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The Streets

Shooting with Film in the Digital Age: Argus C3 goes to the Market

The Bacolod City Central Market is one of my favorite places to shoot.


Lumix G1 and Canon FL 50mm f1.4. Wide-eyed :)

The camera I shoot with most often nowadays is a Panasonic Lumix G1 micro 4/3 camera fitted with a Canon FL 50mm f 1.4 manual lens.

That metal lens cap with the old Canon typography exudes an old world charm. The body of the FL is scratched and dinged but the glass inside is still good.

Here are a few of the best shots I took with this combo.

Lolo Cito of Sitio Roma, Silay City.

Lola Lolita of Sitio Roma, Silay City. At 82 years old, she still forages for seashells to sell.

Joe in his workshop.

Nick at New Gerce Cafe

Keisha and the Argus C3


Shooting with Film in the Digital Age: Argus C3 shoots a keeper on a Sunny Day

I have shot a lot of photos with a myriad selection of cameras. So far I have used the following: Nikon D70, D70s, Lumix FZ35, Holga 120 CFN, Lumix G1 with Canon FL 50mm f1.4, and the Argus C3. A lot of shots, a lot of favorites. This single photograph that I’m posting is just a testament that I was at the perfect place at the perfect time. I had the Argus C3 (1952) that day loaded with a Fuji ASA 100 film and with the correct settings, I composed the frame, turned the knobs of the rangefinder, and clicked the shutter. (The Argus metallic clang is a joy to listen to.)

After having the films processed, I had this as a keeper 🙂

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.

Argus C3 shot by Lumix FZ35 in macro mode

Here’s the Argus C3 Rangefinder up close. Dials and dials. Lovely old camera.





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.”

Go Fishing

One of the things I want to do is to become an “apprentice” in a fishing boat. I want to experience life at sea. I want to feel helpless in the vastness of the waters that surround me. I want to help pull the nets to haul the catch of the day. And of course, I want to have meals of the freshly caught seafood.

If this wish becomes a possibility, then this will be my vessel of choice. Colorful, rusting, rustic, creaky, full of stories. Do you know anyone operating a fishing boat like this?

Photo taken at the little sandy beach at BREDCO port Bacolod City.

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.


Remembering Ely Santiago,1941-1993. First of a Series

Ely Santiago was an artist who honed his craft through diligent experimentation and mastery of different media and materials. He was known for his acrylic paintings where he utilized self made etching materials which he used to supplement his brushes in creating texture and detail in his renditions of bahay kubo houses, and portraits of ordinary folk. He was also a caricaturist known to capture the essence of his subject in a few masterful strokes with whatever material he has on hand – cigarette foil, table napkins, walls, etc. His commercial caricatures of persons and families done in watercolor adorned homes in the city. He experimented with terracotta and made sculptures ranging from the whimsical to serious portraiture. His wit and humor was evident in his cartoons and comic strips, most notably “Coffee Cats” which was published in the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

He was an active member and former president of the Arts Association of Bacolod, an organization he loved, fought for and was devoted to.
He was one of the founders and was responsible for giving the name “MassKara” to the festival that made Bacolod a known tourist destination.

Lechons and Lapidas

After a memorable gastronomic weekend highlighted by the Marketmanila Lechon feast, I bade goodbye to Cebu with a box full of chopped up lechon and other goodies to bring home. On the trip back to the airport we passed through a cemetery and I took a picture of this scene from the window of the taxi. A man and his display of grave markers. Life and death. Lechons and Lapidas.