A Few Days Gone By by George Cousins

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Quite a few of them, actually about 19,300-odd, as of today,(June 22, 2009) since this self-portrait was taken in July 1954. I was on top of a hill in the middle of the wilderness in central Quebec province, Canada, while operating a survey station for the Royal Canadian Air Force. Please note the spick-and-span military attire.
The photo was taken with a Voightlander 35mm. camera, probably using Super XX black and white film. I’m using my dearly beloved Exakta Varex 35mm.SLR, with some combination of 105 mm. telephoto with a lens extension,probably a Plus filter, and a lens hood. Having little money to spend on anything, we made good use of those Plus and Minus lenses and extension tubes,which enabled us to get better telephoto, and better macros, depending on what combination we used. Experimentation did wonders!
I can’t imagine anyone wanting a copy of this, but I thought it might be fun to post on a few Groups where it was appropriate. Now I hope the moderators agree :)
Oh yes, the original slide was scanned with a Canoscan 4000US scanner in 2004.


  • georgieboy98
    georgieboy98almost 6 years ago

    Wonderful to see these old shots again and in this case I hope the subject has stood the test of time as well as the picture! Regards, Peter
    PS What’s the oldest picture you have of yourself? (We can have a bit of a competition here! LOL)

  • Hi again Peter. Well, I have a shot of the old guy still taking pictures about a week ago, so maybe I’ll post it for the fun of it, and you can be the judge..lol!
    Actually, the oldest is in my Grandfather’s arms when I was about 6 months, as far as I can judge. Taken with one of those old Kodak cameras that pulled out with a bellows sort of extension. Mom and Dad had one, and they took good pics back in the late 20’s and 30’s. Used 116 Kodak film so the prints were decent size. Standing on my own two feet, I’ll have to look through the albums, probably around age 3 or 4. :)

    – George Cousins

  • terezadelpilar~ art & architecture
    terezadelpilar...almost 6 years ago

    FANTASTIC!!! what a valuable antique the camera is:)

  • Thanks Tereza. I think the camera is a better antique than the photographer..LOL! I still have it, it’s in perfect condition and I can’t bring myself to part with it. I loved the control it gave me, all those nice manual settings so clearly marked and easy to use. Exakta was one of the Big Three. The others were Leica and Canon in those days.

    – George Cousins

  • Stan Wojtaszek
    Stan Wojtaszekalmost 6 years ago

    Hey, George !
    Good to see you. lol.
    Something I never considered before: that Exakta didn’t have a pentaprism viewfinder. That is going back !
    And yup, there still are a number of us that appreciate these shots.

  • Hi Stan, thought you might get a laugh out of this. Actually, the Exakta had both types of viewfinder, you could snap out the one in the picture and drop in the pentaprism. Real nice idea, and I found it very useful when trying to do macros using the reflex viewfinder. So I think I was going to try taking some flower pics when that shot was taken. I’m not sure if I had the pentaprism at the time, it didn’t come with the camera and I bought it later, but can’t remember when.So maybe didn’t have it up there in 54. Oops, gotta change the date in the bio. I was on that hilltop when Hurricane Hazel went through Toronto, my future wife was a long distance op. at Bell Canada and they couldn’t get home because of the storm. Glad you like the old ones, I’ll post some more :)))

    – George Cousins

  • georgieboy98
    georgieboy98almost 6 years ago

    George – the camera your mum and dad had sounds very much like the VPK, or Vest Pocket Kodak. My dad had one which he gave me and I still have it hidden away in a drawer somewhere. I’ll try and find it and take a photo of it for you. It has a let down flap with pull out bellows and is about the same size as the modern compacts. That took 116 film I remember and I know I abandoned it in favour of a box brownie!! Peter

  • Hi Peter..I think you’re right. I have some pics of my Dad holding the camera, somewhere in my old albums. I’ll try to find it also and we can compare! I had a box brownie, and it had no lens, you could look in and see the shutter flicking back and forth. Never gave it much thought before now…why no lens?? It actually worked I have a lot of old shots taken with it. Dad and Mom let me use the VPK for special occasions..lol! All three cameras took 116 film, Verichrome I think.I eventually managed to get a double-lens reflex, Rollieflex-style, but just a cheap knock-off. But a quantum leap up from the Brownie :)

    – George Cousins

  • georgieboy98
    georgieboy98almost 6 years ago

    There’s quite a bit about the Vest Pocket Kodak in Google, including an interesting article by a guy who has attached his to a Sony A100. There are also some illustrations of the two different kinds. My dad had a Rolliecord for many years which was eventually passed to me and I, in turn, passed it on to my youngest son. One of the features I particularly like about my Sony alpha 350 is the swivel screen that I can look down into Rollei style. I’ve just discovered that I still have an old Fuji that takes a 6 × 4.5 image on 120 film. I used to keep it as a spare in case my Mamiya packed up while we were in the middle of a school shoot. As it happened I never had to use it! LOL Peter

  • George Cousins
    George Cousinsalmost 6 years ago

    Hi Peter, thansk for the info. Must take a look, curious to see that Sony combo. I graduated to a Yashica 44 which was like a Rollieflex but not as expensive. Still have it here. I think it used 120 film. Yes, the swivel screen is very useful. My Fuji S100 has the same. The Sony 828 didn’t have that, but the lens itself could be swiveled up or down. I used it a few times to shoot around corners in museums where I couldn’t get past the barriers. It’s a bit novel, but they didn’t stay with it as far as I know. I think the swivel screen is more useful, especially for macros on a tripod.
    Just been getting some more ready to post but almost midnight so they will have to wait. TTFN, George

  • Duncan Waldron
    Duncan Waldronalmost 6 years ago

    The Yashica 44 takes 127 film, which has all but disappeared (this site might be of interest to 127 fans).

  • You’re right,Duncan, memory failed me on that one. The camera is on a shelf here but I haven’t used it in many years, and I guess I never will if 127 has gone by the wayside. I see Kodachrome is being terminated also, that’s really the end of an era!

    – George Cousins

  • Duncan Waldron
    Duncan Waldronalmost 6 years ago

    I was surprised to find that there’s a company still producing 127, so your 44 is still usable :)

  • AnnDixon
    AnnDixonover 5 years ago

    Excellent portrait,

  • LOL! Well, I was probably a lot better looking then, though the beard helped, I’m sure! It was a great summer, so far away from anyone it was hard to imagine the peace and serenity.

    – George Cousins

  • terezadelpilar~ art & architecture
    terezadelpilar...over 5 years ago

desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait
desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait

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