Getting Lost | Wing Leung

How I managed to nearly get bitten by a bush snake, hiked 14km with Elijah carrying a pelican case full of 4x5 gear with 300ml of water. Only to be saved by an Australian version of Keanu Reeves having his lunch. 

Elijah wanders in the plain with the city in the distance. Nikon FM2 w/ 50mm f/1.8.

Elijah wanders in the plain with the city in the distance. Nikon FM2 w/ 50mm f/1.8.

To really captivate how we got ourselves in the whole situation, I will have to partly blame my poor memory of the travel distance of this beautiful salt marsh just outskirt of town. We parked near a beach and started walking around 8 am in the morning.  There is a special character about this salt plain, it has a dynamic feeling of a deserted place, but it also has the full view of the city at the same time. The plain also doubles as an illegal junkyard where people sink cars with unknown background stories in the soggy mud during the wet season. Being a student, my choice to carry anything and everything is a backpack. However, on the day Elijah rocked up with a Pelican case for his 4x5 gear. At the time it didn’t seem like such a bad idea since you never want to take any chances with your gear. 

I don’t own a scanner that can scan negatives. As a result, all my black and white work is printed in the darkroom. A contact sheet from the Mamiya 645 w/ 80mm f/2.8.

I don’t own a scanner that can scan negatives. As a result, all my black and white work is printed in the darkroom. A contact sheet from the Mamiya 645 w/ 80mm f/2.8.

As it turns out, it was a bad idea. On the day I had severely underestimated the distance from where we parked the car to the plains. The hike was already off to an atrocious start, the sun has fully risen, and the North Queensland heat was slowly creeping upon us. Since this story takes place in Australia, I am glad to inform you I nearly got bitten by a bush snake by almost stamping on it, but Elijah gave me a heads up like any good bloke.  

The rest of the hike was like those moments in life where you can live with it but will preferably never live through it again nor think about it again. We started taking turns on carrying the Pelican Case since it was becoming quite the burden to carry for one person after the first hour and a half. When our morale truly hit the rock bottom around 11:30, we reached the gate of the salt plains. Well, it turns out you can drive there to a carpark near the gate as informed by Elijah upon arrival. I genuinely thought to reach those gates were an achievement, but it was really a slap in the face when realistically we have been bamboozled.

Textures of the ground beneath our feet. Kodak XX-5222, Leica M6 w/ 35mm f/2.5 (Elijah Clarke).

Textures of the ground beneath our feet. Kodak XX-5222, Leica M6 w/ 35mm f/2.5 (Elijah Clarke).

Regardless, we reached our destinated in the least effective way possible by walking. The hype and excitement that we felt in the morning for this photo adventure had already faded away so far in our memory that it no longer affiliated with our current mood. We got set up, started the shoot, and here are some of the photographs of the day:

Ute in the frozen mud. Kodak XX-5222 , Leica M6 w/ 35mm f/2.5 (Elijah Clarke).

Ute in the frozen mud. Kodak XX-5222 , Leica M6 w/ 35mm f/2.5 (Elijah Clarke).

Last time I was here, this car was still standing, and the seats were still holding up. I came back after 4 years and this is what’s left. Kodak XX-5222 , Leica M6 w/ 35mm f/2.5 (Elijah Clarke).

Last time I was here, this car was still standing, and the seats were still holding up. I came back after 4 years and this is what’s left. Kodak XX-5222 , Leica M6 w/ 35mm f/2.5 (Elijah Clarke).

Elijah loading the holder into the camera for the shot below. Kodak Portra 400, Nikon F w/ 105mm f2.5 non-ai.

Elijah loading the holder into the camera for the shot below. Kodak Portra 400, Nikon F w/ 105mm f2.5 non-ai.

Fujifilm Acros 100, Graflex speed graphic w/ 180mm f5.6. (Elijah Clarke).

Fujifilm Acros 100, Graflex speed graphic w/ 180mm f5.6. (Elijah Clarke).

 Like all good things, the shoot came to an end, and the bitter reality that we had to face was the inevitable walk back to the car. Elijah at the time suggested a short cut that might lead us to a quick way out of the plains. After going the ‘short cut’ way for about an hour we checked our current course, and there was some good news and bad news:

The bad news: We were going completely opposite way of the car and we ran out of water.

The Good news: We were on a vehicle track. (Not really good news, but life’s about being optimistic.) 

While Elijah was packing up, I wandered around for a good look around. Kodak Portra 400, Nikon FM2 w/ 50mm f/1.8.

While Elijah was packing up, I wandered around for a good look around. Kodak Portra 400, Nikon FM2 w/ 50mm f/1.8.

