When it comes to basic bare-bones developers, you don’t get any more simple than Kodak D-76. Kodak D-76 is the common factor between professional and student photographers and everyone in between. It’s a staple in most darkrooms, you can develop film and prints with it, and for me, it was the first developer I ever used for both film and prints. And for a while, I had stopped using Kodak D-76 in my processing, but after I started reviewing films, I got back into the stuff. The reason it gives what you expect, a baseline. It also is relatively inexpensive and economical for long termRead More →

When it comes to Kodak films that have ended up in the great darkroom in the sky, there is none that is more missed than Kodak Plus-X. A general purpose mid-speed film designed to give sharp, fine-grained images a popular film among photojournalists, street photographers, and portrait photographers, or any photographer who has used it in the past. It also has touched my photographic journey on multiple points being the film I shot of the most of in my 2015 trip to Europe and the second Kodak film I’m always on the hunt for and am willing to spend a fair price on when IRead More →

The last few times I’ve mentioned Mackinac Island it has been in regards to the island’s roll in the Anglo-American War of 1812, from its initial capture at the opening of the conflict, the fort’s rich history dating back to the American Revolution, and the failed attempt at its recapture by American forces in the summer of 1814. My second trip was less about the history and more about capturing the island’s beauty and showing off one of my favourite locations to my beautiful wife. Our journey started of course on the mainland, grabbing the 9-o’clock ferry across to the island which happened to beRead More →

Fur Trader, Loyalist, Indian Agent, and Officer. William McKay was born in the Mohawk Valley of New York State in 1772. The son of former Non-Commissioned Officer Donald McKay. His father had seen service during the French-Indian War and fought during the assault on Quebec City. Remaining loyal to the crown the family moved to Upper Canada’s St. Lawerence Valley during the American Revolution settling in what would become Glengarry County in Ontario. William and his older brother, Alexander, joined the North West Company in 1790. McKay would begin to trade throughout the northwest of British North America spending much of his time in theRead More →

One of the unsung heroes of the Anglo-American War of 1812, the burly red-haired Robert Dickson was born to a merchant father in Dumfries Scotland in 1765. After his father’s business had failed, Robert along with his two brothers travelled to Upper Canada to work for their uncle, Robert Hamilton. Hamilton was a wealthy gentleman in Upper Canada, and while the two brothers found success with Hamilton’s business the dull clerical work did not appeal to the adventurous Robert. Robert would find his element in the Northwest upon his posting to Mackinac Island. He expanded his trade network among the northern tribes in both UpperRead More →

Robert McDouall was born to a merchant father in March of 1774 in the town of Stranraer, Scotland. Educated at the Felsted School both his father and uncle hoped he would follow in the family trade as a merchant, placing young Robert at a business in London. Robert, however, was drawn to the military life much to his father’s dismay and with his reluctant approval purchased a commission as an ensign in the 49th (Hertfordshire) Regiment of Foot only to three days later purchase a lieutenant commission in the 8th (King’s) Regiment of foot in 1797. He served during the 1801 Egyptian Campaign against theRead More →

The Nikon F5, at first glance you might mistake it for a digital SLR. I certainly have been asked ‘what sensor is in that camera’ and depending on my mood and my general view of the person asking I might reply with something a little more sarcastic, other times a simple response is “oh a 36x24mm or full-frame as it’s called in digital photography.” The F5 was my second grail camera after switching over to a Nikon system from Minolta, in fact, I picked up the battery grip for the F80 to make it look like an F5 because at the time the F5 wasRead More →

The final engagement in the Northern Theatre of the War of 1812 was two different naval actions, but as the two are intimately connected, I have combined them into one entry and titled it after the second engagement, the Battle of Lake Huron. The results of this battle gave the undisputed British control over the North by the end of the war, and sole control of Lake Huron. Following Croghan’s failure to take back Mackinac Island in his frontal assault in August of 1814, Sinclair opted to blockade the small island fort and cut off the supply line which meant locating H.M. Schooner Nancy. Eventually,Read More →

When Oliver Hazard Perry defeated the British Squadron in September of 1813 it not only cut the British off from additional troops and supplies coming from the eastern parts of Upper Canada, but it also removed the key supply route up the Detroit River to the distant outpost at Fort Mackinac. By 1813 the British had moved all their northern operations to Fort Mackinac, leaving the old Fort St. Joseph in the hands of the Northwest Company, protected by the local militia. However when William Henry Harrison liberated Detroit, occupied Amherstburg and defeated Procter and Tecumseh at the Battle of the Thames, his eye turnedRead More →

The history of Mackinac Island and the War of 1812 in the Northern part of what is now Michigan and Ontario is actually a trilogy of events that lead to the eventual British Victory in the North. In the 19th Century communication was a slow and dangerous journey for the couriers that carried messages from the larger posts in the south. This was both a help and a hindrance to the theatre in the north. Fort Mackinac was built by the British 1780 near the end of the American Revolution as the island fort better defended than the old French fort, Fort Michilimackinac, on theRead More →