Lockdown Blues | 35Chronicle

35mm, black & white, colour, people, photography, portraits

It’s Can’t be Easy, Being Seven!


Two weeks of lockdown before the school Easter holidays commenced and guess who’s had his fill of it all, already? Homeschool is tougher than he’d bargained for, he’s not allowed to visit the new local play-park, the shops have all run out of his favourite sweeties and through it all, I keep sticking my new GR III in his face! It’s tough, being a little ‘un, I can see that. To make matters worse, my Windows 10 laptop has all but died on me after a recent Windows Update (thanks for nothing, Mr. Gates – or whoever is running the show at Microsoft, now) and I have had to find a complete new way of processing, editing and saving my shots. To top it all, I have to use the WP app my iPad – which is not as simple as it should be and I can see a few corrections to formatting in Safari, coming right after I publish this. Anyhooz, all is not lost – it’s all about adapting, I guess.

Speaking of adapting, I know I said I wouldn’t do it, but yes, I did – and I am loving the latest iteration of Ricoh’s GR. All of these frames were captured on it at my favoured 35mm internal crop mode and to round off on a good note – young Flynn was only feigning in shot one. He’s coping just fine and can even tell the time now! Onwards!

Though I am certain that nobody has ever pegged the GR series as a serious portrait tool, I reckon it’ll pass. Keep smiling, keep well and, I hope you’ll appreciate the annoyance I have had to endure this afternoon to bring you these! One has to laugh, eh?!

R.

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The Water Cure, Perhaps? | 35Chronicle

35mm, black & white, infrared, nature, photography, skies, waterscape

It Has Been Said…


… that to aid in the finding of true inner peace, one must be able to enjoy the calm of a sizeable area of water for at least thirty minutes, each day; I can’t possibly know how true this really is, but hey, it works for me. Therefore, here – I wish to share four separate frames with a watery theme, caught with three different cameras, all at my favoured 35mm FoV.

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

R.

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II.

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III.

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IV.

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

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

Monumental | II.


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[All frames: Fujifilm X100 – Internal 720nm Infrared Conversion / f8.0 – ISO:320]


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Hermitage Castle | PT.I – 720nm Infrared | 35Chronicle

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

Monumental.


You may recall that I posted a few frames from the Chapel ruins here at the site of Hermitage Castle, back on the 9th of the month and, as we all know , a lot has changed since then. All I can say now is that without the benefit of foresight, I am so glad that we made the trip to Hermitage when we did. Not weeks before, around eighty homes were evacuated due to the severe floods in the area, the Hermitage water was some 12-15 feet higher than usual and, even most of the roads leading here had collapsed. As a result, it was touch and go as to whether we might have made it at all, however, fortunately for us, the road was passable right up to the point of the small bridge at the monument’s road-end, thus – a dead end. But we got here. 

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The monuments origins date back to around 1240 and was believed to have started out its life as a hunting lodge not far away from the castle itself. The castle we see today, however, wasn’t believed to have been built until the early to mid-fourteenth century and as you would imagine, is steeped in history and – horror stories. For me, though, its foreboding presence amidst wide expanses of moorland, the now peaceful Hermitage Water below it and, its views to the hills, make Hermitage Castle not only a beautiful place to be but, a very pleasing frame-filler, too. More information, if you wish, can be found here: https://www.undiscoveredscotland.co.uk/hawick/hermitagecastle/index.html – I do hope you’ll enjoy these few frames.

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Needless to say, these are recently archived shots – no trips disobeying government guidelines regarding COVID-19 have been made and, as one working on the front-line of healthcare myself, may I please urge everyone to maintain our  conscientious attitudes in fighting this outbreak. We can only do this together. I sincerely hope that all of you and yours are keeping well! 

Remember – Please, Stay at Home.

R. 

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III.

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[All frames: Fujifilm X100 – Internal 720nm Infrared Conversion / f8.0 – ISO:320]


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The Curse of Morton Castle | PT.I | 35Chronicle

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

When Light Plays Games | 720nm IR.


