier system! That opposed to digital music.

4 Skin tones on film beat digital every time.  It isn’t even a close call.  Buy a roll of Kodak Portra 400 and take some portraits and then do the same with your digital SLR.  The skin tones are far superior with the Portra, but you can judge for yourself.

5 This one’s the trump card….A frame of 35mm film scanned is approximately equal to a 21 to 25 Mp DSLR.  When you get into medium format (6×6, 6×7, 6×9) or large format (4×5) you would need a 200MP to 300MP digital camera to even come close to matching film.  Even then you would end up with an image that you may not prefer.

6 Film is always sharp.  No need buy third party software packages.  With digital if you don’t sharpen your photos you are in trouble quickly.  I can use any of my film cameras with b/w film and either make prints or scans without any “sharpening” to produce crisp photos without any extra effort.

7 I personally enjoy touching and handling film.  I love developing my own film and when I create black and white fine art prints the experience from capture to the final print is unrivaled by anything I can do in the digital world.  A silver gelatin print on archival fine art paper is the gold standard for collectors.

photo courtesy lifeartworks.com


Posted in Classic film cameras

Hey! Im still here guys! Dont go away!

Despite what youre all thinking, no, I haven’t jumped off the Lions Gate bridge here in Vancouver…nor have I fled the country…nor have I defected to the Soviet Union…(it doesnt exist any more!).

Im still here, but snowed under with so much work taht has overtaken me very quickly!

Will tell you more later…but I started an advertising agency specialising in Formual 1 racing  plus other high profile sports.

The work coming in has gone thru the roof!

Im looking for extra staff soon….the usual rules apply….blonde, tall, must be wearing red stilettos and be at my beck and call 24/7…ahem…no, only joking..but that would be so coooool!

Seriously, I need partners with connections or experience of sports advertising, venue marketing, cold calling etc ideally.

But heres the low down….due to it being a new business, it cannot sustain salaries! you get paid commisson only, to start with.

Just drop me a comment here if interested. If you are prepared to hack it for the long term, huge potential is in sight!


PS Marina…you cant apply…youre not blonde….;) lol


Posted in journaling & writing | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments

My second camera!

We all have our own tales to tell of our very first cameras that our parents allowed us to handle!

In my case, it was the family Yashicamat twin lens camera, an instrument that was kept locked up safe and sound and only brought out at special occasions.

Well when I grew up a little and was able to earn my own money, I scrimped and saved to buy my first real camera, and that was a camera which no doubt many of us cut our photographic teeth upon…the Praktica.

The Praktica cameras originated in West Germany as the Edixa M42 (the M42 referring to the screw mount of the lens), a place that is now non-existent, but what may you ask led to the phenomenal success of these cameras?

In a nutshell, it was a combination of price, reliability and performance….the prices being kept low by subsidies from the Government! To be sure, the lenses weren’t the next best thing to a Leica, but they did nevertheless deliver very good results, at a price the average Joe Public could afford.

Even now, you can put together a complete Praktica kit for less than $100 if you look at camera fairs etc……and taht means a camera body, 2 or 3 lenses and a flash!

The photographic cognoscenti sneered at these cameras, saying they were built like German tanks and sounded like them too, but they were solid and reliable.

There were a plethora of models to choose from, and I won’t waste your time here going through the whole lot. Rather, I’ll mention the best models and lenses that you can snap up these days for a few pennies compared to the prices they were selling at in the 70s.

First the lenses…..the very best is 20mm f4 Flektogon, another one is 135mm Sonnar f4, yet another is the 30mm f3.5 Lydith and finally the 50mm f1.8 Pancolor.

As for the camera itself, many Prakticas will now be worn and i need of care….in fact, it would be worthwhile if you did purchase one, to factor in the cost of a CLA (clean, lube and adjust) into the total cost.

In my experience, the best one to go for would be a Praktica IV or IVb.

Whichever one you go for, they are always a thrill to use, and very heavy and solid compared to the plasticky rubbish we have nowadays!

image courtesy facebook.com



Posted in Classic film cameras | Tagged , , ,

Another look at an up and coming artist!

Hi folks! Been away from my blog for a while….reason? Nothing special, just so much to do and so little time to do it in!

Anyways, I thought you’d like to look at some new work by a guy I bumped into at a hotel I was staying at earlier this year.

His name is Miroslaw and I think he has serious talents that need to come to the fore…..have a look  and see what you think, or drop a few comments here!








Posted in Classic film cameras | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Foncie Fotos! No, not THAT Fonzie!

With a name that still manages to catch everyone’s attention, you can be sure that this person would be instantly recognised anywhere he went!

Only thing is, this Foncie was not the same kinda guy that we’re all used to seeing in that old TV show.

I’m talking about Foncie Pulice, Vancouver city’s best known and fondly remembered street photographer.

Foncie took literally millions of photographs bet ween 1935 and through to the end of the 80s. He was to be found at all the busy areas of Vancouver, like Stanley Park, Granville St, Robson St, etc. and it was a privilege to be photographed by him.

The funny thing is, even though street photography was a dying art in the 1030s, Foncie still made and effort to find his niche and make it very popular, no mean feat.

In the early days, he worked as a painter, but decides to try his hand at photography, which he liked and anyway it was a sure-fire way to meet hundreds of pretty girls, so he found himself a job working for Joe Iasi, who owned Kandid Kamera Snaps at 612 West Hastings St.

Shortly after military service, he became a partner with EM Brant, who owned Metro Photos at 550 Granville St, buying the business out himself a year later and renaming it Foncie’s Fotos. I often want to go take a look at these addresses where he worked, just to see what exists there now! Probably some modern chain store, or cellphone shops!

And that’s the location where he flourished, well known as a happy, ebullient man who was loved and adored by all who met him.

Foncie passed away in January 2003 aged 88 years.

A true legend!

Joe Iasi, who owned Kandid Kamera Snaps at 612 West Hastings – See more at: http://fonciescorner.knowledge.ca/about-foncie/#sthash.q1UEauYu.dpuf
Joe Iasi, who owned Kandid Kamera Snaps at 612 West Hastings – See more at: http://fonciescorner.knowledge.ca/about-foncie/#sthash.q1UEauYu.dpuf
Joe Iasi, who owned Kandid Kamera Snaps at 612 West Hastings – See more at: http://fonciescorner.knowledge.ca/about-foncie/#sthash.q1UEauYu.dpuf

See his work here….and also here!





Posted in black & white photography, Classic film cameras | Tagged , , , , , , , ,