Thursday, September 18, 2014

Tale of Two Stratfords: Part One

Stratford Ontario is a pretty town northwest of Kitchener-Waterloo and home to the Shakespearian Festival. Before being the base to the long running showcase of the Bard's comedies and tragedies as well as more recently some great Broadway classics, Stratford was a regional railway and industrial centre that prior to World War Two was facing an uncertain future with furniture factories closing which was the main industry back then along with the shutting down of a steam engine repair facility by CN. Rebranding the town as theatre destination specializing in Shakespeare was a gutsy move.

Camera: Canon F-1N, FD 50 f1.4 and FD 28 f2 SSC lenses.
Film: ORWO UN 54, Xtol 1+1

Ontario St. Looking East

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Crossing Ontario St.

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Monday, September 15, 2014

Port Stanley Part Three (This Time In Colour)

Been a while since I last shot Fuji Reala 100, unfortunately it's no longer being made so it's time to use up the film stock I got left. The real challenge is how C-41 films scan differently, so if I switch between Ektar 100 and Portra 400 (both easy to scan) to Reala and Pro 400 H, I find I have to be very mindful while in Vuescan.



Camera: E Series 75 3.5 Planar  Rolleiflex TLR,
Film: Fuji Reala 100.

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Bastien Bros.



Thursday, September 11, 2014

Port Stanley Part Two

More goodness from Port Stanley.

Camera: F-1N, FD 50 f1.4 SSC lens and FD 28 f2 SSC Lens.
Film: ORWO UN 54, Xtol 1+1,

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Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Port Stanley Part One

Long time ago, my parents used to take my brother and I down to Kennabunkport Maine for an annual Summer road trip. It has been 25 years since I last went. This past Summer during my Southwest Ontario road trips, I stopped through Port Stanley and I immediately got the same vibe from the trips to Southern Maine.

This is still a working port with fishing boats, they usually leave port around 4 AM and return around 12:30 to 1 PM. The ice houses have either been turned into inns or torn down, refrigerated trucks now greet the fishing boats.

The other attraction is two beaches, both get used a lot. For those toying with a Summer hide away, Lake Erie is dirt cheap compared to cottage country from what I've seen with local listings.

Camera: Canon F-1N,
Film: ORWO UN54, xtol 1+1.

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Bastien Bros

Port Stanley Harbour

Re-fuelling for Tomorrow

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Thursday, September 04, 2014

St. Mary's Part Two

St. Mary's is a lot like other small towns in Southwest Ontario in some regards while doing ok as a regional centre, the really good times were last around over 35 years ago. What I found really unique to this town was the generous use of limestone as a building material, no surprise when your main industry is Limestone and concrete (St. Mary's Cement).

What surprised me was VIA Rail stopped in St. Mary's, they have maybe four trains roll through per day, two in the morning and two in the afternoon evening that go between London and Toronto by way of Stratford. The train stopped to drop off one passenger, I really got a vibe from the movie the "Last Picture Show"there were only two cars on the train (no diner car) and it looks to be local run.

If you want to see another perspective of Southwest Ontario, check out my friend Jean Pierre's blog.



Camera, Medium Format: E Series 3.5 Planar Rolleiflex TLR.
Film: Fuji Neopan Acros 100, HC110 B.
Camera 35mm: Canon F-1N, FD 28 f2SSC Lens.
Film: ORWO UN 54 100, Xtol 1+1



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St Mary's Train Station

The Local Arriving

Unloading One Passenger

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

West of the City, St. Mary's Part One

A long time friend of mine Jean Pierre Faucher had this great idea of exploring the small towns of Southwest Ontario around London for a week. It finally came together this past August and we spent a week driving around the first town on the list is St. Mary's Ontario, a regional centre and former mill town for flour production. These days the big employer is St. Mary's Cement due to the abundance of Limestone in the area.

Camera: Rolleiflex Series E 3.5 Planar TLR
Film: Fuji Acros 100, HC110 B.

St. Mary's Opera House

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Upper Thames River

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St. Mary's


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

East of Toronto Part II: Prince Edward County

I think I found paradise.

It started with lunch at Huff Estates Winery, they have a really nice patio where we had lunch, in my case a roast beef sandwich with melted brie with mixed green salad. If there is ever a place that I would consider as close to paradise as you are going to get within a two and a half hour drive east of  Toronto. I tossed up an iPhone shot of the beach on Twitter and Facebook with the line, 'I think I found paradise."

A couple of people and businesses  from Prince Edward County favourited that photo and a few re-tweeted it which was a nice stroke to the ego.

The thing with the beach at Sandbank Provincial Park is the sand, it's sugar sand and you feel like you're on the ocean only there is no tides to deal with. We were smart going Friday because the long weekend would have been a zoo at the park. After relaxing on the beach it was time to make our way to check out Bloomfield, a gem of a small town, a perfect place to hide from reality for a few days and just explore the surrounding countryside.

Ok, one place you have to go is Slicker's Ice Cream in downtown Bloomfield. I had the coffee and caramel flavour and my friend Siobhan had campfire which tastes like toasted marshmallows. A fair warning on long weekends Slickers gets slammed so expect a long line up.

What struck me about Prince Edward County was it felt a lot like New England which is courtesy the deep United Empire Loyalist roots in the area. You can tell by seeing the Union Jack flying in places along with one gentleman blasting bagpipe music on the radio in his pickup truck and he was younger than me. The sad thing was we had to go home to Toronto and Oakville respectively. I want to come back again to take more photographs as I feel I've only scratched the surface with this part of the world.

Square Photo: iPhone 5S with VSCOcam C3 preset.
Black and White: Canon F-1N, FD 50 f1.4 SSC lens,
Film: Kentmere 100, Ilfosol3 1+4.

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Sandbanks Beach

This Way to the Beach

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Mill St.

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Downtown Bloomfield

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