As a serious, enthusiastic photographer, I ask myself again and again – just how many times am I prepared to return to the same place in order to get the photograph that I long to capture? The image that I know I can bag, if the conditions play the game nicely? The answer, every time, has to be – “until I get the shot”. So it is the case here, at Morton Castle. It seems not to matter what time of year I visit, nor, what the weather forecasters says it’s going to be doing the evening before; for, whenever I arrive here, the clouds always close in. Every, bleedin’, time. Anyone who has set out to capture a scene only to be thwarted by the conditions, knows exactly what I’m talking about. It’s frustrating to say the least. Don’t you think?

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On the other hand, I am a firm believer that with a little patience, I am (usually always) rewarded with images that I did not envisage capturing at all, making most if not all a very pleasant surprise and yet something else in life to be completely happy about. Friday past was the fourth time I have made the trip to Morton to capture the ruin and its surroundings in infrared, after assurances by the Met. Office of clear skies and sunshine overhead until around lunchtime. Turning up during mid-morning however, afforded no preferential treatment and, as usual – the clouds were waiting. Though I had hoped we’d drive right past them, ’twas not to be. 

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Every now and then, pockets of blue around the sun would appear and, shafts of undiffused light would reign in short bursts, occasionally wide enough to light up the ground sufficiently enough to facilitate my pulse racing a little in my eagerness to trip another frame before the light disappeared again. For around two hours, the light would continue to cheekily lead me up and down the proverbial garden path, and, back up again in its mockery of my efforts. But patience is everything and, despite still not getting anything close to the frames I had hoped to preserve yesterday – I decided that even when the light plays games, I will play my own.

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The curse of Morton? A blessing in disguise, perhaps.

R.

[All images: Fujifilm X100 720nm IR Conversion | 35mm Equiv. | f8.0 | ISO:400]


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Hermitage’s Chapel Ruin | 720nm Infrared | 35Chronicle

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

A Place in Time.


Friday’s are a fabulous day for scouting. We call it – the Long Friday. The littlest ‘un will finish school at 3 and will be collected by his after-school club, there to remain until around 5.30pm. It makes for one day in the week when we don’t have to get back too quickly during the afternoon and wherever we might end up, well, it gives us a little more time to explore. Such was the case last week when we made the journey to Hermitage Castle. 

Just five miles from the English border, in Liddesdale, the castle ruins stand as a forbidding, high-walled monument amidst wide and oppressive moorland – it’s huge arch facing to the hills to the west. Just a couple of hundred yards behind it, lay the ruins of the chapel, alongside the peacefully babbling Hermitage Water. Having spent over an hour around the castle (naturally, I will be sharing a few frames from there, too) and, with the sun gracing the early afternoon for longer periods than we’ve enjoyed lately, I was very excited to capture the chapel ruins. A more peaceful spot than this have I yet had the sheer pleasure to enjoy (aside perhaps from the beautifully secluded Morton Castle). 

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I | Windows to the East. Fujifilm X100 720nm IR – 35mm – 1/140th – f8 – ISO:320

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II | Out to Hermitage Castle – Three Little Windows. Fujifilm X100 720nm IR – 35mm – 1/170th – f8 – ISO:320

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There really isn’t much left here by way of a building as such. A burial enclosure languishes in the far east corner, grave stones and markers dot the ground on the far side too, and, three little windows look out to Hermitage Castle and to the hills beyond. We stayed a while, trying our best to decipher carvings on old stones, making a few IR frames and generally enjoying the peace and the sound of the water, while the sun warmed our backs on an otherwise chilly day. If there was a day where I could wish time to slow down, this one would have been the day. The chapel itself is thought to have pre-dated the castle itself by up to two hundred years (there is little information to either argue or corroborate this) and was believed to have been built during the mid 12th century. I’m surprised that there’s any part of it left at all. But, I’m extremely glad of it. 

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III | Burial Enclosure. Fujifilm X100 720nm IR – 35mm – 1/160th – f8 – ISO:320

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Not exactly landscape photography, nor structural either; just a few views from one beautiful place in time. I hope you’ll enjoy them. 

-R-

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Closer Still(s) | PT.XXVIII | Tulips [Mono.]

35mm, black & white, close-up, macro, nature, night / low-light, photography

Moving Out, Moving In.


