The Falkirk Wheel | PT.II | On Peripheral Crap | 35Chronicle

black & white, photography, structures

They Paved Paradise | Conclusion.


In PT.I of my Falkirk Wheel posts, I wrote  a little about the principle behind the purpose and mechanics of the wheel itself and also, about how it felt to me – to photograph such an incredible piece of engineering whilst having to continually exclude so much of the theme-park scenery that only seems to serve in diminishing the importance of the feat itself while at the same time maximising revenue in any way possible, from visitors. Sadly, thus – t’is the way of things and I am probably going to have a little mini-rant, now – ahem.

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When I look back at these pictures, I still can’t help feeling a twinge inside, one of sadness that the only way to make money from this is to sell anything that anyone is prepared to buy and encircle the entire structure with all manner of food and drink stalls, kids rides, gift shops, you name it. Yes, I know I sound like a whinging ol’ duffer, but imagine anything else that you feel is somewhat worthy of being singled-out and displayed for its importance, (be it in history, engineering, art, music, literature, politics, anything) and finding it surrounded by countless cheap, punter-drawing sideshows replete with the obligatory pink and yellow bouncy castle. (I’m not entirely sure why I suddenly find myself thinking about Jenson Button’s 2009 Brawn F1 car, or Damon Hill’s 1996 Williams but, some things are important enough that they shouldn’t need all that razzmatazz, instead, being allowed to stand out for just being what they are). How wonderful it would be to just appreciate something without having to waste mental energy on negotiating around all the ever present, peripheral crap. Have a theme-park by all means – just,  create a little more space between, enough to give everyone the opportunity to make a decision on how they wish to enjoy it, including we who don’t give a monkey’s about facile distractions.

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I find it a shame because, I love these shots – but I can’t enjoy them as much as I know I would have, had I have been able to move more freely around to appreciate and photograph it from angles completely prohibited by all the man-made, money-making tat around it.  As I remarked, on posting a few infrared frames in PT.I – it really is a must-see, but I simply cannot buy into the modern theme-park ideal that spoils the natural scenery around what is in both design and function, a beautiful structure. Shooting to the sky is the only way to capture it unfettered, but at more ground-level angles it deserves a much plainer backdrop.

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I absolutely love the way that the wheel plays with the light, the boldness of the structures and the intimacy of its workings. For contrast, the IR series in PT.I seriously does it for me but these standard frames (shot on my Df, for anyone interested) have a clean edge that lends very well to its subject. Despite a little (ahem) commentary, I hope you’ll have enjoyed them too. 

Can’t please everyone, eh?

R.

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Caerlaverock Castle | 720nm Infrared – PT.II | 35Chronicle

35mm, black & white, infrared, landscape, photography, ruins, rural, skies, structures, summer, waterscape

On Top of the World.


Towards the end of last autumn and as winter approached, I discovered to my complete joy that in all the years that I have been enjoying shooting infrared light, it is in fact possible to revel in it the whole year-round; weather permitting of course. No longer do I feel that ol’ sinking feeling once the clocks go back in the so-called knowledge that my IR cameras should just get hung up again until the spring and instead, I simply look forward to the next IR-perfect day on which I can get back out there and shoot. Subject matter is everything of course and here in Scotland there is no shortage of inspiration nor of places as yet unseen through my lenses. 

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Whilst some of my subjects may appear (even to me) safe, popular, somewhat predictable even, I cannot help but feel a huge amount of happiness and satisfaction at being able to capture them under lightwaves less commonly photographed and, share an alternative view of my world that to most, is not often enjoyed. Caerlaverock Castle is certainly one of D&G’s most prominent and beautiful landmarks and, back in June – on the day of the summer solstice, my IR-eye was put back to work. The first post of this two-parter was published only eleven posts ago, yet all the way back in August which only makes me realise just how much catching up I still have to do however, I have been extremely busy during my recovery from the events of April and, there still seems so much to do – but I really am getting there and, to be bluntly honest, it really is a bloody good feeling. Sure, I am a little snowed under, but I honestly wouldn’t want it any other way.

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As summers pass and autumns draw; let winters come and thwart no more.

My lens will be there; somewhere.

R.

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[All Images: Fujifilm X100 720nm IR Internal Conversion.]


Postscript: I have recently upgraded my standard WP plan (note the slight change in site address – yes, the old link will still bring you to my homepage) so – no more ads! To any of you who read my pages and are not WP subscribers, thank you and, I do hope that this change improves your reading experience.


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The Gardens of Drumlanrig | 720nm Infrared – PT.III | 35:Chronicle

35mm, black & white, infrared, photography, rural, structures

Hog Heaven | PT.II


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[Images: Ricoh GR 720nm IR Conversion – w/35mm Internal Crop.]

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