Gelston Castle – PT.III | 35Chronicle

black & white, infrared, Long Exposure, photography, ruins, rural, skies, structures, summer

Revisiting Old Haunts | 720nm Infrared, Long Exposure Series.


The spring of last year was a tremendously difficult time for me and, for those closest to me I think it must have been even harder. After a crazy-serious accident at work that rendered me flat on my back for almost twelve weeks due to multiple spinal and rib fractures, I absolutely needed to get out with my cameras again. For almost nine months afterwards and in so many ways, my entire being was in recovery-mode and eventually, even on crutches, I was able to make short trips out for the specific purpose of bagging even a few more frames – of all the things that made me feel whole and normal again, this was it. Barmy, don’t you think? Not long before that, though (and I think that this was a presiding reason for my increasing restlessness) – I had the amazingly good fortune to visit some truly beautiful places and one one of them was here, at the utterly stunning ruin of Gelston Castle, just a few miles from Castle Douglas. (My first post on Gelston is here, if you’d like to check it out). Oddly, for me, a second summer on-the-bounce has seen me confined (like almost everyone else lately) to quarters. My shutter finger gets very itchy when I know that I don’t have the freedom to exercise it and so, you can possibly imagine my joy when, just yesterday, Bumble and I visited Gelston again. This time, I wanted to do things a little differently and so, rather than just walk around for a half hour bagging IR shots that I probably have already snagged, the Big-Stopper came out of the bag and for once, I stopped being a lazy-arse, and brought the tripod along – probably for the first time in a lot of years. Here then, is one of yesterday’s frames from Gelston Castle – from the rear entrance to the ruin (that I would never have been able to get last year anyway, due to the sun being on the opposite side of the building once we’d arrived) and, whilst I would love to post a couple more right here, sadly, I’m still catching up on edits; soon, though.  

I do hope that you’ll enjoy this first frame, from what is for me a little bit of a different approach, though to many, not new at all, I am sure. Nonetheless, I hope it measures up. 

For now – thank you as always for visiting and, if this is your caper, I hope you’ll watch this space.

R.

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Gelston Castle Ruins – Rear Elevation | 720nm IR w/ Hoya R72 & 10Stop ND | Ricoh GXR LTFS Conversion | 24mm – 60secs – f18.0 – ISO:100.

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R.
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The Mono-Archives | PT.VI | 35Chronicle

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

Room with a View? | Mouswald Parish Church. 


Elevated yet still very tucked away here in the quiet village of Mouswald, stands this beautiful little parish church that dates back to 1816 – up for sale to anyone who’d want to make it… home. From here, there are beautiful views over the Solway and out to Criffel and, no troubling neighbours. But a lot of buried stories, I’m betting. I’ve had this place on my shoot-list for a lot of years and, thankfully – just a few weeks before lock-down, I finally made them.  I have to wonder though – once it’s sold, will the resting still be left to rest? I hope so.

Idyllic; even on a moody day like this.

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I. [Vis.]

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II. [720nm IR.]

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III. [720nm IR.]

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R.
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The Mono-Archives | PT.V | 35Chronicle

black & white, cityscapes, full-spectrum, photography, urban

To & From: a Place I Love | A Full-Spectrum Collection.


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I | Cranes – from Calton Hill.

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II | To Arthur’s Seat.

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III | To the Scott Monument from the Royal Mile.

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R.
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From Either Side of a Bridge | 720nm Infrared | 35Chronicle

black & white, infrared, nature, photography, rural, skies, trees, waterscape

Necessity is Indeed the Mother of Invention.


These frames were captured a few weeks ago amidst the current lock-down here in Scotland. Standing on the bridge over the Annan at Brydekirk on the most glorious of days, I couldn’t help ponder that statement, as I looked out to parallel rocks beneath slowly flowing shallow waters to one side and, a cloudless sky to the other. Yes, I think I had just invented the revolving deckchair right there and, if I could have – I’d have remained in it all day. 

I hope that you too will enjoy the views.

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I.

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II.

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R.
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Ptolemy vs Ptolomey: Some Mathematicians are More Credible than Others, Perhaps? | 35Chronicle

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

Comlongon Castle – The Anvil & the Hammer.


