Tag: War of 1812

Engagement at the Bradley

Engagement at the Bradley

There’s a fun nature for an event that is total fiction rather than historical. It gives us a chance to play and provides us with a view of other historic sites within our province. Until this event, I had never even heard of the Bradley House. But as I took the gentle curve along Orr Road in the village of Clarkson on the border of Oakville and Mississauga I was pleasantly surprised at the industrial fences of a Suncor Petroleum plant melted away into a forest alight with fall colours.

The CampThe Log CabinToo Early for This...

As I chatted with folks around the site, it turned out that Clarkson has a bit of lore related to the War of 1812 surrounding a wife of a local farmer who enjoyed taking pot shots at American ships on the Lake as they sailed past with her husband’s musket. The site is a small scale living history museum consisting of three buildings that moved to the location. The first two formed the core arrived in the early 1960s when the museum first opened. The site’s name comes from the Bradley House, built in the 1830s a Salt Box styled Farmhouse that stayed in the Bradley Family until the late 1840s. It passed through several more hands before the whole farm fell until the eye of Suncor who planned to demolish the house in 1959.

Join the Crew!And that American Frigate...Just Singing on a Log

The second home, an 1820 Regency cottage known as The Anchorage coming either from when the Jarvis family lived in it and merchantmen anchored on a sandbar just off the lakeshore or from a letter written by a retired Royal Navy Commander who took up residence in 1838 calling it his anchorage in his retirement. It too faced demolition when Suncor moved in. A local newspaper publisher seeing the historical significance of both homes purchased them to donate them to the Mississauga Heritage Foundation. The third and final building, a log cabin dating to the early 19th-Century coming from Mono Mills and moved into Clarkson as a clubhouse for a Cub/Rover Scouts band. As it fell into disrepair, the cabin moved to the museum in 2002 and fully restored.

Bruce!The Story TellerHung out to Dry

Probably the most fun I’ve had at an event in a while, mostly because of the small number of reenactors and a large battlefield there was plenty of room for us in the 60th to show off our skill and light infantry tactics which often cannot happen at larger events with many other light infantry units on the field and general static nature of the pitched battle. But certainly this would be an event I will gladly return to.

All Photos Taken at the Bradley House Museum – Mississauga, Ontario
Nikon FE – AI-S Nikkor 50mm 1:1.4 – Ilford FP4+ @ ASA-100
Kodak D-23 (Stock) 6:00 @ 20C

World Toy Camera Day – 21 October 2017

World Toy Camera Day – 21 October 2017

Black powder and a plastic camera is the theme of World Toy Camera day for my shoot. This year I am not in an exotic location like Pittsburg or Washington DC, but instead, I participated in the final War of 1812 Reenactment event of the season at the Bradley House Museum in Mississauga. So into my Haversack went my Holga 120N loaded up with a roll of Fomapan 100. While toy cameras aren’t for everyone, they certainly add a touch of fun to my photography. For the most part, I work with high-end equipment, but I do enjoy the strange nature of toy cameras, plastic lenses, and fixed shutter speeds. But enough of words for this post, as much as I like writing. I’m going to let the photos speak for themselves! I really need to remember to bring the Holga out to more events, it gives a unique look to the images that suit the time period. Considering photography wasn’t invented yet.

Gather Round

The HMS Psyche

Musket Work

Stacked Arms

The Entertainment

If you’re thinking of getting into Toy Camera photography, I’ve done reviews on a few ‘toy’ cameras. Check out the Holga 120N and the FPP Debonair.

All Photos Taken at The Bradley House Museum – Mississauga, Ontario
Holga 120N – Optical Lens 1:8 f=60mm – Fomapan 100 @ ASA-100
Blazinal (1+50) 9:00 @ 20C

CCR Review 73 – Yashica 108 Multiprogram

CCR Review 73 – Yashica 108 Multiprogram

The 1980s were a weird time, both for the world as a whole and for the camera industry. We saw the rise of electronics in cameras and the strange merge between the modern era and style and a clinging to the earlier form factors. One of the iconic styles is the Canon T-Series, these were automatic cameras complete with auto-exposure on manual focus cameras. While these T-Series started off fairly boxy, but by the Canon T90, they had some streamlining. Enter the Yashica 108 Multiprogram (Yashica 108MP), like the T-Series Canon cameras the 108 features autoexposure (heavy automation in the camera) and a manual focus lens. Despite carrying the Yashica name, this is not a Yashica but rather a Kyocera. The same time the Japanese firm got their hands on the Contax name. They aimed the Yashica on the consumer market while Contax aimed at the higher end while maintaining the C/Y Mount. Now the 108MP is aimed at the middle of the line photographers and like other cameras from the 1980s provides a solid shooting experience for someone who needs a cheap and fast way into 35mm film photography but is only a stepping stone.

