A Child Walks into a Sweetshop… | 35Chronicle Photography

28mm, 35mm, black & white, fine art, history, infrared, photography, ruins, rural, skies, structures

The Vows We Make.


Okay, so it’s been a little while since I have posted here and, if you read my pages regularly, you may know the reason for this, yet another protracted hiatus. Just over a fortnight ago, Bumble and I finally tied the knot and so, all of the planning has come to fruition and, a new stage of life has begun. Except one. My most staunch supporter and friend who has followed me (and my cameras!) absolutely everywhere, the one who has exercised unimaginable patience and, made promises to me a long time before we got married. In fact, I don’t remember the actual words as I do remember her always being by my side. As we stood at the alter, we promised each other those things which every couple should, including, to always take care of each other; and, not ten days after we said it, came an opportunity to prove it! Of course, I am being very tongue-in-cheek here, in case you were wondering?! 

One of the most fun ways in which Bumble takes care of me is by trawling the web for previously unvisited and wonderful places; places that she knows will not only provide us both with a fabulous little jaunt for the day but will also provide me with some photographic subjects that will (she knows me so well!) see me dancing around like an impatient child in a sweetshop, trying to grab everything in sight. As I have said at least once before, she finds ’em and I shoot ’em! And, so it was on this particular day when she had previously come across Galloway House, near Newton Stewart; right on the coast at Garlieston, we excitedly packed the car with all my camera gear and some comestible goodies, and, headed west, (as they say). 

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I | 720nm Infrared | 24mm

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Galloway House was built in the 1740s for Lord Garlies, Alexander Stewart, who would later become the 6th Earl of Galloway. It is written that Robert Burns was denied entry to Galloway House on the grounds that the Earl did not agree with the poet’s politics, something that Burns would satirise in his poem, ‘Epigrams against the Earl of Galloway’: “What dost thou in that mansion fair, flit Galloway and find some narrow dirty, dungeon cave; the picture of thy mind.” Fair enough, I suppose? But in the Earl’s obituary, I wonder if Burns was a little harsh? “Perhaps there never was a nobleman more deservedly and sincerely regretted by so many distinguished families and connections, and by so many poor people, long employed, and supported by him.”

The house itself has been extended by successive earls and its gardens are open and varied; a true pleasure to walk around despite the often-place unkempt nature of them. Much work still goes on to maintain the grounds for the public who visit, I gather. Galloway House has also been used as a convalescence hospital during WWII and, as a residential school for children from Glasgow (between 1947-1976) with the view that those children would benefit from a more rural education. Since then, the house has had many different owners and, once again it’s on the market. Originally up for £1.5m – it’s now up for grabs for a shade under £600k – a mere snip of its original asking-price. But what a snip it will be for someone. I could have shot here all day, soaking up its romance, its history and of course – its utter beauty; and what’s more, if it hadn’t been for a Bumble – I’d never have known it existed. What a treat!

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II | 720nm Infrared | 35mm

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I hope you’ll enjoy these first few frames from Galloway House and, I wish you all a very happy Easter. As always, thank you for stopping by my pages. I’m off to the kitchen, after all, I do still have my vows to fulfil! 

VB,
… R …
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III | 720nm Infrared | 24mm

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2021: A Photographic Review | 35Chronicle Photography

28mm, 35mm, 50mm, autumn / fall, black & white, candid, cityscapes, close-up, fine art, full-spectrum, history, Indoor, infrared, landscape, Long Exposure, nature, people, personal, photography, portraits, review, ruins, rural, skies, spring, structures, summer, trees, urban, waterscape

Doesn’t it Come Around Quickly?


It is hard to believe that it’s this time of year again, the year almost over, the shortest day has passed and, I’m sitting here at my laptop – pondering over my favourite frames from 2021; a year of lockdowns, socially-distanced days out, home-schooling, trip disappointments and yet gratitude in abundance. A new grandchild has graced us, three weddings are in the offing (Bumble & I included!), health is good and I have been busier than ever. This may explain why my posts this year have been a little more frugal than previous years but, I have so enjoyed every opportunity that I have had to get out and make frames. I’ve learned quite a bit too and, changed a few aspects of my shooting and editing routines which, have pleased me greatly, too. In the coming year I hope to move slightly away from IR shooting – or rather, I want to engage further with more visible-light photography and, to also forge my creative aspirations a little more. How that’s going to work out, I have no ide as yet, but we’ll see how it pans out. My reasoning is simple, I am a staunch enemy of stagnation and whilst infrared light is a huge passion, I’ve been allowing myself to indulge so much that I have been experiencing rather more complacency than I would like. It’s again time for a little shift. Does that mean I am disappointed with my work this year? Not exactly. But there’s more – and I need to dig inside for it. I thought I’d be a natural after all these years, but therein lies the message; one can never stop trying to be better. And I need to shoot more.

