Alfred Pyner 1917-2015

Alfred William Pyner 1917-2015

Alfred William Pyner        1917-2015                                  by Robert Lansdale

Toronto. I received an email recently from Alf’s daughter, Marilyn. She sadly informed me that Alf had passed away a few weeks ago.

Her father,  Alfred William Pyner was born in Barking, Essex, England on November 12 1917. He joined the RAF during the second world war flying Spitfire aircraft and performing aerial photography. Late in November 1944, Alf married his wife Emily. After the war, Alf joined the famous British firm of Ilford, noted for its films, papers and photographic chemicals. At Ilford, Alf became an industrial and scientific photographer. He was involved with Ilford as the company evolved its colour processes.

In his spare time, Alf enjoyed working with his hands and in 1952, he built his own home. A decade later this was topped when he built his own yacht! Both a yachtsman and photographer, Alf loved to travel throughout the UK. Continue reading

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Instagramming Toronto

Toronto on instagram

Toronto on instagram

Toronto. As I read the Globe this morning, I came across an article by Layla Bozich in the Globe T.O. section. She discusses photography of our city and the use of Instagram.

The column continues inside Globe T.O., covering the full page M5 and features an image and tips from eight Instagram photographers. Have a read. The column may be up for a while and maybe not.

Click on the icon at left  or here to go to instagram/toronto_insta.

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Kodak Building 56 dissolves

Kodak Building 56

Kodak Building 56

Toronto. In the early hours yesterday another Kodak building disappeared forever as a demolition company in Rochester quietly imploded the structure which once housed 18 acetate roll coating machines.

In my youth, Kodak was a  huge force in photography with world-wide facilities. In fact, well into the late 1990s, Kodak remained a powerful organization. As the new century unfolded, Kodak began to stumble and fall. In early 2012 the hallmark of the photographic industry declared bankruptcy and an end to the era of chemical photography.

Continue reading

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Photographs of then and now



Toronto. My thanks to Russ Forfar who sent me this very engaging article from the Guardian newspaper in England.

Everyone has heard or seen the famous Gettysburg address by Abe Lincoln. Guardian has created a remarkable site showing before wet plate photographs taken during the American civil war and after photographs taken by David Levene this year. A simple slider dissolves one image into the other and each pair is accompanied by a short video narrative. In each pair of images, a key element helps the viewer during the transition.

The old black and white wet plate prints are sharp and clear. Levene has carefully matched them as to viewpoint and focal length in his colour images. His separate article linked above describes his diligent efforts to recreate the iconic images taken a century and a half ago when tripods, glass plates and horse drawn darkrooms were a must for decent glass plates.

I seen many before and after/ then and now  approaches. Levene’s is clearly one of the better ones. Have a look.

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Newsletter 15-3

Niagara Hotel - Clint's Curio Collection

Niagara Hotel – Clint’s Curio Collection

Toronto. Editor David Bridge has released another insightful newsletter. While it is timed to promote our 5th Trunk Sale this Sunday, it has increased to 10 colourful pages. Toronto Notes mentions the June meeting with Jamie Day Fleck and her Canon DSLR created video for her Ryerson thesis and the photographs of Kodak Canada today by Clint and Bob Lansdale.

We say good bye to the well known Sam Vinegar. The column “Clint’s Curio Collection” appears here with a surprise image and a story of a Niagara tragedy. Les Jones presents a Photographer’s Brochure from Kawanee, Illinois. We hear again from our friend Stan White with a two-pager about “Oddities from My Collection”.

Receipt of Zeiss Historica 37-1 is noted along with status of editor Larry Gubas’s book “Zeiss and Photography“, currently being printed in Manitoba by FriesenPress. And Louise Freyburger has unearthed another bunch of photography related web links.  Click on the icon at left to read or print this issue of our newsletter.

