The year was 1865, the American Civil War had ended, and four British Provinces in British North America decided to unite under what is called Canadian Confederation. And a large group of Irish Americans were wondering what their next step would be, and John O’Mahoney found himself at a crossroads. The Fenian Brotherhood hit its stride during the Civil War and now had money and manpower to spare. Plus all their members who served in both armies during the war had either kept or purchased their own equipment, the Fenians had an army that could easily stand up to the American Army of the day.Read More →

There is a great deal of wisdom in the preamble of the Constitution of the United States of America; I am talking about the line of text that reads, in order to form a more perfect union. The 1850s had been rough on the state of the Canadian government, and as the decade turned, it looked like it was not going to be getting any better. The scandals that rocked the governments of Sir Francis Hincks and Sir Allan Napier MacNab had damaged the reputation of the Liberal-Conservatives and even trickled down into the Reform movement as well. But things looked a little better whenRead More →

Across the British Commonwealth and in Canada specifically, no other British monarch is as widely celebrated at Queen Victoria. Secondly only to Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II for the length of her reign. The two queens share a lot in common beyond familial relations. Both never expected to take the throne, born Alexandria Victoria on the 24th of May 1819, daughter of Prince Edward Augustus and grand-daughter to King George III. At birth, Victoria sat fifth in the line of succession to the British throne. At only a year old, both her father and grandfather passed, leaving Victoria in the care of her over-protective mother.Read More →

The film that started the whole Svema craze with the Film Photography Project, Svema Foto 200. Свема is a film stock that is relatively unknown here in North America unless you are of course fans of the Film Photography Podcast. The name comes from the combination of two Russian words, Светочувствительные Материалы, translated means Photosensitive Materials. Now I did try a roll or two of Foto 200 when it first dropped in the FPP store and never could get the hang of it but like my earlier experiences with the 100 and 400 flavours, I figured I was not developing it correctly. So what betterRead More →

In a strangely ironic twist, the final of the significant three colonial railways to be completed would be the sole survivor of them all into the 20th century. And while Great Western and Northern Railway of Canada all survived past Confederation in 1867. It would be the Grand Trunk railroad that would absorb both of these before the turn of the century and then lose it all a couple of decades into the new century. Unlike Grand Trunk’s peers, the new railroad had not tried to build a line before the 1850s, chartered on the 10th of November 1852. British investors wholly-owned grand Trunk andRead More →

When it comes to large format cameras, certain ones stand out as masters in their field. And while a camera is just a camera, and is only as good as the photographer who uses it. I’ll admit I had some trouble with the Technika; there is something to say about a fantastic tool. The Linhof Technika V is a beautiful precision piece of equipment. And while a Technical camera does not have the same freedom of movement as a monorail that is not physically possible, it comes pretty close. And while I certainly messed up in playing a bit too much with some movements, inRead More →

Sir Francis Hincks, the proverbial third wheel in the reform movement and a figure that I knew nothing of until I started researching for this project. And while generally overshadowed by the likes of his predecessor in Robert Baldwin and his successor Sir Allan Napier MacNab as Premier of the Province of Canada his role in creating the modern province is fairly essential. The meeting of Robert Baldwin and Louis La Fontaine may have never happened if it was not for Hincks. Born the 4th of December 1807 in Cork Ireland, Francis was the youngest son of Reverend Thomas Dix Hincks. From his youth, HincksRead 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 →

Among those who have shot the Derev Pan line of films the favourite is Derev Pan 400, and I do agree with that. When I ran the beta tests for the film, it was Pan 400, that was my favourite. Being a 400-Speed film, I thought there would be more grain than I expected, images were super sharp, incredible tones and contrast. You can run this film through any situation and developer and get some incredible results! Film Specs Type: Panchromatic B&W Film Base: Polyester Film Speed: ASA-400, Latitude: Suspected +/- 2 Stops. Formats Avaliable: 135 (35mm) Roll 01 – Kodak D-76 I have toRead More →

When I initially beta tested the Derev Pan films the one film that was missing from the test pack with the middle child, Derev Pan 200, so this is a brand new film for me. There aren’t many mid-range speed films on the market today, especially in black & white films. You have Rollei Superpan 200, Derev Pan 200, Svema Foto 200 plus Eastman Double-X. So I had no real understanding of what to expect. Grainery than most films in the Derev line, it presents a generally low to a mid-contrast classic look. The trade-off for the grain is that the film is sharp inRead More →