PPL Monthly Meetup

Our regularly scheduled meetup that takes place on the 2nd Friday evening of each month.  All members are highly encouraged to attend, as this is where we set direction and make announcements about upcoming activities and classes.

This particular meeting will also be the last chance to get informed and involved in our Philadelphia Neaighborhoods Project.  Detain on this project will be presented at the end of this meeting.


PHOTO WALK : Meandering With Mike K ……. Port Richmond Edition

To Meander : following a winding course: a meandering lane. Proceeding in a convoluted or undirected fashion

Come on out this Saturday afternoon for the second “Meandering with Mike K” street photo walk.  This time we will explore Port Richmond, where I live and have been photographing for years now. 

Port Richmond, occupying the Delaware River front to the north and northeast of Old Kensington, was brought into prominence by the establishment at that point of the tidewater terminus of the Reading R.R. Co. For its immense coal traffic by sea. 

For MORE Port Richmond History CLICK HERE

We will meet at the wonderfully friendly Green Rock Tavern, and get coffee’d upped. There is plenty of angled parking on Lehigh Ave,  a very wide street. We will then “meander” around this historic part of our fair city. Not just a photo op but some history lessons too and will stop inside some places to experience the vibe of the neighborhood. First we will check out the beautifully adorned PortSide Art Center. (Blue fish and other reef creatures). If this was in center city it would be on the tourist maps. Then we will go under the Lehigh Viaduct via Belgrade St. Maybe we will catch a softball game in progress at Cohox Rec Center. Then we will be amazed at the architecture of the three churches on Allegheny Ave. There is a hidden mural to discover. Then we will explore Campbell Square Park, a smaller version of Rittenhouse Square in my opinion. It has a tree carved into a NW Indian type totem pole. And the fanciest wrought iron entrance arch around. A true work of art. You will be blown away. Rittenhouse can’t compete. Then we may stop at a bakery for some Polish pastries that you will love. 

Part 2 will be the return trip. We will walk down Thompson St. and check out a still functioning yarn mill. Nearby is a used bookstore in a old theatre. If it is open we will take a walk inside. It is huge. If you want to peruse the photos in old National Geographic Magazines, this is the place. We will swing by the PR Library: the building was build in 1910 by Andrew Carnegie. We will see another beautiful church then check out Kitty’s Luncheonette. Only 60 years in business! Then under the viaduct and by Stock’s Bakery, the pound cake masters. And there we are back at Green Rock thirsty for a beer. 

You don’t want to miss this meander.  The spring should be in full bloom also so bring your macro lens if you like flowers. See you then.



Let’s meet Saturday 1:30pm. Allocate a few hours and wear comfortable shoes. Fee is $15 each (FREE for CONTRIBUTORS and BENEFACTORS). This is a guaranteed good time. Come on out and welcome spring in style. Your camera will thank you. 

Any questions: post them below

PHOTO WALK : Meandering With Mike K ……. in Fishtown

To Meander : following a winding course: a meandering lane. Proceeding in a convoluted or undirected fashion

Come on out this Saturday morning for the first “meandering with Mike K” street photo walk.  I chose a neighborhood that is a perfect match for that term. That place is Fishtown. A place that William Penn did not lay out because many streets are not at right angles like Penn’s original Philly grid. Because of the bend in the Delaware River, streets intersect at extreme angles making for a most fascinating walking experience.

We will meet at the wonderfully cozy Fishtown institution, the Rocket Cat Cafe, and get coffee’d upped. A few blocks away we will take in St. Laurentius Church built in 1885 and the oldest Polish church in Philly. This will be the last chance to photograph it as the Archdiocese has condemned the building due to structural issues. It could be demoed in weeks. See my 5 image series at https://www.flickr.com/photos/mklusek/16744656818/in/photostream/

After that we will explore Palmer cemetery, right in the heart of Fishtown. It is very beautiful with winding paths and history galore, since it predates the Revolution! We will then meander about based on participants interest, there is plenty of unique buildings and equally colorful people on the streets. We will end at the Interstate Drafthouse on Palmer St and have their famous ‘Iced Tea in a carton’. They also have great tacos! For some ideas see my Fishtown album https://www.flickr.com/photos/mklusek/sets/72157633115572606/


If taking the El get off at Berks station and walk a half block on Front to Norris and make a right. Then walk to Frankford Ave. Rocket Cat is on the corner. If driving, that same stretch of Norris is a good bet for parking.


Let’s meet Saturday April 4 at 11:30. Allocate a few hours and wear comfortable shoes. Fee is $15 each (FREE for CONTRIBUTORS and BENEFACTORS). This is a guaranteed good time. Come on out and welcome spring in style. Your camera will thank you. 

Any questions: post them below

WORKSHOP – Introduction to MEDIUM FORMAT Photograhy

If you are curious about medium format film photography you could ask the kid in the picture OR come to the PPL workshop for a complete introduction. 

The camera of choice for many professional photographers – MEDIUM FORMAT cameras offer tremendous flexibility, great image quality and a unique photographic perspective. Famous photographers like Fazal Sheikh, Annie Leibovitz and Mary Ellen Mark use the medium format camera as their main photographic tool. Great Photography is still being created with this type of camera. 

DATE : May 30th 10:30am – 5:00pm (plus review / critique on May 31st)  
INSTRUCTOR : Mike Browna, Dave Swift
FEE : $150.00 includes 2 days of instruction plus use of medium format camera equipment, roll film and materials (Discount to $110 for 2015 Contributors …. Discount to $75.00 for 2015 Benefactors) 

IMPORTANT: CLICK HERE to purchase workshop tickets. 

Please keep your RSVP up to date to help us with planning and event costs. 

In the workshop we will teach you all the techniques required to work confidently with medium format cameras. We’ll explore how various lenses and formats change affect image impact. Whether a rangefinder, SLR and Waist level is for you …… and …….. we will cover all operational aspects from film loading and all image formats from 6×4.5, 6×6, 6×7 and 6×9 ……. we will even explain what the numbers mean !!!!!  :-)

Best of all …… this will be HANDS ON workshop……. we will provide for you all equipment to use during the workshop which includes a medium format camera, film and film holder, light meter, etc. We will “hit the road” to Clark Park and create images using medium format cameras. 

You will leave the workshop with the ability to confidently create photographs using a medium format camera.


DAY 1 : You will spend time getting an overview of equipment and materials. We will then shoot IN THE STUDIO ……. during the afternoon we will head outside to Clark Park for some portraiture and streets shooting and architecture. Your work from day 1 will be developed overnight.

DAY 2 : We will review your work the following morning with a critique and thoughts on next steps for you to pursue.

• Practical matters for when using a medium format camera in the real-world
⁃ Transportation and storage of equipment
• Camera selection and lens choices
• How to work with roll film …… loading the camera and roll film backs 
• Darkroom – we’ll cover how to process our large format film
• Developing and printing from medium format negatives
• Medium format portraiture demonstration
• Discussion of equipment and materials