CCR Review 73 - Yashica 108 Multiprogram
The Dirt

  • Make: Kyocera
  • Model: Yashica 108 Mutliprogram
  • Type: Single Lens Reflex
  • Format: 135 (35mm), 24x36mm
  • Lens: Interchangeable, C/Y Mount
  • Year of Manufacture: Unknown, guessing late 1980s or early 1990s

CCR Review 73 - Yashica 108 Multiprogram

CCR Review 73 - Yashica 108 Multiprogram

The Good
The strongest feature on this camera is the C/Y mount, or rather Contax/Yashica. This means that you have access to a pile of amazing lenses including Carl Zeiss (built under license) which match the optical quality of the German-built lenses. Trust me, I shoot these lenses on my Contax G2 which is also a Kyocera camera. And the camera itself is fairly easy to use and figure out even without a manual. One thing I always harp on with cameras is how it’s powered and in this case, the 108MP, despite being from the 80s/90s is powered by AAA batteries, four of them. This makes it easy to find batteries no matter where you are in the world.

CCR Review 73 - Yashica 108 Multiprogram

CCR Review 73 - Yashica 108 Multiprogram

The Bad
One of the first thing I recognised with the camera is how plastic it feels and bulky. Despite the streamlined look of the camera that looks like a T90 but this camera is little more than a T90 lookalike without the guts of that camera. The 108MP isn’t tall, and I found myself constantly looking for a better place to set my fingers. For a 35mm SLR that has a fairly normal look and operation, it’s awkward to operate. You have no feedback in the viewfinder when operating in Program and Aperture Priority mode (which is marked as Av on the dial, another Canon inspired mark) only a green dot and an icon to indicate you need flash. Now despite having some amazing lenses available in C/Y mount, there are plenty of bad lenses, truly cheap. And finally there’s no way to manually adjust the film speed, it auto recognizes the film canister’s DX code and if there isn’t one it defaults to ASA/ISO-100. And it doesn’t even do a good job with that, my film came out a touch over-exposed. While not a deal breaker, you will want to stick to DX Coded films.

CCR Review 73 - Yashica 108 Multiprogram

CCR Review 73 - Yashica 108 Multiprogram

The Lowdown
This is not a camera I would recommend for anyone looking to get into the C/Y system, poor build quality, awkward operation, and generally a poor man’s copy of a Canon T-Series. And the reason being is that it is a stop-gap camera, a save-face before the release of the Autofocus 230AF. But if you’re starting out, this might be an okay choice. Basic, no-nonsense, and little you can do. However, as soon as you use it you’ll want to start looking for another camera to move up to. At least there are better C/Y cameras out there. You’d be better off finding a Canon T50 or going with the Contax line of cameras from Kyocera, better quality overall.

All Photos Taken at the Bradley House Museum, Mississauga, Ontario
Yashica 108 Multiprogram – Yashica Lens Zoom MC 35-70mm 1:3.5-4.5 (Yellow-12) – Fomapan 100 @ ASA-100
Blazinal (1+50) 9:00 @ 20C

The Battle of Fort George – 2017

The Battle of Fort George – 2017

Many people have asked me how I first got into the reenacting hobby; my answer is a strange one for some. I got into the hobby through photography. It was back in 2008 when the Fort York Guard requested that I come along to the annual Siege of Fort Erie event to grab some photos. I walked away with some great shots, and my presence soon migrated to the 7th Battalion, 60th Regiment of Foot, a brand new reenacting unit at that point. I watched as these dedicated individuals portrayed what the British military was like during the Anglo-American War of 1812 and learned a lot more about the conflict than I had in Grade 8 history. In 2011, I made a decision, having saved up enough money I was going to join the hobby, and trade my camera in for a musket (not literally of course).

