The first time I drove past the old Havelock station, I was more interested in a pair of old Angus Van Cabooses, one in good condition sitting proudly next to Highway 7, the other looking worse for wear back in the rail yard. I got a couple of shots of those and one of the old stations. But at that time, I did not know the rich heritage of the area and its relation to the station. In the early 20th Century, Canadian Pacific began expanding their steamship operations on the Upper Great Lakes. Their main port at Owen Sound proved too small for theRead More →

When I first was introduced to the Rollei RPX line of films, I referred to them as the spiritual successors of the iconic APX line of films from Agfa. I still stand by the statement but also know that the RPX line of the film is not related directly to the APX line of films. Besides holding the same three speeds and having “PX” in the name, these are two different films. But in the sense of fun and showing off the differences, I’ve decided to pit the two ASA-25 films against each other in a fun little head-to-head to show where they are similarRead More →

The railway operator Ontario & Quebec did not last long as an independent operator, having spent much of its life under the ownership of Canadian Pacific and as a line leased to Canadian Pacific. Finding any station credited to the operator is rare, but one is sitting outside downtown Peterborough. Initially chartered in 1871, Ontario & Quebec’s plan to build a rail line between Ottawa and Toronto with stops in Carlton Place, Madoc, Peterborough, and Toronto ended up derailing in the Financial Panic of 1873. While the charter lapsed, it did not disappear entirely, and in 1881, investors in Canadian Pacific took over the charterRead More →

In the world of speciality lenses, there is nothing more specialized than perspective-control or tilt-shift lenses. The idea was to give 35mm photographers some movement control that large and medium format photographers used to adjust perspective. While the level of control could never be as discrete as with a large format camera, a perspective-control or PC lens provided some form of tilt and shift to grant a photographer a way to recompose an image without moving the camera body itself. Nikon’s original release in 1962 as part of the Nikon F system presented the world with the PC-Nikkor 35mm f/3.5, a relatively simple lens withRead More →

I always enjoy working with a film that isn’t used in everyday photography. And one type of film that I have only limited experience with is surveillance film. Sure I’ve shot with Derev Pan and Streetcandy. But never a Kodak surveillance film. Kodak Plus-X Aerecon II, despite having the name Plus-X, is not related to the normal Plus-X; the data sheet describes the film as a panchromatic, black-and-white negative aerial film having extended red sensitivity and medium speed. This film has a fine grain and relatively high contrast and is intended for medium- to high-altitude reconnaissance. Its ESTAR Thin Base provides flexibility, moisture resistance, highRead More →

The longest motive power for railway has been steam; since those early days, steam-powered locomotives carried people and freight worldwide. And sure, by the late 19th and early 20th Century, electricity became a popular choice for inter-urban railways. But on the mainlines, steam was king, and the last locomotives produced in the 20th Century could travel long distances and high speeds; I’m talking, of course, of the Northern’s, Pacific’s, and even larger engines. But these had one weakness, you needed a large crew to run them, two at the minimum, and they needed a lot of maintenance. Plus, they were loud, dirty, and took upRead More →

In full disclosure, I have technically already reviewed Adox Scala 50, but in its HR-50 branding. But as I’m developing the film in a completely different way, I figured it would be worth reviewing in its Scala livery and developing HR-50 as a Black & White slide film. These days a dedicated b&w slide film is a rare stock; there’s only one out there, Fomapan 100R, but in the past, one of the most iconic was Agfa Scala 200X. But I was using negative films as the positive stock was common, with Kodak also producing their reversal kit for TMax film. Adox also released theirRead More →

At first glance, the old Don Station at Roundhouse part appears custom-built for the miniature railway, a popular attraction to visitors at the park and the Railway Museum. But when you get closer, you realise that it is indeed a full-sized station with a special place in the history of the Canadian Pacific in Toronto. When the Ontario & Quebec Railway line from Perth to Toronto finished construction in 1884, access to the city proved limited. Trains arriving from points east or heading east out of the city had to travel a roundabout route. Travelling across the northern border of the station, they approached throughRead More →

I’ll be the first to admit that pinhole photography and I have not gotten along well in the past. It’s a bit hit or miss with me, and I don’t always associate photographic success with the gear I use. Sometimes having the right equipment will make you enjoy the format. Pinhole is one such format. My first attempts were bit misses, using a pinhole body cap adapter on my Pentax 645, and then again on various Nikon cameras. It wouldn’t be until I got my hands on a dedicated pinhole camera that I started to see results that I actually liked. So when I startedRead More →

There are few legal options to see some of Ontario’s electrical generation infrastructure, especially historically significant ones. At the same time, you may still be able to take a public tour of the Sir Adam Beck Generating Station or get a glimpse at the RL Hearn station if you’re there for an event. But even in those, you are limited in what you can see unless you’re suitable for some casual trespassing. But when I learned that one of the iconic Niagara Falls generating stations was opening up as a tourist destination, I knew I had to check it out. So back in July, IRead More →