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.  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. 


It is a project of Andrew Fildes, a former general and commercial photographer who is also a writer, technical journalist and teacher. He is 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 he also wrote educational materials for film and television programs, advertising copy and for his own pleasure, poetry and creative prose. He has taught Philosophy, Photography, Environmental Science, Politics, History and English over the last thirty years. He'll even rewrite your website for you if you need a writer. (and so many of you do, really!)

After some years running a photograhic studio, he retired into the quiet calm of the retail world  :-). The original 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, but customers seem to appreciate the chance to rummage through the 'odd stock'.

It's also an opportunity to develop some 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. The floor space has expanded by 50%. New collections of rare and useable cameras have been bought in. The centre 'room' will become a photo booth for portraiture once it stops being a stock room, Andrew's personal photo preference and skill. Custom photo restoration work is under way already in a casual way but that will become official, as will 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 wallsare to be festooned with some photo art - some repro, some original and some of the owner's 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 - we'll provide the 1920's box camera and a 120 film and you do your best!

In essence, we aim to become a major resource for the retro photographer, camera collector, photographic decor enthusiast and so on. Not there yet but we have finished crawling and staggered to our feet for a few faltering steps. And the irony is of course that Andrew explored the metaphor by skidding in some wet floor paint and wrecking his legs and knees in July. Still, the physiotherapist assures him that it's only temporary. A 6-10 week hiatus.

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