»Sophie« from the series »Teens (In Their Rooms)«
© Anna Breit

Toronto. Viennese photographer, ANNA BREIT, is featured at WestLicht gallery with her series titled, “TEENS (IN THEIR ROOMS)” from September 9th to October 23rd of 2022.

The gallery writes, “Parallel to the World Press Photo exhibition, WestLicht is showing the current series Teens (In Their Rooms) by Viennese photographer Anna Breit (*1991) in the upper gallery. 

“For the project, the photographer, who lives in Vienna and Paris, portrayed young people on the threshold of adulthood – an adventurous phase of transition in which one begins to take charge of one’s own life, in which many things are happening for the first time and in which one emancipated from the parental home, but at the same time is still in the thick of things.

“The portraits were created between 2019 and 2021. Breit approached her models, who were between 13 and 19 years old, on the street, met them through acquaintances and found them on social media channels and accompanied them for a while.

“With the analogue pictures, often taken with a hard flash and always from a short distance, the photographer creates an almost intimate proximity to the teens. The setting is the young people’s rooms, which are both a place of retreat and a calling card for their individual interests, and in which the last relics of childhood and the insignia of a new personality sometimes confront each other. 

“With the impressive portraits of individuals, each with their own characters, identities and life plans, Breit also provides a portrait of a generation that has increasingly made itself heard as a political actor in recent years, that no longer wants to accept going on like this and with the elders – be it in the field of climate or identity politics – is fighting a conflict about the future.”

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more than one way …

what you can do with a biscuit box and a piece of x-ray film …

Toronto.. … to skin a cat (sorry cat lovers) was an expression when I was a kid. It meant that a problem often had more than one solution. During the Great War (WW1), a Canadian hospital (McGill hospital) was set up in Dannes-Camiers, France. As very young scholars, each fall we were taught McCrea’s poem “In Flanders Fields“. Dr McCrea was a surgeon in the McGill field hospital in France.

Canada’s History magazine featured an article on that hospital in its Oct/Nov 2022 issue. Authors Tim Cook and Kate Raiment wrote an article titled, “A Great Machine of Healing“.  In EBSCO’s New Hampshire teacher resources linked above (5th article down), the abstract reads, “The article focuses on First World War surgeon John McCrae [who] served in McGill University‘s acclaimed field hospital in France. It mentions Canadian Army Medical Corps (CAMC) had expanded from twenty officers in 1914 to over twenty thousand members and caregivers in uniform[. They] were a vital part of the war machine, engaging in preventive care to stop disease from decimating the armies. It also mentions Canada in the war’s aftermath to better aid the public health of all Canadians.”

There was a “no photographs” policy at the hospital during WW1 but some wags used a clever way to circumvent the rule as you can see here. Pin hole photography? Perhaps. Once  again a big vote of thanks goes to photo-historian George Dunbar for discovering this thoughtful article about McGill, Dr McCrea, and WW1.


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everybody knows …

Leonard Cohen – Everybody knows exhibit at the AGO

Toronto. One of my favourite singers, song writers and poets is the late Leonard Cohen. Shortly before his death, I attended one of his concerts here in Toronto (I have the two disk CD). Prior to that I saw him at Indigo books.

In the AGO insider newsletter the other day they announced, “On December 7 the AGO will unveil Everybody Knows – a landmark exhibition dedicated to the life and times of iconic Canadian artist Leonard Cohen.”

If you enjoy his songs like I do, be sure to see this exhibition. In one of his songs, a line mentions “our lady of the harbour” this church exists in Montreal and I once took my family up to the bell tower to see the harbour.

An amazing man. An amazing exhibition!



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the BIG ONE is back – Sat Oct 1, 2022

fall fair 2017 at Trident Hall

Toronto. Remember the excitement you felt attending a PHSC fair each fall? Good news! We are back again in person. The fall Photographica-fair is once again at the TRIDENT  HALL (Evans and Islington, South East corner). It is now on SATURDAY, OCTOBER 1st, 2022.

Check out the poster here for details.

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winging it

Clara Bow – a star of the 1927 movie, Wings

Toronto. This month we meet in person at the PHSC monthly meeting – that’s the good news! However, we are meeting at a NEW VENUE on a NEW DATE and a NEW TIME this month only! We are meeting at the Roncesvalles theatre called  the “Revue Cinema” to both learn about and see an award winning war movie – the 1927/8 silent movie called ‘Wings‘. This silent movie won the first ever academy award in 1929!

