It has been far too long since I got together with this amazing group of people in-person since all of this started in March 2020. And while I was unable to make it out to the first meetup since our last meetup in February 2020 (at least it was the largest meetup to date). And through early 2021 there were some attempts at virtual meetups, the fact of the matter is that the TFS group is best served with in-person meetings. Thankfully with things looking far better real meetups kicked off in October with a second meetup taking place at the beginning of the month.
While the group is called the Toronto Film Shooters Meetup, we have members from around Southern Ontario and across North America and beyond. So I decided rather than hit up Toronto again, I would go someplace where I feel a bit more comfortable and, for many, a spot they had never visited, Guelph, Ontario. Downtown Guelph had seen a significant upswing from when I first visited the downtown back in 2005. Gone is the seedy feeling; the historical buildings now stand mostly restored. Cheap dive bars are still there, but there’s mainly an air of trendy spots and even a craft distillery and brewery. The downtown also served as an excellent place for me to get out and photograph during many restrictions that plagued us during the past several months. So I decided it was time to share this space with friends.
I managed to get into the city well before the meet kicked off as I wanted to shoot a YouTube Video (video comes out in December) with a roll of Kodak TMax 400 through the Mamiya m645. I’m glad I got in when I did as a cheerleading competition took place in the city. With that done, I went back to my car and swapped out my gear for what I wanted to shoot during the walk. And headed to the Red Brick Cafe on Douglas, where John was already waiting. I went with a pair of cameras for the walk, my Nikon FE loaded with Adox CHS100II and a 24mm lens and my Maxxum 9 with the 100mm lens loaded with Kodak Tri-X. The hidden coffee shop was hopping between their regular Saturday crowd and the added customer base from the completion. While it will still be some time before we can have large meetups again, we ended up with ten people arriving, including several new faces, which is fantastic. The trouble with Guelph is that there’s no easy linear walking route, but I made a point to come up with a way that hit all the key areas, Woolwich, Wyndham, and Quebec Street. A climb up to the Basilica of Our Lady Immaculate and past the old City Hall and ending at the Spring Mills Distillery. Having watched a lot of cocktail YouTube channels, I desired to enjoy a well-made cocktail at the end of the walk rather than a cold beer. And Spring Mills certainly delivered, and along with John and James, we mixed up an idea for a future CCR contest for photography-related cocktails.
If you missed this event and are a member of our Facebook group, you can find details on all our future walks. Hopefully, we can get in another walk before the end of the year but will, barring anything serious happening, return to regular walks in 2022. You can also visit the Flickr album to see all the images from the walk!