Abbotsford House, Melrose | 720nm Series: PT.I/II | 35Chronicle Photography

black & white, history, infrared, people, photography, rural, structures

Great Scott!

I | 1/350th – f7.5 – ISO:200 – 35mm – 720nm IR | Ricoh GXR A16 LTFS Conversion w/Hoya R72

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II | 1/270th – f8.0 – ISO:200 – 24mm – 720nm IR | Ricoh GXR A16 LTFS Conversion w/Hoya R72

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There is a special ‘something’ about the Scottish Borders when the sun is even only half out. From home, it takes barely and hour and a half to get there and so, at the beginning of this month we planned a whistle-stop visit with an overnight stay on the outskirts of Melrose; I had a few places on my list – two of which, my lenses would be extremely interested in! The first was here, at Abbotsford House; the famous home of the infinitely more famous late Sir Walter Scott – poet, novelist, playwright, historian, antiquarian, judge (to name just a few of his accolades, that is). It can be said that Scott can be largely held responsible for Scotland’s national and international identity;  there’ll be no argument from me on that one.

Though it is now a visitor attraction should not take away from the fact that Abbotsford is of huge historical importance to Scotland and, it is more a monument than a house. Not only this, it is also utterly breath-taking; outside and in. The restrictions still placed upon us by Covid however, meant that during our visit to Abbotsford – there was a blessings and a curse. The obvious blessing was the reduced amount of visitors as a result of lengthy timeslots between admissions; this meant a great deal to me personally because as with any time that I visit a place of interest, I always prefer to capture without the obvious element of tourism and favour making frames which concentrate solely (inasmuch as can ever be possible) upon my subject, without avoidable distractions within the frame itself. Conscious exclusion is a big part of how I prefer to compose and so this was indeed a welcome blessing. As for the curse – most of the interior of the house (in fact all, above the ground floor) was inaccessible by visitors and so, we were constrained to a very few rooms downstairs. This is not to say that what remains on view to the public is not of interest. I have seldom witnessed or enjoyed such eclecticism or marvelled at such broad tastes and collections. Though I am sure curators had a difficult time of putting everything together (it is impossible to know and even more difficult to conceive as to whether the house’ interiors have been preserved in their ‘natural’ state – yet, I doubt it very much given the huge passage of time since Scott’s death in 1832) – it is both wondrous and romantic to spend time taking it all in. Though I have never read his works, I really do feel that I should. I do feel a niggle in my side, edging me towards a few more books for my Kindle!

For now, here are my first few chosen infrared exteriors taken at Abbotsford House and, I can only hope that they bring even a little, light-hearted enjoyment. As always, thank you so much for reading!

III | 1/380th – f8.0 – ISO:200 – 24mm – 720nm IR | Ricoh GXR A16 LTFS Conversion w/Hoya R72

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One thought on “Abbotsford House, Melrose | 720nm Series: PT.I/II | 35Chronicle Photography

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