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 →

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 →

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 →

While not many people would notice it, but when watching a film, and you come across this amazing sequence in black & white, the rich tones across the board, and just a classic cinematic look and wonder, how can I make my still images look that good! Well if you are watching a film shot on traditional film stock the answer is rather easy, Eastman Double-X 5222. Chances are you’ve seen a film shot on this stock, such as the opening sequence of Casino Royale or Shindler’s List. I first came across Double-X a few years back when I purchased some rolls through the FilmRead More →

If you want your images to have something that no other images have, then shoot Infrared film, it literally sees the world in a different light, infrared light to be exact. While these days there aren’t many options for black and white or even colour infrared films save for Rollei IR400 and the FPP Infrapan 200. There are however many in the near infrared range. I don’t often work with infrared film stocks as they need just the right set of circumstances to work well. Not to mention special filters, even cameras need to be done right as the film is highly sensitive. But whenRead More →

One more shot, one more shot! While today such a call is commonplace in the day where the number of images you can get is dependent on how fast your camera’s shutter works and how large and fast the memory card that you have in your camera is, but back in the early 20th Century, asking for one more shot could mean sacrificing one in the future. But many iconic images and photographers worked with large format cameras and the idea of a Press Camera pre-dates the camera I’m reviewing today by nearly three decades. While the Crown Graphic is not as well known asRead More →

When it comes to SLRs, I spent a lot of time looking for inexpensive cameras in systems that I had never touched before. I had a vague idea of Konica cameras and their SLRs. On a trip to Burlington Camera, I happened across the Autoreflex T4, and Joan told me how these were underrated but that the optics were where the camera shone. Other than that, the camera isn’t much of anything. Basic, simple, and took amazingly sharp images. Camera Specifications Make: Konica Model: Autoreflex T4 Type: Single Lens Reflex Format: 135 (35mm), 36x24mm Lens: Interchangeable, Konica Bayonet Mount II (AR Mount) Shutter: Copal SquareRead More →

If there is an icon of Nikon’s durability and commitment to quality the Nikon FM2 is that camera. With one of the most extended production periods of any Nikon camera (1982-2001), the FM2 is a no-nonsense, mechanical camera that can take any punishment you throw at it. I picked up the FM2n originally as a gift to a friend, but quickly fell in love with the camera and promptly purchased an older FM for the friend and kept the FM2n for my own. The FM2n became a constant companion. The Dirt Make: Nikon Model: FM2n Type: 35mm, Single Lens Reflex Lens: Interchangeable, Nikon F-Mount Shutter:Read More →

My usual trip over the August Long Weekend to Cleveland this year sadly did not happen. Because the gentleman who was running the event has been feeling a bit discouraged over the lack of interest in it. (I really should make a point to go out and shoot the area this fall). So instead I headed down to a different area of Ohio, Hocking Hills State Park. The Stone Bridge (From Above) – Pacemaker Crown Graphic – Schnider-Kreuznack Angulon 1:6,8/90 – Ilford HP5+ – Pyrocat-HD (1+1+100) 9:00 @ 20C I had been seeing a tonne of really great photographs from the park from good friendRead More →

When it comes to 35mm SLRs I’m solidly in the Nikon camp. Yet, Canon had something that could be considered an equal, if not a stronger camera for the 1970s than the Nikon offering of the time. That being the Canon F-1, Canon’s answer to the Nikon F2. Sadly the F-1 only lived a short time in my collection before going to a good friend who had a larger selection of Canon lenses. I know it went to a good home. But as a camera, the F-1 is an amazing performer and if I had more lenses it would have been a strong addition toRead More →