I’m in Baguio right now, the summer capital of the Philippines. The weather’s great up here in the mountains, crisp, cool, autumn collection weather. I’m armed with three film cameras, an Olympus 35UC, a Ricoh R1 and a Nishika N9000 lenticular.

Film, however, isn’t a medium for instant gratification. For that, I’ve got Instagram. Here are a few of my shots.


Lone Cafe Customer


Want pot?


Casa Corridor


Film Purchase


Camera at Camp John Hay


Chef's Table


Waiting for the rain to stop


Argus C3 Matchmatic

I’m usually the guy who goes camera hunting but, in this case, I’ll be the camera pimp. I’ve got a handsome Argus C3 Matchmatic, produced from 1958 to 1966, that needs an owner. One of the best-looking cameras in my collection, this well-maintained specimen is something I’d like to keep for myself. But, I bought this a while back with the intention of trying it out then selling it. I have to keep discipline and not dip into my own stock, heh heh.

The Argus C3 rangefinder was the world’s most popular-selling camera for three decades. It was made popular by photographers like Tony Vaccaro, who brought back haunting images of WWII taken using “The Brick.” Indeed, it feels like a brick: hefty, sturdy, solidly built, and you can imagine Vaccaro using this to bash in the heads of any Axis soldiers caught unawares. Recently, the camera was made popular again by being featured in the film Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, in the hands of student reporter Colin Creevey.

A couple of things make the Matchmatic slightly different from the other C3 models available on Ebay and in thrift shops and antique stores around the world. Most obvious is its two-tine tan and black leatherette finish. The other is its proprietary exposure indicators. Both shutter speed and aperture are measured out in a system that would have made sense if I had the accompanying light meter (which also used the proprietary system). Alas, that didn’t come with the camera, so I had to come up with a chart to help me keep track of the equivalent values. It’s easy to get used to, but a step that isn’t necessary with the other C3 models (which use standard notation).

The camera itself is a fine piece of optical engineering. The lens is pin sharp, the controls are bombproof, and all the mechanicals work as they should. Good, because this is an all-mechanical camera. None of the controls are coupled, so you can MX (multiple exposure) to your heart’s content. The rangefinder needs a slight alignment on the vertical axis, but no biggie.

Here are a few sample shots taken around Metro Manila.

City Sweeper

Flyover Frenzy

The Armpit of Ortigas

Ladies’ Day Out

Greenbelt Blues

So Wired It Shakes

A Passion for Botany

Oh, and if you want it, you can buy it here.

The world can be an ugly place if you let it have its way, so I find it essential to expose myself to the good, the beautiful, the pretty, the cool. Tonight I paid a visit to interior decor/furniture store Heima to attend the opening of Southern Stories, a two-man photography exhibit by Charles Buenconsejo and Aleyn Comprendio. Wistful, nostalgic, subtle, their photos have a distinct childlike mood, which is I think what the artists were going for. Both sets were shot on film, which gives the photos their subdued quiet character.

My wife and I were happy we went. Since Diego was born, it’s been harder for us to join events like this since we don’t have a stay-in nanny. Tonight, we took him along, his first “hipster” shindig. He was, of course, too cool for school and slept through the entire thing.

"Grace" is our favorite piece.

This is Aleyn. Wasn't able to take Charles' photo.

Wall of Prettiness

Flippin' through records

My type of mood lamp

Tools of the trade

Show window

More photos may be found here.

I recently received a shipment of expired slide film from a seller in the States, and among the rolls of old Sensia and Provia I found several rolls of Photo Porst ChromeX100. I’d never yet shot with this film stock before, though I’d read many good things about it from local users. I was eager to try it out.

Loading a roll into an Olympus XA3, I took the film for a spin in and around Manila, Lemery and Taal. Below are some of the results.


Sky over Taal


Sidewalk Nap




Leggy Wife


School Zone


Intramuros Skate Park


Inside Orale!


Mother and Child

 Not bad for film that expired in 2003, no?

