Back in my first struggling steps into the broader world of film photography, I came across this strange camera. Now, I knew about Hasselblads and also knew how expensive they were, but the seller informed me proudly that the Kiev 88 is a direct copy of the Hasselblad but at a far better price. I ended up getting the body, two lenses (but never used the second one??) and a pair of film backs. Oh, the seller also threw in a Zorki 4 with a pinholed shutter. I had to admit; I liked working with the 88, I lucked out and got the CM versionRead More →

Next to the Minolta HiMatic 7s which got me first into photography, the Nikon F80 is the one that brought me back into the wonderful world of film and introduced me to the magic of Nikon AF lenses and Nikkor glass in general. I received this camera as a gift and immediately found myself very much attached to the system. You might say that the F80 is the camera that caused me to invest in the Nikon SLR system and switch from Minolta. From the F80 I got the D70s, D300 and my current main SLR the Nikon F5. And while many of the lensesRead More →

There is something special about an Easter Sunday drive. Also when that drive follows a wonderful Sunday morning Worship with the amazing people at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Asheville, North Carolina. From there I began what would be the long drive home with the first stop being Elkmont in the Great Smokey Mountains National Park in Tennessee. The area saw it’s first residents come around the 1840s, while these early settlers sought gold the rich lumber soon brought more and more people. Initially settling around Jake’s Creek these early logging communities were usually no more than shanty towns often having the company offices, a hotelRead More →

Oddly enough one of my other hobbies has managed to avoid this project, that of exploring abandoned buildings. Week 49 I was down in Cincinnati for the fourth annual Very Cincinnati Christmas event. The opening location was the former First German Reformed Church. Built in 1850 in the mainly German-American west-end of the city the church thrived until changes swept across the nation in the 1960s and the congregation sold their beautiful limestone and brick building and a new church worshiped there, the Freeman Avenue United Church lasted from 1970 to 1975 before closing the doors as well. The building, like many abandoned for decadesRead More →

You may recognize this building from the 2006 film Transformers, this is Detroit’s massive Michigan Central Station. Designed in the Beaux-Arts Classical style with the interior lobby modelled after a Roman Bathhouse, complete with Doric columns. The station was completed in 1912, but the whole area wasn’t fully completed (including Roosevelt Park, from where I took this photo) until 1920. Costing $15,000,000 in 1912 to complete the station was never fully used. That’s right, the 18-story tower that rises above the actual station was never completed the top several floors not even furnished. But despite this the station hosted more than 4,000 passengers daily throughRead More →

Woodward Presbyterian Church, or rather St. Curvy, has a story like many churches that once thrived in the American mid-west. Founded in 1908 with a membership of 163, it was tasked to serve the north part of the city. With the Reverend Sherman L. Divine at the helm, the church began to seek money and land to build their church. The land the church still sits on today was donated by Mrs. Tracy McGregor. The firm of Sidney Rose Badgley & William Nicklas was hired to design the church. Construction began late in 1908, and by the time the cornerstone was laid on the 1stRead More →

At least my drive to work isn’t all city driving, there’s some suburbs, and my favourite section, the rural areas, which can be a pain this winter especially with the number of storms we’ve been hit with in Southern Ontario. This barn, when I first started driving past it almost ten years ago now was intact, part of an abandoned farm (my first experience with urbex). The fields around it are still used but the barn and the house are not. Sadly the decade has not been kind, storms, rain, snow and ice have knocked it down. Modified Anniversary Speed Graphic – Kodak Ektar f:7.7Read More →

City Methodist, a grand old church brought low by the slow march of time. Built in 1925 to the tune of one million dollars, most of that being fund-raised by Reverend William Seaman, and US Steel footing some of the bill as well. Constructed in the English Gothic style the sanctuary alone stands nine stories tall and could house 950 people. But the church was more than just the sanctuary. The whole complex had a school, theater for both traditional plays and films. Also had space for store fronts. At its peek there were 3,000 members on the church roll. But when the steel industryRead More →

It’s always great to go back to a location you used to explore and see it legally…and in daylight. The Don Valley Brickworks was a staple of Toronto Urban Exploration for many years before Evergreen began it’s award winning transformation of the place. Someone had left the gate to the old kiln building open which gave me a chance to show friends Chris and Tim one of my old UrbEx playgrounds. It was great to see that the kilns and other small reminders of the place had been left. The Don Valley Brickworks was established in 1889 and operated for almost 100 years before finallyRead More →

Taking advantage of the wonderful video work from last year’s Mid-Atlantic Meet-up (MAMU) IV, I pieced together my own video of the event. Digital video has always been a weak spot for me, I look and the files and go “okay, now what” but this time it all fell into place after I found the right backing track. I guess all my work in Super 8 editing is starting to pay off. If you watch on YouTube you can view it in glorious 720p HD video! Just think, MAMU V is in a couple months!Read More →