Old Fort Niagara Part 2

i On Niagara


I took so many photos at Old Fort Niagara, and many are of things at the fort that are quite interesting if you like the history of the colonial wars in North America. The image above is inside the building below. It was built-in 1726  by the French. They erected a permanent fortification with the construction of the impressive “French Castle.”


The British gained control of the fort in 1759, during the French & Indian War, after a nineteen-day siege. They held the fort through the American Revolution but were forced, by treaty, to yield it to the United States in 1796.


It was recaptured by the British in 1813. At the end of the War of 1812, it was ceded to the United States for a second time in 1815.

4. King of the Beavers

This was its last armed conflict, but it continued under military control through the Civil war as a training facility.


The fort was restored between 1926 and 1934.


You might be wondering by now why there was so many battles here and why it was an important post. The history spans more than 300 years as you might have guessed by all the wars it serviced. The reason was it is a fort at the mouth of the Niagara River. This area was vital, because it controlled access to the Great Lakes and the westward route to the heartland of the continent.


The strategic value of Fort Niagara subsided after the completion of the Erie Canal in 1825.

8. The Battle of La Belle-Famille, July 24, 1759

During the siege of Fort Niagara in the summer of 1759, the French were marching to the aid of the fort, but were met and defeated by the British at a clearing just south of the fort.


The French established the first post here, Fort Conti, in 1679.




Three flags are flown daily above the parade ground, and symbolize the nations which have held Fort Niagara, but they are not being flown on this day.


Each nation competed for the support of the Iroquois Confederacy.





In this post, all the images were shot using a Nikon D80 with a 18 to 135 mm lens mounted on a tripod. No flash was used for the interiors.

It is very difficult to focus in the interiors in such low light too. I find getting good exposures easy, but not focusing. There has to be a trick to this because the lighting was so dim that I could not even see as far as I was shooting. I suppose if I used a program mode, the camera would focus correctly, but then the soft lighting mood would be lost. Many images I thought were in perfect focus indoors, turned out not to be.

The outside images are much clearer than the images using a 300mm lens that was hand-held in the previous fort post. I want to stress that in the last post there was only one HDR image and it was done IN Photoshop. NONE of my photographs here are edited, but three.

I wonder if you can guess which one is a composite, (really easy too) and which two are a HDR shot on location (multiple exposures combined into one image, not the quick tip in Photoshop, but an actual on location shoot). You may have to enlarge the images to guess one of the HDR images because, remember, I mentioned it will have very sharp detail in a situation that it probably would not have it normally. Remember, only two are HDR.  A hint, I like images on the dark moody side and intentionally underexposed. I do have all the correct exposure images too, but they are a little on the touristy side.


More images are coming in the next post on the Fort. Many are of the interior and some are details from around the fort. Another few are of a soldier who told me some very interesting tales.


Like the musket only firing accurately to 50 yards.  Can you imagine being that close to your enemy? Here, they fire only powder rounds, that is what you see spraying out into the air. The soldier told me,  “They like their visitors.” Last post on the fort I mentioned it would have been cool to capture the bullet, but no can do it seems. Just some gun smoke and paper shrapnel.

About Garden Walk Garden Talk

I love to photograph, paint, draw, design, garden, travel the world, and pass on a few tips and ideas that I learned through experience as a Master Gardener and architect. I am highly trained in my field and enjoy my work each and every day. I garden in Niagara Falls, NY in zone 6-B. Find me at: http://gardenwalkgardentalk.com
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24 Responses to Old Fort Niagara Part 2

  1. Fantastic history and images of an important and beautiful fort…we do have such important historical places here in NY…it amazes me…where I work in Rome, NY there is a National Monument, Fort Stanwix. Very interesting from the outside…I have always learned so much from visiting and talking with the folks who work there than in any book…looking forward to the next post!

  2. This is absolutely beautiful. I particularly love the shot of the fort from afar. Thanks for the photography tips.

  3. HolleyGarden says:

    Loved all the history! Very interesting. Guess that short range of the bullet is why they didn’t shoot “until you see the whites of their eyes”!