As I say at the end of every year (because it’s true) – I am so grateful to each and every one of you for reading and visiting my pages. For all of your clicks and comments, your shares, follows, and other contributions you have made to my pages (hard to believe that it’s been almost four years already!) – I am ridiculously grateful because, without you, there’d be no point and my pages would be little more than an online diary. I am also inspired by so many of you, not that I always get or am able to find the time to let you know in person (that seems to be very selfish on my part and I must and will try harder) and often wonder at the amazing amount of talent that exists, often to share for the simple joy of sharing. I am sure that’s why we all do it and I hope that we can all continue to do so, around the many mayhems of life. So, for one last post of ’21, I would like to share my favourite frames of the year, one shot from each month – in the hope that you too will enjoy this little revisit. 

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January 2021 | Flynn: By {Kindle) Fire Light!

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February 2021 | Infrared Rainbow: Sandyhills Beach.

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March 2021 | Metal Bridge on Disused Portpatrick to Dumfries Line, at Parton [720nm Infrared]

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April 2021 | The Caul on the River Nith, Dumfries [720nm Infrared]

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May 2021 | Pinmore Viaduct [720nm Infrared]

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June 2021 | Boomer: Paper, String or Tin-Foil Will Do Just Fine!

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July 2021 | A London Skyline from the Thames [LTFS Full-Spectrum]

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August 2021 | Southerness Lighthouse [720nm Infrared]

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September 2021 | Turret: Penrhyn Castle, N.Wales [720nm Infrared]

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October 2021 | Dunskey Castle, Nr. Portpatrick [720nm Infrared, Long Expo.]

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November 2021 | Abbotsford House, Melrose [720nm Infrared]

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December 2021 | The Fountain, Princes Street Gardens & Edinburgh Castle [720nm Infrared]

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To my family, I am utterly blessed – what more can I say? It’s been a manic yet a wonderful year with a lot of plans either fulfilled or yet to become and, through it all (stop singing, Bumble – I know what you’re doing!) each and every one of you have indulged me as I truly hope I’ve reciprocated. When the world is in the mess it is right now, you are all the one reason I keep to feel the happiness that I do. 

To all of you who read and contribute to my pages (and hopefully enjoy some of my work, too?) – I hope that you have all had a wonderful holiday and, I wish you all the very best for 2022. Thank you so much for sharing and being a part of what I do. 

Warmest wishes to you all…

R.

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Closer Stills: PT.XXXI | Barnacles on Razor Shell

28mm, black & white, close-up, fine art, macro, nature, photography

On Perfect Imperfections?


It’s hard to believe (for me, anyway) that it has been over a year since I shot or posted any serious macro shots here. It may also be difficult to believe that macro is one of my favourite genres of photography and has fascinated me ever since I first picked up a serious camera. Many years ago I would have had so much macro gear and I’d made good use of it all too; but the longer I have been shooting, the less gear I want and, the more use I want to get out of the much less that I have. I have even started, over the last few years, to stop craving perfection (insomuch as I have been able to obtain it. Was it ever so, though? Probably not.) With all this mind, I have a number of macro and close-up options open to me but when I am shooting under controlled conditions (in my purpose-made cupboard under the stairs!) I still prefer to reach for my old Ricoh GRD IV. Desk tripod, a couple of clamps and desk lights, ISO:80, self-timer and a cuppa – sorted. Oh, and black & white of course. Who needs colour when form and texture can slap one in the face like this? Speaking of old, if you’re interested (and this is the case for all my work) – I don’t care much for updating my software when I can see results that I absolutely love with an eight year old version of LR (yup, I’m still on 4.4). So, old cameras, old software (old brain?) who cares? I still love this caper! 

Subject: The razor shell was something I picked up from Prestatyn beach when we were in North Wales for our holibags; I wrapped it in a napkin, stuffed it in my camera bag and once I left it in my studio on our return home, I promptly forgot about it. With an hour to kill this morning, I thought it was time I set it up for a shoot. It’s not particularly pretty but I love it anyway. So, just for fun, here’s an old shell, shot with an old camera and processed on comparatively ancient software. I hope you’ll enjoy! 

R.

