Category Archives: Reviews

Organic Hand Toning – Coffee, Tea, and Red Wine

Welcome to Black Rain Gallery 2.5

Organic Hand Toning… Coffee, Tea, and Red Wine

Organic Hand toning is a vary simple way of toning  the “toning” is really just staining the print. So while the staining does last for several years, it will not protect your print from the eventual effects of decay.

The Heron - by Ken Hill Hand toned in coffee


Orchid - by Ken Hill hand toned in tea

 Red wine

Toning with red wine is quite simple. Simply uncork a bottle of cheap red wine and pour into a tray. one 750 ml bottle will suffice in an 8×10″ tray. Pre-soaking your print in a tray of clean water helps soften and open the fibers of a fiber-based paper, which will shorten the time needed in the wine and lets the wine absorb evenly. Anywhere from two to ten minutes will do. Put the  print into the wine. Start by checking every minute or two until you get the desired color.  rinsing the wine off in cool running water. Allow the print to dry overnight.

Coffee & tea

 Both coffee and tea are also simple materials with which to tone. And give a light tan to a almost sepia color. Simply brew coffee and allow to cool, then pour into a tray. With tea,  use about 6 tea bags of Black Tea per liter. And Once again pre-soaking the print in clean water.  Look at your print every couple of minutes until you get the right tone. A short time in tea or coffee will give you a light, color, while extending the time will give a deeper colour

Gear Samsung NX-10

The samsung NX-10 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens digital camera (  14.6 Megapixels )  with Dust Reduction technology

Samsung NX-10

The NX10 incorporates a fast and decisive auto focus (AF), 14.6 MP APS-C size CMOS sensor and unique, large 3.0” AMOLED screen, allowing users to easily view their images, even in bright sunlight. Users can also record in HD movie to create short videos. Available in two colors, Black and Silver, the Samsung NX10 is small, light and well designed for everyday use. The Lens range can be expanded with a K-mount adapter ( MA9NXK ) giving the user access to the full range of Pentax Lenses

Type –  Mirrorless interchangeable Lens camera

Sensor-   14.6 megapixels CMOS, APS-C

Lens mount-  NX mount  (interchangeable )

Storage-   SD, SDHC

Focus modes-   Autofocus & Manual

Formats-   JPEG & RAW



Side Projects

welcome to Black Rain Gallery 2.3

Working Boats of the Great Lakes

Since I was a boy I’ve alway found the working ship’s and Boats of the great lakes fascinating,  nodoubt aided by fact my father was a Toronto longshoreman

This is a small side project I’m currently working on

Bagotville ... by Ken Hill


Tuscarora details... Ken Hill

Bridge Canadian Miner ... by Ken Hill


Side projects  offer photograghers ways to develop new skills, can give you a new perspective, can help keep your main work from becoming stale, and can expose your work to new markets which can lead to new clients.

Most photographers I know have at lest a few side projects on the go at any one time

Gear  Yashica ML 50mm F/2 

Yashica ML 50mm f / 2


This multicoated  lens is very sharp, with good bokeh and saturated colours, It was a standard kit lens for yashica cameras so it has a contax/yashica mount witch means if you don’t have a yashica/contax camera you’ll need an adapter for it

  1. max. aperture  f / 2
  2. min. aperture  f / 16
  3. min. focus  50cm
  4. filter size  52mm
  5. focus type  full manual focus
  6. Optical construction  6 elements in 4 groups


George Hurrell

welcome to Black Rain Gallery 2.2

Influence…George Hurrell

Anna May Wong - George Hurrell


George Hurrell ...Greta garbo


Humphrey Bogart...George Hurrell


For sixty years, George Hurrell defined the world of glamour. The one time head of MGM portrait gallery photographed some of hollywoods biggests stars such as Jean Harlow, Clark Gable, & Rita Hayworth…and later on people like Brooke Shields & John Travolta…Hurrell’s  training as a painter enhanced his understanding of exposure, composition, and contrast. His artistry included a mastery of lighting and shadows, an expertise at retouching negatives and an ability to capture the mood and expression that defined his subjects. His technique has often been described as “Painting with Light”. Many a Hollywood career was made or enhanced through his artistic touch…He died on May 17 1992


Carl Zeiss Jena  Tessar 50mm F/2.8 lens

carl zeiss jena tessar 50mm f/2.8

Produced from 1952-1978 in East Germany …the carl zeiss jena tessar 50mm f/2.8  M42 mount lens, was often used as a standard kit lens …Being only f/ 2.8 its a little slower than other primes, still this is a carl zeiss lens, the center is vary sharp with soft edges giving this lens a unique character and bokeh that only a tessar lens can give. With a M42 screwmount it can be mounted on DLSRs or any 35mm SLR ( with adapter )…a fairly common lens it can be found at local camera derlers and on-line sources like E-bay…if you need a dirt cheap, quality lens this is a  good pick…

  1. max. aperture   2.8
  2. min. aperture   22
  3. min. focus   .35cm
  4. filter size   49mm
  5. focus type  full manual focus
  6. Optical construction  4 elements in 3 groups



Welcome to Black Rain Gallery 2.1


known as” the father of mexican photography” is considered a major influential figure in contemporary Mexican and Latin American Photography, his work is widely published around the world.