  4. I like your post. It’s very interesting and informative and absolutely great photo!

  5. noel says:


    what a beautiful fort, the stonework is just amazing and your photographs really put it in a great way even in the dim interiors…i also have problems with interior shots with no flash, i find if you use the selective focus and just zero in on that then things work better and i use a medium f stop like f8-9 to capture the details, but the best thing is to take plenty of shots from different angles so you will have a few that may work 🙂

  6. ChrisC says:

    Having grown up in the Falls,and now residing in Florida,your post brought back many memories.As elementary school kids we all made field trips there.I always wondered if there really was a head in the old well.Thanks for the memories!

  7. I love this kind of post. It’s fascinating to hear stories about our ancestors and those who came before us. I was thinking about how wonderfully composed and creatively lit the photos were, when I came across your note about the camera and the settings. You are a pro, Donna. I wonder if the New York state historical society would pay you for access to these photos? They’re fantastic!

  8. So clear, so beautiful, so well-composed. My favorite is number 7 with the building framed in the doorway. Is that one of the “doctored” images?

    • You were the first to guess and you guessed correctly. It is an HDR image. Three separate exposures were taken and composited into only one image. The ‘French Castle’ was exposed and then the cannon and room. I had a fourth very overexposed image I did not use of the room. It looked a little too fake with it having the room being so well lit.That is why I do not really like HDR. Often, the finished photos have everything exposed identically. You eye knows this can not occur. Shadows and highlights happen and will contrast.

  9. b-a-g says:

    I agree with Carolyn, beautifully composed. We have a thick layer of snow today but not your blue sky.

  10. Bom says:

    Thank you for sharing the fort and its history with us. Wonderful storytelling and imagery. I wish I could visit your falls someday.

  11. debsgarden says:

    Wonderful images and fascinating history. My favorite photos are numbers 6 and 7, and I was going to guess number 7 was doctored, and I see from the above comments that I was right. Another guess is number 17, unless there’s another window there we can’t see.

  12. Christine says:

    Donna, your photos are fantastic and I enjoyed reading the history with the photos in between the text. Made it very readable! I’m guessing photo 17? Or perhaps photo 7 which is my favourite in this series.

  13. andrea says:

    You are always an idol, Donna. And making us aware and if possible learn more in photography is adding a lot to the already wonderful photos and compositions. How about No. 10 and 17? I have not tried multiple exposures on camera yet, much more doing composites. I always want to do that with the moon and the trees, but i haven’t started learning! In the No. 14 photo, did you use a graduated filter?

    • Andrea gets that hard one right!!! Image 10 is the other HDR. The hint was it would be a dark image, but the definition in the stonework would not be as detailed without having exposed for it in one of the images three images making up the final. In 14, there was no filter used, as the sky was really blue that day. You can tell by the shadows that the sun was pretty strong.

  14. Ida says:

    Wow what wonderful photo’s of this historic place. You did a great job with this entire post. Well done.

  15. Alistair says:

    Donna, Pictures to die for! the expression usually makes me cringe but wow I did love them. I would not recognise HDR, touched up or any of the other photographic jargon, I just know what I like. Anything historical always grabs my attention and this is my best blog read in weeks. Way back in my school days in the 50s history for the Scots kids was overwhelmingly all about England and the wars in Europe, especially with the French and the Spanish. In recent times I have often thought that Scottish history was played down and the American war of independence and civil war was not even touched upon.

  16. What a fabulous location for photography, the strong architecture coupled with the snow and blue of the sky are great. My favourite images are 2, 10 and 11, I really like the composition on the last.

  17. Les says:

    I am sure at many points in its history, this place was filled with sound, people and intensity, but from your pictures its looks lonely and quiet.

  18. Donna, Your pictures are simply amazing! I am also grateful that you include a little bit of historical information with your pictures. My favorites are 1,4,6,12 & 13.

  19. LOVE the “tunnel” and arch-framed shots.

  20. jack says:

    I am nuts about gardening and architecture so the photos in this post about the fort were excellent. Such a history. I feel a part of it since I live here on the shores of Lake Michigan and the waters all head that way!! Jack

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