A Spring in his Step
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Ilford Pan F+ @ ASA-50 – Ilford Microphen (stock) 6:00 @ 20C

Taking the Polish
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Ilford Pan F+ @ ASA-50 – Ilford Microphen (stock) 6:00 @ 20C

Getting the Polish On
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Ilford Pan F+ @ ASA-50 – Ilford Microphen (stock) 6:00 @ 20C

I would still bring a camera with to some events, capturing more behind-the-scenes actions of camp life as a reenactor and the quirks of my unit (7/60th of course). Occasionally, I would still visit an event as a photographer, or even take a day off if I had some injury or lack of a unit to march with, which has become less an issue today. But I usually left the big guns at home because often I don’t have the room to lug around any more than a small collection of compact cameras and no long telephotos. This year’s Fort George Event had a bit of a twist; we were staying in the blockhouse on the site, so I had a secure spot for my camera gear and not having to bring all the camping gear I had room in my car.

Stalking the Line
Nikon F5 – AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm 1:2.8G VR – Efke KB100 @ ASA-100 – Blazinal (1+50) 10:00 @ 20C

You Call that Polished?
Nikon F5 – AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm 1:2.8G VR – Efke KB100 @ ASA-100 – Blazinal (1+50) 10:00 @ 20C

Drum Major
Nikon F5 – AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm 1:2.8G VR – Efke KB100 @ ASA-100 – Blazinal (1+50) 10:00 @ 20C

Saturday I stuck to the Hasselblad 500c as I was shooting for the July Summer Film Party contest and I joined the 10th Royal Veteran Battalion for both the change of command ceremony and the two battles. All of them went off wonderfully with the evening tactical being a favourite of mine. On Sunday I was ready to shoot differently, with a proper event kit, that is my Nikon F5 and 70-200mm telephoto lens and several rolls of film.

The Look
Nikon F5 – AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm 1:2.8G VR – Kodak Plus-X @ ASA-125 – Kodak D-23 (Stock) 7:00 @ 20C

Sentry Duty
Nikon F5 – AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm 1:2.8G VR – Kodak Plus-X @ ASA-125 – Kodak D-23 (Stock) 7:00 @ 20C

Oh Hai
Nikon F5 – AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm 1:2.8G VR – Kodak Plus-X @ ASA-125 – Kodak D-23 (Stock) 7:00 @ 20C

Having studied the work of several photographers who frequent events, namely Michael Hurley, and taking the critique from my lovely wife to heart I left the wide and normal lenses at home and packed the only the 70-200mm and 105mm lenses in order to photograph the people as well as the battle itself. And the best part is that I woke up Sunday in the right mood for some people photography. Locking my lens into f/4, I went to work around camp. The joys of being known as both a reenactor and a photographer are that I can wander about at will.

Come on Lads
Nikon F5 – AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm 1:2.8G VR – Agfaphoto Vista Plus @ ASA-400 – Processing By: Burlington Camera

Let's Show 'em what we're made of
Nikon F5 – AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm 1:2.8G VR – Agfaphoto Vista Plus @ ASA-400 – Processing By: Burlington Camera

One Final Volley
Nikon F5 – AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm 1:2.8G VR – Agfaphoto Vista Plus @ ASA-400 – Processing By: Burlington Camera

When it came time to do battle I switched out for a colour film stock, thanks to my friend James. I had never shot Agfaphoto Vista Plus a fast colour negative film but it sure felt and behaves like Fuji Superia 400, even down to the negative marks on the edges. And of course switching into a shutter priority mode, something I had not done before when shooting a battle sequence. Now the trick with shooting a reenactment is burst shooting, but having only a single roll of 36-Exposures, I had to trust my gut and ability to shut off the brain and listen for the commands. Make ready, bring the camera up and compose the image, present, half-press the shutter release to get focus and exposure, FIRE, fire off a single shot. A little different than with a musket, but sometimes you need to adapt to a situation. A different way of doing things like the two digital shooters flanking me. If you want to see the full set head over to my Flickr set.

Summer Film Party – Part II (July)

Summer Film Party – Part II (July)

One of the best parts of being a historical reenactor is that you often get a chance to visit and stay in some of Canada’s historic sites, and many find their home in some of the beautiful towns in the province. And while it can be hit and miss along the Niagara River, Fort George in the picturesque Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario is certainly one such site. Having an event there during the July edition of the Summer Film Party offered me a chance to shoot in the historic walls of Fort George, a site deep in military history.

