Tag: lake ontario

A Winter’s Walk

A Winter’s Walk

What do you do when you have a morning to kill and your clients cancelled their Christmas photoshoot? Why you gather up your fellow podcast hosts and hit the streets!

CCR - Hosts Only WalkCCR - Hosts Only Walk

It’s always fun to hit the streets to test out a new camera and lens combo like the Mamiya m645 plus the stupidly wide 35mm lens. The quick morning walk was exactly what I needed to clear my head and hang out with my awesome co-hosts, John, James, Mike, Donna, and Bill. And despite having shot through the old section of Oakville many times, it’s always good to make a return to see if your eye catches anything new.

CCR - Hosts Only WalkCCR - Hosts Only Walk

I also had the chance to hit up two local spots, Tribeca Coffee and the new location of Bru. Both of which are well worth the visit. Good Coffee, Good Food, Good Friends, you can’t ask for anything better to kick off the Christmas holiday season.

CCR - Hosts Only WalkCCR - Hosts Only Walk

Be sure to check out Bill’s photos from the walk as well! He got to test out his newly repaired Rokkor 58mm f/1.5 lens!

Technical Details:
Mamiya m645 – Mamiyia-Sekor C 35mm 1:3.5 N – Kodak Tri-X Pan @ ASA-200
Blazinal (1+50) 9:00 @ 20C

CCR Review 68 – Zenza Bronica GS-1

CCR Review 68 – Zenza Bronica GS-1

If you’ve used any of the modern Bronica cameras, you’ve mostly used them all. And that is the beauty of them because of they all act, behave and feel the same in both operation and general, cosmetic details. The only difference is the size of the negative. And while I’ve reviewed the smaller of the three, the ETRS earlier this year, I now switch up to the largest of the three the GS-1. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not a fan of Bronica cameras, but I like the GS-1 and would easily rate it higher than the Mamiya as it stands up easier on field work when comparing similar bodies, the Pentax 67 out strips both for ease of use in the field. Sadly the camera is a rare beast to find these days even on the used market, but if you can find a full setup, you have a keeper. Special thanks to Mike Bitaxi for loaning out the beast.

CCR Review 68 - Bronica GS-1
The Dirt

  • Make: Zenza
  • Model: Bronica GS-1
  • Type: Single Lens Reflex
  • Format: Medium, 120/220, 6×7
  • Lens: Interchangeable, PG-Mount
  • Year of Manufacture: 1983-2002

CCR Review 68 - Bronica GS-1

CCR Review 68 - Bronica GS-1

The Good
Despite being a 6×7 camera the GS-1 if properly equipped with a good neck strap and action grip is designed for use in the field, when compared to a camera like the RB/RZ67, even with a waist level finder the action grip makes the camera easy to use. While this is no Mamiya 7 or Pentax 67 I found that even the weight is acceptable for walking around, it actually would be a difficult camera to use in the studio. If you’ve used other Bronica cameras of the same period you’ll instantly know how to operate the GS-1 with all the same controls; even the accessories mount in the same fashion as the smaller cameras. And the camera is designed for speed, a familiar crank or double-stroke will advance the film and cock the shutter, and return the mirror. The GS-1 is also a fully modular system so you can customise it to however you need it from finders, backs, grips, and lenses. It also impressed me how quiet it was, of its size and weight I expected a mirror slap that would wake the dead and rattle even the steadiest photographer at 1/60 of a second. And finally, having the large 6×7 negative makes the camera ideal for wedding, travel, landscape, and other situations where the print is king, and you don’t want to lug along a 4×5 large format camera. But my favourite part, the camera has a functioning built in, on/off switch, helps to save that battery, and that battery is pretty standard and can easily be purchased online or at a camera/electronics shop.

