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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.


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.

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.

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.


The man behind the legendary Marketmanila blog finally decided to open up a restaurant and I just had to be there. Allow me to share some photos for words are not enough to describe the unctuous goodies I consumed like a hungry and starved piranha.

Here’s Marketman’s very own version of lechon with pricked skin served in a counter visible to the diners. What a visual treat seeing crisp pork chopped into lovely bite sized pieces.

This is the Zubuchon set meal. A generous serving of lechon and rice served with vinegar, soy sauce and chili oil for your dipping sauce.

Binagoongang Lechon. This is a powerful blend of Bagoong and Pork. Whoever thought of marrying almost microscopic fermented shrimp and pork is a genius.

Red Curry Lechon and Monggo with Lechon drippings and Chicharon. Self Explanatory. Shut up and order extra rice.

Slow-cooked adobo. One of Marketmanila’s obession is the quest to create the perfect adobo. Cooked in a palayok or clay pot with just a few basic ingredients, this adobo is the closest you can get to a meal our ancestors ate.

The Zubuchon story in standees with the cute little red pig icon. The restaurant has minimal decor. No flashy neon gizmos out to distract you from what you really came for.  Crunchy MSG free Chicharon smileys on the foreground.

I have to end this calorific post with something refreshing. A tall glass of Iba or Kamias shake. Now who would have imagined that tart fruit commonly used as a souring ingredient make an excellent shake.


Zubuchon is at One Mango Mall, Mango Avenue in Cebu City. A second branch is opening soon at the Escario building near the Provincial Capitol.

Eat Pork and be happy.

A Blog Post Before the World Ends on May 21, 2011

The world will not end on May 21 because of a little unresolved issue. An unresolved issue about certain signs. You see these signs along roadsides from bustling urban sidewalks to sleepy towns and even in lonely stretches of highways. These signs harbor a promise of salvation and a solution to allow you to go on with life and reach the ultimate destination. But then which of these signs speak the truth? They all, in one way or another, provide solutions but which one is truthfully spelled?

Vulcaning, Volkit, Vulcanizeng, Vulcaning, Vulcate while you wait, and of course the thirteen-letter version of the spelling in the photo above. VULLCANIYZING. I asked my good friend G about the provenance of the word and he told me that the proper term for this process of salvation of worn out tires (and not the tired and worn out) is Vulcanization and not the previous spellings I wrote. But Vulcanization is not the word in the signs out there??? Therefore it is wrong! How can you even think of debating a painted wooden sign nailed on a tree? The world will not end until every sign by the roadside says VULLCANIYZING.

(The sign above was shot from the open window of a jampacked non airconditioned bus while picking up more passengers in the cave-rich city of Mabinay, Negros Oriental)

Streetside Barbecue

From the vantage point of the back seat of a jeepney, I take out my camera, make some adjustments, point, shoot, return camera inside the bag. The shot was not sharp. It was in fact a blur. A pleasant, smoky, light splattered blur.