Keeping to recent changes in ideas that I’ve been having about how I photograph, process and publish (basically, I am feeling the need to shake things up a little after a winter ‘lull’) – I decided that, whilst I continue to shoot in RAW and JPG, I would for a while concentrate solely on working with OOC JPGS with as little processing as I could let myself get away with, no matter what my subject matter.

A couple of days ago I took some time out with my X100S to shoot these beautiful yellow tulips in my newly put-together macro-studio (aka: the Black Room, aka: the cupboard under the stairs!) and after an hour or so playing with various exposures, I emerged back into the light of the middle landing with some pleasing frames. After uploading to Lr – checking my spot-metered exposures, I set to work in editing my chosen keepers. Here, are the three finalists, processed from the resultant JPGS, with minor tweaks to contrast, clarity and shadow depth, with just a hint of split-toning for a tiny smidgen of warmth. 

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I | 1/10th” – f8.0 – ISO:200

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II | 1/8th” – f8.0 – ISO:200

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III | 1/4th” – f8.0 – ISO:200

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Of course, at the sizes I’ve chosen to upload (I never upload full-resolution frames) – for web-viewing, the difference may be a little more difficult to appreciate when it comes to RAW versus JPG IQ however, when considering that all frames were exposed at ISO:200, I really don’t think that (aside from the obvious processing latitude advantages of trickier RAW exposures) there really would not have been all that much to shout about. I still don’t know the answer to that one either – I haven’t even looked at the RAWs yet. These frames please me that much. 

Thank you so much for reading my pages and, I hope you too will enjoy these captures.

– 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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Closer Still(s) | PT.XXVII | 35Chronicle

35mm, black & white, close-up, colour, fine art, macro, nature, photography

Purple Heart [Tiger] Lily | PT.II


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IV | Fuji X100S – 35mm [equiv] – 1/4th – f11 – ISO:400.

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V | Fuji X100S – 35mm [equiv] – 1/8th – f5.6 – ISO:400 [w/Hoya +10].

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[From a Little Further Back:]
VI | Fuji X100S – 35mm [equiv] – 1/20th – f2.8 – ISO:800.

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VII | Fuji X100S – 35mm [equiv] – 1/60th – f5.6 – ISO:3200.

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Closer Still(s) | PT.XXVI | 35Chronicle

35mm, black & white, close-up, colour, fine art, macro, nature, photography

Purple Heart [Tiger] Lily | PT.I


Ask anyone who knows me and they’ll all tell you just how easily pleased I am. I’ve never been one to want much, not in the grand scheme of things at least and I have always gone by the adage that “enough, is as good as a feast”; and I absolutely believe this. It is relevant because when it comes to photography, I have always been happy with and, tried to make the most of the tools at my disposal (most usually – my camera and my legs) but some things require a little more planning.

Macro and close-up photography has been a passion of mine since I first picked up a camera, almost twenty-five years ago. That passion has not only stayed with me ever since but it has continued to grow. The longer I go between these more intimate shooting sessions, the more it grows and, the more I seem to enjoy it when I finally make it back. For the past few years, I had been making do with an old lamp table for my close-up set-ups; I had fashioned a matt black card base on the table with two joined 12″ high-sides of the same material, clamped lights, mirrors, clamps, desk tripod and, a couple of torches for ad-hoc light-painting during those longer exposures. This week though, something changed.

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I | Fuji X100S – 35mm [equiv] – 1/12th – f5.6 – ISO:400.

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A few weeks before new year, Ang had decided to have a clear-out of the under-stairs cupboard on the first floor. Great idea I though – we could decorate it and make her a lovely, secluded and private office space in there (whilst secretly wanting to snatch the space for myself, you understand). I was thinking maybe some cosy lighting, a decent bluetooth speaker, a new desk and chair, even some pictures on the wall – you know? A space I’d be utterly jealous of, for sure. Still, this was all a while ago and sometimes, as I said, things change. 

At Christmas, I received a very nice portable light-tent. Lights, stands, backdrops, colour gels – yup, all there. The trouble was that we had nowhere to properly set it up and though it’s indeed designed to be portable, once I set something like this up, I’d prefer it to stay there and I can quickly set back up again any time I have a new or interesting subject. That’s when the suggestion came back to me: “What about the under-stair cupboard?” My eyes must have lit up as soon as those words left her lips!

