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


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



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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:
Joe Iasi, who owned Kandid Kamera Snaps at 612 West Hastings – See more at:
Joe Iasi, who owned Kandid Kamera Snaps at 612 West Hastings – See more at:

See his work here….and also here!





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

World famous Rodinal developing kit!



If you’re a hardened film camera enthusiast, I need say no more!

Rodinal….keeps for years. Pin sharp negatives. Contrasty. Everything. Period!

I have it….NOW!

In a NEW package that eliminates oxidisation due to air coming into contact with the developer. Complete kit has stop bath and fixer as well.

Price: US$48.00 plus US$37 shipping.

Canada: C$58 plus C$45 shipping.

UK/Europe: £32 plus £25 shipping

Payment via Paypal or direct online transfer into my CIBC/VanCity bank accounts

Email: harsum888 at yahoo dot com



Posted in chemicals & film, Classic film cameras | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Nothing to do with cameras but…

I sometimes post completely unrelated items on here…regular readers will know that!

Today, I’m passing on something that may be of use to you if you, a friend or a loved one is suffering from eczema.

My friend was such a sufferer….her skin used to resemble an open sore almost…underneath it all she is a beautiful girl. Anyway, she had tried all the usual creams, lotions and potions that her doctor prescribed, as well as trying chinese herbal medicine, homeopathy etc etc.

None of these worked…the symptoms always came back.

Then she went to Egypt, and there an old lady told her what to do. Dissolve a couple of tablespoons of Dead Sea salt in the water, add one or two tablespoons of bicarbonate of soda (baking powder), make sure everything is dissolved, and then bathe using that water.

My friend lost all traces of eczema within 3 weeks flat!

Of course, I’m not a doctor, so I have to add a little disclaimer here, just in case! Everybody is different; it worked for my friend and many others; it may not work for everyone; please see your doctor if your condition is serious.

There you go! Hope that helps somebody somewhere and brings peace to their lives!



Posted in journaling & writing | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Make either of these, or both, yours!

In the world of classic film cameras, no other cameras are such fun to use, and produce stupendous results, than these two here! My own considered opinion of course! I’m way biassed!

Make either or both of them yours TODAY!

Click here to find out more…..


Beautiful olympus 35sp classic rangefinder film camera kit with valuable filter set

Olympus 35SP, fully refurbished, for sale


Olympus Trip 35 film camera -- rare red lizard effect covering -- fully refurbished -- original box

Olympus Trip 35 film camera — rare red lizard finish — refurbished and for sale



Posted in best film cameras to buy, black & white photography, Classic film cameras | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments

Finally..found time to sit down and get the paints out!

Regular readers will recall that the last time we talked about painting and drawing, was some 18 months ago if I’m not mistaken!


So finally, yesterday I surprisingly found time to get my watercolors out and try and give vent to my withering creative inclinations.

For the first ten or fifteen minutes, I just sta there like a dummy, wondering what to paint… in the end, after not having arrived at a single logical conclusion, I just went ahead with nothing in mind in particular, except possibly a liking for mountains, sea, and scenery.

Dollops of paint and water were liberally splashed onto the paper…without much thought, and what came out is shown here.

Yes, I know…they all look alike….but hey, I’m no artist…not even a budding artist. There is one very good friend I know who I will ask to give me her thoughts on the work I’ve done, and that’s Marina Kanavaki…..what do you say Marina? And of course, any of my other readers are very welcome to post your comments, however abrasive….don’t worry, I have a thick skin!

PS the size of these paintings is just 6cm by 4.5cm…yes, I prefer working on very small pieces!

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Peter Scoones–underwater photographer extraordinaire!

As a child, I well remember watching documentaries on British tv about the natural world.

This was during the days when black and white tv was the norm..old VHF sets with rotary tuners and those well-known set-top aerials with 2 extendable prongs, which we sometimes had to manoeuvre around awkward places in order to get the right signal!

And one of the best documentaries I can recall were the ones by Jacques Cousteau and David Attenborough.

Little known however is the fact that many of the shots and subsequent movie filming on David Attenborough’s programs were done by an unknown photographic genius by the name of Peter Scoones.

Peter was originally a naval architect with the Royal Navy in England, but learnt photography whilst working with the RAF in 1959.

His claim to fame came about quite accidentally while he was looking at a coelacanth that had been caught by a fisherman in Mozambique and was still alive, tied up to the side of the boat.

It just so happens that the coelacanth had been thought extinct for millions of years, but here it was in the flesh! Peter paid off the fisherman for the privilege to take the first ever photos of a live coelacanth, and that single action resulted in his new role as underwater photographer, and the awards of an Emmy and a Bafta for technical achievement.

He was the first man to photograph great white sharks swimming naturally in their environment, without resorting to luring them with hunks of rotting meat. And a daredevil of a man he was too…frequently risking his life on dangerous photographic quests such as filming deep under ice, or in waters infested with piranhas and alligators.

On top of his expertise in using his cameras, he was also very knowledgeable about them, many a time having to dismantle cameras costing thousands of $$$, when the waterproof housings had failed, and soaked the gear throughout. He would have the camera stripped down to it’s electronic circuit boards etc and dried and put together again within a matter of hours.

A very rare character indeed. Peter Scoones, born October 1937, died April 2014.

Peter Scoones


Thie photo taken by Peter Scoones showing the coelacanth that was thought to have been extinct for millions of years

Peter Scoones in his element




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