Tag: Nikon F5

Delta Def Jam – Part III

Delta Def Jam – Part III

In the past, I have chosen to use just a single film stock to shoot these film challenges laid out by Emuslive. Not because I have to based on the rules of the challenge, just because I choose to. In part one I used Delta 100 in 35mm and part two Delta 400 in 120. But for part three I decided to go crazy and shoot not one, not two, but four rolls from all across the spectrum. Following no real pattern, shooting from the hip and living with the results! I plan to have seven solid shots from each of the four rolls to toss into the ring for the judges that make up the board for the Delta Def Jam!

Roll One – Into the Valley
One of the joys of working at Sheridan College’s Trafalgar Road Campus is that I have a beautiful valley behind the campus in which to escape from the world of computers. For me, it provides a haven from the stresses of work!

HalfWaySpookyMis-Shapen

Roll Two – Of Abstract Nature
I had originally wanted to shoot some street style portraits of the faculty on the picket lines as if you’ve been following the news here in Ontario all the College faculty are still on strike. However, the day I was shooting, bad news had been dropped so the feeling on the line was low, so I decided it best to just avoid them and headed back into McCranney Valley to do some detail shots. I have, in the past, shot Delta 3200, and it isn’t exactly my film of choice. But you don’t turn down a free roll so I pulled it to ASA-800 and let fly. And despite being ever so grainy, I am actually pleased with these!

The Smaller ThingsNew LifeClinging On

Roll Three – Early Mornings
As the weather has all of a sudden turned cold here in southern Ontario, it’s time to get the winter tires installed on my car, so a Saturday morning found me in downtown Milton. While waiting for my car to be done so, I figured it was perfect to get those early morning rays in the historic downtown with the Hasselblad and Delta 400.

The Old Post OfficeWaldie's BlacksmithSt. Pauls

Roll Four – We Will Remember Them
The final roll of the jam I took out to my local Remembrance Day ceremony. And it was cold, so rather than take out an electronic camera with AA batteries, I decided to run with something a little more mechanical in nature and decided to shoot my F2 with the 135mm f/2.8 lens. I aimed to capture respectfully the faces of those in attendance especially the veterans who still live and who’s friend’s names could be listed on the cenotaph. For me, these ceremonies are emotionally charged so having a camera helps keep me grounded.

A Chilly MorningRest on Arms ReversedA Helping Hand

And that’s it! It’s been an amazing three months and the finalists who made it through September and October have outputted some fantastic work with the Delta line of films. I even had a chance to prove that I do actually like Delta 400 I just need to develop it right and Delta 3200 is still really grainy, but hey it was a fun roll to shoot! Next up I’m looking forward to the return of the FP4Party! I have my plan, my cameras, films, developers, and locations ready!

Technical Details.
Roll One – McCraney Valley Park – Oakville, Ontario
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Ilford Delta 100 @ ASA-100
Blazinal (1+25) 9:00 @ 20C

Roll Two – McCraney Valley Park – Oakville, Ontario
Nikon F5 – AF DC-Nikkor 105mm 1:2D – Ilford Delta 3200 @ ASA-800
Kodak HC-110 Dil. B 7:30 @ 20C

Roll Three – Historical Downtown – Milton, Ontario
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Ilford Delta 400 @ ASA-400
Kodak HC-110 Dil. B 7:30 @ 20C

Roll Four – Remembrance Day Ceremony – Milton, Ontario
Nikon F2 Photomic – AI Nikkor 135mm 1:2.8 – Ilford Delta 100 @ ASA-100
Kodak D-23 (Stock) 7:00 @ 20C

I Will Remember

I Will Remember

Here, at the end of history, we know that the war that is The Great War would only last one more year until on the 11th day of the 11th month at the 11th hour the guns across Europe would fall silent. But one hundred years ago they did not know that.

Least We Forget

The men and women who served, in another 100 years will they names be read aloud by the public? Will their names still be remembered? Will our grandchildren know of the sacrifice of those who died 200 years before? Will there be the same fanfare of sober celebration?

In Memorial

I don’t know about then, that’s the future, I’m here now, and I know that I will remember. And I take my duty actively to make sure the generation after me remembers as well.

Least We Forget

Because if I forget, how can the future remember?

DO:T 2017 - Church of the Redeemer

All the photos featured here were taken in 2017 of war memorials I have photographed in my travels. The icon on social media is a simple 3D replica of a carving found in the tunnels beneath Vimy Ridge in France. I hope you, dear reader, take the time to attend a ceremony tomorrow or take a moment to be silent and remember at 11 am. If you need to know where you can attend such a ceremony in Ontario, you can find the details on the Ontario Government Site.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
We will remember them.