CCR Review 68 - Bronica GS-1

CCR Review 68 - Bronica GS-1

The Bad
The camera does have the trouble with weight, while less than an RB/RZ, and with a good strap it is not much of an issue, but if you have back troubles this might not want to be a camera of choice. Now I’ve handled cameras with hair triggers before, the Olympus XA comes to mind, and so does the GS-1. I had barely laid my finger on the action grip shutter release and bam; I had taken the shot. I was just glad I hadn’t changed the frame composition. Then when it comes to changing the camera to portrait orentation, you have to hall the whole thing 90 degrees, with the action grip and eye-level finder it’s not too bad, but if you have the waist-level finder, good luck buttercup. However, the biggest trouble with this camera is the rarity of it. I had not even heard of the system until Mike first mentioned he was collecting the parts to make one up. And I find that odd given the near twenty-year life of the GS-1. So why is this a bad thing, well the trouble is that if something breaks or goes wrong, it makes it hard to find replacement parts or accessories and being an electronic camera from the 1980s something will break eventually? And given this rarity and lack of gear on the used market, anything you do find will be relatively costly.

CCR Review 68 - Bronica GS-1

CCR Review 68 - Bronica GS-1

The Lowdown
Like any other 6×7 camera I’ve reviewed, the GS-1 is certainly a winner, but as a 4×5 shooter, it just doesn’t fill a need in my toolkit. Also, two frames into my second roll, it stopped working for me, it must know of my loathing of Bronicas. When it went back to its owner, Mike, started working again. If I ever stopped shooting the 4×5 format, I would probably go for a 6×7 camera, but given the rarity and cost attached to a GS-1 and my general distrust of Bronica cameras, my two 6×7 cameras of choice would be a Pentax 67 or Mamiya 7. While I would hazzard reccomending the GS-1, it’s not a bad camera, it’s just there are better options for 6×7 shooting out there. Heck, I’d even run with an RB/RZ67 over a GS-1. Worth the massive back damage if it provides a little more reliablity.

All Photos Taken in The Beach, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Bronica GS-1 – Zenzanon-PG 1:3.5 f=100mm – Delta 100 @ ASA-80
SPUR HRX (1+20) 9:00 @ 20C

Toronto Film Shooters Meetup – Winter ’17

Toronto Film Shooters Meetup – Winter ’17

I never thought that this little idea of mine would catch on. I never believe that my little social ideas would go over. And yet they usually do in some form or another. For example, the Toronto Film Shooters Meetup, now starting on its the fourth year. TFSM, a quarterly gathering of photographers in the Southern Ontario region who loves to shoot traditional film based cameras is an idea I floated back in 2013. I was still an active member of the Analog Photography User Group (APUG), and in the Toronto Sub-Forum, someone was complaining that there was not enough photo walks in the Greater Toronto Region specifically for film photographers.

TFSM - Winter '17
Zeiss Ikon Contax IIIa – Zeiss Opton Sonnar 1:1,5 f=50mm – Ilford FP4+ @ ASA-100 – SPUR HRX (1+20) 9:30 @ 20C

TFSM - Winter '17
Zeiss Ikon Contax IIIa – Zeiss Opton Sonnar 1:1,5 f=50mm – Ilford FP4+ @ ASA-100 – SPUR HRX (1+20) 9:30 @ 20C

So I, a young, mid-twenty some-odd kid, piped up. I’ll organize a quarterly photo walk one for each season. So on a bright summer day in 2013, I launched the Toronto Film Shooters Meetup or TFSM. It’s had varied success over the four years; there was even an event where I was the only one in attendance. The winter ones are usually the least attended walks mostly because the weather can be rather terrible, or just plain cold. But the walk a couple of weeks back it was a bit gray, but the weather was okay.

TFSM - Winter '17
Zeiss Ikon Contax IIIa – Zeiss Opton Sonnar 1:1,5 f=50mm – Ilford FP4+ @ ASA-100 – SPUR HRX (1+20) 9:30 @ 20C

TFSM - Winter '17
Zeiss Ikon Contax IIIa – Zeiss Opton Sonnar 1:1,5 f=50mm – Ilford FP4+ @ ASA-100 – SPUR HRX (1+20) 9:30 @ 20C

The six brave souls who attended took in an icy view along Toronto’s lakeshore, which during the summer is fairly active, but not so much in the winter. And yet there was still lots to photograph along the way. Earlier in the day, I had taken my Contax IIIa through the downtown core to give the beauty of a camera a bit of a workout. A stop at Downtown Camera to stock up one some film, and even got my hands on a box of RPX400 in 4×5.