Alverez Bravo ... Centro Fotografico


Alverez Bravo... Daydream 1931


Alverez Bravo fruta-prohibida


“for photographers, anything and anyone can be an influence”

He is one the photographers I consider an Influence on my work…it’s not so much what he shot, but how he approached what he photographed…


Nikon F80/F80D/F80S   Type – 35mm SLR

Nikon F 80 35mm SLR

The F80 was introduced on January 27, 2000 to the  consumer market. It was the successor to the F70 and was based on the highly successful F100 and was the first Nikon camera to feature on-demand grid lines.  The F80 has many pro features such as…                                                                                                                                                                                              

  1. Excellent matrix metering
  2. Viewfinder indication of P, S, A, or M exposure modes
  3. Real depth-of-field control that stops down to the camera-selected aperture in automatic modes                     
  4. Viewfinder displays [+] or [ ] AF mode
  5. Viewfinder display of fill-flash compensation level
  6. Professional threaded cable release socket
  7. On-demand grid lines 

The F80 takes two CR123A lithium batteries  and you can also get a grip that uses 4-AA batteries, the MB-16

Overall this is a great camera, light, low cost and packed with many pro features… some people have complained about build quality, I have taken my F 80  455 km through the Canadian bush, taken it into caves, shot in rain, sleet, snow and down  to -40c …no problems would I do these things with some other cameras I own…no way !


Pro Canadian photographers, great talent working in smaller Canadian citys…

-Thunder Bay



-St. John’s

Black & White

Welcome to Black rain gallery 2.0

Black & White

Why Black & white ? ….To me it’s all about mood, texture, shape’s & form’s …it give’s photo’s a classic timeless look that’s hard to get with colour…don’t get me wrong I love colour photo’s ( esp. HDR and hand colour ) But try grain with colour , try showing mood or texture …colour has it’s place but so dose mono and both shine in there right setting

Carlaw Avenue

Thaw at Mono Cliff's ... Ken Hill

Creating a black and white photograph means seeing things in a different way, taking time to notice  forms, textures, shapes and tones and not just colour 


Asahi S-M-C Takumar 55mm/1.8

S-M-C Takumar 55mm f1.8 M42 

 Super-Multi-Coated Takumar 55mm/1.8 lens M42 screwmount

The Super-Multi-Coated Takumar lenses from Asahi was manufactured from 1971-1976, during the development of multicoating. This is a M.42-lens with manual focus and aperture. You can use it on a DSLR but you’ll need a M42-adapter. Like many of the Asahi lenses from the time it has a button for Auto / Manual-mode and you can use this to open and close the aperture while focusing.
It’s a slim lens like many other manual, primes of the 70’s, build quality is excellent you can see & feel the quality.  Takumars  go for under $ 50 on ebay.

This lens strength is at it’s shallow depth of field, and yet it still produces vary sharp result’s though out it’s focus range.  On DSLR’s the cropfactor is 1.6 making this lens a 88mm lens 

  1. Max aperture   F/1.8
  2. Min. aperture   F/16
  3. Min.  Focus     45cm
  4. filter size         49mm
  5. Focus type       full manual focus
  6. Optical Construction     6  elements in  5  groups 

 Overall the Asahi s-m-c Takumar is compact, light , well engineered lens with excellent build quality, who’s optics produce nice soft bokah and yet excellent sharpness



Welcome to Black rain gallery 1.2


Just some shot’s of Toronto….

Toronto-Dominion center

Brookfield Place photo by Ken Hill


The Courtyard photo by Ken Hill

Abstract-pattern's photo by Ken Hill

Cities are a great place for taking photo’s with so much subject matter at hand, the possibilities are endless….





A Quick look at three Black & White Film’s… 

ILFORD Delta 100 ( ISO 100 )

Introduced in 1992 this film boasts great contrast, vary fine grain & razorsharp print’s.  A great all-round choice when fine grain and sharpness are more important than speed.

KODAK Tri-x 400 ( ISO 400 )

Tri-X is a classic ( 1954 ) high-speed black and white photographic film from Kodak with small grain pattern and low contrast, With excellent skin tones recorded in portrait’s. This is one of the Best B&W film’s in the world today

FUJI NEOPAN 1600 ( ISO 1600 )

A high speed film great for low light level’s, with high contrast it’s not the kind of film you’d use for general photography work. But it will handle the most difficult light and still produce excellent print’s. For a high-speed/medium grain film it’s suprising how much detail it captures

web watch

Working with a 5×7 camera, Brad Cole is one Hell of a photographic Artist

Buck produce’s some vary beautiful work esp. his panoramas

The Ilford photo company website, a great resource for the Black & White photographer