When you analyze the photos in Photoshop, you’ll see that the age of the film has caused it to lose image data from the low end of the red channel and high end of blue, resulting in the distinct color tint  you see in the photos. There’s almost a Mello Yello-Mountain Dew quality to the shots.

I tried to find out more about the film but didn’t learn much more. It was sold and distributed by Photo Porst, Germany’s largest camera retailer at one point but is sure to be a rebadged film stock from Japan. Some folks say it’s Fuji Sensia under all that Deutsche-ness. I can’t tell. What I can tell is that I have only two rolls left.

Gotta make those count.

For the full set of photos, go to the Travelomo Facebook page.

Gaaah! I want to kick myself.

Here are a few photos I took with Lomography’s Redscale XR 50-200 film. I bought just ONE PACK of this last December when I visited South Korea, an afterthought to my splurging on T64. I thought, I DIY my own redscale so why buy lots? Since it’s on sale, let’s try one pack.

So, one pack = 3 rolls. The first thing I did when I got back to Manila was sell one roll and give another one away, leaving me with just this one roll. I’m in love. But I’ve no more! Gaaah!

All shots taken with a Konica C35, variable settings on the ASA.

Must find more of this film stock. Now na.



Lomography's Color x Tungsten 64

So a couple of weeks ago, I was able to pick up several rolls of Lomography’s Tungsten 64 slide film at the Lomography store in Seoul. While I’d shot slide before, this would be my first time to shoot using film that wasn’t daylight balanced. As the name suggests, Tungsten 64 is film with chemistry that compensates for the yellowish cast of tungsten light. If you’ve played around with a digital camera’s white balance settings, you probably know what this means.

I didn’t really have specific test shots in mind to showcase the quirks of the film under daylight of fluorescent light. I was on vacation, after all, so I just took my normal holiday shots, using a Fujifilm Silvi f/2.8 point-and-shoot.

Flash forward a week. I was back in Manila, waiting for my roll to come back from the lab. The technician hands me the envelope. I open it excitedly and see that the negatives have a green hue to them. Cool. Then I look at the index print: it’s all green, too! I’m thinking, there must be something wrong (but wonderfully wrong) because I expected the shots to come out with a pink hue. Turns out this was the first time the lab had ever come across tungsten film (in a few years at least), and the technicians didn’t know what to make of it. They scanned the negatives as a positive, giving the shots that cool radioactive green glow.

It wasn’t a problem at all. A simple color invert using Photoshop and I’d have the shots as they should have come out, all pinky and rose. That green glow kept nagging my senses, though, and I couldn’t let it go. I just had to use those original scans.

The solution was, to create diptychs that displayed both negative and positive, side by side, to show contrast and to make some clever statements. I know this might be anathema to many film buffs who disdain Photoshop, but I’ve always been a Machiavellian the-end-justifies-the-means kinda guy. If you can do all sorts of old school tricks in a traditional wet darkroom, then you should also be allowed some manipulation using a digital workspace. Just don’t go crazy HDR overboard, ya know what I’m saying?

So, here are the results. Let me know what you think.

Between Two Buses, Between Two Worlds

Crossing Over Dimensions

North Korea, South Korea

This Corner of the Universe

Travelomo omolevarT

Galaxy Express Bus

Travelers of the Multiverse

Bumping into Yourself


The Gang of Five

After limited success in finding interesting photos from random rolls of exposed yet undeveloped film I find in rummage sales and thrift shops, today, I hit paydirt, the motherlode, the big kahuna. Out of five rolls I recently found and had developed, four rolls have come back with full sets of photographs. The first roll out was an APS-format Fuji Nexia. I was lucky enough to find that my local lab still developed APS and could scan the negs, to boot.

Here are the results:

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Now, don’t you think it would be great if we managed to find any of these folks and show them these time-travel photos? If you have friends in Japan, feel free to send them this article in the hopes that a friend of a friend of a friend starts making connections.

Meanwhile, I’ll be scanning the rest of the photos then posting them asap. Two rolls Fuji color 800 and a Neopan 400.

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