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 →

Many have heard the analogy of an elephant and a beaver to describe the relationship between Canada and the United States. Even though we are two separate countries and cultures, whatever happens in the United States is like when the elephant rolls over, it does and will affect Canada. The American Civil War is the perfect example of what happens when the elephant rolls over. While the conflict was primarily an American war, it had ripple effects across the globe. The war is not the primary focus of this project, however, as I mentioned in the previous post, is one of the external reasons toRead More →

In Post-War British North America, the British authorities took a two-pronged approach to the defences of their North American holdings. The first through a series of upgrades to the defensive forts along the border and the bolstering of the British garrisons, the second would be to prevent another war through a series of negotiated agreements and treaties. The idea would be to shore up the start of better relationships and fill in the gaps left by the Treaty of Gent. If you have read the Treaty of Ghent and understand its context you’ll quickly realise Ghent could not be the final say for normal relationsRead More →

Like Svema Foto 400, I’ve only ever shot a single roll of Kentmere 400, and that was when it was being bulk loaded by the Film Photography Project as their EDU line of films. And yes, like Kentmere 100, this film stock is also produced by Ilford/Harman for their export market. While I personally think the film is best for students and those photographers on a budget, I don’t mind the film. It’s a lot closer to the old Ilford Pan 400 than their HP5+ stock, and that’s not a bad thing. And while I can still only find the film in the old packaging,Read More →

If you have ever used the Olympus Trip 35 then, you’ll be right at home with the Minoltina-P. The camera is a fixed lens, semi-automatic point and shoot from the 1960s and honestly before I saw it on the shelf at Burlington Camera I had never even known this camera existed. But don’t let that scare you, Minolta produced a lot of underdog cameras through the 1960s that often were as good as their competitors. The Hi-Matic went up against the Olympus 35 and Cannonet Series, and the Minoltina, well it’s an Olympus Trip 35. The Dirt Make: Minolta Model: Minoltina-P Type: Point and ShootRead More →

If there is a single camera out there that most people will associate with professional film photographers, it is the Hasselblad V-System. Designed and built in Sweeden, the Hasselblad is the luxury camera of the medium format market. While the 500c is the original model to use a leaf shutter, it is a good entry point into the Hasselblad system if you can find one at the right price. Thankfully I was able to find a complete setup (lens, finder, back) for a reasonable price, but soon found that there is a certain cost to owning a Hasselblad system. And the fact you can’t justRead More →

Well it’s not really a castle in any sense of the word, but this 1726 building in Old Fort Niagara has earned the moniker “The French Castle.” Constructed as part of the second fortifications at the mouth of the Niagara, the French first came to the region in 1678. However due to illness and lack of supplies the site was abandoned. The current fortifications on site date to 1726 as has remained occupied since. The British took the fort in a siege in 1759 during the French-Indian War (Seven Years War), it continued to remain a British stronghold through the American Revolution, but was turnedRead More →

As part of the preparation for putting the entire project into book form, I’ve been going around and re-shooting many of the fortifications that were involved in the War of 1812 using large format film (4 inch by 5 inch), simply for practice and the quality it gives. Here are the first group of forts. Completed at the start of the war to protect the dockyard at Prescott a critical point in the movement of supplies between Upper Canada, Lower Canada and Halifax, Fort Wellington was never outright attacked during the war, rather troops from the garrison would only participate in the battles of OgdensburgRead More →

With a commanding view of both Lake Ontario and the Niagara River, the old colonial fort has a long and complicated history connecting it to three different nations that formed the basis of the modern countries that exist today. Not to mention it serves as the oldest collection of stone buildings west of Montreal and the oldest fortification I have had the honour of visiting and documenting. I’m of course talking about Fort Niagara. The French Castle is the oldest and central structure of Fort Niagara and dates back to 1729. Pacemaker Crown Graphic – Schneider-Kreuznack Angulon 1:6,8/90 – Kodak Tri-X Pan @ ASA-320 KodakRead More →

I have seen the grand Fort Niagara from across the river in Niagara-On-The-Lake so I finally took time to go and see the oldest fort in the area. The fort and the people there made the two hour border wait worth it! The history of the site started back in 1678 when the French established their first fort. The current construction is a mixed bag of French buildings from 1688 to 1759, British who took the Fort from the French in a siege in 1759. The British were forced to hand over the fort to the United States at the end of the Revolutionary War,Read More →