As noted above we meet SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 25, 2022 at 4:00 pm. Tickets can be had via Eventbrite. Please check the poster here for details. REMEMBER! This meeting is SUNDAY September 25, 2022 at 4:00 pm! Shhhh.

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when we were young …

scene at an early PHSC fair

Toronto. The society began life in the fall of 1974. A perennial goal was a camera fair where collectors could buy sand sell cameras, lenses, photos, books, etc to add to their collections.

In the early years we chose various venues for the fair, initially an annual spring event. This fair was held downtown at (I think) the Chelsea Inn. We used a number of rooms for the fair and had old photographs by Isaac Erb hung in the hall.

You can see the most recent fair (now both spring and fall) at the Trident Hall this October 1st, 2022. Drop in – you may find a camera, lens, or accessory to augment your collection or perhaps your shooting gear. You can often find both film and digital gear these days!


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fit for a Queen …

Her Majesty and her M3 at the Royal Windsor Horse Show. May, 1982. From the Tim Graham Photo Library courtesy Getty Images

Toronto. We were all sorry to learn of the death of Queen Elizabeth II recently. Television offered numerous programs about the Queen, her history, and her state funeral. In one program we learned of her favourite past times. I found it very gratifying that she not only took numerous stills photographs (and later some home movies) but diligently updated her albums with the resulting prints.

Her majesty favoured many camera and lenses – especially high end models by Leitz and Rollei of Germany. There are numerous photographs of Queen Elizabeth and her M3 with the MC meter attached. The M3 is a really well built work horse, one of the most popular cameras ever made by Leitz. The same basic design endured for many years. Even today, the Leica digital cameras look remarkably similar in design to the M3 while the bayonet mount for the M series cameras remains very popular.

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the way we were

1840 Daguerreotype of Horseshoe falls at Niagara, Ontario

Toronto. Photography changed the way we look at the world and ourselves for ever. Today the smartphone bunch knock off stills and videos galore. When photography began, it took skill and patience to ‘create’ a likeness of the scene in front of the photographer.

Much of the world was taken with the Daguerreotype process from France, announced in January, 1839.  George Dunbar captured the following, “Reported to be the “first ever photograph of Canada” (From the online archive for HuffPost Canada)

“Taken in 1840 [pre dating the Dominion] by British businessman Hugh Lee Pattinson, the picture of Niagara Falls was discovered in 1997 at Newcastle University in England, where it had been sitting forgotten in the Special Collections of the school’s library.

“The photograph is a daguerreotype, which produces images that are reversed (left to right). This is the original photo, and the other has been retouched and flipped to the correct orientation.”

I used the original (left most image) in the thumbnail here and the reversed, retouched image (right most image) for the enlarged version shown when you click on the thumbnail.

Thank you, George, for sharing you historical find with us.

Note: The title of this post is that of a well known song of the same name, sung by Barbra Streisand from the 1973 movie, also of the same name.

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shooting stars

George Pimental at TIFF 2022 courtesy of CTV News

Toronto. Nawww, this ain’t about astronomy! It’s about a CTV news clip on George  Pimental of Toronto. George is a photographer here in the west end. He hit the news on CTV  recently because he is noted for photographing famous actors as the official photographer for TIFF. George and his studio also have other subjects – not just the famous and well known names.

The link shown is CTV’s mobile link. On my Studio Mac, it is sans sound. Here is the link for those using non mobile screens. Click on the video topic titled “The man in charge of taking pictures at TIFF” just below the Brendan Fraser story. A big thanks to our president and professional photographer in his own right, Lewko (Clint) Hryhorijiw. (We call him Clint – simpler for an English tongue …)

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face of the future

John Baird, 1926 by an unknown press photographer in England

Toronto. Today, with smartphones de rigueur,  we take television and videos for granted. It wasn’t always so. In 1926, the Scottish inventor, John Baird held a demonstration for the media in London, England.

Baird demonstrated, “the first workable system of televisually transmitting an image from  one place to another“. The face you see is that of John Baird. Baird appears to be using a Nipkow disk to scan an image for transmission.

This portrait and short story are one of three mentioned in a brief video by the Morgan Library and Museum in New Zealand, narrated by Joel Smith. The third portrait, which is of Gene Krupa, is the subject of yesterday’s post.

And as stated, my very good friend George Dunbar came through with the New Zealand link shown above. As a young man, I had an older friend who partnered with his brother-in-law to do television repairs. It was he who introduced me to the strange Nipkow disk and the issues early television faced.

While the PHSC is primarily an historical society of ‘still’ photography, we all seem to have a movie camera kicking around and some interest in technology, be it stills, movies, television, videos, or smartphones …

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