When Elements Align | PT.II | 35Chronicle Photography

black & white, infrared, photography, skies, spring, structures, urban, waterscape

River Nith – Recomposed | 720nm Infrared.


A parting gift from the Nith, glorified under beautiful IR light; the first three frames from which were shared in my previous post. Playing the angles a little has helped me to see that frame ‘VI’ is for me anyway, rather better composed than frame ‘II’ in PT.I – the lesson has to be: always take a series and never trust the first take! Nonetheless, I do hope that you will also enjoy these captures and, to those who’ve clicked, commented and reposted my last entry – I am more grateful than you can know. As I have always believed, writing or sharing anything here is absolutely worthless without each of you who read and get involved. So, thank you!

From a sunny South West Scotland – wishing you all a very happy Tuesday!

R.

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IV: Devorgilla Bridge Across the Nith | 720nm Infrared.

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V: Buccleuch Street Bridge from Devorgilla Bridge | 720nm Infrared.

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VI: Hunters Gathering [II] | 720nm Infrared.

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[All frames: Ricoh GXR LTFS Full-Spectrum Conversion & Hoya R72 720nm IR Filter]

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When Elements Align | PT.I | 35Chronicle

black & white, fine art, infrared, nature, photography, skies, structures, urban, waterscape

River Nith | Back in the ‘Red’.


For the last few years, I have been up and down this stretch of the River Nith more times than I can remember, shooting visible-light monochrome, long-exposure night shots and plenty of infrared frames too – all in the hope of capturing that ‘perfect’ series of frames – shots I’d be so proud to print and hang on the wall; but without labouring the point, I have always felt that I have struggled here. The reasons I keep coming back and having yet another go are purely the attraction and, the challenge. It really is an eye-catching place. With regard to IR capturing however, I don’t think that I have ever come back with the shots that I had always itched for. Despite its obvious charms, it’s really not the easiest place to photograph and requires a lot of care where composition is concerned and though I have been enjoying this caper for well over twenty years, I accept that it’s no great surprise to me that it’s taken me until now to feel satisfied with my efforts.

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I. Along the Caul | River Nith, Dumfries | 720nm Infrared.

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Having a ‘thing’ for beautiful bridges and picturesque skies as I clearly do, makes some decisions on angles and perspective a little bit more intuitive when it comes to where I want the structures to be viewed within their frames but there’s a whole lot more going on around them, which, often has me scratching my head. Learning to ‘see’ within a frame and compose is largely down to preference, but there are certain rules which I do try my best to adhere to – such as subject, light and contrast, texture (and contrasting textures too), proportions, foreground, background, overall feel – and also, my own space and place within it all. On this day, the light was just about perfect and I was inspired to have another go.

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II. Hunters Gathering | River Nith, Dumfries | 720nm Infrared.

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As more and more people are now out and about in their cars, on foot or bikes after the last year of repeated and prolonged C-19 lockdowns, it was fabulous to get out here and see some more life about the place. As the sun beat down, we leisurely walked over the Devorgilla Bridge to the other side of the river and felt like living was starting to happen again which for me is certainly yet another reason to feel inspired. As we crossed the bridge, an opera-fan with very capable speakers punched out a little culture in Gm from  an upper storey window, an unusual backing track to the sound of the streets below and yet, I couldn’t help smiling because of it.

The elements had aligned and, I do hope you’ll enjoy these first few little outcomes.

R.

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III. Buccleuch Street Bridge, Dumfries | 720nm Infrared.

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[All frames: Ricoh GXR LTFS Full-Spectrum Conversion & Hoya R72 720nm IR Filter]

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If you would like updates, please click Follow. All Images & Posts © Rob Lowe | 35Chronicle Photography  (2018-2021) except where specified. No Copying or Redistribution of any kind is permitted without prior consent from the author, unless links to original work is clearly provided. All images are resized prior to posting.

Farewell: Shaking Hands with a National Icon | 35Chronicle

black & white, fine art, infrared, nature, personal, photography, rural, waterscape

A Royal Connection.