Heavy Motar

The Small Block House

Both the fort and the town have a long history in Ontario. The town has its beginnings in 1781 as Butlersburg, named for the men of a loyalist irregular unit, Butler’s Rangers from the American War of Independence. And the Butler family would continue to live in the town well into the 19th-Century, their farm seeing a small action during the Anglo-American War of 1812. It would soon take on the name West Niagara. When General John Graves Simcoe assumed the role of Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada, he established West Niagara as the capital of the new colony in 1792, renaming the settlement to Newark. The small town would soon find itself home to the headquarters of the British Army of the Center at Fort George. The Upper Canada Parliament would meet at Newark until 1796 when Simcoe moved the capital to York (now Toronto, Ontario).

A Spring in his Step

Brock's First Resting Place

While my days at the fort filled with musketry, cleaning, drill, and lazing about as a good British soldier would do (when ordered to of course). It left the mornings to take out the Hasselblad and shoot, the soft morning light providing fantastic light to one of the largest 1812-era forts in Ontario. From the historic buildings (mostly rebuilt in the 1930s) to the original powder magazine that survived these 200 years, and of course, the flurry of morning activity as the reenactors cleaned up their brass and muskets from the night before, getting things ready for the pomp and battle for the day to come.

Getting the Polish On

Taking the Polish

The small town continued to grow and was the preferred town for Major General Isaac Brock during his time as the commander of the British Regular forces during the period leading up to the Anglo-American War of 1812 until his death in October 1812. Brock would even be buried at Fort George before his reinterment at Brock’s Monument on Queenston Heights. The town and fort would see capture in May 1813, and the American occupation lasted until December of that year and saw the destruction of the fort and the town. This would lead to the retaliatory capture of Fort Niagara and the destruction of many small villages and Buffalo before the new year arrived. When the town rebuilt, they shifted the location ever so slightly to ensure it was out of range of the American guns across the river.

1st (Royal Scots) Lights

Bass Drummer's Shako

The name, Niagara-On-The-Lake would be formally adopted in 1880, and would slowly become known as a popular tourist destination both for wine and theater aficionados. The surrounding wine country offers some familiar Ontario wineries and now has an active craft beer brewing industry. And the town has many theaters to perform plays during the Shaw Festival. If you ever find yourself in the town, be sure to visit the Angel Inn, a fantastic pub, a walking tour of downtown and be sure to visit both Fort George and Fort Mississauga on opposite ends of the downtown. That was July, but there’s still one more month to get on the Summer Film Party Bus! It’s going to take my lovely wife and I out to the National Capital area and the Ottawa River Valley and the small town of Almonte, Ontario and some of my favourite motion picture stocks, Eastman 5363!

All Photos Taken at Fort George National Historic Site
Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario, Canada
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Ilford Pan F+ @ ASA-50
Ilford Microphen (1+1) 6:00 @ 20C

CCR Review 64 – Kodak Pony 135 Model C

CCR Review 64 – Kodak Pony 135 Model C

At first glance, you may not be too interested in this mid-century camera. But if you look at the design, you can tell it’s mid-century, beautiful lines. But one thing that it does do, it takes excellent photos that have the feel of what we would today call a toy camera. Don’t get me wrong, when Kodak first started producing this camera they probably never thought that it would be called a “Toy Camera” by some blogger fifty-years later, but the Pony is a basic snapshot camera, the evolution of the box camera. I have to say; I was surprised by this camera. Big thanks to Dave McCullagh, my father-in-law, for this beauty. There is a bit of family history with this camera, as it was purchased by my Father-in-Law’s parents (my wife’s grandparents) in 1958 and served as the family camera for many years.

