Sitting below the main downtown, the unassuming limestone structure is one of only two surviving railway structures from what was once a bustling centre of rail activity throughout the latter half of the 19th century. It is also interesting that it is the oldest continuously operated railway station in all of Ontario. Creating a standard set of stations set Grand Trunk apart from the other three railway operators in the first railway boom in Ontario. Chief Architect Francis Thompson latched onto the fundamental design ethos of British railway or wayside stations and laid out three different wayside stations, class A, which featured seven openings; classRead More →

I seem to be developing a soft spot for cheap and cheerful SLRs from the 1990s and early 2000s. These may not be the best or most robust cameras out there, but they aren’t hard on the pocketbook, make use of existing lens systems and deliver decent images without too much fuss. Plus, they make great loaner kits for those who want to try film photography but don’t want to invest in something or worry about all the details, such as manual focus or exposure. Well, meet the EOS 3000; you could almost say that this was the entry-level SLR that perfected Canon’s entry-level SLRsRead More →

If you’ve been in film photography for a while, you’ve seen big companies come and go. And a pile of companies were rarely seen here in North America. The iron curtain, for many years, divided the world in two, between the west and the east following the Second World War. The Cold War kept western films out of the east and eastern films out of the west. One such brand is Forte. I’ve only seen one roll of Fortepan before; I remember using it, but it’s not on my film log, so maybe I ended up giving it away. Kodak opened a photochemical plant inRead More →

When I was initially planning out the project, I had not considered the Brantford VIA station. I did think of the old Toronto, Hamilton & Buffalo stations, but after finding that one station had been demolished, I decided not to tempt fate and took Brantford off the map. At least until I discovered that the station inspired the construction of Guelph’s central station and marked a significant departure in the early 20th Century construction of Grand Trunk Stations. The city of Brantford refuses to pay the required bonus to have the Great Western line and a station in the town. Instead, Great Western ran furtherRead More →

The story of Canada is filled with both myth and legend. And when it comes to the Anglo-American War of 1812, Canada has made itself look like the victor. Of course, I thought the same thing for the longest time, having learned about the tales of Isaac Brock and Laura Secord. They together single-handedly won victory for Canada over the Americans. But history is far more complex and often messy, especially when two sides claim victory; the other side often will ignore it as a footnote in a broader global conflict, and a fourth group are still angry at their treatment following the war. ButRead More →

If you look up the definition of Art Deco and Streamline Moderne, you will probably see a photo of the Hamilton GO Centre. Clean lines, steel and limestone, glass, and a typeface speak to the future view of the 1930s. The GO Centre is the station that inspired my love of art deco and the look and feels of the graphics for this project, especially the font choice. For almost the entire time that the city of Hamilton has had rail service, most services were outside the city’s downtown core. First with the Great Western Railway and then later Grand Trunk. Despite being the biggestRead More →

Pyro developers hold a special place in my development tool kit. Despite being one of the oldest developers, being viewed as highly-specialised and highly toxic. I’ve found them to be one of the best developers I’ve used. My journey into Pyro started with PMK Pyro, followed up by Pyrocat-HD. But starting last year, I heard about a new Pyro developer, 510-Pyro. For being an old developer, Pyro developers continued to see advancement and innovation, with Sandy King bringing in Pyrocat-HD in 1999, but 510 is far newer. First released in 2006 and formulated by Jay DeFehr, 510-Pyro took a different approach to Pyro with onlyRead More →

Here in southern Ontario, I could not have asked for a better week to celebrate Holga Week 2022. After last year, when it rained for most days, I only shot a single roll through the iconic plastic toy camera. But then again, I was doing a video for YouTube, so I had to make some sacrifices. This year I had planned to do a showdown between two Holgas of the same type and see how different the two cameras were from each other. But I forgot about that early enough to get that second Holga (maybe next year). So I decided to make the filmRead More →

If the grandeur of Toronto’s Union Station impresses you, then it may surprise you that there is a Station that carries the same level of luxury that the golden age of rail travel imparted. Although it also may surprise you that the station is located in Hamilton. The placement of Hamilton’s original railway right-of-way is primarily thanks to the efforts of Sir Allan Napier MacNab. His involvement in the early formation of the Great Western Railway and the great price he sold a large parcel of his property at the edge of Burlington Bay. This move ensured that the central yards for Great Western andRead More →

We’re used to modern multi-element, multi-group lenses regarding optics. But it hasn’t always been that way; some of the earliest cameras used only a single element. But this often caused quality issues, so adding a second element limited the effects of chromatic and spherical aberration. The earliest applications of these Achromat lenses were in telescopes that trace back to the 18th Century. But Charles Chevalier’s (a noted name in early photographic optics) creation of his Daguerrotype Achromat lens changed the face of photography in those pioneering days. While Chevalier’s lenses are still sought by modern wet and dry plate photographers for us who shoot film,Read More →