This post started out as one of my more usual publications, yet –  barely a half of a paragraph in, I received a notification from Medscape on my phone. The sadness I immediately felt, changed this post completely. Forgive me please, for this little bit of reminiscence:

During the recent Easter weekend, we took a drive out to Castle Loch for the five kilometre walk around its enticing perimeter. This beautiful Loch is situated on the very outskirts of the Royal Burgh of Lochmaben, just a couple of miles from Lockerbie. I mention this because today, the media has announced the sad passing of the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip – the Queen’s husband. He was 99.

In the summer of 1984, I was about to start my fourth year at High School. I had at that time held down a weekday paper-round, an all-day Saturday job at a local butchers, a Sunday milk-round which started at around 4 a.m and, I was also a sea cadet. The latter – took up two evenings a week and usually, two to three weeks of my school summer holidays for around five years. So why do I mention all of this? It’s very simple really.

One of my fondest childhood memories dates back to the summer of ’84. As a cadet, I had saved up my part-time earnings for a ten-day training course, sailing the south-west coast of England during which time we would be part of the Royal Review at Portland, Dorset. After around six days mostly at sea, we had pulled in to Portland Bill to refit and refurbish for the review which would take place on the following morning. Decks were scrubbed, lines were stowed and arranged, battens were polished and gunnels painted. Boots were spit and polished and uniforms were cleaned and ironed to the point at which one could have shaved with the creases using our toe-caps as shaving mirrors. But I was just 14. Alas. Nonetheless, nothing was left unchecked – on our vessel at least!

On the morning of the review, Prince Philip boarded every vessel rafted up at Portland Harbour, accompanied by his entourage of course and eventually – he boarded ours. As we stood to attention, twelve of us is our best No.2 uniforms, he shook hands and spoke with each of us in turn. I was, I think, about half-way down the line. Then he stood in front of me. He offered his hand and asked me as I shook it what I hoped to be when I left school and so, I told him, “I want to join the Royal Navy and work in communications, Your Royal Highness!” (We had all been prepped for speaking to royalty beforehand, you’ll understand!)

“Really?!” he had replied. “I have absolutely no idea what that is!”

It may sound ridiculous that such a moment in time, as short as it was – should be either so memorable or, so relevant. But our lives are made of the moments we remember and measured moreso by those that we would never want to be without. This memory is one of mine and, I am fortunate to have it. His obvious quick and effortless whit was a huge part of his warmth and his charm, I suppose. He could get away with saying anything and heaven only knows what he had said when he boarded the vessel rafted next to us; an all-female crew who had apparently, embarrassingly… rushed their preparations for the Duke’s visit which then became front page news in one of the tabloids on the following day. A picture of Prince Philip holding aloft a pair of ladies underwear which he had seen on one of the vessel’s bunks. His expression, as I recall – was priceless. But his words would have had many people rolling around the lower deck! I wish I had been there to hear what he’d said to that! If you search online for Prince Philips verbal gaffs and witty retorts – you’ll easily find enough to compile a hardback! He once described himself as “the world’s most experienced plaque-unveiler”.

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Though I have never been what you could call a staunch follower of the Royal Family – I have always appreciated their place in our history, in our future and in our national identity and, I am so proud to have, as so many have before and after me – even shaken his hand. And I feel a tangible, palpable sense of personal loss at his passing.

Today then, is a very sad day. I can only extend my own personal condolences to our Royal Family for their hugely sad loss of Prince Philip. A charming and kind, warm and witty National Icon – who will be very sadly missed, yet happily, joyfully – remembered.

He shook my hand.

R.

[9th April 2021].


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I | Castle Loch from the Sailing Club | 720nm Infrared.

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II | Castle Loch  Reflections | 720nm Infrared.

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In Long Forgotten Corners… | 720nm IR – PT.II | 35Chronicle

black & white, infrared, photography, ruins, rural, skies, structures, waterscape

…Yet Standing, Still.


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IV | A Little Perspective | Parton Viaduct | 720nm IR

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V | From the Bank of Loch Ken | 720nm IR [… kind of!]

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VI | A Last Look Back | 720nm IR [… with a little help!]

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[All frames: Ricoh GXR LTFS Full-Spectrum Conversion & Hoya R72 720nm IR Filter]

Link: Video taken in 1965, just before closure, in June of that year – opens in new window.

