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Showing posts from October, 2013

Weekend Retreat off the Beaten Path.

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Somewhere between Huntsville and Algonquin Park on Bella Lake is a small piece of paradise. My long weekend road trip took me to Billie Bear Lodge, a family owned cottage resort that acted as our base for photographic expeditions.  What I love about this place was the fact it is off the beaten path, in this case Highway 60.  The first thing I did when I got out my car in the parking lot, I closed my eyes, took a deep breath and just listened.

I was up there during low season, it was quiet, as in you don't hear civilization quiet and that is an addictive quality when coupled with your surroundings. My friends showed up shortly after I arrived and we took over the lodge at the resort and made dinner Friday night. I have a soft spot for places like Billie Bear Resort, the accommodations are rustic but that's what I like about it.















Camera: Nikon F3HP, various Nikkor lenses
Film: Fuji Pro 400H

A small word on Photographic Gear

I follow a site called the Art of Photography and they have a great series of video podcasts, well produced and geared to wide photography enthusiast audience. I'm sharing two of them today to give an idea what is in my camera bag. 


This is a podcast on 35mm film photography and a great showcase on the Nikon F3HP, one of my favourite cameras and I consider it my go to for critical work. What I found interesting is the F3 was in production for around 18 to 20 years almost from 1980 to 2002 depending what source you want to refer to. The other interesting fact is the camera was designed by Italdesign chief Giorgetto Giugiaro who also designed for Ferrari, Maserati and Volkswagen in the 1960s and '70s. 


A second podcast, this time on twin lens reflex cameras. For the record I own three:  a Rolleiflex Series 3.5 Zeiss Planar, Rolleicord IV as well as Mamiya C220 and all of them take amazing photographs. TLRs are compact and relatively lightweight cameras save for the Mamiya which i…

Taking the Road Less Travelled

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I like taking the scenic route. A few weeks ago I was up Algonquin Park way with friends for a long weekend of photography from the Friday to Sunday, honestly it wasn't long enough.  While the others took Highway 400 through Barrie, I took the 404, cut through Uxbridge and then hopped on the Trans Canada Highway North (#12) passing through Brock Township in the northern part of Durham Region.

The Smith family emigrated from Forres Scotland arriving  in what is now Durham Region the early 1830s.  My branch of the clan settled in Cannington Ontario becoming merchants owning the town's feed store. My great granddad William George Smith and family left for Toronto in the early 1900s due to changing economic realities and agricultural practices. They are buried in a family plot in the Presbyterian cemetery Concession Road 11.

A great uncle of mine Dr. Masson Smith (granddad's brother) was the town physician in Beaverton roughly 20 minutes drive further north along the Trans Ca…

Fall Road Trip Part One

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A few weeks ago I fell off the grid took the scenic route up to a lodge near Algonquin Park to meet up with friends for the weekend and take lots of pictures. I like driving through Durham Region as I have a strong family connection to the area. I took a route through Uxbridge because I wanted to photograph the York-Durham Heritage Railway's northern terminus and I have a weak spot for old trains. Been there last year but suffered light leaks in the camera gear I was using at the time, didn't suffer that problem this time around.

Unfortunately I didn't get a chance to take pictures of their Alco Road Switcher  which was in operation in the yard, I have walked around on their day off but I kept my distance from the operating locomotive for safety reasons, there's always next time when I'm in the area to get a decent photo.

I drove through Uxbridge to get to Highway 12 or the Trans Canada Highway so I can get to Cannington for lunch. More about that next time.

Camer…

For Those Just Tuning In

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Hi everyone, I figure this is an opportune moment to re-introduce myself for those recently discovered my blog. My name is Bill and I’m a photography geek, this medium is a personal passion of mine and thankfully I don’t earn a living at it. 
Checking out previous posts, you’ll notice I still shoot with film and use mostly manual focus 35mm and medium format cameras stretching from the mid 1950s to the 1990s. As a byproduct, I collect cameras from this time period, in particular Nikon, Leica and Rolleiflex, not a cheap hobby but a lot cheaper than collecting and restoring vintage Porsches. 
People ask why, film it’s simple I like the workflow besides I spend enough time in front of the computer with work as a marketing communications consultant. That being said there are few digital camera systems I have my eye on but I’m not in a rush to invest just yet. 
I process my own black and white film. I’m partial to Ilford’s HP5 400 and Delta 100 ISO films along with Kodak Tri-400 and Fuji Neop…

Mono Cliffs Provincial Park Part Two

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Mono Cliffs is one of those secret magical spots I to go hiking and a few weeks ago I led a photo walk with 15 members of the Oakville Camera Club. The big challenge when organizing field trips for the club is keeping things fresh and the park delivered in a big way and we were fortunate to get a sunny day after the fog burned off.

For those wondering where Mono Cliffs Provincial Park is, budget about an hour and 20 minutes driving time northwest of Toronto by taking highway 410 then drive along highway 10 through Orangeville and then turn right along Mono Centre Road #8, go east and keep an eye out for the signs for the park. It's not a difficult hike but I would recommend wearing hiking boots.

As I mentioned earlier, the best part of Mono Cliffs is closing your eyes and just listening, after a minute you realize you can't hear civilization.















Camera gear used

Square format: Mamiya C220f with the 80 f2.8 Sekor lens.

35mm format: Canon F-1n with either the FD 28 f2.8 or 50 f1.4…