Galleria Taal: A Camera Museum

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It’s known as the first ever camera museum in the Philippines.  You can find this in the quaint, little, and artsy town of Taal in the province of Batangas. It’s one of the interesting places you can find in Taal. Aside from the cameras, it also displays photographs of some Philippine historical events circa 1800s-1900s.  So I think it’s a nice place to visit if you also appreciate Philippine history.

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Being a lover of photographs and cameras myself, I found the museum really lovely. It’s an ancestral house turned into a museum.  We were told that the owner, Mr. Manny Inumerable, had a unique fascination for cameras and began collecting them ever since.  He’s also one of the grand children of the original owners of the ancestral house which was now being maintained as his museum to showcase his huge (not to mention, expensive!) camera collection. As an additional trivia, he not only bids on auctions to acquire these gems, but also tries to restore them to new. Thus, we were told that almost all of the cameras in the museum are still working.  Pretty cool, right?

Let’s take a look, shall we?

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first, a group shot with the friends

First thing you will see is this huge old camera that you can personally peek into to see how it works. The guide will let you touch it, feel it, and peek into the lenses.  It kinda gives you that feel of how pictures were created back then. Since it’s not digital, where you can check a preview of the picture before printing it, every shot should always be perfect. Printing pictures were also quite expensive before, so they make sure every shot is always perfect. And if you notice how people in old portraits weren’t smiling, it’s because it actually takes a long time for the camera to register the subject into its lenses – hence, smiling too long for the camera wasn’t exactly a fab thing to do back then.

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Each one of us peeked into the lenses underneath that black cloth. It was a cool experience.

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this is a good example of showing the insides of an old camera
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the first few cameras usually have a stand. but this one was the first ever “portable” camera, because you can carry it like a suitcase.  I still think it’s quite heavy. It’s the size of a 16-inch laptop.

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Most of the cameras are also grouped by brand.  They have Kodak, Canon, Fujifilm, Leica, and all others.  You’ll be amazed at his very big collection.

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these Fujifilm cameras weren’t really a part of Mr. Manny’s original collection.  we were told that Fujifilm donated them because they noticed that when they visited, there were no Fujifilm cameras on display.
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I like this cute Kodak circa 1957
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would you believe that these are the first kind of 3D lenses ever invented? you can also peek into the sample lens to see how the picture will look “3D”.

Finally, here’s me posing with one of the old cameras, pretending to work it like I know how.

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Hope you enjoyed the tour, but I oblige you to go visit the Galleria Taal personally.  There is actually so much more to see and my photos here taken with a Samsung S5 camera phone just don’t do justice to all the collection. So if you’ll happen to visit Taal (which is also a pretty place to visit), drop by the Galleria Taal.

Enjoy your lazy Sunday!

-CHRYZTYNERS-

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