CCR Review 64 - Kodak Pony 135 Model C

The Dirt

  • Make: Kodak
  • Model: Pony 135 Model C
  • Type: Point and Shoot
  • Format: 135 (35mm) 36x24mm
  • Lens: Fixed, Kodak Anaston Lens 44mm ƒ/3.5
  • Year of Manufacture: 1955-1958

CCR Review 64 - Kodak Pony 135 Model C

CCR Review 64 - Kodak Pony 135 Model C

The Good
Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a magic camera, it’s pretty basic even for point-and-shoot cameras, but it holds a certain charm over the box cameras of the day. You have full exposure control on this camera and focus controls as well. But don’t expect any help from the camera aside from some hints on the lens and shutter assembly based on lighting conditions and several classic Kodak film stocks. But if you use Sunny-16 or an external meter you’ll be good to go. But the one thing that surprised me the most was basic shooting operation of the camera. I had a small sense of dread when I first looked at the camera; there was a wider lock-out switch. Something I’ve had trouble with in the past, and a separate shutter cock. And yet, the operation of this camera is smooth because everything is well laid out it all works and makes sense. And with the position of the viewfinder composing on this camera is simple. But let’s talk about my favourite feature of this camera, the lens. While the Kodak Anaston lens is not exactly top of the line relying on the triplet design it produces a unique image, that you often pay hundreds for from Lomography. You can see heavy vinette distortion around the corners of the image. While subtile at f/16 and f/11, you see it clearly even at f/8, I’d love to see what it looks like at f/5.6 and lower!

CCR Review 64 - Kodak Pony 135 Model C

CCR Review 64 - Kodak Pony 135 Model C

The Bad
I touched on the focus earlier, and it is my primary concern for this camera, being manual focus, and it is a point-and-shoot you have no easy way of setting the focus. And when I say manual focus, I mean, manual focus. The camera doesn’t even have zone icons, just straight up distances in feet. So you have to either use an external rangefinder (like what I used in a few cases) or be excellent at judging distances. Of course, if you’re close and shoot at f/11 or higher, you don’t have to worry. The one thing I did notice was that on this camera the focus helical is pretty loose and I’m sure the thing slipped on a few shots causing me to lose focus. The second major issue I have with the camera is rewinding the film. While shooting is a smooth operation, rewinding, not so much, the rewind release is a much smaller button that seems also recessed in the top plate, and you have to keep it depressed while turning the knob. The knob itself cannot constantly be turned as it is blocked on the one side by the viewfinder hump and cannot be pulled up to avoid it. So what usually is a quick procedure, often takes a lot longer than it should. The final thing is not so much a major issue, but more of an annoyance and that’s frame spacing. I’ll probably just chalk it up to age, but there were a few frames that had a separation no more than a razor’s edge between them. This makes cutting and scanning a bit of an issue.

CCR Review 64 - Kodak Pony 135 Model C

CCR Review 64 - Kodak Pony 135 Model C

The Lowdown
The Pony is a solid camera if you look at it from a toy camera perspective rather than one for everyday use in today’s film photography world. But I will leave you with one note of caution. If you are looking at picking up a Kodak Pony be careful of the model you get, as Kodak had several. You will want to get a Pony 135 model as they take the standard 35mm film, there are also Pony 828 models that take a small roll film like what you’d find in 120/220/620 cameras which are the same height as 35mm but operate differently. You can hack the camera to take 35mm, but you’d need to salvage some backing paper to make it work properly. Frankly it’s best to just stick to traditional 35mm, it makes for a cheap, easy to shoot toy camera, in fact I might even shoot mine again for world toy camera day.

All Photos Taken On Queenston Heights, Queenston, Ontario, Canada
Kodak Pony 135 Model C – Kodak Anaston Lens 44mm ƒ/3.5 – Efke KB100 @ ASA-100 – Kodak HC-110 Dil. B 5:30 2 20C

Project:1812 – Last Post

Project:1812 – Last Post

Here we are, a long time coming but, this is the end, and it has been a long and fascinating journey to reach this point. It’s always a bittersweet feeling when such a long and involved project comes to an end. But all things must end, and so must my journey into the War of 1812. At least I can say that I’ve done more than just scratching the surface of the conflict that would go on to define the relations between Canada, England, and the United States still today. When I first started the project way back in March 2012, I had no idea how big it was going to be. And sure as it moved along it suffered from scope creep, but I was able to reign it in.

Project:1812 - End of Part One
The Canadian National War of 1812 Monument outside the Parliament Buildings in Ottawa, Ontario
Pacemaker Crown Graphic – Schneider-Krueznack Symmar-S 1:5.6/210 – Ilford HP5+ @ ASA-400 – PMK Pyro (1+2+100) 12:30 @ 20C

This project has taken me far and wide, I’ve learned a lot more than I was expecting and found a conflict far more complicated than the one I was presented with when I first learned about the War of 1812 in Grade 8. I went from knowing only about Isaac Brock, Laura Secord, the battle of Queenston Heights, and the burning of Washington DC. Now I know of battles out in Wisconsin, to a British Major-General to died fighting in the war. I learned how the events of Europe’s Napoleonic Wars directly influenced the fighting in North America. I heard of legends dispelled myth and patriotism and learned how this small footnote conflict has directly affected how Canada, the US, and Great Britan interact today. And if anything had been only slightly different, how it could directly affect our history today.

