Last month when I reviewed the classic 105mm f/2.5 Nikon lens I mentioned that I’m a big fan of the 105mm focal length. And while I could use the classic lens on my modern cameras, the smaller size looks funny on my larger autofocus cameras, namely the Nikon F4, F5, and D300. On my first trip to New York City and a visit to B&H Photo resulted in the purchase of this beauty. And immediately did a photoshoot in Central Park with a friend and her then partner. a new version of the classic lens that has more than a few tricks up its sleeve.Read More →

While the construction of the canal inspired a great deal of urbanization of the Niagara Region, but not all towns came into being because of the canal. Even before the canal came to the region, the area attracted a great deal of colonization in the days during and following the American Revolution mainly by Loyalists. Officially today they’re called United Empire Loyalists, and they formed the core of the original European population in Upper Canada, created out of the Province of Quebec. Quebec had been under British occupation since the end of the French-Indian War, and the government was maintained to match that of NewRead More →

Every so often a film stock will come up out of nowhere and surprise me, and today that film is FilmWashi “D”. Like all films that come out of FilmWashi, Washi D (as I’ll be calling it from now on) they take films out of their normal use and repurpose it for regular photographic duties. In the case of Washi D, it saw creation as a Russian surveillance film. The purpose of the film and what secrets it was designed to capture remains a mystery but because the film has the title ‘project: Sputnik’ on the label makes me think this film would be loadedRead More →

By 1836 the Welland in its current form remained woefully behind the times. Compared to the canal systems along the St. Lawrence River, the military Rideau Canal, and the under-construction Trent-Severn waterway, the Welland Canal remained little more than a cheap imitation to the technology of the day. Technology had moved on, and most ships now used steam power rather than sail power larger ships, especially those with side wheels and greater drafts and displacements prevented the larger modern cargo and passenger vessels from fitting through the canal. To simplify the problem, the Welland Canal had outgrown its usefulness. But the need for a canalRead More →

The province that we know of as Ontario today looked a lot different some two hundred years in the past. There were no superhighways, factory outlets, or any major population centre every hour along the road. Trips were measured in days, not hours, and unless you were wealthy and in the merchant class, you rarely left your home settlement. The major cities numbered populations in the hundreds maybe thousands if lucky. And in Upper Canada (Ontario) the major centres were York (Toronto), Niagara (Niagara-On-The-Lake), and Kingston. The first major push to bring new immigrants into the backwater of Upper Canada was underway after the Anglo-AmericanRead More →

If you mention the Welland Canal today many people will think of the massive shipping channel cutting across the Niagara Penisula, an artificial river you see from the Garden City Skyway that carries the QEW over the top the channel. Part of an elaborate and technologically advanced highway and major trade corridor from the Atlantic Ocean to the northernmost Great Lakes. The Canal has humble beginnings. Since the earliest days of human settlement in the Niagara Regions, the major transit between Lake Ontario and Lake Erie has been the Niagara River. Even the first peoples realised they required a long portage as the great falls,Read More →

If there is a single lens within the manual focus Nikon catalogue with iconic status, it is the 105mm f/2.5. National Geographic photographer Steve McCurry used one to capture the stunning portrait of Sharbat Gula that caught the world’s attention. You may know her better as “The Afgan Girl.” It is a highly sought after, near-perfect quality lens that has changed little since its introduction. I got my copy of the lens from a member of my home church who gave me her grandfather’s press photographer kit which included the Nikon F3, a 50/1.4, 28/2.8, 105/2.5, and 135/2.8. I still have almost all those lensesRead More →

While the idea of cutting a channel to safely carry cargo and people across the Niagara Penisula was not a new one by the time William Hamilton Merritt came along and pushed the idea forward to completion, Merritt is the one credited with the concept. William’s father, Thomas Merritt served under Sir John Graves Simcoe in the Queen’s Rangers during the American Revolution. After the war ended Thomas and his wife Catharine Hamilton settled in Saint Johns, New Brunswick for some time. But the call of home beckoned and the two returned to Bedford, New York. In Bedford, on the 3rd of July 1795 thatRead More →

When it comes to Film Washi, I remained initially unsure of hopping onto the wagon of the world’s littlest film company. While some of their initial offerings were paper-based, they began to expand into traditionally based film stocks. Film Washi Type “S” or Washi S as I’ll be calling the film from now on, is not designed for pictorial use at all, even titles or special effects. Washi S is designed for optical recording of sound. Which as you may have already through will produce a high-contrast image. But I will say one thing I am impressed that I got good photos out of theRead More →

Earlier this year I completed the second major historical photographic project on the Confederation of Canada and the events and places that lead up to the joining of four British Provinces in British North America into the Dominion of Canada in 1867. Over the course of that project, I came across many events and locations that inspired me to try and tell the deeper story. Of course, I couldn’t tell every story so instead, I selected two that I felt I couldn’t tell the whole story due to the timeline for the project ending in 1867. One of these is the railroad through Ontario theRead More →