Technical Details (From Top to Bottom)
Cambridge, Ontario – Downtown Galt
Pacemaker Crown Graphic – Kodak Ektar f:7.7 203mm – Rollei RPX 25 @ ASA-25
Kodak HC-110 Dil. B 5:00 @ 20C

Toronto, Ontario – Kew Gardens
Nikon FA – AI-S Nikkor 50mm 1:1.4 (Yellow-15) – Efke KB 100 @ ASA-100
Pyrocat-HD (2+2+100) 8:00 @ 20C

Oakville, Ontario – Georges’ Square
Nikon F5 – Lomography Achromat 64mm/2.9 (Orange-22) – Efke KB100 @ ASA-100
Kodak D-23 (Stock) 7:45 @ 20C

Toronto, Ontario – Church of the Redeemer
Nikon F5 – AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm 1:2.8G VR – JCH Streetpan 400 @ ASA-400
Blazinal (1+25) 10:30 @ 20C

Five Rolls – A Journey of HP5+

Five Rolls – A Journey of HP5+

If you’ve ever listened to me talk about film, you’ll know there are some films I have a strong view. I love my Kodak Tri-X and JCH Streetpan 400; then there are the ones I’m not too happy with, that is Ilford HP5+ in 35mm and Delta 400 in general. But what if I could change my mind on just one? Would it give me another tool in the kit to use to get a specific look? Could I shoot four rolls of a film stock and come to like it, even go as far as recommending it? Challenge Accepted.

That film isn’t Delta 400, I don’t think I’ll ever grow to like the stock actually I just developed Delta 400 in Kodak D-23 and it turns out it’s not a bad film stock either, but I feel HP5+ can be one that I just might be able to. So I’ll give it a shot, get five rolls of the stock, load it up into trusted cameras, visit suitable locations, and then pick developers I’ve never used with 35mm HP5+ and go to town.

Roll One: SPUR HRX
I got the idea of using SPUR HRX after looking on Flickr after Tony posted a question on the Toronto Film Shooters Group. Tony had asked for developer recommendations for HP5+ and Mike suggested SPUR HRX. To be fair in this case, I also pushed the film a little bit more than an average day of shooting. I shot the roll indoors in a sort of abandoned, or rather closed campus of Sheridan College. I figured, if I’m going to learn to like the film, I might as well take it into a familiar situation for me.

Registrar

Bravo Six

Leftovers

The Moody Darkness

The results they speak for themselves, the images are dark, moody, and the contrast is rich. Not surprising given the lighting conditions. I did note that there a more substantial grain pattern, but using a sharp developer on a 400-speed film will do that, but it isn’t anything worth complaining.

Roll Two: Pyrocat-HD
When in doubt just run with a Pyro developer. I started working with Pyro based developers after seeing some of the amazing work Mat Marrash has been doing with HP5+ in 8×10 and this developer. Having some early morning light in Toronto, I loaded up the roll into my trusty Contax G2 and went to town!

Toronto - September 2017

Toronto - September 2017

Toronto - September 2017

Toronto - September 2017

When I pulled the negatives out of the tank, I noticed something different, something I had only seen with Kodachrome. Yes, the layers of exposure on the film had a relief to them, as if the silver had been hand etched onto the film base itself. And then into the scanner and you saw this clean three-dimensional image, smooth tones and no grain at all.

Roll Three: Kodak D-23
One of the first developers I ever used was Kodak D-76, it was at the time the preferred developer of my teacher Julie Douglas. While I have only used a single jug of the stuff since, I have latched onto its cousin, the slower acting D-23. I’ve souped plenty of film stocks in it and like how it makes Tri-X look, so I figured it would be a good candidate.

Nature Trail...

Roughing It

Taking on the CRAIG

Take a Seat

I really liked D-23, it performed as I expected it would give the usual smooth tones all the way through the grayscale. Indeed an excellent choice for the film. I’m now hankering to try this with medium and large format versions of HP5+.

Roll Four: Kodak Microdol-X
I happened across this developer completely by accident during my 52-sheet project and came to enjoy using it. While an older Kodak developer again, and not available under the Kodak name, but Legacy Pro has their Mic-X which is the same. Microdol is a fine grain soft developer so it should be able to work a bit of magic.

The Masons

Back to the War

Lighting the Way

Pick Me Up

I honestly don’t know what went wrong with these photos. They all seemed overexposed. The camera, my Nikon F5 has a solid meter, the ASA/ISO setting was correct. Maybe it was the Orange-22 filter I used or the harsh sunlight. I had to work some post-processing magic on these. I think that I need to reduce the developing times by 1 minute or give the film a slight pull to make Microdol-X work.

Roll Five: Kodak HC-110
When you’re having trouble with something, how about going back to an old friend. Kodak HC-110 is one of two developers I have not stopped using since I started developing my own black & white film. The other is Rodinal, but not wanting to give the film one hell of a pull, I figured HC-110 in the standard Dilution B would be a good way to help out.

Blown Open

Eroded Away

Follow the Rails

Sun Dappled

HP5 sings with HC-110, you get to see how sharp the film stock is with this Kodak developer, and the contrast is dead on point even in the strange lighting conditions that are a sun-dappled forest at high-noon. While not exactly the best time to be out shooting it provides a real test for what a film and developer can do, and HC-110 is a sure winner in this case.

When I first set out to shoot these five rolls of HP5+ I went into it thinking I didn’t like the film stock in 35mm, however, upon shooting these five rolls I realised that I did like the film, I had just had some bad encounters with it in the past. In the end, it’s a solid film stock one that I will use in the future because I won’t always be able to find Kodak Tri-X, and now I have several developing options. I also plan on trying to perfect that Microdol-X time/speed issue.