TFSM - Winter '17
Nikon F2 Photomic – AI-S Nikkor 35mm 1:2.8 – Bergger BRF400+ @ ASA-400 – Kodak HC-110 Dil. B 7:00 @ 20C

TFSM - Winter '17
Nikon F2 Photomic – AI-S Nikkor 35mm 1:2.8 – Bergger BRF400+ @ ASA-400 – Kodak HC-110 Dil. B 7:00 @ 20C

I’m surprised as for how well all my photos came out. Usually, I don’t post much in the way of volume from these meets. But making a choice to bring only two cameras and only actively shooting one at any given time probably helped. And I was using several new-to-me items this time around. The Nikon F2 was loaded up with Bergger BRF 400+ and an AI-S 35mm lens, while the Contax IIIa had an old favourite FP4+ but this time around I developed with SPUR HRX, a new developer that I got introduced to by Mike.

TFSM - Winter '17
Nikon F2 Photomic – AI-S Nikkor 35mm 1:2.8 – Bergger BRF400+ @ ASA-400 – Kodak HC-110 Dil. B 7:00 @ 20C

TFSM - Winter '17
Nikon F2 Photomic – AI-S Nikkor 35mm 1:2.8 – Bergger BRF400+ @ ASA-400 – Kodak HC-110 Dil. B 7:00 @ 20C

If you’re in the Toronto area or even beyond, we have regular attendees from Peterborough, feel free to join us on Facebook to hear about all the madness that is the Toronto Film Shooters group!

Project:1812 – Actions on Lake Ontario

Project:1812 – Actions on Lake Ontario

Control of the lakes were key during the War of 1812 as the fastest way to move troops, equipment, and supplies was by water. Most the roads in the Canadas and the US weren’t the super highways we know today, they were nothing more than dirt roads that would easily become mud pits in the snow and rain. To maintain control of the lakes both sides maintained squadrons of ships that could keep the enemy pinned in their own bases. Unlike Lake Erie which was controlled first by the British because the US Naval Squadron had been captured in 1812 after Brock captured Detroit, and then was rebuilt at Erie in 1813 and the British squadron was captured that year in the Battle of Lake Erie and the US maintained control of Lake Erie until the end of the war, things weren’t so black and white on Lake Ontario.

Project:1812 - Flight of the Royal George
The memorial plaque just outside of Bath, Ontario marking the Escape of the Royal George. A similar plaque to the bombardment of Kingston can be found by the city’s harbor.
Pentax 645 – SMC Pentax A 645 75mm 1:2.8 – Kodak Plus-X Pan (PXP) – Kodak TMax Developer (1+4) 5:45 @ 20C

For the most part, the actions on Lake Ontario were nothing more than posturing, with most of the action taking place through 1813 and 1814 between the US Squadron commander, Commodore Isaac Chauncy, and his opposite number in the British Squadron, Commodore James Lucas Yeo. Both sides wanted to destroy the other in an action similar to Lake Erie but never got the chance. The first major action on Lake Ontario took place in November of 1812. At that time the Lake Ontario squadron was commanded by Commodore Hugh Earle and his flagship, H.M. Sloop Royal George (20) was the largest and most powerful ship on the lake, and Chauncy wanted it gone, or captured. So on the 5th of November, 1812 he went hunting, taking with him his entire squadron, seven ships. His flagship, U.S. Brig Oneida (16), supported by U.S. Schooner Julia (2), U.S. Schooner Pert (3), U.S. Schooner Conquest (3), and U.S. Schooner Growler (5). The American squadron spotted the Royal George off the Bay of Qunte and proceeded to give chase. Rather than stand and fight against a superior force, her captain, Commodore Hugh Earle, made a break for the Navy Yard at Kingston. Using superior seamanship and knowledge of the area, the Royal George slipped between the mainland and Amherst Island, evading the Americans, but on the 10th she was spotted again, the American squadron gave chase and by two in the afternoon the smaller vessels had made it into gun range and began to fire on the Royal George but they had also slipped into range of the shore batteries. Chauncy brought the Oneida into the action, but it was too late, she had slipped into the yard behind the protection of the big guns at Point Henry and Point Frederick. If Chauncy could not take the George as a prize, he could at least deny the Royal Navy of her use and ordered his ships to continue the bombardment. But the inaccurate fire failed to hit the target rather hitting the town of Kingston itself. With the town and yard in danger the heavy guns at Point Henry and Point Frederick opened fire on the squadron, fearing losses, Chauncy ordered the squadron back with intentions of resuming the bombardment the following day however a storm swept into the area forcing Chauncy out to open water and then back to Sackets Harbor.

