There’s been an awakening; have you felt it?
Oh it feels good to have another FP4Party, an official one, unlike the one I happened to complete all by my lonesome last year. And since we’re still in the middle of a global pandemic, such events are perfect for a little bit of escapism and out to do something close to normal. But since I still actually had to work, I needed to figure out how to get maximum enjoyment out of this party. I ended up going with three rolls of medium format this time around, running each through my Hasselblad 500c and developing in three different developers (all from Adox), Silvermax Developer (doing double duty for that developer review later in the year), Adox Atomal 49, and good old fashioned Rodinal. I went out Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday each day to study a single location. Two in Oakville (Erchless and the Old Oakville Trafalgar High School) and the third in Halton Hills, right on the township line between Milton and Halton Hills.
Roll 01 – Erchless
For the first day, I went to the grand Erchless Estate in Downtown Oakville. Originally built in 1835 by William Chisholm, the grand house was updated and renovated three times, with the final addition being added in 1858 by Robert Kerr Chisholm, William’s son. He also constructed a new and separate Custom’s House and Bank of Toronto building. While the custom’s house would close in the early 20th Century, it would see renovation to an apartment in the 1930s for a descendent of William. The last Chisholm would pass away, and the house would become apartments through the 1960s through the 1990s. In the 1990s, after all the leases had run out, both buildings underwent restoration and renovation to house the Oakville Museum.
Roll 02 – Boston
The second day I headed out onto the other side of the town line into the former Scotch Block part of Halton Hills. Boston Presbyterian Church can trace its congregational history back to the 1820s when a group of Scottish Presbyterians settled in the region and met outside on the Laidlaw farm. Eventually, purchasing part of the property building a wooden meeting house. Over the course of its history, the congregation split, notably during the 1846 schism within the Presbyterian Church. With both the Free Church and Old Church making using the original meeting house. They jointly built their current structure in 1868. The congregation unified in 1875, with only a single splinter congregation surviving until 1935.
Roll 03 – Oakville Trafalgar
For my third and final roll I visited an abandoned high school outside of downtown Oakville. The school dates back to 1908 to replace the original Oakville Grammar School. The school provided food during the First World War, and many students would fight in both World War One and World War Two. In the post-war era, the area grew, and the school grew with them as more wings added to include labs, a gym, and classrooms. The downside was that the school ended up becoming a warren of halls, many of them dead-ends. The original school officially closed in 1992 as Oakville-Trafalgar moved to a new building. While I never made it inside, I hear there isn’t much left.
I also did a video this year of my work with the FP4Party and released it back on Tuesday, and you can watch it below!
Ilford FP4+ is a long time favourite of mine, so I’m always happy with the results I get from the film. But this month’s FP4Party made me happy not only because it gave me a chance to get out and shoot but also to participate in a group project as we continue to be prevented from meeting in person, so being able to join in with a community and see the awesome results from other like-minded photographers!