In about three decades, the railway in Ontario had grown from a small collection of operators to the principal means of moving people and cargo around the Province and, by extension, Canada. But the one thing that it still lacked was a complete link across the entire length of British North America. While some efforts had been made in 1873, the resulting scandal ousted the MacDonald conservatives, and the new Liberal Government made some efforts to start the construction in 1875. Despite completing 1,000 kilometres of track by the time they were voted out in 1878, not enough had been done. MacDonald returned to power,Read More →

If you haven’t heard of the small community of Petrolia, that makes perfect sense, it seems a bit out of place here in Ontario. But this is the area credited with kicking off an early oil boom in Ontario and within the British Empire. While a shadow of its former glory, the name and legacy live on as part of Canada’s role as a major exporter of raw resources. Back thousands of years, the Attiwonderonk, Anishiabewaki, and Mississaugas made use of the sticky tar-like substance through the region to help with waterproofing their canoes. The area remained the territory of the Mississaugas until the CanadaRead More →

When it comes to medium format cameras, there are two formats that I’ve always been drawn to, the iconic 6×6 square and the slightly smaller 6×4.5 or 645. I’ve run with a Pentax 645 and more recently the Mamiya m645. I have shot with other medium format cameras, 6×9, 6×7, and 6×8 and even larger exposure sizes. But I keep on coming back to 645; it’s great for everyday shooting and gives you that larger image size than 35mm. But the cameras are often bulky unless you go with a folder. But what about the best of both worlds? Enter the Fujifilm GA645Zi, the thirdRead More →

As a photographer who loves working mainly in the urban environment, sometimes it can be challenging to go back to a location you’ve visited before and capture new images. But if you change your focus, there’s a chance you can find something new, and today we’re back in the historic downtown of Milton to look at the architectural details throughout the downtown. While I never went to school for architectural training, I did a single drafting class in high school. However, I am also a life-long Lego builder and am drawn towards exciting architecture. And Milton’s downtown offers up a lot of interesting architecture andRead More →

Today moving around is easy. At the same time, we deal with traffic and delays, our availability of automobiles, aeroplanes, transit, and trains. Combined with well-paved roads, GPS, maps, gas stations, rest areas, travel for us in the 21st Century is a breeze. But some two centuries earlier, life in Ontario, then Upper Canada, was far more challenging. Many who lived in the settlements well outside the few urban centres never strayed too far from home. Local roads were often blazed trails from Indigenous people who lived on the land. Sir John Graves Simcoe had ordered military roads, but even these were little more thanRead More →

I need to start learning that when it comes to black and white developers, all of this has happened before, all of this will happen again. Take, for example, Rollei Low-Speed, RLS is a modern rebranding of LP-CUBE XS. There’s very little information about both developers online outside of official documentation. But it also has some interesting notes and is the first time using a film described as a deep layer developer. But the one thing I am familiar with is a developer that works best at speed less than the box. In fact, the amount of reduction in film speed is what I sawRead More →

When it comes to colour films, I’m picky about which ones I shoot. I’m the first to admit I wouldn’t say I like working with colour film as I have a digital camera that gives me consistent colour images with little work on my part. The biggest problem is getting the colours right from my scans as I don’t use specialised software like Negative Lab Pro. When it comes to medium format, I am reliant on my Epson V700; the Nikon Coolscan V ED makes life easier. So it comes as no surprise that when I learned of the discontinuation of Fujicolor Pro 400H thatRead More →

I kept typing the title “If I left the Zoom”, which is also appropriate these days, but there’s nothing to do with Zoom this week. Instead, the title comes from the third studio album from one of my favourite bands, Jars of Clay. But like zoom, this week also has nothing to do with Jars of Clay. Instead, we’re heading to the Toronto Zoo. The Toronto Zoo is a spot I haven’t been to since my last 52-Roll project on an early date with my (then future) wife, Heather. The first Zoo in the city of Toronto was the Riverdale Zoo that opened in 1873.Read More →

When it comes to wide-angle lenses, you don’t always need the fastest lens in the bunch. While an f/2.8 28mm or 24mm is a nice addition to any kit, they often come with a steeper price tag. But what if you only needed something that would get you that 28mm and were not as concerned with speed and could get away with something not as fast but the same performance. Enter the lens that opened my eyes to the more bargain focused wide-angle lens, the Nikkor 28mm f/3.5. This lens actually helped me decide to add the Zuiko 28mm f/3.5 lens for my Olympus kit.Read More →

Known as Stone City, Kingston is one of Ontario’s oldest cities. The city traces itself back to the early days of colonial settlements in New France. While today the city remains a military stronghold. It has also gone through an identity crisis due to its connection to Canada’s first Prime Minister, Sir John A MacDonald, and his government’s continued role in destroying Canada’s Indigenous peoples. The first known human settlement where the modern city of Kingston stands today dates back to around 9,000-3,000 years ago, although the first permanent human settlement would not come until around 500CE. The Hurons would occupy the land until theRead More →