Project:1812 - Fort Henry
Following the war, two forts, Fort Henry (pictured) and Fort Frederick were constructed to defend the Navy Yard at Kingston. Fort Henry a Victorian Era masonry fort was completed in 1832, today serves as a popular tourist destination.
Modified Anniversary Speed Graphic – Kodak Ektar f:7.7 203mm (Green) – Ilford HP5+ – Kodak HC-110 Dil. B 5:00 @ 20C

When Commodore James Lucas Yeo took command of the British Squadron he kicked off an arms race on Lake Ontario the type not seen again until just before the First World War as both commanders tried to outgun the other with larger and larger ships. Yeo even went so far as to convince the Army to take Sackets Harbor in May of 1813 with little effect. The two commanders continued to dance around each other until September of 1813 when they finally met. Chauncy finally outclassed the British Squadron with the completion of his new flagship the U.S. Corvette General Pike (28). But Yeo was not going to give up so easily. The two commanders proceeded to chase each other around Lake Ontario. On the 28th of September, Chauncy’s squadron aimed to intercept Yeo while he was in the harbor at York. Yeo, not wanting to expose the construction of a new fort at the capital headed south under heavy wind. The two squadrons exchanged long range fire, Yeo was seeking to get under the cover of the heavy guns at Burlington Heights, knowing that he was outgunned nearly two-to-one, and Chauncy lacked any close range carronades. The two continued the chase, until just before one in the afternoon Yeo reversed course in an effort to bring his batteries to bear and give Chauncy’s flagship a broadside. Chauncy matched the maneuver the two ships hammered at each other the H. M. Sloop Wolfe(20) losing the main top and mizzen masts, while the Pike took damage below the waterline. Yeo’s second in command, Commander William Mulcaster aboard the Royal George seeing the Wolfe taking fire moved in between the two ships to provide cover. Aboard the Pike, Captain Arthur Sinclair urged the commodore to cut his losses and accept the two small Schooners from Yeo’s squadron as prizes and retreat to Sacket’s Harbor to effect repair. But Chauncy wanted all six of Yeo’s ships for his own. Yeo on the other hand knowing he could not win, ordered all his ships into the bay, making it under the cover of the big guns. Chauncy was left facing his own destruction from the batteries at Burlington Heights or from an oncoming storm, and headed back to Sackets Harbor.

Project:1812 - Burlington Races
Burlington Bay as seen from Burlington Heights today.
Pacemaker Crown Graphic – Schneider-Kreuznack Xenar 1:4,7/135 – Kodak Plus-X Pan (PXP) – Kodak HC-110 Dil. B 5:00 @ 20C

While the two men would never meet directly in battle again on Lake Ontario the British managed to maintain control of the lake until the end of the war through the threat of their squadron. Yeo would eventually go on to win the arms race in 1814 with the launch of the H.M. Ship St. Lawrence (112) by the fall of 1814, thus denying naval support to the trapped troops at Fort Erie. The St. Lawrence would go on to be the largest ship to ever sail on the Great Lakes, and even outclassed all of the Royal Navy’s first rate ship-of-the-line in commission at the time. After the war was done, she would continue to patrol Lake Ontario until put in storage in 1816 after the Rush-Baggott Agreement limited the amount of ship’s and arms on the Great Lakes and Lake Champlain. Today she lies near Kingston under water, although you can see pieces of her at the museum on the property of the Royal Military College, which now occupies the former Navy Yard.

