A visit to St. Jacob’s

It has been several months since I posted my last blog. This summer has been full of activities, with little time for photography and even less for blogging.

I recently visited the village of St. Jacob’s in south-western Ontario. The primary attraction was its big farmer’s market, but the highlight of the trip was a visit to a Mennonite farm, and an opportunity to learn more about the history of Mennonites in Canada.

Mennonites first began to settle in the Kitchener-Waterloo area in the 18th Century, migrating north from Pennsylvania, following the American Revolution. They were seeking cheaper land, an escape from conflict, and an opportunity to practice their religion freely.

There are many Mennonite farms in the region, and the farm we visited was a mixed farm. They grow corn, operate a small dairy, and harvest maple syrup. The Mennonites are not a homogeneous group, and there are many variations in life style among the Mennonite community. Some drive a horse and buggy, some drive cars – but only black ones – and others have adopted a more contemporary lifestyle.

To learn more about the Mennonites, a good place to start is by visiting The Mennonite Story in St. Jacob’s.

Here are a few photographs from our visit. Mennonites prefer not to have their photograph taken, so there are no recognizable images of people.

a field of dreams?
the corn silo
the dairy barn
a history of maple tree tapping
an old mechanical work horse
town and country by horse and buggy

Vintage Vehicles – Series 1

I have recently revisited a photoshop technique that I have experimented with in the past. Without going too much into the technicalities, these images have been produced using the Stylize / Find Edges filter, which creates an outline which can then be filled in with textures and colours.

This past autumn I visited the Erin Fall Fair north of Toronto. They have many vintage tractors on display – all in working condition. I used two images from this collection to apply this technique. There is a tractor pull at the fair too, but I missed that.

The old Dodge truck is on display in the Distillery District near downtown Toronto. It is definitely not in working condition!

Ford tractor monochrome cw
Monochrome Ford tractor
Ford 900 tractor cw
Ford 900 tractor
distillery district dodge cw
Distillery District Dodge