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 past projects related to history which I have written, the foundations of the events which I planned to explore are relatively modern happening some three to two hundred years in the past. A small drop in the bucket of the history of our planet. But when it comes to the Welland Canal, the foundations of that canal take place in the dark distances of prehistory. The need for a canal across the Niagara Peninsula is related to a massive limestone cliff that cuts across the modern province of Ontario known today as the Niagara Escarpment. Today the cliff runs from the NiagaraRead More →

While today it’s been several years since its introduction, Xtol marks the last developer to come out of Kodak. And as developers go, it is the least toxic of all the ones available on the general market. The reason is that it uses Ascorbic Acid as one of the active ingredients. It not only allows for sharpness but also reducing visible grain in the process. But Xtol is also a developer with a flawed history; you need to mix up a lot to maintain its stability. And while I no longer keep Xtol in my toolkit, it remains a beautiful developer that is perfect ifRead More →

Many have heard the analogy of an elephant and a beaver to describe the relationship between Canada and the United States. Even though we are two separate countries and cultures, whatever happens in the United States is like when the elephant rolls over, it does and will affect Canada. The American Civil War is the perfect example of what happens when the elephant rolls over. While the conflict was primarily an American war, it had ripple effects across the globe. The war is not the primary focus of this project, however, as I mentioned in the previous post, is one of the external reasons toRead More →

According to the Kodak Datasheets on Eastman Fine Grain Duplicating Positive Film, which I will refer to from now on as Eastman 2366, is a low-speed duplicating film intended for making master positives from black-and-white camera negatives. Eastman 2366 is a blue-sensitive black-and-white film has very high resolution and provides very high acutance. In other words, this is not a film for regular photographic use. But what’s the fun in that? I first came across Eastman 2366 among other specialised Motion Picture Film from the Film Photography Project but to develop these as negatives using standard chemistry, while possible it’s hard to find times toRead More →

If there is a singular organisation that is synonymous with the Patriot Wars and the Upper Canada Rebellion as a whole that group is the Hunter’s Lodge. The group grew out of the Frise Chassure, a group founded by the Lower Canada Patriotes under Joseph-Louis Papineau. Papineau had been waging his rebellion against Lower Canada out of Vermont. And while Papineau saw no better success than those in the west, the use of a central group and the model of a secret society had kept the group much better aligned with the goals of their rebellion. It also attracted the attention of Charles Duncombe whoRead More →

The continuing rebellion shifted after Pelee Island, as the leadership changed and William Lyon MacKenzie separated himself while living in Rochester while out on bail from his arrest in Buffalo following the evacuation from Navy Island. The Rebel Cause fell under the leadership of the Council of Thirteen. A mixed group of Canadian and American sympathisers. However, their actions against Upper Canada and their behaviour in the American cities had forced them to seek shelter in the rural areas along the border. Charles Duncombe had been working in the east and was spreading a new secret society based on a French-Canadian society to spread theRead More →

How do Developers Work? Before you can get into the actual developers, we should recap how developers and black & white film photography works anyways. We’re going to put on our lab coats and try to explain this process as simple as possible. Black & White film is made up of individual crystals, the crystals are known as silver halide (2Ag+Br–) is made up of a positive silver ion and a negative bromide ion. These crystals while theoretically would be perfect, in reality, there are small imperfections in each crystal. The crystals are naturally light sensitive, however, when they are bombarded by photons (light) theRead More →

The North American film photography community can probably thank Mike Bitaxi for the introduction of Polypan F. And to make things more interesting, the film is not intended for pictorial work. Instead, Polypan F is a motion picture copy film. As such the film is a blue-sensitive orthochromatic film, but looking at it, you can hardly tell. But if there is one thing the film is known for it’s the GLOW, thanks to the lack of an anti-halation layer on the film. Sadly the film was discontinued, but there’s still plenty of bulk rolls floating around. Undoubtedly worthwhile trying if you come across it. IRead More →

Before Plus-X there was Verichrome Pan. The two films have rather similar looks, but if there was a film that defined the look of the mid-century, that is the 1940s through 1950s of the 20th-Century that film is Verichrome Pan. Despite its age and the mid-speed nature of it, the film today remains surprisingly stable, having shot some that had expiry dates of the late 1960s. Designed as a general purpose film for the average consumer who at the time of its release in 1956 had nothing more than a box camera the film had a wide exposure latitude to overcome the disadvantages a boxRead More →