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In Long Forgotten Corners… | 720nm IR – PT.I | 35Chronicle

black & white, infrared, photography, ruins, rural, structures, trees, waterscape

… and, Outside the Lines.

Of the things I absolutely love to do the most when the rain has passed (especially during prolonged lockdown measures, still current here in Dumfries & Galloway) getting out for a little daily exercise is one of them. Even if it is only a short walk with my cameras. Living in a county that is relatively sparsely populated, and that has more open space and beautiful scenery than one could possibly shake a proverbial stick at – is a bonus. It’s really not all that difficult to socially-distance here. With the weather clearing a few days ago, we decided to bundle ourselves into ChugaBoom and head out to a tiny hamlet near Castle Douglas, where we knew of an old bridge… 

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I | The Parton Viaduct – 1861-1965 | 720nm IR

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One of my favourite films inspired this little shoot and, if you have ever watched Eastwood & Streep in the ’95 film, “The Bridges of Maddison County” (yes, I know it’s touted as a chick-flick; who cares?!) you’ll perhaps understand why. What I wouldn’t give for the opportunity to simply drive – and shoot whatever caught my interest. Bridges, as it happens, have always been very high on my list and that’s why, just a  few days ago, Meryl, the chuckle-brothers and I made the short drive to Parton.

In 1861, the Port Road (aka: The Paddy Line) opened its rail service from Dumfries to Stranraer. Instead of taking the coastal route – it cut through thirty-two miles of Galloway’s hills. It was thought that a saving had been made at a cost of £7000 per mile, but due to extra construction required to accommodate the many gradients on its route, it turned out to be a false economy. Still, the line was open until 1965, at which time it was shut forever. Many of the stations on the line still stand in some form and Loch Skerrow’s platform (the smallest and most remote surviving in the UK) is barely one slab of stone seated above the ground on concrete plinths and surrounded by open land – you’d never know it, unless you knew already. But it’s Parton’s old metal viaduct I was interested in and, I hope from my frames here, you’ll see exactly why. 

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II | A Little More High-Key | 720nm IR

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The Boat o’ Rhone, the Parton Viaduct, the Loch Ken Railway Viaduct – it’s been called by many names. Nonetheless, it stands still in time, gated off now due its increasingly old and unstable floor but, through the bars, it can still be caught in two dimensions. I think that one of the beauties of my utter enjoyment of capturing in infrared, is the ability to feel that excitement every time I make a trip and to see what I can discover and capture – to enjoy in a way not often (or possibly never) enjoyed before. The light plays tricks, the clouds cover the sun… my eyes will dart around looking for vantage points, angles, flecks of light as rays of hope – but on this day, I was thwarted somewhat by the cover, above me.  Nonetheless, though I was not rewarded with strong IR light, I still have some frames that I am very happy to share with you and, I sincerely do hope that you’ll enjoy them, from this little corner of Scotland.

As always, thank you for reading, please do leave any comments below and, I hope you are all very well and winding down to a fabulous weekend.

R.

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III | Through the Bars of Locked Gates | 720nm IR

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[All frames: Ricoh GXR LTFS Full-Spectrum Conversion & Hoya R72 720nm IR Filter]

Link: Video taken in 1965, just before closure, in June of that year – opens in new window.

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Drumlanrig Castle – Revisited | PT.II | 35Chronicle

50mm, black & white, photography, rural, structures

Splendour in Stone.


After my last post of the stonkingly gorgeous Drumlanrig Castle, here are my final three frames which were made with my Sigma DP3 Merrill. Its 50mm [75mm equivalent] is probably my favourite of the three I have in my bag and, requires more thought to use for architecture and landscape compositions than the wider 30mm[45mm] and 19mm [28mm] lens versions. The micro-contrast of this lens and sensor pairing absolutely bite my face off on review for editing and the details punch back hard for good measure, too. This thing needs a little taming, I think. Now, the cage and chair are ready – if I could only find my whip?!

For all of your clicks and comments on my previous post, thank you so much! I hope you’ll enjoy these few longer FL frames. 

R.

