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 →

One of the biggest mistakes I made was giving away my Nikon FM2n as a gift, thinking that I would be OK with the Nikon FA. And while these days to replace an FM2n is a costly endeavour, they have shot up in price since I bought mine. I have since come to terms that the only way to get an FM2n again is to have one returned as a gift. But what about an earlier model, the camera that you could say started it all? Released as a result of the OM-System, the Nikon FM ushered in a new age of Nikon built aroundRead More →

If there is one developer that is the closest thing to a magic bullet in my chemistry set, that developer is Pyrocat-HD. While Rodinal is the oldest commercial developer, Pyro based developers pre-date Rodinal into the early days of photography, being used back in the days when plate-based photographic media were the norm. And while the developers changed overtime, Pyrocat-HD is among the newest in the category being developed by Sandy King as an improvement over PMK Pyro. Sandy promotes the developer as giving 1/3rd of a stop in film speed with about 10-15% less developing time. Along with consistent staining action and lower toxicity.Read More →

Like Ontario, Simcoe & Huron, unless you’re a hardcore railroad history fan, you may have never heard of the Great Western Railroad. If you commute between Hamilton and Toronto on the GO Train, you’ve ridden on the part of the original line for Great Western. Their stations are still in use around the province, and yet the name is long lost to history. Great Western Railroad got its start in 1834 as the London & Gore Railway to build a railway between the city of London and the city of Hamilton. Even in 1834, Sir Allan Napier MacNab invested heavily in the company. But theRead More →

No strangers on this bridge, Lomography Potsdam 100 is the second film released in their Kino series of films. Potsdam 100 is ORWO UN54 a film that I have shot a lot with for the past several years. Compared to N74, UN54 is super sharp, fine-grained and has a fantastic tonality and one I have only developed in a limited number of developers, so I’m looking forward to trying it out in different developers. Designed as Eastern Europe version of Kodak Plus-X and it certainly shows. What struck me is that the film is marked as Lomography Potsdam in the rebate area, which means thatRead More →

If you’re confused at the title, don’t worry, there never was the Republic of Canada, well not in any formally recognised manner. I happened across this strange pseudo-nation while doing the initial planning stages of this project. The grand republic is the brainchild of William Lyon MacKenzie and Charles Duncombe; they desired to reshape both Upper and Lower Canada into a single country with a Constitution and Government structure similar to that in the United States of America. And while he aimed to establish his new republic through force of arms, his failure at Toronto and Duncombe’s failure in the west did little to dampenRead More →

There are many iconic cameras out there, the Nikon F, the F2, the Leica Rangefinders, Rolleiflex, Stylus Epic, Crown Graphic, and many more. And while many films have achieved popular success, there is only a single one that has captured the imagination of thousands if not more through its life, and that film is Kodak Kodachrome — introduced in 1935 as one of the first commercially successful colour slide film. Launched initially as a colour movie film, it soon flooded into the still photography market. The Kodachrome I shot was introduced in 1974, although the first ASA-64 Kodachrome was released as Kodachrome-X in 1962, however,Read More →

In Post-War British North America, the British authorities took a two-pronged approach to the defences of their North American holdings. The first through a series of upgrades to the defensive forts along the border and the bolstering of the British garrisons, the second would be to prevent another war through a series of negotiated agreements and treaties. The idea would be to shore up the start of better relationships and fill in the gaps left by the Treaty of Gent. If you have read the Treaty of Ghent and understand its context you’ll quickly realise Ghent could not be the final say for normal relationsRead More →

Like Svema Foto 400, I’ve only ever shot a single roll of Kentmere 400, and that was when it was being bulk loaded by the Film Photography Project as their EDU line of films. And yes, like Kentmere 100, this film stock is also produced by Ilford/Harman for their export market. While I personally think the film is best for students and those photographers on a budget, I don’t mind the film. It’s a lot closer to the old Ilford Pan 400 than their HP5+ stock, and that’s not a bad thing. And while I can still only find the film in the old packaging,Read More →