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I | 1″ – f9.0 – ISO:80 – 28mm – Spot Metred – EV -0.7

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II | 1/6th” – f5.6 – ISO:80 – 28mm – Spot Metred – EV -1.0

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III | 1/2″ – f8.0 – ISO:80 – 28mm – Spot Metred – EV -1.0

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IV | 1″ – f8.0 – ISO:80 – 28mm – Spot Metred – EV -1.0

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London Skylines: PT.II | 35Chronicle Photography

28mm, 35mm, black & white, fine art, full-spectrum, infrared, landscape, photography, skies, structures, urban

Above & Below.


III | OXO [LTFS] – From the Thames.

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IV | Westminster Bridge, Houses of Parliament & Elizabeth Tower in Scaffolding [720nm IR] – From the Eye.

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– Memento Vivere! – 
R.
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Breaking the Curse of Morton Castle: PT.V | 720nm Infrared | 35Chronicle Photography

28mm, 35mm, black & white, fine art, infrared, landscape, nature, photography, ruins, rural, skies, structures, summer, trees, waterscape

Until Our Paths Cross Again.


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X | Sentinel of Paradise.

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XI | Old Stone & New Buds.

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– Memento Vivere! – 
R.
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Corbelly Hill Convent, Dumfries: PT.III | 720nm IR | 35Chronicle Photography

28mm, 35mm, 50mm, black & white, fine art, full-spectrum, infrared, photography, ruins, structures, urban

One Last Look Around.


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VII.

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VIII.

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IX.

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X.

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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.

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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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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Big Water of Fleet Viaduct | 720nm Infrared | 35Chronicle

28mm, black & white, infrared, landscape, photography, ruins, rural, skies, structures

To the Missing Four Arches


This post is written with huge thanks to my good friend, Amar Verma at vermatec – for, I have not only my original GXR A16 LTFS conversion back in the bag, its sensor beautifully clean of all the dust spots I’ve been hoovering up with it but also, my spare A16 which is now also converted to LTFS and ready for some more of the same alternative wavelength caperings. I plan soon to delve into some shorter frequency IR work again, possibly as high as around 900nm which I will shoot alongside my currently favoured 720nm. Here’s a frame from the newly converted lens unit at 720nm. (Sadly, thanks to an inconsiderately parked Citroen camper-van, the four arches (of the twenty in total) to right of the frame were certainly obscured enough that they couldn’t be included here; never mind – another visit shouldn’t be too far away!) I hope that you’ll enjoy this one, nonetheless. And to Amar – thank you again, my friend. This one is just perfect!

R.


Sixteen Arches | GXR A16 LTFS 720nm IR | 28mm – 1/320th – f7.6 – ISO:200

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GELSTON CASTLE – PT.IV | 35CHRONICLE

28mm, black & white, infrared, landscape, Long Exposure, photography, ruins, rural, skies, structures

Revisiting Old Haunts – PT.V | 720nm Infrared – Long Exposure Series.


All About the Angles | 720nm IR w/Hoya R72 & 10-Stop ND | Ricoh GXR LTFS Conversion | 28mm – 60” – f22 – ISO:100.

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@35chroniclephotography
R.
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Lowther Castle – PT.II | VIS Collection | 35Chronicle

28mm, 35mm, black & white, photography, ruins, rural, structures

An Impromptu Stop-Off.


After an unpredictable weekend away (during the most recent storms, here in the UK) the day of our return seemed much brighter and, a lot easier on the outdoor gear. Rather than to return straight home, we decided instead to make the most of the atmospheric reprieve and make a mid-morning stop-off here, at Lowther Castle, near Penrith. In PT.I, I published a few infrared frames that I was able to bag during a couple of short-lived bursts of less diffused sunshine but sadly, as my preamble would suggest, they just didn’t last. The tail-end of ‘Dennis’ was still licking in the air.

Though I would have loved to have shot a good many more IR pictures here at the beautiful Lowther Castle, I was nonetheless extremely happy to take in the atmosphere here and, with my standard GR in hand – make a generous number of black & whites. Shots I & III were captured at 35mm using the GR’s internal crop mode, while shot II was snagged at its native 28mm. 

Thank you so much for stopping by my pages and, I hope you’ll enjoy these few captures.

– R –

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I | 1/60th – f5.6 – ISO:125

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II | 1/60th – f8.0 – ISO:160

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III | 1/60th – f8.0 – ISO:125

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Goldielea Viaduct | 720nm Infrared | Ricoh GR | 35:Chronicle

28mm, black & white, infrared, landscape, photography, rural, skies, structures, trees

Isn’t it Always About – Time?