Project:1812 - Kingston Royal Naval Dockyard
The Martello tower at Fort Fredrick, you can see part of the St. Lawrence in the Basement, it is also home to the RMC Museum.
Pentax 645 – SMC Pentax A 645 35mm 1:3.5 – Kodak Tmax 100 (100TMX) – Blazinal (1+50) 12:00 @ 20C

Written with Files From:
Web: www.warof1812.ca/burlingn.htm
Web: Burlington Connections to the War of 1812 by Daphene Smith
Collins, Gilbert. Guidebook to the Historic Sites of the War of 1812. Toronto: Dundurn, 2006. Print.
Hickey, Donald R. Don’t Give up the Ship!: Myths of the War of 1812. Urbana: U of Illinois, 2006. Print.

Project:1812 – The Second Battle of Sackets Harbor

Project:1812 – The Second Battle of Sackets Harbor

During the War of 1812, Sackets Harbor was the major US Naval base on Lake Ontario, home base to Commodore Isaac Chauncy’s squadron and primary shipyard for the navy. In 1812 the Royal Navy had bombarded the base with little effect, but in 1813 following the American capture of Fort George. General Vincent having fallen back to Burlington Heights sent a message to Prevost and the newly appointed Commodore James Lucas Yeo that Chauncy’s entire squadron was at Niagara leaving Sackets Harbor for the most part undefended.

Project:1812 - Sackets Harbor
The former navy point, serving today as a marina.

The newly appointing commander of the Lake Ontario Squadron, Commodore James Lucas Yeo jumped at the chance, in addition to denying Chauncy a place to build and repair, he could also take out the U.S. Corvette General Pike (28) that was looking to be the largest ship on the Great Lakes. Removal of this threat would continue to keep the balance of power on Lake Ontario in favour of the British. Prevost agreed and would command the attack himself. The land force consisted of a section from the 1st Royal Scots, 2 companies of the 8th (King’s), a company from the 100th, and a bulk of the force was made up of the newly arrived 104th Regiment. In addition to the regulars, the Royal Newfoundland, Glengarry Light Infantry, the Provincial Corps of Light Infantry (Canadian Voltigeurs) and native warriors. Yeo’s squadron lead by H.M. Sloop Wolfe (20), H.M. Sloop Royal George (20), H.M. Brig Moira (16), H.M. Schooner Sir Sydney Smith (12), and H.M. Schooner General Beresford (16). The British attack fleet departed for Sacket’s Harbor on the 27th, arriving in Henderson Bay that same day. On the 28th, using landing craft, the land forces began rowing to shore only to be hastily called back, as watchmen in the tops had spotted sails. Prevost gave the order fearing that it was Chauncy returning. But as the sails came closer it turned out it was simply a flotilla of bateaux heading for Sacket’s Harbor from Fort Ontario in Oswego, New York. Prevost ordered the native warriors and a schooner with a detachment of Glengarry Light Infantry intercept and capture them. The British forces surprised the now camped American troops (mostly new recruits from the 9th and 12th US Infantry) at Stoney Point. While most were either killed or surrender a small number managed to escape into the woods. The escaped troops were brought to the commander of the naval base, a Dragoon officer, Lieutenant-Colonel Electus Backus.

Project:1812 - Sackets Harbor
A marker at the former site of Fort Tompkin, the largest fort defending the Naval Base

The delay was enough to ensure that Backus could bring more troops into the region to reinforce his small detachment of regulars and militia stationed there. Along with the militia was General Jacob Brown, a local school teacher, who under orders from Dearborn took command of all the forces at Sacket’s. A bulk of the forces were split between two forts, Tompkin and Volunteer, simple earthwork forts with blockhouses mounting heavy cannons. The British forces began their landing on the 29th at Horse Island south of the town proper. While the militia and fire from Fort Tompkin kept the British contained, fire from two six-pound field guns were enough to send Brown’s militia troops running.