Project:1812 - The Treaty of Gent
A sign marking the spot where the American delegation to the treaty negotiations in Ghent, Belgium.
Contax G2 – Carl Zeiss Planar 2/45 T* – Kodak Plus-X 125 – Kodak Xtol (1+1) 7:30 @ 20C

And now you probably want to know who won the war, because in war there always has to be a winner and a loser. And in that sense, you would be right. But the truth is far more complicated than that. As the old phrase says, history is written by the victors. And in this war, three groups claimed victory. The British, the Americans, and now the Canadians. So of course, it depends on who you ask. So let’s break it down. This was a war that the British did not care too much about, the American threat at the time was so minor that London kept on advising Prevost to fight a defensive war, and only after Napoleon was on the run did they start to pour on the pressure. However, the British can claim victory as they repulsed the American invasion and kept them confined to small corners of the colony. The Americans can claim victory for the same reason, but we can also say they lost the war as they failed to achieve their objective, that was the removal of British influence in North America. The Canadians can claim victory for the same reasons as the British can, but in reality, only one battle was won solely by Canadian troops, the Battle of the Chateauguay. So in all this mess, did anyone win? Well not really, both sides barely avoided not losing. Neither side many any significant gains to have anything to hold over the other during treaty negotiations. So when the treaty was finally signed, it was peace with honour and a big giant reset button was pressed. There is one group that completely lost the war, the first nations of both countries; that is still very clear.

Project:1812 - The King's Navy Yards (Amherstburg)
The Forged Peace Memorial in Amherstburg, Ontario dedicated to the peace between the USA, England, and Canada
Pentax 645 – SMC Pentax A 645 35mm 1:3.5 – Kodak Tri-X 400 (400TX) @ ASA-200 – Kodak HC-110 Dil. E 6:30 @ 20C

Of course, if you’ve been following along with this project from the very beginning you know I’ve pumped out a lot of material over the process of these four years. And while being able to access a lot of the material online is great, even online material dies over time. So since 2013 I’ve been working hard to compile everything into book form and I’m happy to announce that the book is now done! I’ve taken four years of work, a little over 600 images captured, many blog posts all boiled down into 152 pages. And you can pick up a copy over at my bookstore on Blurb.com!

52:500c - Week 36 - Castle
The monument to the Rush Baggot Agreement at Fort Niagara, a key piece to the border shared between the Canada and the USA
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Rollei RPX 25 @ ASA-25 – Blazinal (1+25) 6:00 @ 20C

So my dear readers, thank you for coming along on this journey, and I hope I’ve inspired even one of you to explore some aspect of history that you may not know much about.

Reenactors – Behind the Scenes

Reenactors – Behind the Scenes

A little sidebar, I wrote this blog post a while back as a post if I had nothing to post here for the week sort of a filler. However recent news made me post this sooner! That great news is that Ektachrome is back! Kodak will be releasing a new version of Kodak Ektachrome E100G in the fall of 2017.

There’s more than battles, drill, and lazing about to a reenactment. Once the public leaves, the camps become the social centres for the evening. And being a reenactor one thing I have been a little lax on is capturing these behind-the-scenes moments once the public’s eye is turned. When I started attending reenactments I was always carrying a camera and capturing the battles, drill, and such events. Now that I spend most of the day in the field carrying a musket. I really needed to remember to bring a camera as well to capture the social side of things.

Lieutenant!

Connie's a Corporal

Almighty Stein

While these aren’t as exciting as some of the battles and actions. It reminds everyone that we love this hobby and have built some amazing friendships around it. One of my favourite events is the Mississenawa 1812 which takes place over the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend in Marion, Indiana. While the event is designed to commemorate the battle of Mississenawa, we don’t actually portray that skirmish. Since it was mostly American troops fighting the Delaware and Miami tribes that once occupied the region.