Technical Data:
Roll One: Sheridan College, Skilled Trades Centre, Oakville, Ontario
Nikon F5 – AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm 1:2.8G – Ilford HP5+ @ ASA-400
SPUR HRX (1+17) 11:00 @ 20C

Roll Two: Toronto, Ontario
Contax G2 – Carl Zeiss Planar 2/45 T* – Ilford HP5+ @ ASA-200
Pyrocat-HD (1+1+100) 9:00 @ 20C

Roll Three: Rattlesnake Point, Milton, Ontario
Nikon F2 Photomic – AI-S Nikkor 50mm 1:1.4 (Yellow-12) – Ilford HP5+ @ ASA-400
Kodak D-23 (Stock) 7:30 @ 20C

Roll Four: Ancaster, Ontario
Nikon F5 – AF Nikkor 50mm 1:1.4D (Orange-22) – Ilford HP5+ @ ASA-400
Kodak Microdol-X (Stock) 11:00 @ 20C

Roll Five: McCraney Valley Park, Oakville, Ontario
Nikon FA – AI-S Nikkor 35mm 1:2.8 (Yellow-12) – Ilford HP5+ @ ASA-400
Kodak HC-110 Dil. B 5:00 @ 20C

Skilled Trades – A Farewell to a Campus

Skilled Trades – A Farewell to a Campus

September 2017 marked a milestone for Sheridan College. As a College Sheridan began its life as a collection of Satellite campuses, those campuses closed, the college moved to centralised campuses. One remained the Skills Training Centre. This September that campus would close its doors as the last satellite campus for Sheridan. STC, as it was better known, holds a special spot for me. I worked at the campus for several years, establishing a permanent IT presence at the small campus. So when I learned that the campus was doomed to closure I made a point to return one last time and document it. And document it as I would any of the abandoned buildings I had explored in the past.

Part One – Before the Move
Unlike many abandoned buildings I have explored in the past, in this case, I had a chance to visit the campus before it closed.

STC - Before the Move

STC - Before the Move

STC - Before the Move

STC - Before the Move

Part Two – Empty Walls
At the end of August, all but one department had left the building leaving nothing more than an empty shell.

The Approaching Storm

Registrar

The Moody Darkness

Leftovers

Part Three – Finally In Colour
Having one last errand at the campus I decided to give it one last go around with a digital camera.

Cleanliness

Lab

Tickle Me

Metropolis

Techincal Details:
Part One:
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Distagon 50mm 1:4 – Fuji Acros 100 @ ASA-100
Kodak D-23 (Stock) 9:00 @ 20C
Part Two:
Nikon F5 – AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm 1:2.8G – Ilford HP5+ @ ASA-400
SPUR HRX (1+17) 11:00 @ 20C
Part Three:
Sony a6000 – Sony E PZ 16-50mm 1:3.5-5.6 OSS

Amy & Jeremy – Moving Right Along

Amy & Jeremy – Moving Right Along

It’s been a while since I’ve had a wedding to write about, and this wedding is one that has been in the works for some time now. And the longest I’ve ever been on retainer for a job. But in this case, it was well worth the wait. I am of course talking about the wedding between Amy and Jeremy.

Amy & Jeremy - 12th August 2017

Amy & Jeremy - 12th August 2017

Amy & Jeremy - 12th August 2017

Amy & Jeremy - 12th August 2017

The trouble with weddings is how do you go about photographing them? I say this because a wedding is a job that is many jobs. You’re a portrait photographer, event photographer, counsellor, valet, gopher, and many other jobs on top of everything else.

Amy & Jeremy - 12th August 2017

Amy & Jeremy - 12th August 2017

Amy & Jeremy - 12th August 2017

Amy & Jeremy - 12th August 2017

So this time around I made a point to approach this wedding how I do weddings best, as a photojournalist. Because, while a wedding is an event, it’s also a story, the story of the day. So when I arrived, I started to work to tell the story of Amy and Jeremy’s wedding.

Amy & Jeremy - 12th August 2017

Amy & Jeremy - 12th August 2017

Amy & Jeremy - 12th August 2017

Amy & Jeremy - 12th August 2017

And you know, I hit my groove, I just moved along taking things as they came. I also found out that I can be in two places at once especially during the ceremony. Having the small, lightweight a6000 and sticking to only three lenses for the camera allowed me to capture the ceremony (and edit out all the crying photos) along with my trusty F5 (first time shooting it at a wedding) with only the 50mm lens. An outdoor wedding gave me all the space I needed to move around and eliminated the need to have the heavy 70-200mm lens I had lugged along; the classic AI-S Nikkor 105mm f/2.5 gave me all the reach I needed.

Amy & Jeremy - 12th August 2017

Amy & Jeremy - 12th August 2017

Amy & Jeremy - 12th August 2017

Amy & Jeremy - 12th August 2017

For portraits, I wanted something a little bigger to work with so out came the Hasselblad, again the first time the Hassy has been used at a wedding along with the Gossen Lunasix F. It sang as well as we moved throughout the village. Having never been to the Kawartha Settler’s Village I had settled to scout the place using their website and Flickr to come up with the buildings I wanted to us. And what made the whole thing a fantastic job to shoot, is how smoothly I worked with the people and how well they responded.