Project:1812 - Sackets Harbor
The memorial at the Sackets Harbor Battlefield

The attack then moved north heading into the town proper, under heavy fire from the defenders. The big guns of Yeo’s squadron however could not be brought into action to suppress the two forts, the shallow water kept them out of range. One ship however, the General Bereford was able to move in closer using oars but not close enough to making their carronades effective, but the bombardment was enough to give the naval dock officer, Lieutenant John Drury believe that the town had been lost, and he proceeded to set fire to the General Pike along with several store houses to prevent their capture. With the defenders falling back to their blockhouses, the British small arms fire and even the six-pound guns were proving to be ineffective, and with Brown having rallied a small number of his militia approaching and pushing on the flank, Prevost had no choice but to retreat. While he reported it an orderly retreat, the reality was closer to chaos. With word that the British were retreating, the dock workers were able to save the General Pike but the store houses were a lost cause. When Chauncy got word that the British had attacked Sacket’s he immediately pulled his squadron from the Niagara Region to protect his new flagship, leaving the region without naval support, as Perry had taken the two ships at Black Rock back to his own squadron on Lake Erie.

Project:1812 - Sackets Harbor
One of the surviving buildings from during the War of 1812, it served as a hospital and today is the information center for the town’s historic downtown.

Prevost’s loss at Sackets ensured that Yeo and Chauncy would continue for the remainder of the war with the deadly arms race leading to both sides construction first-rate ships-of-the-line with Yeo winning with the launch of H.M. Ship St. Lawrence (112) in 1814. The U.S. Ship New Oreleans was also under construction but was never completed. Today Sackets Harbor is a quiet tourist town, the military establishment long gone and converted for civilian use. Plaques and markers around town and the preserved battlefield allow for self-guided tours. If you are in town I highly recommend The Hops Spot for food and drink. The town also hosts a reenactment on the first weekend in August annually but I have yet to attend.

Written with Files From:
Collins, Gilbert. Guidebook to the Historic Sites of the War of 1812. Toronto: Dundurn, 2006. Print.
Hickey, Donald R. Don’t Give up the Ship!: Myths of the War of 1812. Urbana: U of Illinois, 2006. Print.
Web: www.eighteentwelve.ca/?q=eng/Topic/46

Photos:
Rolleiflex 2.8F – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Kodak TMax 400 – Kodak TMax Developer (1+9) 20:00 @ 20C

400TX:365 – Week 1 – Oakville

400TX:365 – Week 1 – Oakville

At the foot of Trafalgar Road is one of my two favourite locations in the town of Oakville, the downtown. Located along the old Highway 2, now Lakeshore Road is dotted with boutique stores, coffee shops and high-end restaurants. The snow and bright sun only made the place that much better in my view as I took a cold walk through not only the main street but the side streets that run down to the lake, taking in again the century homes, the small frame ones to grand brick manor homes, reminders of Oakville’s past, and current wealth in the area.

400TX:365 - Week 01

400TX:365 - Week 01

400TX:365 - Week 01

400TX:365 - Week 01

400TX:365 - Week 01

400TX:365 - Week 01

400TX:365 - Week 01


Nikon F3 – AI-S Nikkor 50mm 1:1.4 – Kodak Tri-X 400 (400TX)
HC-110 Dil. B 4:30 @ 20C

Sunrise in Toronto

Sunrise in Toronto

I had gotten a grand total of three hours sleep before my alarm clock woke me up. But I knew there was some strange reason I had done this to myself. So by five in the morning I was back on the road again aiming myself into Toronto. I reached Polson Pier just before six. The wind and cold was wicked that morning. My iPhone told me it was -10C. I quickly setup my camera at the edge of the pier, two huge cargo ships were busy getting loaded. But my interest was in the Toronto skyline.

Good Morning Toronto

The sky was still dark, no sign of the sun yet save a sliver of light on the eastern horizon obsured by the few buildings dotting the portlands. The Hearn Stack towering above me. The sunrise from the roof of the old station would be just as good.

By quarter after the sky was starting to turn a clear blue, I could start to see the clouds turning pink along the eastern sky.