After the realization of our poor decision making, we sat down under a shady tree and decided to tap out and call for help. It was a very inconvenient time for most people since it was right after lunch on a weekday. After a moment of rethinking our life decision of the day we decided to at least get to the main road, we drove here from. After an extra bit of walking, we bumped into a cyclist who didn’t seem to be local. We immediately asked for directions, for a way out only to be told that we were heading to Townsville, which was not much help considering we were IN Townsville. Anyway, he gave us about 21ml of water and rode off to the unknows. There’s another FSC member (2 actually) in our Town so Elijah decided to give Greg a call only to end up in his voicemail (Later on he posted an Instagram story about the new hat he had gotten.) 

Tourist / Water donator we are grateful for your guidance. Fujifilm Pro 400 H, Mamiya 645 w/ 80mm f/2.8.

Tourist / Water donator we are grateful for your guidance. Fujifilm Pro 400 H, Mamiya 645 w/ 80mm f/2.8.

But in life, unexpecting things happen, such as when a semi-suspicious Ute pulled up randomly by the vehicle track. I instantly started waving my hands above my head like a man stranded on an island. It caught the man’s attention and he kindly offered us a lift back to the car.

Australian Keanu Reeves. Kodak Portra 400, Nikon FM2 w/ 50mm f/1.8.

Australian Keanu Reeves. Kodak Portra 400, Nikon FM2 w/ 50mm f/1.8.

The man has the very look of what I would imagine if Keanu Reeves was Australian. Upon dropping us off, we photographed our savior of the day and to finish the story on a high and Australian note, we grab a pint of beer and called it a day.


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Film photographers Wing Leung and Elijah Clarke are based in Australia. Connect with Wing and see more of his work on Instagram ; connect with Elijah and see more of his work on his website.

Japan | Myles Katherine

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My husband and I have always wanted to travel to Japan. When we moved to the West Coast from Virginia, we were that much closer. Yet 6 years went by and we still never visited Japan.

Last summer, we found out that the house we had been renting in Portland, Oregon was sold to a new owner and we had to move out. In Oregon, if you receive a no-cause eviction, the owner has to pay the tenants a moving fee. When we decided to move back to the East Coast, we realized this would be our last chance for a long, long time. So for my 30th birthday, we booked a 10 day trip to Japan using the $3300 in moving costs. It might not have been the most responsible decision, knowing that we had to move across the country too. But I’m not the type of person to allow myself to have regrets in life.

Looking back, it was definitely the right decision, regardless of the fact that it was the most stressful few months of my life. Three days after we got back from Japan, we had to pack up our house and drive 3,000 miles back to Virginia.

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As a full-time photographer, I had to bring at least 10 cameras with me on our trip to Japan. But the only camera that truly means something to me is the Holga - a toy camera manufactured in China. If I had to choose one camera to use for the rest of my life, it would be this one. And while I take a million photos with other cameras on my trips, the Holga photos always end up being my favorite.

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At one point, I dropped my Holga in a river in Kyoto and my husband had to jump in and get it for me. The camera was soaked inside and out, but I continued to shoot the roll, hoping for the best. It ended up adding a dreamy, foggy effect to the images on that roll of film. 

I’ve been obsessed with the Holga for 10 years so naturally; I’ve grown bored of taking straightforward photos with it. I’ve collected various filters, prisms and fabrics over the years to make the images more unique. And after my first accidental double exposure, I started using multiple exposures to add another layer of interest to the photos.

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The Holga is known for the dreamy, vignette it adds to images. Most of my photos end up being self-portraits or photos of my husband, Chris. My work is often described as lonely or surreal because I tend to use single figures in an empty setting. As a person with anxiety and OCD, it’s easy to feel alone and fearful in any situation. I use photography to express that loneliness and to conquer my fears of travel and being in new places. It’s an interesting juxtaposition – as an anxious, obsessive person, I’m absolutely terrified of new places and new experiences, but as a photographer, new places and new experiences are exactly what I crave. In this way, photography forces me to live my life to the fullest and not allow my anxiety to control my life. 

Even though I was photographing every second I had on the trip, I still feel like I didn’t take enough photos. I guess that means I need to go back! 


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Photographer & Fine Artist Myles Katherine is currently based in Virginia. See more of her work on her website and connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.


Toronto and the Nikon FE2 | Bill Smith

I’m going to be up front, there are times I have to agree with the late Anthony Bourdain: Toronto isn’t a pretty city, like, say, London, or Paris. Its charm is on the ground, in the streets, and most importantly in the neighbourhoods and park systems providing a never ending wealth of photographic opportunities. 