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I | 1/160th – f5.6 – ISO:200

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II | 1/100th – f5.6 – ISO:100

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III | 1/80th – f5.6 – ISO:100

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If you would like updates, please click Follow. All Images & Posts © 35:Chronicle (2018-2021) except where specified. No Copying or Redistribution of any kind is permitted without prior consent from the author, unless links to original work is clearly provided. All images are resized prior to posting.

Drumlanrig Castle – Revisited | PT.I | 35Chronicle

black & white, photography, rural, structures

Old Habits Die Hard.


Last week we took a spin in the new jalopy and headed for a place that not only do we both love, but also somewhere that I have so enjoyed making photographs for almost twenty years. Though my techniques have evolved moreso over the last ten years or so, sometimes, I still crave the simple, bare-bones approach to shooting. Drumlanrig Castle is as beautiful a place as any I have ever visited that can shine all by itself, with the simplest of photographic approaches. Some subjects need little work at all. The last time I photographed here was back in early November ’19 [Post No.166]. It was so good to be back, especially before the gardens open to the public again! All this space to myself… kid, sweetshop…

All frames: Sigma DP2 Merrill | 30mm [45mm Equivalent].

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I | 1/50th -f8 – ISO:125

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II | 1/80th – f5.6 – ISO:100

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III | 1/100th – f8 – ISO:100

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The Devils in the Detail! | 35Chronicle

28mm, 35mm, 50mm, black & white, close-up, landscape, nature, photography, rural, skies, waterscape

Sigma DP Merrill Series – Still Relevant in ’21.


First of all, I want to say a huge thank you (and I really should do this more often, I’m sorry) to everyone who contributed and commented on my last post. It was actually extremely warming to know that, despite the fact that I’m back working with what is to me (again, and for the present time at least) a new system, that I was still able to make a few frames worthy of such kind contributions. Thank you!

The DPM series, as it has been written many times (and then some) – is not a system for the faint-hearted photographer, and – having been doing this for many, many years, it still manages to scare me a little, in a way; and herein lies the reason for it. Knowing its (vast array of) limitations is absolutely the key to being able to exploit its one massive strength; this helps hugely to maintain a constant focus on the real possibilities and easily dispels the airy-fairy visions we often have for our own personal photography. This one element is so important for serious photographers and cannot be overstated. I can think of one analogy that explains this perfectly: I once bought into a M43 system and for the most part, I loved it. I loved it because it opened up a whole new slew of opportunities for me to expand on what I have always enjoyed doing and, in a portable system with reasonably decent IQ. A few lenses here, some colour options there, modes galore – and the reasons why I took to it so well in the beginning were to become the very reasons why I began to resent it after only a few months. In my heart and in my head – I shoot the way I shoot and no amount of gear is going to change that, no matter how many bells or whistles there are. I began to realise that all I needed was a lens, and the means to change my Tv, Av, ISO, WB and metering mode. That was all I wanted – oh, and a decent sensor would be a bonus. Even mid-range DSLRs were coming equipped with scene modes, crap ‘kit’ lenses and therefore, being the snob I can be – I resented even those aspects too. I began to feel that photography was being made – cheap, too accessible (an archaic, short-sighted, even elitist view) and, I didn’t like it. 

I didn’t like it at all.

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I | Talla’s Pump-House | 1/400th – f8 – ISO:200

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All I really wanted to carry was a camera, the way I used to in the 90s. No faff, no bullshit modes – just a camera, a lens, a little bit of know-how and inspiration. Sigma’s implementation of these core photographic aspects were brutal and necessary. Right back as far as the original DP series, the DPs, the DPx, and then – the hallowed DPM, core photographic values were held close, if rather shunkily implemented in reality of their limited hardware / software collusion. (I can’t include the DPQ here because I have never used them and, the design simply does not enamour me at all). In a huge way, Sigma went down the route that I always felt that Ricoh should have taken with their GR (APS-C) series. What I would have given to see them offer the tools that Sigma came up with. As much as Sigma cameras can be much of a mystery to most, to those who’ve used them and persevered, the draw is easily understandable. With a little thought, and a little work – they still produce today some of the finest image quality that I have ever seen. Whilst their JPGs far outweigh any OOC jpg I have seen in any Bayer systems, their RAWs are mind-blowing. Limitations accepted – but keeping within them, there’s still nothing like it today. (The Fp can be argued as yet another Sigma revelation – but that’s a whole different system).

