Nikon F4

My friends at The Camera Store are always doing something crazy and fun. This week they take a look back at the Nikon F4 film camera. I started my career out shooting with Nikon, they were great cameras, and still are. Their Nikon F3 was one of my favorite cameras ever, rugged and beautiful and as a young photographer, I was even captivated by the ad for the F3 by the great Eddie Adams.


We were all excited when the F4 came out with it’s promise of Auto Focus and speed. But the camera was largely a disappointment for me and many other photographers. I didn’t like the feel of the camera and the AF was a real let down, especially when you compared it to Canon’s new auto focus system.

However, the F4 like so many other film cameras still have a lot of life left in them. I think the great thing that Chris discovered while using it, is using these old film cameras takes you back to what photography is all about. Thinking about light more, exposure, composition and ultimately photography.

We are so caught up these days in the latest and greatest cameras out there, I think we forget about the essence of photography, and that is making great photos. So if you have an old F4 kicking around or any other great film camera, take it out for a spin and see what kind of images you can make.

Have a look at their fun new video here where I make a cameo.



Spruce Meadows

September here in Calgary is always the start of the leaves turning colour here in Alberta and the start Spruce Meadows Masters horse jumping event. It’s always a wonderful event with the best riders and horses from around the world gathering in Southern Alberta and competing for one of the richest prize purses in horse jumping. Yesterday was media day at the event and I shot a couple of portraits of buggy driver.

Printing Press

There are some smells that stay with you, the moment you smell it, it takes you back to a place and time. I remember distinctly the very first small newspaper I worked at. The Grandview/Gilbert Plains Exponent. They printed their newspaper right on site. And when you walked into the doors of the place, the first thing that hit you was the small of the newspaper printing ink.

But you knew in that space, with that smell, a produce was created. Each week, as this was a small weekly newspaper, the press would fire up and the paper would roll off. Here I would see my photos being published, it was the start of my newspaper career.

At the end of June of this year, the Toronto Star was shutting down it’s printing press operation after printing their newspaper in their printing plant. With the advancement of technology, the printing of the paper would be outsourced to a more efficient, faster printing plant.

I wanted to go and document the last days of the plant, and how the pressmen worked to get the paper off the floor. Since I thought we were losing a bit of Canadian history here, I took my Deardorff 8×10 large format camera to the plant and did some portraits of the pressman and their presses.

Shooting traditional black and white negatives (Ilford HP5 Plus film) I spent a few nights with the pressmen in their last days of printing the newspaper. While most of the guys and gals their were sad to see this place being shut down, they also understand it’s a fast changing industry.

I hope these images capture the look and feel of the works there and where they worked.


Erwitt’s Studio

Just came across some photos of Elliot Erwitt’s studio online. I bet that must be a magical place, with all the prints, cameras, history. Erwitt has long remained one of my favorite photographers. I have a wonderful book of his that he signed for me when I met him in Santa Fe one time. Check out the studio tour here.