Amy & Jeremy - 12th August 2017

Amy & Jeremy - 12th August 2017

Amy & Jeremy - 12th August 2017

Amy & Jeremy - 12th August 2017

As for the film stock, of course, I went with Kodak Tri-X 400. When you’re out shooting something important, you have to go with a film stock you know and trust and what better way to shooting a wedding as a photojournalist than with the go-to film for photojournalism. The only difference is that instead of using Pyrocat-HD for the portraits I decided to try something different and developed the medium format Tri-X in Blazinal (Rodinal) and the results they speak for themselves. I wish nothing but happiness for these two, it’s been a long time coming, and it was well worth the wait.

Technical Details:
Colour Digitals: Sony A6000 + Sony E PZ 16-50mm 1:3.5-5.6 OSS, AF Nikkor 35mm 1:2D, AI-S Nikkor 105mm 1:2.5, KMZ Helios 44M-2
B&W Film (Rectangular): Nikon F5 – AF Nikkor 50mm 1:1.4D – Kodak Tri-X 400 @ ASA-400
Kodak HC-110 Dil. B 6:00 @ 20C
B&W Film (Square): Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Kodak Tri-X 400 @ ASA-200
Blazinal (1+25) 7:00 @ 20C

Large Format in the Park

Large Format in the Park

The trouble with photo walks is that you’re walking, this pretty much takes the idea of bringing large format cameras and tripods along. I mean, I love LF and have a press camera which allows me to shoot the Crown Graphic Handheld as I did back at the Summer Toronto Film Shooters Meetup. But again, when making a meet up especially for large format, you can’t call it a photo walk because it’s hard to walk with an LF camera and I know that many members don’t shoot press, technical, or field cameras they use monorails. You don’t walk around with a monorail, while you can, just not quickly. Thus was born, the Large Format Lugabout.

Remains of a Face

A Lovely Day

The Toronto Film Shooters have been to High Park many times before, so it made sense to use this urban park in Toronto as the base of operations for the walk, moving from the Southern Entrance at Colbourne Lodge to the northern terminus at Bloor Street. At about two kilometres it’s an easy enough walk even when you have an 8×10 on a monorail to lug with you.

The Howard Tomb

The Chimney

As I loaned out my Crown Graphic out to a good friend, I made a point to shoot the eight sheets of 4×5 while I wanted down through the park towards the meeting point before the main event. Even my lovely wife put up with the constant stopping. It proved to be a perfect day to shoot large format and there turned out to be a decent attendance. The highlight for me is finally seeing Colbourne Lodge. The lodge is another one of those hidden museums in Toronto, and one I certainly will be checking out again. But with the meeting starting, I turned over my Crown Graphic to Wu and switched to my Nikon F5 to take photos of the various people in attendance.

Nancy!

It's, it's...taller than me!

Another Big One

Trio of Tripods

A Common Sight

The trouble with such a meet is that everything spreads out in a long thin line, Heather and I along with Wu and Joe formed the front of the line while the long trail of photographers lugging every type of camera came up behind, even some folks carried medium format beasts. But since it was tripod friendly, it gave folks a chance to slow down.

The event turned out much better than I expected and I certainly plan on running with the idea again as people took to the idea of a limited area shoot and allowing us to bring out the big guns.

Techinal Details:
Pacemaker Crown Graphic – Schneider-Kreuznach Symmar-S 1:5.6/210, Schneider-Kreuznach Xenar 1:4,7/135, Fuji Fujinon-W 1:5.6/125
Rollei RPX 25 @ ASA-25 – Blazinal (1+25) 6:00 @ 20C
Nikon F5 – AF DC-Nikkor 105mm 1:2D – Kodak Tri-X 400 @ ASA-200
Blazinal (1+25) 7:00 @ 20C

Ottawa on Film

Ottawa on Film

One of my favourite cities in Ontario to photograph is Ottawa, Ontario, also the Capital City of Canada. While not as grandiose in planning as Washington DC, this city has plenty of offer the photographer. A recent week’s holiday there with my wife gave me a chance to exersize several cameras from my toolkit and having plenty of my pro gear having shot a weekend before hand I was loaded for bear both in gear and film stock.

Alexandra Bridge
Nikon F5 – AF Nikkor 35mm 1:2D – Eastman 5363 @ ASA-25
Kodak HC-110 Dil. F 5:00 @ 20C

End of Line
Nikon F5 – AF DC-Nikkor 105mm 1:2D – ORWO UN54 @ ASA-100
Kodak HC-110 Dil. H 7:30 @ 20C

Day One found us going to the newly renovated Museum of Canadian History in Gatineau then across the river for lunch. Having been blessed with a sunny week I decided to keep most of my film stocks on the slower side, most rating no more than ASA-100. It also saw a return of Eastman 5363 a favourite motion picture stock that I did extensive tests with the first time it came to the still photography market through the Film Photography Project.

Spike in Blue Sky
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Bergger Pancro 400 @ ASA-400
Kodak HC-110 Dil. B 9:00 @ 20C

More Old Hydro Systems
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Bergger Pancro 400 @ ASA-400
Kodak HC-110 Dil. B 9:00 @ 20C

Another film that I gave a try with, and only the second time shooting in 120 is Bergger Pancro 400, a new film stock out of France from a company better known for their traditional photo paper I was fairly pleased with the stock. This time around I shot it at the full speed of ASA-400 just so that shooting at waist level I could get some deep depth of field and fast shutter speeds. While a little more grainy than I was expecting from a 400-speed film in medium format I am fairly pleased with the results.

