Peterson Lake, Manitoba

In July, 2013 we were fortunate to travel to Manitoba to vacation with our friends David and Kathy at their cottage on Peterson Lake, north-east of Flin Flon. The cottage is remote, to say the least. Starting from Cranberry Portage, we traveled approximately one hour by boat through the Cranberry Lakes to a portage on Third Cranberry Lake, then another hour by 4×4 vehicles through the bush on the abandoned Snow Lake railway embankment and what I would optimistically call a moose trail, and then finally unloaded everything into fishing boats at Peterson Lake and another 35 minutes’ travel east to the Lake’s eastern end.

During our time in northern Manitoba we were treated to only a single day of brilliant sunshine – the day of our arrival – and after that a mix of sun and cloud.

Unfortunately, the year before, that portion of the province including Peterson Lake had been ravaged by forest fires, with the cottages saved only through the use of sprinkler systems drawing water from the nearby Lake. I made many of these images to both document the current state of the landscape, but also to take advantage of the lack of undergrowth that exposed the vast amount of granite that lies beneath the seemingly endless expanse of (now burnt) black spruce.

All of the images above were taken using my favorite Mamiya C330S and either a 55mm or 105mmDS lens, and various colour filters. For film I used mostly Ilford FP4, but once my supply of preferred FP4 ran out I used a combination of Ilford Delta 100 and 400 and Kodak Tri-X 400. I was particularly impressed in print-making with the fine grain of the Delta 400 negatives developed with Ilford ID-11, which gave a surprisingly smooth tonal range.

The images above were printed on Ilford Multigrade RC Pearl and then scanned. I plan to print several of these using Ilford FB Warmtone Glossy later this month.

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