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… 

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. 

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.


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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8 thoughts on “In Long Forgotten Corners… | 720nm IR – PT.I | 35Chronicle

  1. Very nice. I particularly love the texture and contrast of the first photo. Very sharp too. I have never been to Maddison County, but I did like the movie was well. I doubt, however, that anywhere here in the USA you will find any structured that goes back more than a couple hundred years. The covered bridges are very interesting and there are quite a few here on the west coast. Although I like to photograph them, they are not very interesting to look at in a print: they are made of wood and look like little boxes over creeks etc.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They’re a sign of the times, I guess. And of place. In their way I am sure they fit right in. Style comes in so many forms and it’s the contrast that keeps my interest. This bridge is 160 years old now and much like the West Pier in Brighton, it’ll probably stand another 100 years before it falls down. What can I say? I love old stuff!! Thank you, Alessandra! 🙏📷


  2. I lived one county north of Madison County in Iowa for years. When they were filming we had Clint and Meryl sightings all over Des Moines. Fun times. The bridges are amazing and every year in the Fall Madison county has a festival.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Carolyn, I love your comments! Got all excited! For me, the romance was never too much about the main players but instead, I would look at that bridge and wonder how he was going to shoot it! Daft, I know. But the idea of just being out there, alone, with no other agenda other than to make photographs of old, dilapidated structures is so romantic! Loving the fact that there’s an annual festival in Maddison! Fabulous! Great to hear from you. Hope you enjoyed the frames. Very best, Rob(ert!) 😉🙏📷

      Liked by 1 person

    2. You can find more information about the bridges if you google Madison County Bridges😊 One of the bridges was set on fire by a couple of teenagers a while back. I believe it has been rebuilt.

      Liked by 1 person

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