Pours the Beer in the Stein

Mike's Happy

Living the High Life

The unit that I fall in with, the 60th (Royal Americans) makes a point to go to this event because for a reenactor it’s fun. Often we’re fighting with a smaller British army so as light infantry we can move a little more around the field and really show off to the public that the soldiers of the 19th-century weren’t just drones standing in a line and firing volleys. Skirmishing was a valid tactic against enemy troops and often lent itself better to the environment of North American during the war.

The Bruce Man

Andi!

No.

Hopefully, I’ll remember to bring the camera more often at the events I attend next year. The Contax G2 seems to stand up well during these events. I mean it came to Waterloo’s 200th last summer!

Technical Details:
Contax G2 – Carl Zeiss Planar 2/45 T* – Kodak Ektachrome E100G
Processing: Unicolor Rapid E-6 Kit
Scanner: Epson V700
Editor: Adobe Photoshop CC (2015.5)

Project:1812 – Lieutenant Colonel George Armistead

Project:1812 – Lieutenant Colonel George Armistead

George Armistead, one of the great defenders of the United States of America, stalwart commander of Fort McHenry, an action that would lead him to an early grave. George was born in New Market, Virginia on 10 April 1780. He along with his five brothers would all serve their country in the armed service. But for George, his service began at the age of 19 as an Ensign in the 7th US Infantry. He proved himself an excellent officer and promoted to First Lieutenant by the turn of the century. However, with the end of the Quasi-War with France, the army was reduced in size, George found himself back in civilian life. Such life did not sit well, and he was quick to rejoin the US Artillery as a Lieutenant, earning a quick promotion to Captain then by 1813 Major and assignment to Fort Niagara on the frontier.

52:500c - Week 36 - Castle
The French Castle at Fort Niagara as it stands today, still the original building, Armistead would have lived in this building during his time at the fort.
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Rollei RPX 25 @ ASA-25 – Blazinal (1+25) 6:00 @ 20C

Major Armistead would command Fort Niagara batteries during the invasion of Upper Canada and capture of Fort George in May 1813. His guns playing a key role in the suppression of the British artillery. Henry Dearborn assigned Armistead with the honour of carrying the captured British flags back to Washington DC. Upon their presentation to President Madison, Armistead was directed to take command of Fort McHenry. With the threat of British attack looming, Armistead joined in Baltimore’s defense. He ordered the expansion of the fortifications and as a personal touch ordered a new garrison flag made. Inspired by the huge garrison flag at Fort Niagara, he commissioned a local woman, Mary Pickersgill, to produce a 30×42 foot fifteen-star, fifteen-stripe flag. When the British bombardment began in September 1814, he had the foresight to move the fort’s powder supply from the magazine to the far wall, to prevent the bombs hurled at the fort from smashing through the magazine. The fort withstood the bombardment with only four deaths, and Armistead would earn a promotion to Lieutenant-Colonel.

CCR Review 49 - Minolta Maxxum 700si
A statue of George Armistead stands today at the Fort McHenry, honouring the hero of the defense.
Minolta Maxxum 700si – Maxxum Zoom AF 35-70mm 1:4 – Eastman Double-X (5222) @ ASA-200 – FA-1027 (1+19) 10:00 @ 20C

Armistead remained in command of Fort McHenry following the war; he would also be the last casualty of the bombardment. The stress from the bombardment ate away at his mental wellbeing. He suffered according to accounts from the period a strained heart and nervous system. George Armistead passed away 25 April 1818, and his body was laid to final rest at St. Paul’s Cemetary in Baltimore, with full military honours

Project:1812 - The Battle of Baltimore
The Cemetary in which Lt. Col. Armistead is burried, sadly it was closed when I visited.
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Kodak Tri-X 400 @ ASA-400 – Kodak HC-110 Dil. B 7:30 @ 20C

It would be one hundred years before terms like shell-shock and two hundred years before the full extent of Post-Traumatic stress disorder would be realized. But Armistead did suffer from it, based on my understanding. He remains today a hero with Fort McHenry standing firm, and the flag he ordered on display in Washington DC at the Smithsonian museum, a gift from his family in 1912.