Dating back as far as the late 15th – early 16th century, the Tower House of Comlongon was purchased from the Earl of Mansfield estate in 1984 after it had been on the market for some years. The most recent owner, Philip Ptolomey – took over the hotel from his parents in 1995. During the most recent thirty-five years since its purchase from the Earl’s estate, Comlongon was the subject of almost continual and extensive refurbishment and operated as a prestigious and exclusive wedding venue. Its name was synonymous with luxurious hospitality and indulgence. As such, engaged couples could be expected to pay huge sums of money in order to take their vows here.

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Leading up to April of 2019, couples were reportedly surprised to receive notification of Comlongon’s impending liquidation (mostly by local rumour) and, its owner (who’s hotel was still taking deposits for bookings even days before it went into liquidation) wrote on the hotel’s website: “Every penny generated goes to the restoration of the castle and estate. This work will probably never be finished as constant upgrades require a budget far in excess of that generated by being run as a hotel.” I wonder if perhaps anybody received their deposits back. But I suspect not. One local couple who had been planning their wedding for over two years paid a whopping £6,000 deposit, the latter instalment was delivered in person at the hotel to staff who gave no indication of any problems at all, days before its door closed forever.  Sadly Comlongon now stands as a neglected treasure – but its existence will provide no comfort to some; a bitter taste, instead.

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IV.

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These shots were taken on a (fittingly) very gloomy day but I simply could not pass it, without stopping. It truly is a stunning place, amidst its 140 acres of grounds – yet steeped heavily in its own murk.

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Thank you for visiting.
R. 

Re-embracing the Clouds | 35Chronicle

black & white, infrared, photography, waterscape

To Air & Water | PT.II


Following on from my previous post, over the past couple of days I have found myself more closely observing the recent cloud formations that have (a good few times over the last twenty-four hours or so) preceded some rather heavy rainfall. I remember that when I first became interested in photography, well over twenty years ago, I was obsessed with them – easy ‘targets’ or perhaps it was simply the ethereal aspect that I was most drawn to; I don’t really remember. Maybe it was both. Fast forward to present day and indeed, an obsession that I apparently lost along my way so many years ago – seems to be creeping back somewhat; and so, after a stroll (yesterday), I was very happy to come home and find a few pleasing frames on my SD card. Both of these were caught with my LTFS converted GXR. The first with my faithful R72 mounted on the front of the lens and, the second, with the wonderful Tiffen UVIR Cut, instead.

I hope you’ll enjoy them. 

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I | Across the Nith & Devorgilla Bridge | 720nm Infrared | 1/800th | f5.6 | ISO:200 | 24mm

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II | Along the Caul (Weir) – River Nith | 1/270th | f8.0 | ISO:100 | 24mm

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Thank you for visiting.
R. 

The Mono-Archives | PT.IV | 35Chronicle

black & white, photography, skies

To Air & Water.


We curse them for stealing the light, we use them in euphemisms for gloom, we extend them little patience and, we wish them away almost as soon as they appear; yet, on days like this, all I can ever hope for is that they stay a while, let them carry on changing their shapes and their shades. Let the lights and the darks morph continually, gently or violently – side by side and make me a picture; or perhaps two. What on earth (or, just above it) is there not to appreciate? In days gone by I have, as some of you have read and commented upon, referred occasionally to the presence of them in many frames that I might have considered far better without them. We live and we learn. Sometimes too, there is little need for any other elements.

Just the air and the water will do just fine. 

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II.

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[Both frames: GXR A12 M-Mount w/Leitz 90/4 MF]

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R. 

I Think it Might Have Been Next Door’s Cat? | 35Chronicle

black & white, nature, photography, spring

It’s Been Almost a Week, Now…


Perhaps it’s an age thing, but I do love sitting in the garden and keeping an eye out for the wing-ed wildlife that comes and goes through the shrubs and the trees. Occasionally, when the traffic is quieter out front, I get to hear them too and, as always, there are always a couple of feeders stocked up to make them feel welcome. A few weeks ago though, I got a real treat. Not twelve feet from the back-door, in amongst the Euonymus, was nesting a pair of Wrens.  For over a week I kept an eye out for them and their calls were frequent, regular and loud. After a week of them getting used to my presence, I grabbed one of my cameras and spent an afternoon in quiet anticipation, pitching myself in a more secluded part of the garden. If I could grab a shot or two, now that would be wonderful. 