Skyline Riverdale Park

Skyline Riverdale Park

So you’re planning to visit Toronto: if you have any leeway in timing take a pass in the winter and head up to Quebec City instead, they have winter charm cornered. Spring Summer and Autumn are much better times to visit. I’ve told friends we pretty much share Chicago’s climate minus the snowfall. In fact in some ways we’re a Chicago, tilted sideways, and with exponentially less gun crime. If you road tripped up from the US, just park the car where you are staying: Toronto rush hour isn’t for the weak, especially on the Gardiner Expressway, Don Valley Parkway, or the 401. Buy a PRESTO Card which you can buy at any GO Train Station, TTC Subway Station and Shoppers Drug Mart, load it up with money. You can use PRESTO on any public transit system in The Greater Toronto Hamilton Region including GO Transit. Fares will vary on each system. 

Friday Morning on the DVP Northbound

Friday Morning on the DVP Northbound

Logistics are out of the way: we’re downtown, it’s morning and we will be headed east on the 504b Street Car, and enjoying the ride through Toronto’s downtown core, crossing the Don Valley and up Broadview Ave. We’re not going all the way up to Broadview Subway Station on Danforth. Get off at Withrow Avenue, why here? Across the street is Riverdale Park, and there’s a reason why we start here, there’s a great skyline view of downtown Toronto. The other reason, and when I plan photowalks, is they have to start with decent coffee, in this The Rooster Coffee House on Broadview. 

The Rooster in the Shade

The Rooster in the Shade

From here you can go in multiple directions, like deeper into the east end through Chinatown East and down into Leslieville, or, go down into the valley and take the pedestrian overpass into Cabbagetown. This is just a few examples with just one starting point; you can even stay downtown and wander around, or go down to the harbour. I do strongly recommend, if you’re coming to Toronto, connect with one of the local film photography communities like The Toronto Film Shooters Facebook Group; they are filled with local knowledge. 

 Now that’s my town.  For your consideration, the one of many cameras I own that I take with me on my urban adventures is the Nikon FE2. At first glance it looks like its mechanical stablemate of the FM2, but under the hood the FE2 is a different camera. 

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Produced between 1983 and 1987 as a replacement model for the FE, the FE2 was marketed to advanced amateurs during a very dynamic time in camera evolution. Unlike the FA stablemate, the FE2 was quite conservative in features, with just aperture priority, bulb to 1/4000 shutter speed, and a mechanical 1/250, and that’s it. Under the skin there were a lot of shared electronics, particularly with the TTL Off The Plane Flash metering system. 

Unlike the Canon AE-1P and Minolta X-700, the FE2 was all metal construction built to take a ton of abuse. Of course, that reflects in the original selling price. Nikon did respectably well with the FE2 but by the late 1980s with autofocus bodies being introduced by all the major camera brands, Nikon streamlined the product line in favour of cutting edge technology. 

That’s the history lesson; what’s the Nikon FE2 like to work with? 

 Short answer: much like the FE but with higher shutter speeds. To expand, the FE2 has a great match needle display which is the opposite of the FM2, which was LED, or the FA, which is LCD like the F3. Nikon was shrewd to have an auto exposure capable camera for advanced shooters who don’t need multiple modes, which is pretty much me. 

I love this camera for multiple assignments be it in the city or out hiking, and it would make a decent camera for travelling. Batteries shouldn’t be an issue as Energizer 357’s and S76’s are pretty much common everywhere, but it’s wise to pack some spares just in case. 

The next question is, should I get one? 

Well, that depends. If you are a Nikon shooter with with a large stable of Ai, Ais and even AF-D Nikkor lenses, I would whole-heartedly say yes, the FE2 would make a great addition to the camera bag. If there’s one Achilles heal, you can’t use Pre-Ai Nikkor lenses on the FE2 like you can with the FE, and meter stop down. If you try, it will end in tears, regret, and a repair bill along with a stern glance of condescension from your go-to repair tech for being dumb. So yeah, don’t put Pre Ai lenses on the FE2, the same goes with the FM2 and the FA.

To wrap this up: Toronto is a fun place to visit, in the spring, summer or fall. There are tons of places to photograph and explore, and do start your photowalk with a decent coffee and end off with beer. The Nikon FE2 is a great camera to add to your kit if you’re a Nikon shooter and is one of my go to bodies in my Nikon kit.


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Bill Smith, an Ontario-based film photographer, specializes in landscape, street, architecture and portraiture. Follow Bill on Twitter or Instagram.