Annual Show and Tell meeting Dec 18, 2019

PHSC Show and Tell
this month!

Toronto.As we quickly push on to Christmas and the holidays, its our annual Show and Tell session. Our Toronto meeting date is December 18th this month. Click on the poster at left for details. (Thanks to Sonja for this delightful poster – coming shortly in the December PHSC News newsletter).

Bring you favourite collectible bit of photographica and tell us all about it! Camera, lens, photo, poster, etc., etc.

There is a gift exchange AND a silent auction too!

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

Posted in program | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on Annual Show and Tell meeting Dec 18, 2019

PHSC News for December 2019

Petie Mini Camera ensemble

Toronto. Hear the bells? It’s Christmas time again and editor Pushchak has used a holiday theme  for her year end publication. What? You didn’t get a personal copy? Drop me a line and I will add you to our list. You can show Newsletter on the subject line, if you wish – no other text is needed.

This issue begins with a teary Christmas, captured by a Georgia photographer followed by a notice for our Annual Show and Tell (and more) meeting.

Photo Book 101 covers a Norwegian photographer (shades of Cindy Sherman!) followed by a review of the “Pursuit of Venus [infected]” exhibition. The Toronto File discusses the issue of pedestrian fatalities and hearing.

This month’s Equipment Review covers the venerable Olympus Trip 35 and the flexibility of manual focusing. Web Links, PHSC Events, and the Vi and Dot columns follow. Dot reminisces to Vi about the time (1934) when Hollywood embraced cellophane as a fashion material. Cue the Classifieds column and its a wrap for this year – fade to black.

Posted in newsletter | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on PHSC News for December 2019

close to the vest

C P Stirn Vest Camera c1886

Toronto. People have always been fascinated with “unusual“,  “spy” and “detective“cameras. We had a C.  Stirn vest camera on the block for the Walter Shean auction in the spring of 2003. Prior to that, there was an ad printed in our journal (06-2), page 3, dated July/August 1980.

The tiny camera was designed to fit behind a vest with the lens acting as one button and the glass-plate control as a second. Six round images could be taken on a single round glass-plate. An auxiliary box had a thread for a tripod.

Journal editor Lansdale added some Canadian content. Bob writes, “John Connon (360 degree pan camera inventor) while in New York was working for Stirn and company to try to get his panorama camera on the market,  became an agent for the Stirn camera in Canada.  His father tried to use it covering a trial and was arrested for trying to take a photograph.

“Stirn came up with the Wonder camera (and stole the patent) to update and replace the Connon pan camera with a simpler system that would appeal to the amateur…, They went bankrupt and nothing became of efforts…..”


Posted in camera | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on close to the vest

a head for photography

Mannequin Camera – Brendan Barry

Toronto. My friend George Dunbar sometimes finds the most unusual things as he pursues his research into photographic history. This one is a recent topic he spotted.

ILFORD has a film series called ILFORD Inspires. This one is titled Brendan Barry: The Camera Maker. Brendan’s Mannequin Camera is just one of a wild series of home-made cameras covered by this short film.

Brendan’s a UK teacher of photography. The many cameras he makes are used to teach the  principles of photography.Using a Caravan Camera, he takes photos as paper negatives directly on Ilford photographic paper.

As you may remember, Ilford is famous for B&W chemistry and materials. The paper negative is used to make a positive contact print. The film shows Brendan and some of his students using various cameras along with Ilford materials. Take a look at making photos back in the days  before digital.



Posted in people | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on a head for photography

bye bye flashbulb guy

LIFE ads in March 1960 offer two ways to shoot low light scenes

Toronto. The 1960s were pretty much the last decade for flashbulbs. They weren’t killed by fast Polaroid film as the Polaroid ad implies, but by cheap electronic flash. The electronic flash was pricier up front, but in use, it was cheap and convenient compared with using flashbulbs.

Polaroid with its high speed films and wink lights was  always a niche mark to most photographers and wanna-bees. The two 1960 LIFE ads offer alternative ways to capture scenes in low light. For a while, Polaroid medical products and its positive/negative film for professionals with larger format cameras, became popular.

Thanks to my friend George Dunbar for sourcing these ads that magazines offered in that bygone time before electronic flash and then digital technology eliminated both flashbulbs and Polaroid.

