PHSC Image Show November 26, 2017

Toronto. We are hosting our Image Show this coming Sunday, November 26th at he Arts & Letters club in downtown Toronto at 14 Elm Street.

Come on  down and join in the fun, get some additions for your collection, and even buy a few as presents for next month!

<< Click on this icon for details – time, map, etc.!

Free Admission too!

My thanks to Bob Lansdale for the following flyer first shown at the Sunday Nov 19th Auction


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A Frenchman succeeds in fixing a sun drawing

Toronto. Niepce was a lithographer with a poor skill in drawing. To overcome this impediment, he tried various means to capture an image on a metal plate. He had initially tried paper and a silver-chloride solution a la Wedgwood, but he too could not keep the paper from going black.

His fresh egg was a solution of bitumen of Judea (asphalt) and solvent to make a varnish coating on a metal plate.The varnish was light sensitive. After a long exposure to sunlight hardened the varnish not shaded, a wash of petroleum and lavender oil removed the softer unexposed parts leaving a negative representation of the subject on the metal plate.

The first successful heliograph image was announced in 1822 and later commemorated in his home town of Saint-Loup-de-Varennes with a stone monument. The earliest photograph or heliograph created in a camera obscura was a scene of his back yard taken in 1826/7  from an upstairs window in his house. The plate is now in the Gernsheim collection at the University of Texas.

Sadly, his process was faint, contrasty, and extremely slow (hours in bright sunlight). He later collaborated with another Frenchman to make the process practical but died before success was achieved.

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A different kind of plate

Toronto. No technology ever arrives on the market already in its final form, including photography. The art of the picture is based on many earlier ideas that cumulated in the invention of photography; first as film and now as a digital image.

Tom’s father was a potter – you may be lucky enough to have some of the famous Wedgwood dinnerware today. Tom may have used his dad’s camera obscura in his experiments – we don’t know today. Building on earlier experiments, Tom used silver salts to sensitize paper, leather, etc.

Using the camera obscura, (or simply contact printing) he could capture a silhouette of leaves. He noted his experiments in 1802, just a few years before his death. A friend and famous chemist, sir Humphry Davy, expanded upon and presented his work in 1809 to the Royal Institution. Ironically, while Wedgwood found a way to sensitize material and capture an image, he  was unable to desensitize the unexposed portions – they slowly but surely faded to black eventually making the entire sensitized material black.

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A book to remember

The Birth of Photography (1800-1900) by Brian Coe 1976

Toronto. In A Night to Remember, author Walter Lord wrote a thrilling story about the sinking of the Titanic back in  April 1912. In 1976, the late Brian Coe then Curator of the Kodak Museum in England. wrote this book. It was just one of many books on the history of photography that he wrote.

I used my personal copy as a reference for a series of presentations I gave for the PHSC in the 1980s and 90s. Don Douglas was my partner in crime, using his collection of Ansco cameras to demonstrate the progress in cameras while I covered the evolution of photographic processes.  Coe’s book was ideal for me. He covered each milestone in photographic history, devoting a few pages to each event to describe its significance.

If you come across a copy of this inexpensive book today, buy it and read the exciting stories of the people and challenges facing our favourite pastime as it evolved from concept to the age of black and white roll film. A book to remember indeed!

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Apres le deluge

Before the Show

Toronto. We held a most successful estate auction yesterday (Sunday). I helped Clint by partially photographing and adding lot numbers to one estate and posting a slideshow of many lots and a sub list of others.

Kudos to Clint for sourcing lots and auctioneering Sunday’s event. As overall co-ordinator and organizer, John Kantymir once again showed his knowledge and organizing skills. Mark Singer brought extra lighting, mounted back drops and videoed the lots displaying them on screen for all bidders to see. Ed Warner held each lot up for a video shot as bidding was underway for the item.

The team at the door recorded all bidders and saw that lots were paid before the bidders exited for the day. The onstage team and runners operated like a well oiled machine taking lots to winning bidders, keeping the cash team in the loop, and recording winning bids for the record.

The image above shows the auction set up hours before the arrival of the bidders and other attendees. Shortly after the auction began, there was standing room only and the show was on its way. Almost all parking spaces were filled including the GO station lot which was used for the overflow.

I stayed to the end and helped briefly with the cash while the regular cashier (Ashley) helped the runners. We had a great time and raised funds for the estates and for the PHSC.

Be sure to join us again at the Image Show this coming Sunday and the December meeting on December 20th. And remember, we will be holding auctions and fairs next year (2018) as well.

