PHSC Spring Fair May 29, 2016

PHSC-Spring-2016-fair-smToronto. What is spring without a fair? The PHSC Spring fair will be held one week Sunday on May 29, 2016 at the Trident Hall, 145 Evans Avenue just east of Islington Avenue in Toronto’s west end. Easy access by car and TTC.

Click here or on the icon at left for more details, contact, admission (students free).

This is our 41st year of hosting a Photographica-fair in Toronto. Come out and enjoy the day, perhaps adding to your collection, or swapping things, or getting some usable goodies!

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The Toronto CN Tower turns 40

CN Tower Can-Ron Workers

CN Tower Canron Workers – Click to see all men

NEXT TORONTO MEETING: Wed, June 15, 2016
Robert C. Lansdale: Visual History of the CN Tower Construction.

The CN Tower is one of our proudest landmarks but Canadians treat it with little fanfare. Other countries are quick to boast about their special sites – the Eiffel Tower in France, the Pyramids in Egypt, London Bridge in England,the Twin Towers in New York.

Want to know more about Toronto’s CN Tower? Attend the photo lecture  presented by Robert C. Lansdale, Robert has spent a decade tracking down the workers who undertook to construct this architectural wonder.

The full title of his talk at our June meeting is: Visual History of the CN Tower Construction – A Visual Tour of its Construction & its Builders.  As the “seventh Engineering Wonder of the World”, the contribution of the CN Tower’s 1,537 workers, who toiled for 5 years, has been completely ignored, forgotten and swept under the carpet.

Starting in the 1960s, Robert accompanied his PHSC photographer-father to document Toronto’s newest architectural landmark. Now decades later as an engineer and historian himself, Robert has returned in earnest to capture a major-historical record of the CN Tower and its people.

This awe-inspiring photo lecture will be first presented in public at our Toronto meeting this coming June.

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Women of Hollywood Collection – CONTACT Festival

ARTDIEM-smToronto. As a part of the Scotiabank Toronto CONTACT Photography Festival, ARTDIEM launched their inaugural exhibit earlier this month on May 5, entitled The Milton H. Greene “Women of Hollywood Collection”, Volume I.

Attached is the program from that evening for your reference.

The exhibit is now open to the public until June 30th at 18 Watt studio, located at 660 Caledonia Road here in Toronto. If you would like to schedule a private viewing, or an appointment to meet with their art consultants, please do not hesitate to contact them directly.

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Early American Daguerreotype

Early-American-Dag-smToronto. I received an email courtesy of the Daguerreian Society this past week announcing a book and signing (earlier today) by author Sarah Kate Gillespie down in Washington D.C. The book sounds like it would be of interest to our members.


Friday, May 27, 2016, 12 – 1:30pm
Presidential Reception Suite, first floor
National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
Constitution Avenue NW between 12th and 14th Streets NW
Washington, DC

The daguerreotype was patented in France in 1839, but by 1851 this early photographic method had been so improved by American daguerreotypists that it was often referred to as “the American process.”

In a talk based on her new book, The Early American Daguerreotype: Cross-Currents in Art and Technology, author Sarah Kate Gillespie will recount the activities of the unexpected mix of fine artists, scientists, and mechanical tinkerers who transformed the daguerreotype into a new  way to see the world.

After the talk, National Museum of American History curator Shannon Perich will show rare daguerreotypes from the Museum’s collections. Gillespie will sign copies of The Early American Daguerreotype, which will be available for sale.

Presented by the Smithsonian’s Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation.  For more information, please visit the Lemelson Center’s website or email

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Verichrome and Super-XX films

Kodak Verichrome and Super-XX film.

Kodak Verichrome and Super-XX film.

Toronto. My friend George Dunbar sent me this ad by email. The ad appeared in the December 1944 issue of LIFE magazine. As a kid our family could never afford the luxury of a magazine subscription – I read older issues of LIFE at the local barbershop on occasional Saturdays waiting for the owner Niles Reid or his associate to crop my unruly head.