Written with Files from:
Hickey, Donald R. Don’t Give up the Ship!: Myths of the War of 1812. Urbana: U of Illinois, 2006. Print.
Lossing, Benson John. The Pictorial Field-book of the War of 1812 Volume 2. Gretna, LA: Pelican Pub., 2003. Print.
Whitehorne, Joseph W. A. The Battle for Baltimore, 1814. Baltimore, MD: Nautical & Aviation Pub. of America, 1997. Print.
Web: www.geni.com/people/Lt-Col-George-Armistead/6000000012222749217
Web: www.campaign1776.org/war-of-1812/biographies/george-armistead.html

Project:1812 – Major General Robert Ross

Project:1812 – Major General Robert Ross

Robert Ross is unique among the British Military leaders of the time as he never accepted any honours due to his actions. Born at his family estate at Rostrevor, Ireland in 1766. Before he joined the British army he attended Trinity College in Dublin while attending classes there he also served as the treasurer for the college’s historical society. Upon his graduation, he purchased an ensign’s commission in the 25th (Sussex) Regiment before advancing to captain a few years later in the 7th (Royal Fusiliers) Regiment. Ross would taste combat for the first time in 1799 at Krabbendam in the Netherlands during the French Revolutionary Wars. He would continue to see combat at Alexandria and by 1803 had been promoted to Major and would be given command of the 20th (East Devonshire) Regiment. As the war with France continued Ross and the 20th would move to the European peninsula, fighting in the Kingdom of Naples and the Battle of Corunna, by 1808 he was raised to the rank of full Colonel, even serving as Aide-Du-Campe to the King.

Congress
The US Capitol Building was the first building in the city that Ross directed to be destroyed
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Ross was a popular officer, respected by both the men and his subordinate officer. Ross was also a stickler for discipline and excellence in their drill. Ross would also lead from the front and received several wounds as a result. His actions did not go unnoticed, and he was given a promotion to General and served alongside Arthur Wellesley. Ross and Wellesley would go on to serve at Vittoria and Roncesvalles among other battles. Ross’ actions earned him the Army Gold Medal, but a wound would force him to return to England. During his recovery, the Sixth Coalition would deal Napoleon his death blow, and Ross received a promotion to Major-General and given a new assignment, command of an army to invade the United States.

Project:1812 - The Battle of Baltimore
A Memorial to the early skirmish which saw Ross killed before the Battle of North Point.
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Kodak Tri-X 400 @ ASA-400 – Kodak D-23 (Stock) 7:30 @ 20C

Ross was in the first wave of troops to land at Benedict, Maryland. He found a kindred officer in Rear Admiral Cockburn and the two men began to plot the ensuing battles. Ross and Cockburn would go on to defeat a small force of Americans at Upper Malborough and rout a much larger force at Bladensburg. From Bladensburg, Ross marched on Washington DC and unable to find an officer or official to negotiate the city’s surrender ordered the destruction of a majority of the government buildings in the American capital. An action that his peers and superiors would question but would be ultimately praised by General George Prevost. Ross would proceed to his original target, the city of Baltimore. Landing at North Point he marched the army north and at midday on 12 September 1814 rode forward upon hearing the sound of musket fire from an advance force of American militia troops. An act that would end his life as an American sharpshooter killed the general.

Project:1812 - Major General Robert Ross
Ross’s Tomb in Halifax, Nova Scotia at the city’s old Burrying Ground.
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Ilford Pan F+ @ ASA-50 – FA-1027 (1+14) 5:00 @ 20C

The loss of Ross was a devastating blow to the army, and he was mourned by officers and men alike. The general’s body aboard the HM Ship Royal Oak (74) sailed for Halifax, preserved in a barrel of Rum. After a full military funeral at St. Paul’s Church in Halifax, Ross’ remains were laid to rest at the city’s burying grounds. You can still see his tomb today. A larger monument was raised at Rostrevor as well by the officers and men that served under the general. Neither Ross or his family would receive any titles or knighthoods. But that’s not to say that his family did not receive an honour, his widow would carry the name “Ross of Bladensburg”. And in an odd twist, you can find a portrait of Robert Ross inside the rotunda of the US Capitol building in Washington DC.

Written with Files from:
McCavitt, John, and Christopher T. George. The Man Who Captured Washington: Major General Robert Ross and the War of 1812. Norman: U of Oklahoma, 2016. Print.
Stephen, Leslie, and Sidney Lee. Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder, 1885. Print.
Web: www.eighteentwelve.ca/?q=eng/Topic/91