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 →

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 →

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 →

I had been wondering how long it had been since I had last visited the Halton County Radial Railway Museum, well it hasn’t yet been a decade since my last trip in 2011. So when I heard that a group of folks from the Toronto Film Shooters were heading to a TTC Streetcar barn open house, I had the urge to go and photograph streetcars as well. The trouble was that I had to be at church at 3 pm on Saturday to run sound for a wedding. A trip into the city would be out of the question, then I remembered that I hadRead More →

Like the Nikon FA, the Olympus OM-4 when it was released was a game changer for Olympus. The OM-4 saw a radical shift in how the camera metered. Where Nikon used a ‘matrix’ meter, the OM-4 used a multi-spot system to determine the shutter speed. And yet it maintained a classic OM look and feel, with almost everything unchanged in the layout from the earlier OM-1 and OM-2 cameras. Certainly a worthwhile addition to any photographer who is a fan of the classic OM cameras. Thanks to Bill Smith for loaning this beauty out for review. The Dirt Make: Olympus Model: OM-4 Type: Single LensRead More →

The unique, the desirable, and hard to come by Nikon FM3a was the final FM model SLR produced by Nikon and exclusively for the Japanese market. But this is an FM camera that isn’t 100% and FM camera, you may have noticed the A in the model, and there’s a good reason for it, the camera is more a best of both worlds. All you love about the FM series and all you like about the FE series in one beautiful camera that will have you wanting one of your own to replace your FMs and FEs. Big thanks to James Lee for loaning outRead More →

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. Nikon F5 – AF Nikkor 35mm 1:2D – Eastman 5363 @ ASA-25 Kodak HC-110 Dil. F 5:00 @ 20C Nikon F5 – AF DC-Nikkor 105mm 1:2D –Read More →

As someone who learned photography on a rangefinder, I have a soft spot for the style of camera. And as a student of history, being able to shoot on a camera made by the oldest photography companies in the world (sort of) is even better. Taking both these facts, the Bessa R2M is a joy of a camera. Joy in the sense that it is a very accessible camera, pretty much if you can shoot any film camera you can use this one, and without the gnashing of teeth that might come with a German rangefinder camera. Now as you may (or may not) knowRead More →

I’ll be the first to admit, the relationship between me and Soviet-built cameras has been a rocky one. My first experience with Soviet cameras was with the Zenit B (this camera’s meterless cousin), it’s lack of automation was my downfall. Next a Zorki 4 with a pinholed shutter curtain, the Keiv 88 wasn’t too bad. I had excellent shots with a Fed-2, and a tonne of problems with a Smena 8m and I don’t even want to speak on the Zenit 122K. But after hearing James Lee (who loaned out this camera originally for review, I have since purchased my own) talk about how greatRead More →

I’m going to come out and say it right off the bat. I’m used to handling big and bulky SLRs. Yet as I feel smaller cameras like the Nikon FE, Nikon FA, and Pentax ME Super, I realised that there needed to be a single instigator of this shift in SLR size. That camera is the Olympus OM-1, released just under two decades from the first ‘system’ SLR, the Nikon F. But the OM-1 switched the game, changed the narrative on the system camera. It showed you didn’t need a bulky camera to get results. And those who use the OM-1 or any of theRead More →