Verichrome (orthochromatic) was like Ilford XP-1 (panchromatic) in later years. It was actually two emulsions, one slow and one fast, so that common box cameras and folders of the day were sure to give a usable exposure – at least  in daylight. In grade six, I went on a bus tour with my trusty baby brownie. Believing the Kodak ads, I confidentially bought Super-xx so I could take photos in poor (indoor) light. Sadly, the film was far too slow to give a printable image of any snap taken indoors with my little f/16 box camera.

In any case, have a look at this LIFE Kodak ad of some 70 years ago and think of how lucky we are today with our super high ISO cameras and built-in optical stabilization. My little Sony NEX-6 auto adjusts the ISO level to as high as 3,200 ISO and can be set to a fixed ISO from ISO 100 to ISO 25,600. Verichrome was about 125 ASA (ISO) tops and Super-XX slightly faster at 200 ASA (ISO) tops and fully pan-chromatically sensitive. Exposure was recommended to be below these setting!

You will notice that the ad emphasizes how fast the films are but NEVER gives the actual speed which is so painfully slow today.

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New (Old) Lomography Art Lens

Lomography Art Lens

Lomography Art Lens

Toronto. Katherine Phipps from Lomography sent me an email last month. The company plans to offer a two element in one group f/2.9, 64mm brass lens with waterhouse stops.

The lens is named a Daguerrian achromat and signed as a Chevalier lens although to me the f/2.9 aperture is more reminiscent of Petzval’s Voigtlander camera lens aperture.

The lens is intended for the digital cameras and will be offered in Canon EF or Nikon F mounts, both easily converted to fit mirrorless cameras via a suitable adaptor.

You can learn more from the American press and marketing documents here (first impressions) and here (press release).

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What is the largest camera ever made?

Biggest Camera and Photo ever Made

Largest Camera & Photo Ever Made

Irvine, CA. Back on May 15, Russ Forfar asked if this article on a pinhole camera was relevant. I agreed as I had recently posted George Dunbar’s pinhole selfie celebrating national pinhole day April 1, 2016.

The folks in California light proofed an old and empty F-18 Aircraft hangar and used it as a pinhole camera to “snap” the airforce base on a 111 x 32 foot piece of light sensitive seamless white muslin cloth.

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Victoria BC – Camera Swap Meet this Sunday

CSM-VBCVictoria B.C. My friend Siggi Rohde from Vancouver sent me a brief note announcing the Victoria Camera Swap Meet this coming Sunday, so if you are in BC rather than munching on pirogies here in the GTA this Sunday, drop by the Victoria show. Victoria is beautiful this time of the year! Many of my relatives once lived a few miles north of Victoria at Otter Point in Sooke.

Siggi writes, “Hi Everyone, Just a reminder that the Victoria Camera Swap Meet is coming up this weekend, so if you know anyone who may be interested in stopping by (as buyers or as sellers) then be sure to let them know.

“The 12th Annual Victoria Camera Swap Meet will be held on May 29, 2016, in downtown Victoria’s Market Square.”

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Canadian Camera Conference 2017 – Ottawa

CCC2017-smToronto. At the PHSC May meeting we were introduced to Mr David Haggarty of the RA Photo Club, co-sponsers with CAPA of the 2017 celebration in Ottawa on June 28 -30, 2017 coinciding with our country’s 150th anniversary.

The event organization is underway now and David suggests you watch the conference website, as events unfold.

One suggestion from Mr Haggarty is that accommodation for that time period will be at a premium. Securing a booking at Algonquin College now is a good idea as bookings can be cancelled without penalty.

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Dorothea Lange Documentary on TVO

Dorothea Lange photograph courtesy of the TVO documentary

Dorothea Lange photograph courtesy of the TVO documentary

Toronto. This past Wednesday we held our monthly Toronto meeting. Before Lorne Shields gave his fabulous 3D presentation on the Velocipede, Ted Catton advised the attendees that TVO had a Dorothea Lange documentary scheduled. I made a mental note and promptly forgot about it until I was reminded today by another member, George Dunbar.

Shortly after I moved to Toronto again in the late 1970s, I discovered the big glossy coffee table books featuring photographs of the 1930s by various American photographers at the Etobicoke reference library, Richview. One of those books was devoted to Dorothea Lange and her stunning imagery.

Her daughter put together this fine documentary on Ms Lange’s work. Take a look.


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