MosaïCanada 150
Nikon F2 Photomic – AI-S Nikkor 35mm 1:2.8 (Orange-22) – ORWO UN54 @ ASA-100
Kodak HC-110 Dil. H 7:30 @ 20C

MosaïCanada 150
Nikon F2 Photomic – AI-S Nikkor 35mm 1:2.8 (Orange-22) – ORWO UN54 @ ASA-100
Kodak HC-110 Dil. H 7:30 @ 20C

While if you’re a following of this blog, you’ve already seen some of the film shots from Day Four through my review of the Holga 120N. But after the National Gallery, which has a beautiful photography exhibit at the moment, I swung up my trusty Nikon F2 Photomic. With blue skies and white clouds, it was time to get some filtering on the camera. While the MosaïCanada 150 display was begging for some Infrared work, I was rather pleased with the results of the Orange-22 filter.

The Victoria Bell
Nikon F5 – AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm 1:2.8G – Fomapan 100 @ ASA-100
Blazinal (1+50) 9:00 @ 20C

The Bank of Canada
Nikon F5 – AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm 1:2.8G – Fomapan 100 @ ASA-100
Blazinal (1+50) 9:00 @ 20C

The final day saw us kicking around Parliament Hill. Sadly I had to check my bag and Nikon F5 for the tour of Parliament and the Changing of the guard, I made a point to head back with the ultra-wide lens and some Fomapan 100, a beautiful film that I had yet to shoot in 35mm, to capture the seat of power for Canada. When I’ve run a project I like to keep the film stocks fairly consistent. And while I did make sure to bring multiples of two (mostly), I use vacations as a time to play around with new/odd film stocks, sometimes it turned out great. Other times not so much.

One More Time – Efke Film

One More Time – Efke Film

If you’ve been doing the film photography thing for some time now, you’ll have heard about a classic film emulsion, that is Efke. Efke, a brand name of the film from the Croatian firm, Fotokemika, is a silver rich panchromatic film that gives any images a classic look. This classic look is because the film using a traditional grain structure has a high silver content, and only uses a single emulsion layer. Sadly, when Fotokemika closed their doors due to the age of their equipment and the cost of continuing to maintain the machines, it not only killed the Efke line of films but Adox as well. And while Adox bounced back and still supports a decent number of film stocks such as CHS 100 II and CMS 20 II, Efke has remained buried. And while you can’t buy new stock Efke, a gentleman in Croatia happened across a warehouse worth of Efke 100 film in 35mm and began selling it on eBay. I jumped on this and bought a brick. Of course, I’m not one to horde film or save it for a rainy day.

Product Highlights

  • Type: Panchromatic B&W Film
  • Base: Polyester
  • Film Speed: ASA-100
  • Formats Avaliable: 35mm/127/120/Sheet

This ain't no Baywatch
Nikon FA – AI-S Nikkor 50mm 1:1.4 (Yellow-15) – Efke KB 100 @ ASA-100
Pyrocat-HD (2+2+100) 8:00 @ 20C

When you could buy Efke films at your usual photographic supply stores, I tended to stay away from the 100-speed stock, going instead with the 50 and 25-speed films. In fact, I shot my final rolls of Efke 50 through 2015 to 2016; I even got a chance to shoot Efke 25 in 4×5 format having secured a short box from Burlington Camera’s Film Fridge. Now looking back through my Flickr search, Efke was a mainstay of my film fridge for a good seven years.

CCR Review 64 - Kodak Pony 135 Model C
Kodak Pony 135 Model C – Kodak Anaston Lens 44mm ƒ/3.5 – Efke KB 100 @ ASA-100
Kodak HC-110 Dil. B 5:30 @ 20C

When I had shot that final roll in March of 2016, I figured that was it! Fotokemika had shut down, Adox had begun to produce their film stock. Then, at the Winter 2017 Toronto Film Shooters Meetup, James Lee mentioned he had come across an eBay auction, the auction I referred to in my first paragraph. The game was afoot! Several folks around the table immediately upon returning home put in their orders. And sure enough, a couple of weeks later this well-wrapped package of film arrived from Croatia.

Let Fly!
Nikon F5 – AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm 1:2.8G VR – Efke KB100 @ ASA-100
Blazinal (1+50) 10:00 @ 20C

There is still enough information out there to develop the film, with most people going for Rodinal or HC-110 as their soup of choice. And yes Efke looks excellent in both those options, but I wanted to try something different. The one thing I was a little surprised that nowhere did I find a developing time for my favourite Kodak developer next to HC-110 that is D-23. There are D-76 times, so I had that at least as a base. A quick search online landed me back on the APUG site and found a thread with the exact question I was asking. After much consideration, I landed on seven minutes, forty-five seconds. It worked, and I was fairly pleased with the results.

Oh that Swirl
Nikon F5 – Lomography Achromat 64mm/2.9 (Orange-22) – Efke KB100 @ ASA-100
Kodak D-23 (Stock) 7:45 @ 20C

There is still more to go through; I gave Pyrocat-HD a try being my favourite developer period. PMK Pyro worked magic on Efke 25 and Efke 50, I wasn’t too much a fan of Ekfe 100 in Pyrocat-HD. If you are planning on giving Efke a try or happened across a brick of the stock, this isn’t a film for someone who is used to modern film. You will get more grain on this film that you would on Ilford FP4+.

