The year was 1865, the American Civil War had ended, and four British Provinces in British North America decided to unite under what is called Canadian Confederation. And a large group of Irish Americans were wondering what their next step would be, and John O’Mahoney found himself at a crossroads. The Fenian Brotherhood hit its stride during the Civil War and now had money and manpower to spare. Plus all their members who served in both armies during the war had either kept or purchased their own equipment, the Fenians had an army that could easily stand up to the American Army of the day.Read More →

When it comes to basic bare-bones developers, you don’t get any more simple than Kodak D-76. Kodak D-76 is the common factor between professional and student photographers and everyone in between. It’s a staple in most darkrooms, you can develop film and prints with it, and for me, it was the first developer I ever used for both film and prints. And for a while, I had stopped using Kodak D-76 in my processing, but after I started reviewing films, I got back into the stuff. The reason it gives what you expect, a baseline. It also is relatively inexpensive and economical for long termRead More →

I’m a fan of public transit. Especially unique transit options. Think the wild noise and general grime of the NYC subway. The PCC like cars that still run as subways in Boston. Or the Toronto Streetcar network. A call back to the early days of the city’s transit system and one of the only major streetcar networks left running in North America. And on the 29th of December 2019 marked both an anniversary and the end of an era. For that day marked not only the first time the Canadian Light Rail Vehicle first rode on the networks for the Toronto Transit Commission back inRead More →

The history of Ireland is a long, complicated, and bloody one. And it is worthy of a project of its own, and I’m sure if I lived in Ireland, I would probably be already have completed such a project. But this is a Canadian History project, yet during the mid 19th Century in a strange twist the history of Irish independence intersected with that of pre-confederation Canada. Ireland had, since the Norman invasion of 1169 been a nation under occupation. And while the ancient history of Ireland stretches out before that date, it seems like the right point to start. Further degradation of the IrishRead More →

One of the first things that struck me as odd when I was building my A-Mount lens collection was the 50mm, after getting the two zoom lenses (35-70 and 70-210) I went for a fast prime and what lens collection wouldn’t be complete with the fast fifty while companies like Nikon, Olympus, and Canon produced their 50mm at f/1.8. Minolta, well they’re different they went with the f/1.7. But let’s not quibble over that, I just happened always to like the fact Minolta was different. And back when I was first shooting SLRs with an SR-T 102 I had the 50mm lens; in fact, IRead More →

If you ever get the chance to visit Quebec City, take the opportunity. Not only is it one of the most beautiful cities in Canada, but it also intersects with many of the significant events that would go one to shape Canada throughout history. From the establishment of the first French settlement in what would become Canada, to the fall of French Rule on the Plains of Abraham in 1759. The Quebec Conference of 1866 to the other Quebec Conferences at the climax of the Second World War that planned out the invasion of fortress Europe. While often overlooked or merged with the Charlottetown Conference,Read More →

If you’re thinking to yourself, haven’t you already reviewed the Canon F-1? Like back in the first year of writing camera reviews? The answer would be yes, I did review an original 1970 F-1. But when it comes to camera names, Canon wasn’t always that creative; this is the New F-1. Which if you dig deep into the camera’s functionality, is a whole other camera, thus needing a review of its own. The F-1N, like the F-1, is Canon’s answer to the rise in electronics in cameras that happened in the late 1970s and the introduction to the Nikon F3. And when it comes toRead More →

Before we get into all this, let me start by staying Ortho Plus is not a new film, it’s just now available in different formats. Originally I shot a box of the stuff in 4×5 when it was only available in sheet format, and it was the first film that I shot that had no real rating set. In fact, most entries for developing times on the massive dev chart simply had a question mark for the ISO rating. I found that this gave me a lot more latitude when working with the film. I could rate it higher or lower depending on the situationRead More →

Of the four fathers of confederation, I’ve explored in these blog posts the one with the strangest story, and the youngest in both age and political experience is Thomas D’Arcy McGee. Born the 13th of April 1825 in Carlingford, County Louth, Ireland. Raised by Irish Roman Catholic Patriots, much of his early education came from his mother, who as a Dublin Bookseller filled McGee with the stories of the Irish heroes of old. His knowledge continued in the illegal Hedge Schools where he learned of the past and ongoing struggles for Irish independence from British Occupation. His experience continued when his family moved to WexfordRead More →

When it comes to the names of the Fathers of Confederation, those men who attended the conferences at Charlottetown and Quebec, most Canadians can only list a handful, or just one. That name is Sir John A. MacDonald. And while MacDonald certainly made a name for himself in his roll in what could almost be seen as bullying the other Provinces into Confederation, we often will overshadow the man who could almost be considered the architect of Confederation, George Brown. The eldest son of six, born to Peter and Marianne Brown on the 29th of November 1819 in Clackmannan, Scotland. George grew up among theRead More →