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II | Fruid Reservoir & Hills | 1/250th – f8 – ISO:200

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Three years ago this very month, I started writing this blog. My initial view for these pages was to only shoot a 35mm FL and display just how ridiculously versatile this focal-length is. Not long after I started publishing, I then wrote a page that you can still read here  discussing the huge value I have always given to short prime lenses. With this understood as still very much an aspect of my ethos – it’ll come as no surprise as to why I refer to the DP1/2/3M series as the Holy Three. 

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III | A Talla Prince in Disguise? | 1/100th – f8 – ISO:200

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My creativity is limited, my imagination is flawed, my images far from perfect and yet, with these three in the bag – I have more brain-space to use for composition and less to waste on the airy-fairy. This surely, can only be a good thing and, among other things – what photography should always be about. The image.

As always, thank you for reading and, I wish you all a fabulous weekend. 

R.

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[All frames: X3F to 16-bit tif in SPP & Exported to Lr for final edits].


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Abnormal Service is Resumed | 35Chronicle

black & white, colour, photography, rural, structures, waterscape

When I said “It’s Not Over Yet”…

… I meant it. Back in Post No.62 [August 2018] – I shared a few 715nm & 760nm infrared frames from Talla Reservoir, here in beautiful Tweedsmuir, a place which I have revisited many times over the last twenty or so years and each time I do, I hope for ever more still water. I have yet to witness it though I have imagined it many, many times. I know what my perfect image of Talla and its pump-house look like; I’ve just never been able to capture it. Yet. This is a place which I have always known to be wonderfully picturesque, reassuringly tranquil and yet never easy to capture in two dimensions. It can take a good hour or more to get here from home and in an hour, Scottish weather can change a dozen times and so, no matter what you expect on the way, often – conditions can be far different when one finally arrives. Insosaying, I have learned not to expect or hope for ‘favourable’ conditions and instead, work with what I have; what I had on this day – was cloud, haze, and my three DPMs. I’ve said this before and I absolutely believe it, that the medium shouldn’t be the message… but when the medium is so good at getting the message across, it’s hard to ignore its importance. 

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I | Talla Reservoir & The Pump-House [DP3M]

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Sigma’s DP Merrills have accompanied me here once before – perhaps six or seven years ago and back in a time when I really don’t think I was photographically or artistically mature enough to truly appreciate them; what they truly offer. Things are different now. I have slowed down my approach to a point where I don’t care anymore that these little brick-like cameras take an absolute aeon to write even one image to card, or that the shutter-lag catches me out every single time I make a shot, or that its Foveon sensor can’t render well above ISO 400 (in black and white; for colour frames, 200 is the limit, especially if you’re making large prints). What I do love though, is how these little bricks capture immensely detailed frames without fuss or flourish, without scene modes, art filters or other awful, tacky, consumer-poaching gimmicks but with menus which are helpfully customisable and hence, are so ridiculously easy to quickly navigate. It’s got all I need to make a shot – and absolutely nothing more. Halle*******lujah! With the Holy Three in my bag, my shoulder barely knew they were even there. No changing lenses, no slow zooms, just perfectly matched primes and sensors that bite a chunk out of your arse when you’ve finally uploaded for edit. Hey, you have to forgive me – this is photo-blog after all! 

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II | Tweedsmuir Parish Church & a Sorrowful Stone [DP1M]

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Quite by accident, something else I have come to enjoy about the DPM series (and the DPs before them, I might add) is their unusual colour signature. Without going into too much science – the Foveon is made of three separate layers each capturing a different colour, from front to back – blue, green and red. This means that blue light hits the sensor first, and red, last. Naturally then, more red light is required than blue to register on the sensor (as it has to penetrate the blue and green layers first) and this is, as I understand it, why the Foveon’s captures look a little less warm than a standard, interpolated Bayer sensor would produce. Furthermore, I really like the look. Oddly then, for me – being predominantly a black and white photographer (and by the way, these things totally ROCK for monochrome!) that I should enjoy the Sigma’s colour output in the way that I currently am. I absolutely look forward to much better light where I can really find out just how much these tools can interpret what and how I see. Maybe one day soon I will get my wish and, my long-suffering and ever-faithful Bumble will be able to stop concentrating so hard at paying attention to my incessant wafflings and just, perhaps – enjoy a few more frames instead, over a nice cuppa. 