Posted in processes | Tagged , , | Comments Off on bye bye flashbulb guy

those wonderful old Graflex cameras of yesteryear

portrait by a Graflex camera – Vanity Fair 1922

Toronto. what a great year! 1922. And Folmer and Schwing, a Kodak division at the time, advertised in Vanity Fair with this attractive portrait of a little girl.

Charming portrait. Charming camera. The Folmer & Schwing company had a complicated history, beginning in New York City as a bicycle compny.

The cameras became the standard tool of news  photographers and even have their own collector’s society and journal. My thanks to George Dunbar for discovering this 1922 portrait advertisement for such an historical camera.

Posted in camera | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on those wonderful old Graflex cameras of yesteryear

movin’ out

Delivering PC 45-3 to CPC Gateway

Toronto. It was a miserable weekend, but Tuesday, December 3rd was clear so I joined editor Lansdale to sort and package the latest issue of Photographic Canadiana. We had one brief set back. CPC hardened their password protocol so we had to open a new account linked to our same control numbers.

Four boxes of issue 45-3 with domestic addresses hit the CPC Tuesday afternoon. The international (and USA) addresses will follow – President Clint arranges mailing from the USA, saving the society some postal expense.

Lots of great stories in this 24 page issue with no advertising. It should reach our members  this coming week. Not a member yet? Easy-peasy to fix. Just have your card ready and click the Paypal button at upper right after choosing Domestic or International and 1 or 3 years membership (you can renew this way as well… just sayin’).

And thanks to Billy Joel for the title…

Posted in journal | Tagged , | Comments Off on movin’ out

picture postcards

Allandale Ontario Railway Station c1906 or earlier. A slight crop of the original by The Valentine & Sons’ Publishing Co. 100942

Toronto. At left is a postcard of the Allandale Railway Station and restaurant on the edge of Kempenfeldt bay. My mother worked in the restaurant in the 1930s and enjoyed the excitement and rush to get passengers fed and on their way again.

This c1906 postcard shows the kind of historical item you will find at the Toronto Postcard Club show next  February 23rd at the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre in Don Mills.

Click on the postcard icon to see a large poster advertising the TPC show next February 23, 2020. When Ed Warner and I last attended the show, you could find photographic postcards and actual photographs. Dealers had well organized wares for collectors.

Well worth a visit. You may just find a postcard or photograph that fills a blank in your collection!

Posted in events | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on picture postcards

a phlock of photogs

LIFE magazine photographers in 1960 – 37 active and one retired.

Toronto. Nearly 60 years ago, LIFE gathered all its photographers, including one retired photographer in NYC for this group shot. It is the topic of the January 18, 1960 Speaking of Pictures column (pp 8, 9).

Of the group, only two are women – Bourke-White and Leen. Bourke-White photographed the very first cover of LIFE, Leen was the subject of a recent Ryerson thesis winner, Erin Levitsky,  whose thesis on Leen was featured in our journal (The big 45-2 issue – editor Lansdale’s 100th opus). I also see Alfred Eisenstaedt was in the group – famous for his 1930s photos of members of the nascent Nazi organization.

An equivalent group shot of famous Canadian photographers would be welcome as well as a magazine as famous as LIFE, but the heady days of photo essay magazines are long over. My thanks to good friend George Dunbar for sharing this memorable group photo with me.

Posted in miscellaneous, people | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on a phlock of photogs

a different spin on things

Goerz Hypergon extreme wide angle lens

Toronto. One serious issue with extreme wide angle lenses in the days of big cameras and film or glass plates was light drop off in the film (or plate) corners. Expose for the centre, and there was serious vignetting. Expose for the edges, and the centre was burnt out.

In the beginning of the last century, Goerz found a solution. They mounted a tiny fan on the front of some of their  Hypergon lens as I wrote in this February 2003 article.

Like all extreme wide angle lenses, sharply curved meniscus glass was positioned around a central stop giving both the extreme wide angle of view and severe edge drop off of light. (see Kingslake – A History of the Photographic Lens, pp54, 55). To use the Hypergon, the tiny front fan was spun by air propulsion for part of the time and then flipped out of the way to expose the centre rays previously blocked. Ratio was critical. Aperture was tiny, lens was very slow. Awkward or what!

A tripod and long exposure were mandatory – no instantaneous shots here! Of course a smaller  plate could solve the problem of edge vignetting, but you would lose the extreme wide angle point of view you paid for with the Hypergon…

Posted in lens | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on a different spin on things