Just before Golden

The sun’s influence was starting to warm up the area, but I was so cold from standing outside for almost an hour now, this better be worth it. The Royal Bank tower was now glowing like crazy. The Sun was going to come up any time now.

Toronto - Sunrise - End of Blue Hour

And then it hit.

Toronto - Sunrise - Golden Hour

Totally worth it. I quickly retired back to my car, did a quick packing job and hit up the Balzac’s in the nearby Distillery District.

Project:1812 – Burlington Heights

Project:1812 – Burlington Heights

Welcome to the first entry in Project:1812. The Anglo-American War of 1812 a conflict born out of the greater Napoleonic War. The United States of America, a brand new nation on the world stage was already making ripples. Having little in the way of local manufacturing of goods they relied heavily on trade with the European powers, and the two biggest were England and France, two nations that had for the past several decades been in a constant state of war. So when economic warfare between the two heated up, the USA was caught in the middle. And did the best they could to stay out of it, but in the end were forced into declaring war with England, the first time America would declare war. Over the course of this project, I will explore the sites, battles, and people connected to the conflict.

Project:1812 - Burlington Heights
The Hamilton Municipal Cemetary holds the only remaining earthworks of the British fortification known as Burlington Heights.
Pacemaker Crown Graphic – Schneider-Kreuznach Xenar 1:4,7/135 – Kodak Plus-X Pan (PXP) – Kodak HC-110 Dil. B 5:00 @ 20C

Burlington Heights is something that unless you’ve visited the Hamilton Military Museum or taken a tour of Dundurn Castle, you probably have never heard about in detail. The Heights were never planned; they were built solely out of necessity. After the British defeat at what would be called the Battle of Fort George, the British Army of the Center under General John Vincent was forced to retreat from the Niagara Penisula. His only saving grace was that his American counterpart, General Henry Dearborn, failed to pursue. With Fort York destroyed as well at York (today, Toronto, Ontario). Vincent decided to begin construction of a new fortification at the Heights above Burlington Bay.

Canon AE-1 Program Test
A close up of the plaque that is mounted on the remaining earthworks
Canon AE-1 Program – Canon Lens FD 50mm 1:1.4 – Fuji Neopan Acros 100 @ ASA-100 – Kodak Xtol (Stock) 8:00 @ 20C

Burlington Heights commanded an impressive view of Burlington Bay, a naturally defended cove off Lake Ontario. The fort mainly earthwork walls, cannon batteries, and blockhouses would serve to project the rest of Upper Canada should Dearborn’s army advanced. Unfortunately for Vincent, he suffered from the lack of men and supplies, thankfully the Americans never directly attacked the Heights. That’s not to say the fort had any role in the War of 1812. The successful night assault on Stoney Creek was launched from Burlington Heights, and the batteries gave Commodore Isaac Chauncy pause when giving chase to Commodore James Lucas Yeo’s squadron during the Burlington Races. After the treason trials at Ancaster had concluded those who were not dismissed of charges and weren’t sent to prison had a meeting with the gallows at the Heights.

Rail Yards
The only real view off the Heights these days is rail yards and industry. A lot has changed in 200 years.
Pentax 645 – SMC Pentax A 645 75mm 1:2.8 – Ilford Delta 100 @ ASA-100 – Processing by: Old School Photolab

When the war ended in 1815, the need to maintain a military post at Burlington Heights was lost. The fort buildings would continue to see use as a quarantine hospital for new immigrants to Canada. But the years marched on, and the heights were abandoned, the buildings would be doomed to demolition by neglect. The site would see renewed use in the late 19th and early 20th century as the city of Hamilton grew. Sir Allan Napier MacNab selected a portion to build his new country home, Dundurn Castle. Hamilton cemetery would also take over some of the old British sites. And finally, the Royal Botanical Gardens occupy the some of the site as well.

