The Emporium is...

...one of the last actual stores remaining that specialises in used film photographic equipment and related areas. Once, before ebay,  there were lots of stores like this but we could be the last man standing around here.  It's a mix of old cameras and photo antiques because it's in the middle of a giant antiques market rather than a typical storefront. But it's also like a giant version of the used camera section that every camera store used to have. I've just heard that one store is reviving its used camera and film area as the interest has returned and even become fashionable.


It is a project of mine, Andrew Fildes, a former general and commercial photographer and also a writer, technical journalist and teacher. I was well known as a feature and review writer for the Australian Photography website and for the associated magazines 'Digital Photography and Design' and ‘Australian Photography’, the most respected photographic magazine in Australia – but I also wrote educational materials for film and television programs, advertising copy and for my own pleasure, poetry and creative prose. I taught Philosophy, Photography, Environmental Science, Politics, History and English over the last thirty years. I'll even rewrite your website for you if you need a writer. (and oh so many of you do, really!)

After some years running a photograhic studio, I retired into the quiet calm of the retail world  :-). My fifth career! The former owner of the Emporium, Jack Ross, was ready to retire and the business was too important to lose. It's in a bit of a turmoil most of the time because 'stuff' is constantly coming and going and I'm not an organised person or good at housework, but customers seem to appreciate the chance to rummage through the 'odd stock'. Disorganisation is the happy curse of the creative mind.

It's also an opportunity to develop some of my personal projects such as the 'compromised lenses', coloured cameras, Art posters, books for collectors, photo art gallery and hopefully workshops. See other pages on this site. As the third year passes the time has come to get the new projects and services under way. Some may work, some not but so it goes. The floor space has expanded by 50%. New collections of rare and useable cameras have been bought in. The centre 'room' has been dismantled and reinvented at the rear as a mini-studio for product shots and portraiture, my personal photo preference and skill. Custom photo restoration work is is a possible direction, as is 35mm slide copying for those who need a premium, 'hand wash' service rather than the standard cheap and cheerful. No film and video transfers though, but I can direct you to someone who can do it properly! And those dingy walls will show some photo art - some repro, some original and some of my own efforts as well. For those who accept that, yes, photographs really are art. With luck, some workshops will run too - studio portraiture is planned and then there is the box camera challenge - I'll provide the 1920's box camera and a 120 film and you do your best!

In essence, I aim to become a major resource for the retro photographer, camera collector, photographic decor enthusiast and so on. Not there yet but I have finished crawling and staggered to my feet again for a few faltering steps. And the irony is of course that I explored the metaphor by skidding in some wet floor paint and wrecking my left leg and knee in July 2017. Still, the physiotherapist assures hme that it's only temporary. A 6-10 week recovery they said but after several months, still a problem dammit. So if you stand around and gasbag for too long, I may give you a job to do for me! (All volunteers welcome!)

I love French cameras - and we have some of these!