Clean Lines
Nikon FA – AI-S Nikkor 35mm 1:2.8 (Yellow-12) – Efke KB 100 @ ASA-100
Blazinal (1+25) 6:00 @ 20C

If you do happen to enjoy this look, I know I do in certain situations like re-enactments or gritty street photography work; then you don’t have to fret too much. While Efke is gone, there’s still plenty of film stocks out there that can provide you with a similar look. There’s Adox CHS 100 II, I’ve shot this film only in 4×5 sheets and think it’s a beautiful film stock, and being 4×5 and while I haven’t picked up any 35mm stock I just may have to. But probably your best bet is to look at Fomapan 100, this film is a recent addition to my tool kit and provides a beautiful classic look especially souped in Rodinal and D-23.

The Battle of Fort George – 2017

The Battle of Fort George – 2017

Many people have asked me how I first got into the reenacting hobby; my answer is a strange one for some. I got into the hobby through photography. It was back in 2008 when the Fort York Guard requested that I come along to the annual Siege of Fort Erie event to grab some photos. I walked away with some great shots, and my presence soon migrated to the 7th Battalion, 60th Regiment of Foot, a brand new reenacting unit at that point. I watched as these dedicated individuals portrayed what the British military was like during the Anglo-American War of 1812 and learned a lot more about the conflict than I had in Grade 8 history. In 2011, I made a decision, having saved up enough money I was going to join the hobby, and trade my camera in for a musket (not literally of course).

A Spring in his Step
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Ilford Pan F+ @ ASA-50 – Ilford Microphen (stock) 6:00 @ 20C

Taking the Polish
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Ilford Pan F+ @ ASA-50 – Ilford Microphen (stock) 6:00 @ 20C

Getting the Polish On
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Ilford Pan F+ @ ASA-50 – Ilford Microphen (stock) 6:00 @ 20C

I would still bring a camera with to some events, capturing more behind-the-scenes actions of camp life as a reenactor and the quirks of my unit (7/60th of course). Occasionally, I would still visit an event as a photographer, or even take a day off if I had some injury or lack of a unit to march with, which has become less an issue today. But I usually left the big guns at home because often I don’t have the room to lug around any more than a small collection of compact cameras and no long telephotos. This year’s Fort George Event had a bit of a twist; we were staying in the blockhouse on the site, so I had a secure spot for my camera gear and not having to bring all the camping gear I had room in my car.

Stalking the Line
Nikon F5 – AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm 1:2.8G VR – Efke KB100 @ ASA-100 – Blazinal (1+50) 10:00 @ 20C

You Call that Polished?
Nikon F5 – AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm 1:2.8G VR – Efke KB100 @ ASA-100 – Blazinal (1+50) 10:00 @ 20C

Drum Major
Nikon F5 – AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm 1:2.8G VR – Efke KB100 @ ASA-100 – Blazinal (1+50) 10:00 @ 20C

Saturday I stuck to the Hasselblad 500c as I was shooting for the July Summer Film Party contest and I joined the 10th Royal Veteran Battalion for both the change of command ceremony and the two battles. All of them went off wonderfully with the evening tactical being a favourite of mine. On Sunday I was ready to shoot differently, with a proper event kit, that is my Nikon F5 and 70-200mm telephoto lens and several rolls of film.

The Look
Nikon F5 – AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm 1:2.8G VR – Kodak Plus-X @ ASA-125 – Kodak D-23 (Stock) 7:00 @ 20C

Sentry Duty
Nikon F5 – AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm 1:2.8G VR – Kodak Plus-X @ ASA-125 – Kodak D-23 (Stock) 7:00 @ 20C

Oh Hai
Nikon F5 – AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm 1:2.8G VR – Kodak Plus-X @ ASA-125 – Kodak D-23 (Stock) 7:00 @ 20C

Having studied the work of several photographers who frequent events, namely Michael Hurley, and taking the critique from my lovely wife to heart I left the wide and normal lenses at home and packed the only the 70-200mm and 105mm lenses in order to photograph the people as well as the battle itself. And the best part is that I woke up Sunday in the right mood for some people photography. Locking my lens into f/4, I went to work around camp. The joys of being known as both a reenactor and a photographer are that I can wander about at will.

Come on Lads
Nikon F5 – AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm 1:2.8G VR – Agfaphoto Vista Plus @ ASA-400 – Processing By: Burlington Camera

Let's Show 'em what we're made of
Nikon F5 – AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm 1:2.8G VR – Agfaphoto Vista Plus @ ASA-400 – Processing By: Burlington Camera

One Final Volley
Nikon F5 – AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm 1:2.8G VR – Agfaphoto Vista Plus @ ASA-400 – Processing By: Burlington Camera

When it came time to do battle I switched out for a colour film stock, thanks to my friend James. I had never shot Agfaphoto Vista Plus a fast colour negative film but it sure felt and behaves like Fuji Superia 400, even down to the negative marks on the edges. And of course switching into a shutter priority mode, something I had not done before when shooting a battle sequence. Now the trick with shooting a reenactment is burst shooting, but having only a single roll of 36-Exposures, I had to trust my gut and ability to shut off the brain and listen for the commands. Make ready, bring the camera up and compose the image, present, half-press the shutter release to get focus and exposure, FIRE, fire off a single shot. A little different than with a musket, but sometimes you need to adapt to a situation. A different way of doing things like the two digital shooters flanking me. If you want to see the full set head over to my Flickr set.

