I’ve honestly smelled better in abandoned buildings than this dark brown, almost black solution sitting on the counter in my film lab (read: laundry room), but will it develop film, everything I’ve read and seen online says it well; my brain and nose say otherwise, and I pour it into the tank. So as I agitate the tank, I hope that this strange brew (with apologies to Bob & Doug McKenzie) does its job. So before I continue, let me answer the question that some of you may be asking, what exactly is caffenol? Caffenol is a film developer that you can make at homeRead More →

This is what it’s all been leading up to. A print, there’s something unique about holding a print in your hand, looking down at the patterns of light and shadow being brought out in blacks, whites, and grays, it’s magic. Well actually its science, the perfect blend of art and science. Creating the print is a rather neat process from start to end and when you sit down and think about the sheer amount of control you have over the whole process is fantastic. You get to pick the camera (and in some cases the lens), film stock. Then you can meter it the wayRead More →

When it rains, the last place you’ll want to be is Fort Meigs, trust me on this one. The fort isn’t the nicest fort that got involved in the war, there is not a long drawn out or particularly memorable history about the depot fortification. It really is more of an afterthought, a post designed to be a stopping point for troops and supplies, and while it saw only two sieges over the course of the war it did stand out in one way. It was the largest wooden palisade wall fort in all of North America, at least when it was first built. UnlikeRead More →

The Siege of Fort Meigs was a mess, a minor action at a depot fort that did little but injury the personal morale of a British officer and drive a wedge in the strained alliance between Tecumseh and the British. It was the opening move in the long game of William Henry Harrison and his designs for the invasion of Upper Canada. A muddy mess that did little to further the British plans but was exactly what Harrison had hoped in the end. A small, tactical victory. One of seven blockhouses that served as defensive strong points and secure artillery batteries for the palasade wallRead 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 →

One of the best-kept secrets of Niagara-On-The-Lake is the fact that the town itself has risen from the literal ashes to the quiet tourist town that it is today. If you take a close look at many of the historic buildings most don’t date any further back than 1813, and there’s a reason for that, considering how old the community is. Founded originally in 1781 as Butlersburg, as many of the original settlers were members of the Loyalist Irregular unit known as Butler’s Rangers, would take on the name West Niagara. When Upper Canada was officially established, John Graves Simcoe renamed the town again toRead More →

She is the stuff of legends, a hero in her own right, a hull of iron, and undefeated in battle. A mighty sailing ship that spans three centuries and is still able to move under her power, she’s called Old Ironsides, but her real name is the US Frigate Constitution (44). And while the history of the Constution extends both before and long after the Anglo-American War of 1812. And while the ship is not a fort, person, battle, or location, it played a major role in the war and added to the overall mythos surrounding the war in these past 200 years. By 1793Read More →

Last week Sunday was August 19th, to most people it’s just another Sunday, but August 19th is World Photography Day…why the 19th, simple, it was on August 19th, 1839 that France gave the world a gift, the gift of Photography. You see earlier that year (January 9th) Joseph Nicèphore Nièpce and Louis Daguerre developed the photographic process and the French Academy of Sciences passed it along to the world. So after church that morning I loaded up a roll of Kodak Tmax 100 into my Rolleiflex and hit a local hiking trail, Mount Nemo. World Photography Day was created in 2009 and launched in 2010Read More →

By the end of summer 1814, the jig was up for the American invasion. While they had managed to strike at the British and nearly pushed them off the Niagara peninsula again, the new commander-in-chief of the British forces in Upper Canada was going to have none of that. Following the quick movements, it all turned around at the Battle of Lundy’s Lane and General Drummond managed to push the Americans back to their beachhead at the now heavily fortified Fort Erie where the Americans had started not a month earlier. And Drummond would begin his siege that would lead up to one of theRead More →

Following a series of defeats that saw the surrender of three American Armies and the British in control of the entire Michigan Territory from Ohio to Mackinac Island. General Henry Dearborn needed a new plan, one that would not only boost the morale of his troops but give Washington DC a swift victory that they had been expecting. It was again decided that a three-pronged assault would be enough to force the British to retreat and surrender from Upper Canada. But it didn’t go exactly to plan. Dearborn believed the false report that 8,000 British Regulars garrisoned Kingston, home to the Royal Navy Squadron onRead More →