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II | Fuji X100S – 35mm [equiv]- 1/4th – f11 – ISO:200 [w/Hoya =10].

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At the beginning of this week, we measured up; on Tuesday we bought the wood and the paint and I constructed the worktop to be fitted, as well as starting the paint-job.  On Wednesday, the last coat of matte-black went on all the surfaces and by that evening, it was dry enough to set it all up. Could I wait to get in there and shut the door? Could I, buggery! Now, I know that light-tents aren’t a new thing, but I’ve always indulged myself on a shoestring – not for any other reason than the fact that I was simply able to. But to have a dedicated little space where it can all happen, is a real treat. I don’t care if Harry Potter didn’t care much for his – I’m loving my cupboard! Yes, I’m sure that I must sound like an idiot to most of you but this is big stuff to me. A useful man-cave at last! (And yes, I also realise that I’m rambling a tad!) Anyway, I’ll shut up now and let you (I sincerely hope) enjoy a few of the very first frames from the newly crowned (tongues firmly in cheek, you understand?) Studio 35C. 

As always, thank you for visiting my pages and, I wish you all a great weekend ahead.

-R-

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III | Fuji X100S – 35mm [equiv]- 1/8th – f5.6 – ISO:400 [w/Hoya =10].

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Hexham Abbey | PT.II | 35Chronicle

35mm, black & white, Indoor, photography, structures

A Little More Light-Play | Pushing the Ricoh GR


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IV | Ricoh GR 1/10th [H/H] – f3.5 – ISO:3200 – 35mm Internal Crop

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This little camera never, ever fails to astound me. After all I wrote about it [here] there was still one aspect of it that I never properly tried out. As a rule, I have seldom, if ever – shot at equivalent film-speeds of faster than ISO: 1600; not on any camera and certainly not seriously (save for occasionally with the incredible Nikon offering, the Df, which is  a whole different beast altogether). However, when the light drops and one finds oneself tripodless (say, through poor preparation, perhaps) the only way to get the shot, sometimes, is to bump up the ISO and, without anywhere suitable to rest my GR during the making of these frames, handheld was the only way to go. 1600 wasn’t cutting it as, even with reasonably steady hands and good stance, most of the frames were just coming out a little too soft due to that smidgen of camera movement.  Therefore, 3200 was the only way to get them. Without realising it, I was on a test mission after which I would find myself thoroughly delighted. My initial thoughts were simply that it’d be better to get the shots than not. 

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V | Ricoh GR 1/10th [H/H] – f2.8 – ISO:3200 – 35mm Internal Crop

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I’ve always enjoyed the grain that appears in the GR’s images, especially at around 800-1600; it’s light, almost organic in appearance and lends a feel to a composition that instead of destroying it or breaking it up, actually appears to add more warmth and cohesion instead. To me, it harks back to when I used to enjoy shooting Ilford HP5 on an old ME Super, all those years ago – and to be honest, on most occasions, grain is such an integral part of the frame that I rarely even see it; and that’s exactly what happened here when I started editing these shots. I couldn’t even see it. You’d be forgiven for thinking that these have all undergone a major repertoire during processing but in truth, I really don’t enjoy spending too long in LR and so, these are very lightly processed and NR hasn’t even been touched. Exposures are a breeze and accurate with the GR and after having shot with it for so many years, I’m fortunate to be able to feel like it’s really an extension of my hand and, it has seldom let me down. Whilst for some types of composition, clean, pristine is more desirable – it’s not always what I’m looking for and I am moving quickly away from the ‘keeping it sharp and clean’ school of thought. Insosaying, if the light is good, I’ll be happy come what may. I think that no longer being pointlessly critical is going to open up a whole new wave of ideas that I am already very keen to exploit. It doesn’t just do it in black and white, either; colour frames come up pretty nice too!

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As always, thank you so much for reading my pages and I do hope you’ll enjoy these few captures of Hexham’s gorgeous abbey. [PT.I can be viewed here].