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Dr Orpana of ROM on Family Photo Archives

Dr Jennifer Orpana of the ROM

Toronto. PHSC Meeting, Wednesday, Dec 20, 2017
Christmas Snapshots from then Family Archives
Dr Jennifer Orpana of the ROM

Come out and listen to Dr Orpana speak on the Christmas snapshots in the family archives held by the ROM. Enjoy the annual gift exchange and silent auction. My thanks to Bob Lansdale for producing the announcement posted below.

The public is always welcome. Go to our Programs page for directions.


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Deanna Pizzzitelli exhibition at Stephen Bulger Gallery

Exhibition by Deanna Pizzitelli at Stephen Bulger Gallery

Toronto. Member Stephen Bulger will host emerging Canadian artist Deanna Pizzitelli at his Toronto gallery. The exhibit begins November 25, 2017 and is open until January 13, 2018.

This message introduces the artist and cautions the reader about the unique spelling of her exhibition.

Stephen Bulger Gallery is pleased to present “Koža”*, our first solo exhibition of work by emerging Canadian artist Deanna Pizzitelli.”

*Please note the exhibition’s correct title as it appears in the image above. Unfortunately, some email clients do not support non-Western alpha-numeric characters. As a result, the exhibition title may appear incorrectly throughout the text of this email.*


Exhibition Dates: November 25, 2017 – January 13, 2018
Opening Reception: Saturday, November 25, 2-5pm
Online Preview: beginning November 18 at

“Pizzitelli is a Canadian photo-based artist and writer. Using a variety of analogue technologies, she is interested in the contemporary expression of historical processes. Pizzitelli explores the emotional landscape as it refers to desire, eroticism, longing, and loss. Her intimately scaled photographs consider a wide range of disparate subject matter, woven together in a visual narrative, and appearing like the remains of an important photographic archive depicting a long-lost time and place.”

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EPSON International Pano Awards Winners

Ten Huts – Darren Moore UK

Toronto. My thanks to Bob Lansdale for alerting me that Epson has announced its 2017 panorama awards winners.  Have a look and see the remarkable range of award winning photographs. Show at right is the Ten Huts panorama which won the award as best amateur.

The huts are enveloped in fog and as Epson describes them, “These minimalist huts sit on a secluded section of the Essex coastline here in the UK.

“Each hut sold for £25000 a few years ago and provides (on a clear day) panoramic views over a beautiful estuary. At high tide they sit just 8 inches above the surface, creating your very own private island.

“Exposure data: Fuji X-T1, 16 – 55mm lens, 100 second exposure using a 6 stop filter.”

The other winning photographs – and runners-up – are also drop dead gorgeous!



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Taylor Wessing photographic portrait prize review

Texas teen portrait – The Guardian – UK

Toronto. George Dunbar wrote me Tuesday regarding the Taylor Wessing Prize in the Guardian, writing, “This report on the “Taylor Wessing Portrait Prizes” certainly captures one’s attention.” George was writing not about the winner, but one of the other contestant photos of a Texas teen.

The Guardian offers this introduction to the portrait of the young Texan and his massive automatic weapons, “Amid all this quiet engagement with mood and atmosphere, the inevitable images of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, and an effortlessly self-satisfied David Cameron adjusting his tie in a mirror, are a jolting reminder of another more vulgar reality.

“Laurent Elie Badessi’s straightforward black and white portrait of a 16-year-old Texan youth, George, grinning widely as he holds up two automatic weapons more suited to armed combat than hunting, is shocking only in its brazenness. It is as American in its warped way as the proverbial apple pie.”

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Annie’s back in town ….

Annie Leibovitz by Fred Lum of the Globe and Mail

Toronto. Last Saturday, the Globe featured this photograph by Fred Lum on the first page of the Globe Arts section. Annie was in town to promote her latest book Portraits 2005-2016. Published by Phaidon Press, this is a coffee table size book of luscious portraits.

Her publisher writes on the Indigo website, “In this new collection from Annie Leibovitz, one of the most influential photographers of our time, iconic portraits sit side by side with never-before-published photographs.

Annie Leibovitz: Portraits 2005-2016 is the photographer’s follow-up to her two landmark books, Annie Leibovitz: Photographs, 1970-1990 and A Photographer’s Life, 1990-2005. In this new collection, Leibovitz has captured the most influential and compelling figures of the last decade in the style that has made her one of the most beloved talents of our time.

“Each of the photographs documents contemporary culture with an artist’s eye, wit, and an uncanny ability to personalize even the most recognizable and distinguished figures”.

She was interviewed at length for the Globe by columnist Russell Smith and photographed by the Globe’s own Fred Lum, well known here in Toronto in professional photographic circles.

According to Mr Smith, the latest book began life as a lead up to Hillary Clinton’s anticipated win of the US presidency which of course never happened, saddling the world with the Donald instead.


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