Another Super Trunk Sale Coming July 9th

Toronto. The back scene boys have pulled together another super trunk sale for this July. We are hosting the 7th Annual Larry Boccioletti Memorial outdoor photographic trunk sale at the Trident Hall. Usual time 8am – 1pm.

Come out and enjoy this summer. Add to your collection. Have a great Sunday. And help the PHSC at the same time! Admission is free, Parking is free. Exhibitors pay a modest fee for a first come, first serve spot. Contact our coordinator, President Clint Hryhorijiw at 416-919-9617 or via email


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Art and Industry Exhibit at the AGB

Steve Roberts at Westinghouse c1964 by Tom Bochsler

Toronto. Thanks to our editor Bob Lansdale for this heads up. Member and past speaker Tom Bochsler has an exhibition of his photographs in the exhibit titled “Art and Industry” at the Art Gallery of Burlington. Tom and his associate Bob Chambers have done a few presentations at the PHSCs monthly meetings.

The AGB exhibition celebrates Tom’s career in industrial photography and his book “The Art of Industry“. For the exhibition, Tom and artist Jim Eller (the art segment of the exhibition) have combined forces – Tom with his photographs and Jim with his paintings.

The exhibition opened on June 6th and runs to July 4th. Tom’s talks at thePHSC took place both after and before his book of photographs was released. I have a copy handy on my bookshelf. Note that Tom talked to us even more recently about remembrance day and his recent experiences in Europe.

The exhibition over the next two weeks is well worth the time – as is your personal copy of Tom’s book! “Art of Industry”



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Hartman at the Art Gallery of Hamilton

Hartman at the AGH – June through December 2017

Toronto. Stephen Bulger sent me an email yesterday announcing the exhibition “The Artist’s Studio”  by Canadian Artist Joseph Hartman at the AGH.

Exhibition Dates: June 17 – Dec 31, 2017 (For ticket information click here)
Opening Reception: Tuesday, June 27th, 5:00-7:30pm (free to the public)
LocationArt Gallery of Hamilton, Gallery Level One
Co-curated by Melissa Bennett & Alana Traficante

“The artist’s studio can be a sacred place, a vacuum, a social gathering site, a habitat of personal anguish, or growth – sometimes all these things at once. It is an intimate space where an artist creates the objects that will publicly represent their practice – the factory where work is made and sometimes too, the stage that presents it. For all its complex ingredients, the studio is essentially a portrait of the artist.

“Spanning nearly five years of work by Hamilton-based photographer Joseph Hartman, “The Artist’s Studio” is an exhibition of large-format photographs of studio interiors, shot around the country. These photos provide rare behind-the-scenes views into the production spaces of some of Canada’s most well-known contemporary artists (such as Pierre Dorian, Robert Davidson, Wanda Koop, Duane Linklater, Kent Monkman, Mary Pratt and John Scott) alongside more emerging practices. The exhibition coincides with the release of a full-colour catalogue, featuring over 100 images from the photo project, a curatorial essay, and interview with the artist (Black Dog Publishing, 2017).”


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Someone Figured Out a Process For Developing Kodachrome Film In Color

Kelly-Shane Fuller does Kodachrome in colour in 2017

Toronto. I spotted this brief article on the Popular Photography page. As most people know, the last processing facility for this epic film closed back on December 30th, 2010.

Apparently many photographers knew you could still develop Kodachrome in say D-76 to make a black and white negative. Kelly-Shane Fuller, a photographer in Portland OR, however, has managed to bring out colour as well. He says the colour is accurate although much less saturated than normal.

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Robot Bomb Hit taken by Graflex Camera

A May 1945 ad in Popular Photography for the Speed-Graphic and other Graflex cameras.

Toronto. My friend George Dunbar enjoys browsing the web in search of photographic memorabilia. He recently discovered this Popular Photography for May, 1945 advertisement for a Speed-Graphic. The camera caught the effect of a V1 buzz bomb or doodlebug on a building in southern England. The V2 version of these bombs or rockets (German V2 rocket) arrived fairly late in the war. Both the V1 and V2 managed to do some devastating damage when they connected across the channel (the south eastern English coast was mostly hit by V1s).

Ironically, the war in Europe ended that May when Germany  surrendered. This camera ad was prepared months earlier while the war was still underway although nearing its last days.

Note: The move from V1s to V2s took place late in 1944, so either the ad photo was taken before late 1944 and not released at the time, or the building was hit by a V2 rocket.

The design of the V2 led to the space accomplishments by the Americans a decade or two later. Like all good ads, it suggests it was the camera that made the excellent photograph…

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How many cameras does it take?

James Comey Hearing in front of the Senate committee in Washington.

Toronto. The other day George Dunbar sent me a photograph by Doug Mills of the NY Times. Mills snapped the recent hearing into the firing of James Comey, ex FBI Director by President Trump.