Which – I hope you also do. Thank you, as always – for reading! 

R.

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III | Cross-Over [DP2M]

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Cushion-Psychology & The Holy Three | 35Chronicle

28mm, 50mm, black & white, Indoor, people, personal, photography

Back to Foveon | Sigma DP Merrill Series.


It’s been a good six or seven years since I shot with the DP Merrill series of cameras; as I recall, I only had the 2 [30mm] & the 3 [50mm] versions back then but I do remember just how much clarity and detail these things are capable of capturing – and it’s really scary, to put it mildly. They’ve been called the ‘medium-format in your pocket’ by many who appreciate them and it really isn’t difficult to see why. I recently saw [and took] the opportunity to acquire what I like to refer to as the ‘Holy Three’ with a view to not only lightening my bag a little but also, to get back to practicing a little more restraint and consideration in my photo-endeavours; that of course and the fact that I really missed those Foveon files. [In fact it was a DP2M shot of a few toadstools taken by my good friend, photographer and camera-surgeon, Amar [and also of the Guildford Photographic Society]  that inspired me to part with my hard-earned without a quibble.

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DP1M | The Message is Clearer Now…

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DP2M/I | Flynn, Running All the Way…

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After they arrived late last week I spent a short while setting them all up [not at all difficult seeing as how the menus are not only very simple but also very intuitive] and over the last few days that I have had off work, I spent some time getting reacquainted with them. With prevailing Covid restrictions considered as well as pretty awful weather, I thought it might be nicer to get a few home-grown frames with my three ol’ friends – from my most natural environment. Therefore, as it was coming up to Mother’s Day [rather for the boys, not I] I thought about home, those most important to me and – about just how much I appreciate them all. With that said, though you may read all this as oh-so-slightly gushy, I say, home and family is what it really is all about. It has to be.

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DP2M/II | Corbs, I’m Sorry!  I Should Have Moved the Money-Tree…

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DP3M/I | On Mother’s Day…

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Anyone who knows the DPM series of cameras will know already just how poorly they perform above base ISO and so yet, the tripod came out a few times but, not for every one of these frames. So, another chance to meet the family and, another chance for me to experiment and refine my work with the Holy Three. I hope you’ll enjoy these few grabs and that you have a great week ahead. Stay safe and – thank you, as always – for reading.

R.

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DP3M/II | Full-Circle? All You Need Is…

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For now, toodle-pip! 


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Old, Secluded Stone | 35Chronicle

35mm, black & white, full-spectrum, photography, ruins, rural, structures

The Temple of Cally Woods.


This one was another rare find… and again, I can’t take any credit! What can I say? Bumble finds ’em and I shoot ’em!

In 1779, a landscape gardener by the name of James Ramsay built this beautiful gothic ‘temple’ from which, at the time, fantastic views over Gatehouse and the open parkland of the Cally Estate could be breathtakingly enjoyed. Now, it stands hidden within the Cally Woods, a stone’s throw from the A75 yet, invisible from it. Surprisingly, however, it was found to be a mere two-minutes walk from a side-road – barely visible through the trees until we we almost upon it. Some work had been undertaken in around 2005 to restore this building and this was evident in some very obvious modern materials and techniques used, but its aura matches its era – and offered a very enjoyable half-hour for one particular gent. Oddly, its main facia and entrance to the south is identical to the west face, albeit that the doorway and windows on the west side are bricked up now. It seems a little odd and I wonder if Ramsay had changed his mind while building it or, perhaps, was it altered at some time in its future? One William Todd was a known resident here, for ten years, whilst he was in charge of drove cattle belonging to James Murray. I can’t imagine how cosy this place would have been with the open fire roaring. Of course, it would have had a roof, back then! 

I hope you’ll enjoy these few grabs and, thank you again for reading.

R.

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I | To the Trees [Ricoh GR III – VIS] | ISO:1600

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II | The South Entrance [Ricoh GR III – VIS] | ISO: 800

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III | The West Wall [Ricoh GR III- VIS] | ISO: 640

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IV | The South Entrance [Ricoh GXR – LTFS] | ISO: 673[!]

