There is a tonne of iconic film stocks that have been released and are no longer with us; I’m thinking Kodak Plus-X, Kodak Panatomic-X, almost the entire line of Polaroid Film. And among those Polaroid films, the one that probably hurt the hardest when it saw cancellation in 2008 is Type 55. Type 55 is a unique film even among Polaroid instant films in that it produces a usable print (obviously) but also a usable negative. And it is a legend that the negative used in Type 55 is based on Kodak Panatomic-X. It is also among those films that I wish I got toRead More →

Like most history, there is always a bit of legend mixed in with fact and a fair amount of embellishment. That statement is even true when it comes to PL Robertson. If you live in Canada you know well the socket or square head screw, it’s standard across all provinces and all trades. Peter L. Robertson would often tell the story of how, as a screw salesman, a slotted screwdriver slipped during a demonstration and sliced his arm. Being both a salesman and an inventor, Robertson decided to invent a safer head for the standard screw. Although the more likely story is that Robertson sawRead More →

My high school doesn’t exist anymore. Sure the building still stands, it serves a different purpose now, but the school I attended is no longer there. Everything got shifted to a new building and a new name. To be honest, I don’t miss it, or high school at all. High School was just a means to an end, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t have any high points to my time there. First, I was able to seriously build up my computer skills, both in function and support. Second, my love of history, both in exploring and how I write about it was because ofRead More →

If you’re of a certain age, you might recognise the title as being part of the school song for EW Foster. Foster is the school that I have some of the fondest memories from, and that’s even including High School. As a school, Foster isn’t that special, being built in the 1980s; it is a brown one-floor brick building with no details at all. Typical 80s, but I mean Milton has only one historic school that still stands. But the real magic of Foster happened inside the walls for me, from planting a maple key in a styrofoam cup in Kindergarten that grew to higherRead More →

I honestly can’t remember when I got this sealed box of 4×5 film. I remember getting it from my good friend and partner in photographic crime Bill Smith. Now, this was all before the great interest in Ultra-Low films and it took a lot of digging to find out anything about the film. Then I realised I was looking for the wrong number. I should have been checking out Eastman 5302. After expanding my search I found some developing formula on Flickr and decided it would be finally time to get out and check this mystery box out. It took a while to figure outRead More →

I’m not a farmer, not in any sense of the word. I’ve never driven a tractor, milked a cow, ploughed, harvested or anything. And yet, Milton despite the insane growth over the past decade and a half the town remains firmly rooted in its rural foundations. And while the sprawl has reached out and struck through many of the farms that once surrounded the town’s core. Where I live now used to be a farm field for most of the years I’ve been alive. Yet you don’t have to go far to see the farms still that surround Milton. Plus we have several big farmsRead More →

Long before Europeans arrived in what would become Canada, the land was far from empty. Thankfully these days we do have a record of the history of our region, passed down now only through the oral history of those peoples and archaeological evidence. Here in Milton we still maintain that link to the pre-contact past in the form of a 15th-century village built by the Haudenosaunee or People of the Long House. If that name seems strange to you, that’s okay, you better know them as the Iroquois. Archaeological digs discovered in 1971 the remains of this village after the area once home to theRead More →

What is home? It’s a question that many people have asked and those well versed in philosophy and have come up with many answers. Is home where you live, or where you were born? Or maybe it’s where your parents live? If you’re looking for that answer here, you’re in the wrong place. This is a project about my home, a town called Milton. The sign that welcomed people to Milton has changed a lot since I first arrived here with my parents; my dad wanted to deface the sign by painting a giant one making the population 30,001. He didn’t, and that sign isRead More →

Of all the branches of the greater Eastman Kodak empire, their German subsidiary, Kodak AG was responsible for some of Kodak’s iconic designs and cult cameras. And despite existing before World War Two, they became one of the many camera manufacturers who were propped up by the allies to rebuild the shattered German economy in the post-war reconstruction. One of the best-known cameras out of Kodak AG is the Retina line of cameras. And while the Retina existed pre-war, it expanded into one of the more confusing lines of cameras in the companies history. And while the Retina is more associated with viewfinder and rangefinderRead 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 →