To mark his photo as unique, Mills used a very short wide angle lens to record the attendees at the hearing, Mr Comey, and the photographers – just click on my icon to see the answer to George’s question, “How many cameras does it take” (or one of them ;-).

We are so used to digital photography and post-photo databases, we forget just how news events are actually captured today. Photo-op indeed.

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PHSC News for June 2017

Fuji Film Instax Mini 8 instant film camera

Toronto. The pdf newsletter was sent out Friday morning to everyone on the mailing list. Editor Sonja Pushchak has produced another entertaining newsletter of 13 pages. The front page article discussed “Fab Film Stars” – not quite the stars we usually think about. Page two is a reminder of the June Toronto meeting and its special tribute to our country’s 150th anniversary.

Following is the trunk show poster, a page on AGO’s  Georgia O’Keeffe exhibit, the Cycle Diary page by Lorne Shields, a page on how photographers calculated exposure before meters – built-in or otherwise. David Bridge follows and writes about  his experiences with manual flash synchronization. Louse Freyburger has a delightful page with hot links called WEB LINKS. We wrap up with a page on “Pix and Politics”, a book review “All Classic, All Japan”, and our popular Ask Vicky and the Classifieds page.

Click HERE to read and down load this scrumptious issue – and join us on Wednesday, June 21st to celebrate our  county’s 150th anniversary!

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A Flash of Inspiration

Photo-Flash 1954

Toronto. My good friend David Bridge recently did a study of a little flash synchronizer intended to be used in the days when flash bulbs were common but in-camera flash sync was not.  His comments prompted me to dig out a few books on the topic, one of which is Geoffrey Gilbert’s book titled Photo-Flash on the cover and Photo-Flash in Practice  on the title page.

Originally published in November 1947 by Focal Press, my copy is the fourth edition, also published by Focal Press but in March of 1954. The book is long gone, but Focal Press is still around as part of Rutledge (itself an old company), now owned by Taylor and Francis famous for the magazine “History of Photography”.

I remember the frustration of being unable to take a photograph in light dimmer than afternoon sun outdoors. My first year in high school I was given a new Brownie Hawk-eye box camera which used Kodak 620 film and had a flash gun attachment and built-in synchronization. Continue reading

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Fred Spira and Photographic History

Daguerreotype from Fred Spira collection.

Toronto. The late Fred Spira of New York City made his fortune and fame creating and selling inexpensive photographic lenses and accessories as well as importing many Japanese products from the late 1940s, all sold under the Spiratone brand.

He was also a collector of photographica and worked diligently on a book combining his collection and the history of photography. Declining health prevented him from completing the book, but his son Jonathan, along with noted author Eaton S Lothrop Jr managed the task.

In 2001, Aperture published it as a 232 page coffee table size hard cover book with many beautiful colour images titled “The History of Photography as Seen Through the Spira Collection.”  Originally selling for about $75 CDN, today a used copy can be found at about half that price. I have a new copy complete with a dust cover. The above link to shows the book as 192 pages which is incorrect.

Both cameras and photographs are covered in this delightful, easy to read book. The photographing and staging of cameras and accessories is done with care and precision. Ending some 17 years ago, the digital camera section at the end seems a bit quaint today with the rapid improvement in technology. As each subject is covered very briefly, the book gives a broad overview of the history of photography and as such complements rather than replaces the many other books on the topic.

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Family Focus at the Archives of Toronto

Family Focus Invitation

Toronto. David Tyler of the Archives of Ontario invites the PHSC members to join him on the inaugural day of the new exhibit of family portraits.

David writes, “The Archives of Ontario invites you to attend the reception and opening of our newest exhibition: “Family Focus: Early Portrait Photography at the Archives of Ontario”  at the John B. Aird Gallery in Toronto on Wednesday June 28, 2017 from 4 to 6 p.m.

“Please see the attached [click below] for your invitation to the opening reception. We hope you will join us for the launch of “Family Focus!”

“Click here to RSVP

“Please RSVP by June 23, 2017”

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Some Thoughts on Optical Institutions

Carl Zeiss Workshop outdoors in the 1850s. From Zeiss and Photography by L J Gubas

Toronto.An optical institution was a German optical workshop turning out various optical devices and lenses. Other countries used other names.

As cameras and binoculars and microscopes became popular,  brands like Zeiss, Zeiss-Ikon, Leitz, Ross, Bausch & Lomb, Rochester Optical, Kodak, Krause, Polaroid, Nikon, Canon, etc. became known world wide.

Before photography arrived (1839), the institutions made such things as eye glasses, opera glasses, binoculars, microscopes and telescopes.  The raw glasses of the day were basic varieties and tended to vary in optical characteristics depending on how well the molten mass was mixed. Some batches were contaminated as material in the crucible leached into the molten glass. And some glasses were less clear than others – no big deal when used in thin windows or tiny lenses. Continue reading

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