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V | Roofless [Ricoh GXR – LTFS] | ISO: 2810[!]
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GETTING OUT [AHEM!] – LESS | PT.III | 35CHRONICLE

35mm, black & white, fine art, infrared, landscape, photography, rural, skies, structures, waterscape

Cumbersome Ol’ Things!


So, here we are, at the last of my posts from the beautiful Sandyhills – one of the most gorgeous areas of coastline here in Dumfries & Galloway. From a freezing cold day on an empty beach, a glorious winter sun low in an ice-blue sky. You’d think by now that I’d be tempted to shoot in and, process for colour a lot more but no, I still can’t seem to ‘see’ in colour. These four captures were all made with my LTFS converted GXRs – I took them both, set-up for 720nm – in case one of them decided to freeze up on me (it’s happened before). I am happy to say that, though aging now (in camera technology terms) they still performed perfectly. Lest not that the medium become the message, I still have to remind myself that for some reason, I have never been able to ‘see’ quite so well with any other camera that I have ever shot with, than these cumbersome ol’ things. Perhaps I am a cumbersome ol’ thing, too, which may well be why we get along so perfectly. Slow, methodical, meticulous and as always – enjoying the moment. And here, with family, on a day like this, what else could possibly be quite so worth getting out of bed for? 

From the icicled ceiling of the Needle’s Eye and the frozen beaches of Southern Scotland, may I say, as always, thank you so much for reading, I do hope that you’ll enjoy these few grabs and – I wish you all a fabulous, safe and healthy weekend ahead. 

R.

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If you would like updates, please click Follow. All Images & Posts © 35:Chronicle (2018-2021) except where specified. No Copying or Redistribution of any kind is permitted without prior consent from the author, unless links to original work is clearly provided. All images are resized prior to posting.

GETTING OUT [AHEM!] – LESS | PT.II | 35CHRONICLE

black & white, fine art, full-spectrum, infrared, nature, photography, rural, skies, winter

The Freezing of Time & Tide.


Moving on from my last post, sharing a few grabs from a beautiful coastal spot not far from home over a week ago, I mentioned that on a brighter day, we would return with the munchkins, a small picnic and flasks of tea, coffee and soup! I would also take my IR and LTFS gear along and give Sandyhills ‘the treatment’… jeez, this place screams out like it’s begging for it, I can tell you! Anyway, after checking the forecast for the coming week after our first visit, Wednesday looked like it was to be the best for shooting and, for access, the tide times app gave us a window of around two hours prior to sunset which would enable us to safely get back to the caves and, the Needle’s Eye again. We arrived at a completely empty beach just around lunchtime – not even a dog-walker in sight. We had the whole place to ourselves. I would never have imagined that, even though it was so bitterly cold, that this place would be so empty of people, considering the space here and the fact that sensible outdoor pursuits are still permitted as long as distancing is observed. Still, not a soul for the most part of the time we spent here. A real rarity.

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In my bag, I had my trusty pair of LTFS converted GXRs – one set-up for 720nm IR and the other for VIS using a Tiffen UVIR cut on the front of the lens. This latter set-up, I find, yields noticeably sharper results than a standard VIS camera configuration, which I put down to the (potentially) complete eradication of extraneous wavelengths other than those within the VLS from reaching the sensor. If the light had been poorer and less, I might have removed the UVIR altogether and shot full-spectrum for the extra light it would have gathered (and conversely – softness, due to UVIR light pollution) but, the light played ball and remained (almost) where I wanted it to be.

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One thing I have never seen in my life, though I have lived many years on or near a coast in the UK – is a frozen, receding tide; yet, here it was right in front of us. Stunning, beautiful and, almost other-worldy. If I were not such a fan of Attenborough, I’d have been even further taken aback. Now though, I am reminded of our youngest who, on this day, when he was warned about the lack of grip beneath his feet as he walked behind us, suddenly called out… “Wait! I shouldn’t step on… WHAAAAAAAAAAAAT???! You can guess, perhaps, the position we found him in, the moment he’d finished asking the question! Honestly, to say I pissed myself is a bit of an understatement. The penguin-dive and slide were a nice touch, too!