When I first moved up to Scotland, this disused viaduct was very soon to be a very regular sight for me – in that my regular work travels around the area of Dumfries & Galloway put it often in my line of sight. Needless to say, taking my love of old, bold structures, landscape and infrared photography into consideration, I have surprised myself that almost twenty years have passed and, I have only recently photographed it. From the roadside, it stands tall and proud, around two-hundred yards away amidst fields and forestry and, a care home stands directly in front of it. Behind it, sits a house and its grounds that, from first appearances, look to have once been a large stable block and yard. It’s unarguably  a beautiful and idyllic spot.

It was a couple of months ago when a rare day occurred; the sun came out early in the morning and seemed to threaten hard to remain out all day so, I grabbed one of my IR  cameras; not specifically for this series of images though, moreso to just throw in my small back-pack for a bike-ride with Angela that would take us through some gorgeous scenery and eventually terminate here – on the Dalbeattie side of Cargenbridge (on the outskirts of Dumfries). All the recent physiotherapy I have been having, though massively helpful, could not have filled my mind with the strength I seemed to feel on this day. An all-too-short twelve miles of road and off-road climbs under a relentlessly blue sky and increasing heat, pushing my legs to the limit and straining my once broken spine into comfortable submission had me feeling on top of the world and then, we climbed towards the viaduct that I have seen so many times over the years. Today, I would bag it. About time, indeed.

Thank you for reading my pages and, I do hope you’ll enjoy these three (rather later than they deserve to be) frames.

R.

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I | 28mm 

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II | 21mm

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III | 28mm

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  • Engineer: John Miller.
  • Operational: 1859-1965. Castle Douglas & Dumfries Railway.
  • Desc: Fine 18 Arch, Double-Track Viaduct on a Curve, 1011ft Long & 92ft High.
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The Gardens of Drumlanrig | 720nm Infrared – PT.I | 35:Chronicle

28mm, 35mm, black & white, infrared, photography, rural, structures, summer, trees

Hog Heaven – An Alternative View.


Back in early April this year, we visited Drumlanrig Castle, near Thornhill. You may remember, if you’re a regular reader, that at the time, I was shooting with my then newly internally converted 720nm IR GR [PT.III of original series]- and, what I really wanted to capture were the beautiful gardens here. Sadly, April is a little early and the groundsmen were still working their fingers to the bone in preparing these fabulous grounds for the public and, some shots of the castle itself were the best that I could steal. Once they were open however, we went back – and, what a glorious day it was to wander around and to play with light again. 

Don’t be misled by a gentle introduction – this place is stunning in any light and, I hope to do Drumlanrig’s gardens justice over coming posts. I only hope you’ll enjoy them.

R.

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HOME A RATIONALE | LIGHT-WAVES | ARCHIVES | LINKS
Thank you for visiting. If you would like updates, please click Follow. All Images & Posts © 35:Chronicle (2018, 2019) 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.
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Orchardton Tower | 720nm IR | PT.I | 35:Chronicle

28mm, black & white, infrared, photography, ruins, rural, structures

A Once Outdated Revival?


A few miles drive from the beautiful Dundrennan Abbey, in the parish of Buittle (pron: Bittle) stands this fabulous structure, just a mile or so south of the village of Palnackie. It dates back to around 1400 AD and was built by the Cairns family who became strongly associated with this area from the early 15th century, onwards. What is special about Orchardton is that today, it is the only cylindrical tower left standing in Scotland. Oddly, it was also built around 200 years after round towers had ceased to be fashionable. 

The tower was situated at the north-east corner of a fortified yard which would have sheltered livestock and other domestic amenities, but itself, would have provided living accommodation on each floor, accessed mostly likely by the use of a movable staircase. At 11 metres in height, once climbed, the tower also provides spectacular views over the surrounding landscape, though here, the stonework is the real treasure. The last of its kind.

R.

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HOME A RATIONALE | LIGHT-WAVES | ARCHIVES | LINKS
Thank you for visiting. If you would like updates, please click Follow. All Images & Posts © 35:Chronicle (2018, 2019) 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.
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Closer Still(s) | PT.XIX [II] | 35:Chronicle

28mm, black & white, close-up, macro, photography, still life

Shelling-Out | PT.II


Following on from my previous post, here are just a couple more macro / close-up frames taken with my newly acquired, hardly used GRD IV.  Getting a little closer has seldom been easier or, as much fun. (It just goes to show, huge investment isn’t always necessary.) I hope you’ll enjoy these and, have a great week ahead.

R.

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III | 2″ | f8 | ISO:80

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IV | 1″ | f5.6 | ISO:80

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Thank you for visiting. If you would like updates, please click Follow. All Images & Posts © 35:Chronicle (2018, 2019) 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.
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