-R-

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VI | Ricoh GR 1/45th [H/H] – f2.8 – ISO:3200 – 35mm Internal Crop

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Closer Still(s) | PT.XXV | Wilt in Nowhere | 35Chronicle

35mm, black & white, close-up, colour, fine art, macro, nature, photography, still life

Oh, I’ve Missed this Caper!


We all have our favourite genres when it comes to photography; me – I love IR and alternative wavelengths, people, waterscapes and boats and of course, if you’ve been reading me for a while, close-up & macro photography. As I was sitting at dinner with my family this evening it occurred to me that it’s been simply ages since I set-up to shoot any close subjects and, this was all because of one wilting Gerbera Daisy in a vase on the opposite side of the kitchen. 

As a predominantly black and white shooter, I was shall we say, uncharacteristically jolted into thought by its colour and the way in which it had drooped forward away from the rest of the bunch as if reminding me that I’ve lost touch with the finer details; and so, after clearing up, I excitedly pulled all the gear I needed, downstairs, and set up in the kitchen to photograph this forlorn but  beautiful little flower, perhaps not too many days away from being destined for the bin but not yet completely void of its former form; certainly worth a few shutters.

(Sorry for nicking the title from Tom Sharpe – it just, fitted.) I hope you will enjoy these few eagerly processed frames. This is about as hot off the press as it gets… 

– R –

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I | Ricoh GXR A12 33mm [50mm Equiv] Macro | 1/12th – f8.0 – ISO:100.

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II | Ricoh GR w/Hoya +10 Close-Up | 1/12th – f8.0 – ISO:100 | 35mm Internal Crop.

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III | Ricoh GR w/Hoya +10 Close-Up | 1/30th – f8.0 – ISO:100 | 35mm Internal Crop.

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On Human Connections | PT.II | 35Chronicle

35mm, black & white, people, personal, photography, portraits

Celebrations & Christmas Wishes.


Time is short today and as festive preparations continue, I would like to take a little time out to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas. It’s been a very different kind of year for me, but for others, the experience of this thing called life is only just beginning. Therefore, to each and every one of my readers and followers, I extend my warmest wishes and, especially to one little girl, who is about to celebrate her very first – though she’ll never remember it. This one’s going to be a blast

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday, no matter how you’re celebrating. 

Warmest wishes,

Rob.

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I | Four Hours Old | For Paisley | 35mm

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II |  Paisley, with Mum & Dad, Elaina & Arran | 35mm

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III | Angela Gets a Hold – Paisley at 4 Hours Old | 35mm

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On Human Connections (& the Withholding of Sherry!) | 35Chronicle

35mm, black & white, people, personal, photography, portraits

From my Quiet Corner.


It’s not often that I photograph people anymore, however this post for me at least, is a little more poignant. This year has seen hospital visits very frequently on my agendas. Not only for myself have I spent time in one or another, but sadly with an ageing family member and the problems exacerbated by the very same and unstoppable process,  this has brought on the necessity to spend even more time in various departments and wards throughout the year. But there’s something else about hospitals other than the obvious that runs deep in their very ethos that, if you simply look around you – can be seen everywhere. 

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Now, I know it’s absolutely not ethical nor even polite to photograph at random the unfortunate plights of others in such a personal context, so, I’d like to share instead a couple of simple frames which for me epitomise the deeper connections between human beings  that I have only ever witnessed so emphatically – in hospitals. Though I have hung on to these shots for a good number of months, (I found it very difficult to find a cohesive context in which to publish them) now – I feel I can share them in such a way that I would hope makes such clear sense as to render the message obvious. 

As I sat in the corner of a nearby community hospital, observing Angela with her ninety-nine year old grandmother, Ellen, who had by then been a patient there for over two months, the intimacy and love that filled the room was something that I just had to try to capture. Heart-melting moments, right there in front of me.

Thankfully, Ellen is home again at the time of writing and is doing very well indeed. (We’ve had to withhold the sherry though; just in case.)

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[Both frames were discreetly captured on my secreted Ricoh GR, set to my preferred 35mm Crop mode.] 

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Portpatrick | PT.II – 720nm Infrared | 35Chronicle

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

Old St. Patrick’s Kirk [Circa: 1629]


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[All frames: Ricoh GR Internal IR Conversion w/35mm Internal Crop]

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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