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Further along the beach, in a deeply recessed rock at the entrance to one of the caves, we sat together on the sand, we ate and drank, we laughed and marvelled at the space around us; the breeze didn’t touch us at all and the sun was by now warm enough that it had us removing our jackets. It was like the world and all its problems didn’t exist – if only for a couple of hours. It was indeed a blissful day. Photography isn’t always just about making photographs, because, I truly believe that the moments between the frames, those feelings that you just can’t capture in a still are always on the outside edge of every single capture – hidden in memory.

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Enjoy your moments – and capture them, however you can.

R.


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Getting Out [Ahem!] – Less | PT.I | 35Chronicle

35mm, 50mm, black & white, fine art, nature, photography, rural, skies, structures, waterscape

Romancing the Stone.


These frames are from our first visit to the small hamlet of Sandyhills, around a week ago. It was a little impromptu but the weather was fair and, as Stickola Nurgeon had promised the people of Scotland that despite the still current Tier 4 restrictions, we could indeed, still venture out for legitimate exercise without the fear of being questioned or arrested [hurrah and huzzah!] – so, Bumble and I hopped in the car and headed off for a stroll on the beach. I have been itching, you see, to get my 5D3 out into the open and put it through its paces a little (and a little is all it can get right now, obviously) so this was a perfect opportunity not only to get a little time in free air but also to, hopefully, snag a few frames. We’d been reading about this local-ish spot, famed for its caves and one particular arched rock, known as the Needles Eye (accessible only at low-tide) – the words ‘kid’ and ‘sweetshop’ leap to mind. But there’s a reason this is PT.I – you see, this place is so picturesque that we decided to visit again, later in the week and, we took the nippers on our sequel visit, under glorious low winter sun and blue skies; of course, this meant that I would give this place the IR treatment I so knew that it deserves (however, more on that in the next post). There’s a romance here that’s impossible to ignore. For now though, I do hope you will enjoy these captures from a beautiful part of Dumfries & Galloway’s coastline. Keep well, stay safe and thank you!

R.

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[All Frames: Canon 5D III | EF 24-105mm / f4]

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Cabin-Fever, Diversionary Tactics & Silver Linings | 35Chronicle

black & white, photography, rural, structures

Durisdeer Church.


With non-essential travel still restricted here in Scotland, I have read nowhere that once a journey becomes essential – that there are restrictions upon the route one should take to make it. Obviously I would not decide to travel an overly excessive distance to make any trip but, I did make a choice to take us off the beaten track when it came to a well-timed dental appointment last week. Every cloud… as they say. Heading ‘roughly’ in the direction intended, instead of taking a main trunk road there, I though that it would be nice to drive the longer, more rural and leisurely route through vast hills, taking in views from above and below the low clouds that floated between them. The ever present mist and fog had ensured that the air remained damp and cold, and even so, it was nice to be outside the house for what was the first time in many weeks. Home is and should always be the heart of life and yet, the space outside can be a new-born revelation when cabin-fever has taken such a firm hold. We were glad, probably for the first time – that the reason we were taking in a little scenery was due to a visit to the dentist. Who’d have thunk it?!

On the way, we made just one stop – in the tiny hamlet of Durisdeer to take a look at the local church; a quick leg-stretch if you like and one that enabled me to grab these few shots with my 5D III. (It’s a recent addition to my bag and I’ve had nowhere near enough time with it – after all, there are only so many shots of busy coffee tables, indoor plants, studious children or – the pooch, that anybody could take and, I would not wish to over-indulge you with family portraits!) These are the first frames I have snagged here and I really do want to go back with my infrared gear too – reminds me a little of the ruined church at Hoddom Cross that I shot a couple of years back. Definitely a trip for the (hopefully) near future once all of this madness is under control. 

I hope you’ll enjoy these few captures and, are staying safe and well.

R.

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[All Frames: Canon 5D III | EF 24-105mm / f4]

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If you would like updates, please click Follow. All Images & Posts © 35:Chronicle (2018-2020) except where specified. No Copying or Redistribution of any kind is permitted without prior consent from the author, unless links to original work is clearly provided. All images are resized prior to posting.