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Not even a half-hour after I settled down to wait for them (or, one of them – I’d be happy with that!) I heard a flicker of small wings and there it was, perched right behind the barred fence behind the wood-store. It was no more than six feet from me and I felt a flicker of panic at the thought of raising my lens to shoot it. Surely I’d just scare it off as soon as I made a move? For sure, I am no nature photographer and have little experience in the ways of the wild, but would you bally well believe it? It stood there and just looked at me. I grabbed a good few shots and changed position and still it didn’t fly. This thing was tamer than the Robins that frequent in winter and early spring. Taking complete advantage of it, after it disappeared, I went in to review what I had; and here are a couple of results.

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II.

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III.

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Sadly though, I heard it said that a neighbour’s cat was seen in the garden late one evening last week and, putting two and two together, I think I know now why our little friend hasn’t been heard lately. To my lasting hope, I am certain that it was merely scared off and, has made a home somewhere else instead. The Euonymus was a little low down, after all. Anyway – I hope you’ll enjoy these few frames. To absent, well, friends, I guess! 

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IV.

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Thank you for visiting.
R. 

The Mono-Archives | PT.III | 35Chronicle

black & white, full-spectrum, photography, ruins, structures

Jedburgh Abbey.


Caught last year during a very drizzly November day, where light was as best terribly poor – I decided that I would capture the beautiful Jedburgh Abbey using my LTFS / full-spectrum set-up (see my Light Waves page if this is a concept that you’re not too familiar with). In so doing, I was able to catch any potential extra light in the UV and IR ends of the spectrum (admittedly very little but any extra light on days like these is a bonus, I feel) and, just that little extra detail in the darker shadows. Though a completely un-ideal day for dramatic light, instead, I hope that I have managed to capture a few frames that might just about portray just how stunning a  structure Jedburgh Abbey is. I  do hope you’ll enjoy these few frames from the archives.

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I | GXR A16 LTFS Conversion: 1/140th | f6 | ISO:200 | Spot Metered.

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II | GXR A16 LTFS Conversion: 1/125th | f6.7 | ISO:766 | Spot Metered. 

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III | GXR A16 LTFS Conversion: 1/125th | f6.3 | ISO:872 | Spot Metered.

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[All images in this series – snagged with a Ricoh GXR A16 LTFS (from ~280nm to ~1300nm) internal conversion, unfiltered.]


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R. 

 

 

Down by the River | PT.V | 720nm Infrared | 35Chronicle

35mm, black & white, infrared, photography, spring, trees, waterscape

Reflections: Spring in Full Bloom.


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I | GXR – 1/400th – f6.3 – ISO:200 – Hoya R72

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II | GXR – 1/400th – f6.3 – ISO:200 – Hoya R72

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R. 

Is That a Fly in Your Vino, Dear? | 35Chronicle

black & white, candid, close-up, people, personal, photography, spring

Any Excuse…


My catalogue of shots is ever increasing lately and to be perfectly honest, it’s a little bit of a struggle keeping up with editing. Add to that the amount of time that I simply do not want to spend indoors when the weather is as glorious as it has been over the last couple of days and – you’ll have some idea as to how tricky it is to keep up; especially if you’re a photographer yourself. Sometimes, it feels as though it’s a never-ending wheel. Then the sun sets a little and, the wheel slows down a bit. Take today, for instance. 

For the most part, since finishing my last run of shifts I have been itching to get up to my office and work on the shots I snagged at Ellen’s 100th. Then – I remembered that the little ‘un wanted to go out on his scooter this morning and of course, there’s home-school to fit in too. Furthermore, I wanted to spend a little time in the garden (can you hear me retrospectively searching for any old excuse, already?) and have a tidy up; or perhaps I’d just crack open a bottle of beer and get a little more colour on the ol’ napper instead. Anything, anything to remain outside. I mean, unless one has a sun allergy, who (who doesn’t have to remain indoors) would want to be inside on a day like this? So, as Bumble took her wine and her book into the garden, I ran upstairs to grab a camera. Maybe I’d grab a few frames around the garden, seeing as how it’s looking lock-down lovely lately (as I am sure many more are, during the current situation!)

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I | I’m Sure There’s a Fly in This?!