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Feedback on Deckle-Edge Snap-shots


AMATO deckle-edge cutter

Toronto. I remember seeing an old Kodak deckle-edge trimmer that was one of the late Larry Boccioletti’s favourite items. After we published Anna Krentz’s story of Snap-shots with an Edge, member Frank Calandra of Rochester wrote Bob Lansdale the following note:

To: Anna Krentz

I loved your articles on the history of deckle-edge snapshots in Photographic Canadiana. For many years, one of my favorite items has been my small deckle-edge cutter (see attached photos) I found it at a tag sale long ago, mainly because I was fascinated by how the cutter blade profile perfectly matched the edge on the platen. But when I used it on an actual snapshot, I was hooked! I love making prints with white borders and trimming with my cutter. The people I give these photos to love them as well. It makes the pictures really special. Continue reading

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A Visitor from Rochester

From left: John, Lisa Ann, Mark, and Clint.

From left: John, Lisa Ann, Mark, and Clint.

Toronto. At our end of season meeting in June we had the pleasure of seeing Lisa Ann Seischab, VP Strategic Advancement, at GEH.

Bob Lansdale took this impromptu picture with Lisa and three of our presidents – John Linsky, our first president and the two most recent members to hold that position – Mark Singer and our current president Lewko (Clint) Hryhorijiw.

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Photos by Kirk

Fleck by Lansdale

Fleck by Lansdale

Toronto. Our speaker for June was Jamie Day Fleck who gave an engaging talk and video on Bronx photographer Kirk. She did the video as part of her Masters at Ryerson. The slightly under a half hour video was followed by a detailed analysis of why and how she took the clips.

Jamie noted that her documentary covers three concepts: firstly the history and work of the Armenian-American photographer Kirk, secondly the importance of studio photography in the 20s – 40s (many people exist only in their photos), and finally raising awareness of the Turkish genocide of Armenians in Turkey which took place 100 years ago this year.

Jamie used a DSLR camera – the Canon 5D Mk II – to shoot the clips for this video. As a professional photographer she noted that she preferred to work with equipment she knew. The video is an excellent tribute to her meticulous care in recording the clips and creating a story line that is easily followed by her audience.  Well done, Jamie.

Note: A more complete review will appear in our next newsletter and the fall edition of Photographic Canadiana.

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Sam Vinegar – June 12, 2015

Sam Vinegar, June 2010

Sam Vinegar, June 2010

Detroit, MI. Eleven days ago on Friday, June the 12th,  a colourful gentleman in photography passed away. His son Abraham alerted Cindy Motzenbecker of the Michigan society who promptly alerted Bob Lansdale, editor of Photographic Canadiana and Bob contacted our executive as Sam was well known in the heyday of camera shows.

Here is the message from his son Abraham, who kindly provided these photos of Sam to me. Abraham is frequently here supporting our fairs:

It is with great sadness I am sending this. Sam Vinegar has passed this morning [June 13th]  at 3:12 am EST.

Sam was the founder of the Photorama Camera shows which have been run by his son, Abraham, in recent years.  As the owner of the Classic Camera photography shop in the Detroit area, Sam dealt in camera equipment as well as photographs, amassing items and collections from local people, celebrities and passersby.

He always had the coffee on and could talk your ear off if you ever stopped into his shop.  He is survived by his children… Shana And Abraham. They would love to hear any fond memories or stories that you might have to lighten their hearts. Please send to

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5th Annual Trunk Sale July 12, 2015

Trunk-Sale-5-smToronto.  Our friendly U of T student from China, Mr Oscar Li, chairs the PHSC summer trunk sale named in memory of Lauro Boccioletti. Larry famously hosted this event in his back yard each year after the spring fair.  In its 5th year, the PHSC Trunk Sale has moved down to a new facility at Islington and Evans.

Click here or on the icon at left to see and print details and directions. Outdoors, the sale will be held rain or shine. Starts early and finishes early  so don’t get delayed by the 2015 Pan-Am Games.

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