Doors Open: Toronto

Doors Open: Toronto

When it comes to Doors Open events, there’s no bigger one in Ontario that Toronto’s. With 2017 being the 150th Anniversary of Canadian Confederation, Toronto made it a goal to have 150 buildings on their doors open event. And what a selection there was, with lots of old favourites and plenty of new ones especially to me. I’ve visited Doors Open Toronto on many occasions, but always seem to hit up the same locations over and over again. So this year I made a point to visit many of the places I’ve never visited, or haven’t been happy with my photographs in the past. I also made a point to visit a few additional sites on Sunday as well. This year I managed to visit a total of fourteen locations, a record for any doors open event I’ve visited in the past. I also made a point this time around, like Doors Open Hamilton, to stick to film with only one location being shot mostly on digital. So without further fanfare, Doors Open Toronto. Photography wise I used my trusty Nikon F5 and carried or more rather lugged a series of lenses along with me, a way to force myself to capture both the wide open spaces that the sites presented but also to focus in on the details. The film I chose is a new favourite of mine, Japan Camera Hunter Streetpan 400 to give me some speed in the spaces where I would have to shoot handheld. Sadly when I pulled the film out of the tank I noticed that most of my interior shots were so dark not even bold efforts in Photoshop could recover them. Of course, it wasn’t until later in a dream (and talking out loud apparently) that I realized my mistake. Streetpan likes sunlight, it thrives on it. Also having no information about the film’s reciprocity, and I was sunk. At least I was able to recover a few shots for each location.

St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church: Always a favourite of mine, St. Andrew’s is the oldest Presybertian congregation in the city and the regimental church of the 48th Highland Regiment of Canada. Constructed in 1876 under the watchful eye of William G. Storm this Romanesque Revival Church is one of the most ornate Presbyterian Churches I have visited; it even surpasses St. Paul’s Presbyterian in Hamilton, Ontario.

DO:T 2017 - St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church
Nikon F5 – AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm 1:2.8G – JCH Streetpan 400 @ ASA-400 – Blazinal (1+25) 10:30 @ 20C

Campbell House: Toronto is home to many museums, some better known than others. The Campbell House is one of the lesser known museums. Built in 1822 in the Georgian style, it was home to William Campbell, the Sixth Justice of Upper Canada. It stands as one of the few surviving examples of buildings from the town of York, saved in 1972 by the Advocates Society from demolition. And as exciting as it was to be finally able to go into this small house that I had passed unnumbered times now, it was this single shot from the outside with the storm clouds and the Canada Life building in the background that struck me.

DO:T 2017 - The Campbell House
Nikon F5 – AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm 1:2.8G – JCH Streetpan 400 @ ASA-400 – Blazinal (1+25) 10:30 @ 20C

Church of the Holy Trinity: In Toronto there are many buildings that have simply defined the steady march of the city growth, places like Fort York and Campbell House, Montgomery’s Tavern, and Holy Trinity. You might have never even seen this little church because it sits hidden, a small pocket tucked out behind the Eaton Centre. And yet throughout its history, the church has had a big impact on the city. From leading the charge with social justice causes and the arts, has been a lead in fostering social diversity in Toronto in many ways including organizing concerts and community events for gay dances held by the Canadian Homophile Association of Toronto in the 1970’s and providing a location for early church congregations of Armenian and Japanese Canadians. This is the little church that can.

DO:T 2017 - Church of the Holy Trinity
Nikon F5 – AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm 1:2.8G – Kodak Portra 400 @ ASA-800 – Processing By: Burlington Camera

MaRS: While not my usual spot for a Doors Open Event, but having a wife who is in the medical field, a visit to MaRS was certainly in order. Built as the College Wing of Toronto General Hospital in 1913 is certainly a spot that shows the power of adaptive reuse. The Beaux Arts building designed by Frank Darling looks as it did when it was built, but you cross the threshold and it’s a contemporary wonderland. And while like many locations I lost all my interior shots, I did make a point to capture the beauty of the exterior including the central tower.

DO:T 2017 - MaRS
Nikon F5 – AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm 1:2.8G VR – JCH Streetpan 400 @ ASA-400 – Blazinal (1+25) 10:30 @ 20C

Church of the Redeemer: When a congregation decides to stay the course and rather than abandon their historic home makes a choice to restore and repair, they are to be applauded. Redeemer is one of those churches that has seen the growth of the city, while not a soaring cathedral, the church now sits in the shadow of skyscrapers. Constructed in 1871 in the Gothic Style, retains its historic beauty and charm. But my favourite feature in the whole church is the World War One Memorial windows showing wounded soldiers being watched over by an image of Jesus Christ.

DO:T 2017 - Church of the Redeemer
Nikon F5 – AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm 1:2.8G VR – JCH Streetpan 400 @ ASA-400 – Blazinal (1+25) 10:30 @ 20C

Bloor Street United Church: Like some United Churches, Bloor Street opened its doors as a Presbyterian church back in 1890. The 1920s saw the original entrance to the church demolished with the widening of Bloor Street and the congregation voting to join with the Wesleyans and Methodists to form the United Church in Canada. It was the 1950s that the history of the building gets interesting, a fire destroyed much of the building but rather than build a mid-century modern building, the building was restored to its original Victorian style designed by William R. Gregg. The highlight is, of course, the Great South Window that highlights the mission of the United Church, the unity of everyone. Look closely, you’ll see a sporty red car.