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As time goes by, I am finding that my shooting arsenal is growing – I am pretty sure that whatever I could possibly want to photograph, I have the gear for it. But what did I reach for? My old GXR A16 full-spectrum conversion, that’s what. I mention it often, I know (sorry ’bout that!) but mostly in relation to Luminous Tone Full-Spectrum or infrared frames that I have grabbed with it. Not today though. You see, in it’s native form, with its own IR-blocking filter in place, it’s normal to whack a UV at the front of the glass too. It’s the norm nowadays isn’t it? However – with a unit that has had that blocking filter removed (and nothing has replaced it, of course) if you want to shoot normal / visible light only, one has to use a UVIR Cut filter on the front of the lens and, this is where the fun starts. Because the UVIR Cut filter blocks out UV and IR so well (I use a Tiffen filter, if it matters) for some reason, it seems far better at blocking out those undesired wavelengths than stock internal filters and thus, lends itself to far more sharpness and contrast than the standard lens unit with the same shooting settings. As a predominantly black and white photographer, this is a real bonus. This particular camera has to be the punchiest black and white camera I have ever shot with. Anyway, I brought it outside for a little playtime.

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II | I Know it’s in Here Somewhere!

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Obviously, when I came down again to join Bumble in the garden, there were other shots to be caught. I didn’t get any frames outside of the courtyard, but I did snag these – and clearly, I just couldn’t resist sharing them. I sincerely hope that you have all been enjoying great weather, perfect health and – plenty of happiness. It’s important to have a little fun! I hope you’ll enjoy these few captures which clearly do conclude happily… 

-R-

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III | Sorted! [The Face of a Part-Consumed Fresh Glass…]

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R. 

 

100 Years On [& a Letter from the Queen] | 35Chronicle

black & white, people, personal, photography

For Ellen – Happy One-Hundredth Birthday!


This really is a dashed post – in twenty minutes I need to head off to work but, after a couple of hours spent celebrating one of the few(?) socially distanced 100th birthdays (of Bumble’s grandmother) replete with a police piper, and a chorus of ‘Happy Birthday’ from four members of the local constabulary (two of them, Inspectors, no less – and yes pictures will follow of course) I just have to share a couple of frames grabbed through Ellen’s window as we celebrated in the car-park – a monumental occasion. 

Happy 100th Birthday to Ellen Keeble and, we hope to see you again when the lock-down is done; and thank you also to HRH for coming through in style! 

-R-

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R. 

Crichton Memorial Church – PT.III | 720nm Infrared | 35Chronicle

black & white, infrared, photography, rural, skies, spring, structures, trees

When the Ground Marries the Sky.


It really isn’t all that often that I’m lucky enough to see settings like this. Back in November I shot the church for my first time (2019: posts 169 & 178 on my Archives page, if you’d like to roll back a little) and, given the beautiful weather on that day too, albeit cold and autumnal – I was extremely happy to have come away with some lovely IR frames that, yes, I am still very pleased with; but today, in the midst of spring and of course, during the still current lock-down, I managed to snag a few more that, even before I reached for my camera, had me drawing sharp intakes of breath. (Social- distancing – unbreached of course; in fact that part really wasn’t difficult at all.) 

I hope that you are all keeping well and, that you’ll enjoy these few captures. 

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I | 24mm – 1/380th – f6.3 – ISO:200 | Ricoh GXR LTFS Conversion w/Hoya R72

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II | 24mm – 1/290th – f6.3 – ISO:200 | Ricoh GXR LTFS Conversion w/Hoya R72

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III | 28mm – 1/850th – f4.3 – ISO:200 | Ricoh GXR LTFS Conversion w/Hoya R72

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R. 

 

A Sign of the Times | PT.II – 720nm Infrared | 35Chronicle

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

Un-Visual: A Diary of – the ‘Nobodies’.


All captured on the same gorgeous, warm Saturday afternoon and, I have to wonder – (how quickly) will we find our way back, and, can there be true context without – people?

Indeed; I wonder how this will all play out.

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I | Rosefield Mills [Derelict]

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II | Dock Park

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III | Bandstand

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IV | Devorgilla Bridge

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Thank you for visiting.
-R-

A Sign of the Times | 35Chronicle

black & white, people, personal, photography

Home-School | Week No.8


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I | 09:05 – Enthusiastic.

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II | 09:15 – Distracted.

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III | 09:20 – (Just About) Re-Focused.

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IV | 09:30 – Hmmm…

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Thank you for visiting.
-R-