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The Beaches Stay, Pre Shut Down

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I packed Ilford HP5 400 for my stay in the beaches with the thought to pushing it, in the end I left at my usual 320 ISO. One reason was the Minolta XD-11 only went to 1/1000 of a second, and that's fine but I was dealing with lighting all over the place which in the end keeping the film near box speed was the right call. My portrait of my friend John Meadows had me look at HP5 400 again, the tonality blew my mind and I've shot kilometers/miles of the stuff and processing it in HC110 dilution B (1+31) is my go to developer combination. I metered things just right.

My stay in the Beaches was the last week of relatively normal, whatever that was. While certain events were being cancelled, the COVID 19 pandemic hadden't really hit home yet. People were still out going about their daily business.


Camera: Minolta XD-11, MD Rokkor X 50 f1.7 lens.
Film: Ilford HP5 400, HC110 B.





















March Break in the Beaches Part Two

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More scenes from the calm before the self isolation. The Minolta XD-11s are definitely coming with me up to Northern Muskoka later this year.


Camera: Minolta XD-11, MD Rokkor lenses.
Film: Kodak Ektar 100.





































March Break in the Beaches with my Minolta XD-11 Part One.

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I sent my black Minolta XD-11 off to Garry's Camera back February for an overhaul, and in light of current events, it's the last camera that will be crossing the border for service for the forseeable future. My timing was just right because we're in the new normal now.

My brother did his annual March ski vacation out west in Banff with the family from March 9 to the 14th  and I was back in Toronto looking after Maya, the family dog and Maverick, the family turtle. I packed my recently overhaulled XD-11 and some Rokkor glass for my stay and borrowed my brother's Texas Leica, the Mamiya GW690III, those negs will be processed and scanned shortly.

The game plan was an audition of sorts for what gear will I take with me up to Northern Muskoka later this year for the annual photography retreat, the answer of course will be a pair of XD-11's. I'm super pleased with the results I got from my stay. I only shot one roll of colour (the roll of Ektar 100) and two rolls of…

The Last Ski Weekend

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Funny what can happen in the space of three weeks, I thought I would be skiing to the end of March, well that plan got kiboshed pretty quick due to a global pandemic. Which is a shame because there was still a decent base at Caledon Ski Club and we could have made it to April, no problem. I've been skiing longer than taking photographs and doing the math, this was season 44 that was, and it ended with a whimper. At least I documented the last ski weekend, at least I can go back to this post and remember what perfect pair of days they were.

Fast forward a week, I bolted up to grab the Smith clan's ski equipment out of the locker when the email came out the club was shutting down along with just about every ski hill in North America.  Skiing down the hill wasn't the problem, riding up the chairlift and having lunch and/or apres ski drinks in the lodge was. Pity, I figured there was three more weeks of skiing easy with the base we had. Welcome to the new normal kids.


Camera:…