DO:T 2017 - Bloor Street United
Nikon F5 – AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm 1:2.8G VR – JCH Streetpan 400 @ ASA-400 – Blazinal (1+25) 10:30 @ 20C

The Daniels Building: I was excited to see that this building was on the list for doors open. This is the historic home of Knox College, established in 1875 at 1 Spadina Cresent in the Gothic Revival Style. It has been a building I had always be curious as to what secrets were behind the walls. And what a story this building has, it’s been a number of departmental homes for UofT, an Eye Bank, Hospital, Laboratory, Barracks, and currently, the new home of the John H. Daniels Faculty of Landscape, Architecture, & Design. The original Gothic Revival Building restored and a new addition added to the back. It was also one of the more popular spots.

DO:T 2017 - The Daniels Building
Nikon F5 – AF Nikkor 35mm 1:2D – JCH Streetpan 400 @ ASA-400 – Blazinal (1+25) 10:30 @ 20C

The Waterworks Building: This was a throwback for me, the giant empty waterworks building is the result of a make-work program in the city of Toronto during the Great Depression. Leaving the city with an Art Deco work building. Yet the site holds a bit of city history, being the original site of the St. Andrew’s Market, built in 1837, providing folks in the western expansion of the city a market like that of St. Lawerence. Inside it was like many of the industrial abandoned buildings I had visited in the past, at least this time around I wasn’t looking over my shoulder for cops or security.

DO:T 2017 - Waterworks Building
Nikon F5 – AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm 1:2.8G – JCH Streetpan 400 @ ASA-400 – Blazinal (1+25) 10:30 @ 20C

Fort York: I can technically visit Fort York anytime I want, it is, through reenacting, my home fort. But it made for a good place to end the day. Sadly I missed all the artillery demonstrations that saw the fort show off Canadian and British firepower for the past two centuries from the Anglo-American War of 1812, through the Boer War, the two World Wars and even into modern day conflicts that Canada has been involved in. At least it wasn’t too crowded and Heather and I did grab dinner at our favourite spot in the area, The Banknote.

DO:T 2017 - Fort York
Nikon F5 – AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm 1:2.8G VR – JCH Streetpan 400 @ ASA-400 – Blazinal (1+25) 10:30 @ 20C

Humber Lakeshore Campus: Built as the Mimico Asylum in 1888, the hospital was the first in Ontario to use the Cottage Plan first pioneered by Medfield State Hospital as a way to control overcrowding at Toronto and Hamilton. The doors opened in 1890 the hospital would grow to 10 buildings. The hospital would go on to trial several different treatment methods. Like many hospitals across North America by the 1970s the treatment of mental health issues moved to a more in-patient method and the smaller hospitals were closed, Mimico would close in 1979. The campus would be broken up, with the old hospital buildings being leased by Humber College in 1991. The cottages and administration building would become office and classroom spaces; even the tunnels saw restoration and use. The old carriage house/fire hall would be the only service building to survive and now is a Tim Hortons. While I originally wanted to include a photo of the tunnels as I was able to secure a tour, I decided to use a photo taken of one of the old female cottages against a bright blue sky. Much stronger images than the snaps in the tunnel.

DO:T 2017 - Humber Lakeshore/Lakeshore Psychiatric Hospital
Sony a6000 – Sony E PZ 16-50mm 1:3.5-5.6 OSS

Montgomery’s Inn: Despite being a fairly old city, it takes a lot of effort to find the hidden historical sites within the modern structures. And yet they’re still there. Now I have never had the pleasure of visiting Montgomery’s Inn, despite having heard about it through a fellow reenactor. While rather hidden, it’s in a rather modern looking area. I think that’s what I like about it the most is that it’s again that little pocket of history among the modern city of Toronto.

DO:T 2017 - Montgomery's Inn
Nikon F5 – AF Nikkor 35mm 1:2D – JCH Streetpan 400 @ ASA-400 – Blazinal (1+25) 10:30 @ 20C

Applewood, The Shaver Homestead: Inside you’ll find all sorts of people who will tell you more history about the place than you need to know, the gentleman greeted me at the entrance. And for such a tiny museum it has a huge history that stretches out across the country. This 1851 Victorian farmhouse would become the birthplace of James Shaver Woodsworth, he would go on to form the democratic socialist movement in Canada and the political party he founded would form the foundation of the New Democrat Party of Canada. When the vote on Canada’s entry into World War Two reached Ottawa, it was Woodsworth alone who would oppose it, he would die in 1942. That’s a lot of history for such a tiny home.

DO:T 2017 - Applewood, The Shaver Homestead
Nikon F5 – AF Nikkor 35mm 1:2D – JCH Streetpan 400 @ ASA-400 – Blazinal (1+25) 10:30 @ 20C

I think next year if I do Doors Open Toronto I’m going to focus on the eastern side of the city, use my car to move around at first before hitting the streets on foot. But we shall see. If you want to see more, check out the whole collection over on Flickr.