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Coffee Shop Scenes

Shooting with Film in the Digital Age… Another Argus C3 Episode

Here are a few more shots from “The Brick.” I don’t have a light meter so most of the shots are done instinctively. Sun up = speed up.

Libertad Fire Hydrant

Libertad Watch Repairman

Water Meters

Silay City Coffeeshop

Hofileña Ancestral House

There’s a certain magic in film grain that is absent from digital photography. Sniff too much of it and you get hooked.


Shooting with Film in the Digital Age

I borrowed an Argus C3 rangefinder camera from a friend and tried my hand in shooting with it. This was a totally different experience compared to shooting with the Holga. Shooting with a rangefinder, especially with the Argus C3, require a lot of patience and research. I enjoy taking photographs with my digital Lumix but shooting with an old mechanical tool gives me a different kind of high. The metallic clink and clang of the Argus shutter, the pain of focusing, the metal knobs and gears, the quirky way of advancing the film, all these add up to a different kind of photography experience.

But then a camera is just a camera. Its main purpose is to capture images and I always believe that the image does not have to tell the viewer about the equipment used to achieve it. Here are a few samples of my successful experiment (after a first failure) with the camera also known as the “Brick.”

Coffee in a Can

Coffee stalls in markets use evaporated milk in cans instead of cream or fresh milk. Cans are then reused as take-away containers for coffee instead of paper, plastic and styrofoam cups.


words are scarce today

random coffee shop shot.

New Gerce Cafe. Gatuslao Street, Bacolod City.

breakfast of champions

Coffee with milk. Milk from a can. Milk from a cow processed by man and packed in a can. A fried egg.  Some days served runny and some days served dry. A few pieces of bread. Chewy little buns. Break open one with a fork and make a little runny egg sandwich. Dunk and wipe up the yolk with the rest.

Sit, watch and listen to the buzz. Street-level pundits and their take on politics. Sports fans and their predictions. Engineers and their plans. Dreamers and their lottery tickets. Clutch-bagged folks and their transactions. Have another cup.

This little meal costs about 30 pesos, less than a dollar, a third of what you pay for in a coffee chain.

another city another cup

Went to Silay City, had coffee, didn’t shoot much. There are just days when pixels do not give justice to a charming city bursting with details and charm. I will go back here someday and shoot a few more frames and have a few more cups.

And I leave you with these bottles left behind by a thirsty trio. True to it’s slogan, even in an empty coffee shop, “Coke adds life.”

Santa’s clone in blue

I’m always fascinated by the folks I see on the streets. This white-bearded man wears a standard security guard’s hat and a blue uniform-type shirt with epaulets. Funky cool.


Not Starbucks

Central Market

Scattered around the city are quaint little coffee shops usually within or near major public markets. Coffee  in these places are inexpensive and devoid of the one hundred and three different choices that confound and confuse. No triple-latte-mocha chinos-with extra espresso topped with an ephemeral heart swirled by a steady handed barista here.