52:320TXP - Week 02 - Dundurn Castle
Dundurn Castle as it stands today, the castle today is a civic museum and a major attraction in the city of Hamilton.
Modified Anniversary Speed Graphic – Kodak Ektar f:7.7 203mm – Kodak Xtol (1+1) 8:30 @ 20C

Today you can still visit Burlington Heights, but you won’t find much in the way of the old British Fort. Some of the earthworks have been maintained in the Hamilton Cemetery and are relatively close to the entrance off York Road. Dundurn Castle is a beautiful home to visit and tour, and some of the old British powder magazines and casemates are present in the castle’s basement. There’s also plaques and cannon on display marking where the fortifications stood along the edge of the Heights. The Hamilton Military Museum has an exhibition about the Heights complete with artifacts and a visual representation of what the site might have looked like in 1814.

Canon AE-1 Program Test
One of the cannons marking the edge of the British works.
Canon AE-1 Program – Canon Lens FD 50mm 1:1.4 – Fuji Neopan Acros 100 @ ASA-100 – Kodak Xtol (Stock) 8:00 @ 20C

Written with Files from:
Guidebook to the Historic Sites of the War of 1812 Second Edition by Gilbert Collins – 2006 The Dundurn Group Publishers
Elliott, James, and Nicko Elliott. Strange Fatality: The Battle of Stoney Creek, 1813. Montréal: Robin Brass Studio, 2009. Print.
Lossing, Benson John. The Pictorial Field-book of the War of 1812 Volume 2. Gretna, LA: Pelican Pub., 2003. Print.

Project:52 – Week 35

Project:52 – Week 35

Using old film is fun, and a little scary also because you truly don’t know what you’re going to end up with. A couple years back I had acquired a roll of Kodak Verichrome Pan that had expired in the mid 1960s, and I got zero results from it, so when I found another two rolls of Verichrome Pan that expired in 1975 I figured what the hell and gave them a shot, but instead of letting a lab develop them I would do them myself.

So with the old film loaded into my trusty Rolleiflex I headed down to the lake in Oakville to the posh Bronte Village to wander the boardwalk catching attention of many who saw me using this old camera. Often I use them simply for the conversation pieces that they are. Once the roll was shot it was into the lab for some developing fun. I used the same technique I had on the first roll of the pair that I had shot back at the Muskoka Regional Centre. Using the last of my Agfa Rodinal (The world’s oldest still produced developer (developed in 1891)), I used a method called stand developing, or souping the film in a 1:200 Rodinal solution for an hour.

Project:52 - Week 35

Project:52 - Week 35

Project:52 - Week 35

Project:52 - Week 35

Project:52 - Week 35

Project:52 - Week 35

Project:52 - Week 35

Rolleiflex 2.8F – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Kodak Verichrome Pan

Project:52 – Week 21

Project:52 – Week 21

Sorry about posting this late but I was on a week’s vacation and my server went down or I would have been posting this already. Anyways, another week another meet, this time in Hamilton Ontario with members of the Analog Photography User Group (APUG) forums. The five of us had an amazing sunny day to explore the HMCS Hiada and the rest of Hamilton’s water front.

APUG Meet - May 2011 (Project:52 - Week 21)
Pentax 645 – SMC Pentax A 645 35mm 1:3.5 – Shanghai GP3

APUG Meet - May 2011 (Project:52 - Week 21)
Pentax 645 – SMC Pentax A 645 35mm 1:3.5 – Shanghai GP3

APUG Meet - May 2011 (Project:52 - Week 21)
Nikon FM2 – Nikon Series E 28mm 1:2.8 – Kodak Ektachrome E100GX

APUG Meet - May 2011 (Project:52 - Week 21)
Nikon FM2 – Nikon Series E 28mm 1:2.8 – Kodak Ektachrome E100GX

APUG Meet - May 2011 (Project:52 - Week 21)
Nikon FM2 – Nikon Series E 28mm 1:2.8 – Kodak Ektachrome E100GX

APUG Meet - May 2011 (Project:52 - Week 21)
Pentax 645 – SMC Pentax A 645 35mm 1:3.5 – Kodak Tri-X Pan (TXP ISO-320)

APUG Meet - May 2011 (Project:52 - Week 21)
Nikon FM2 – AI-S Nikkor 105mm 1:2.5 – Rollei Retro 100