GETTING OUT [AHEM!] – LESS | PT.III | 35CHRONICLE

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

Cumbersome Ol’ Things!


So, here we are, at the last of my posts from the beautiful Sandyhills – one of the most gorgeous areas of coastline here in Dumfries & Galloway. From a freezing cold day on an empty beach, a glorious winter sun low in an ice-blue sky. You’d think by now that I’d be tempted to shoot in and, process for colour a lot more but no, I still can’t seem to ‘see’ in colour. These four captures were all made with my LTFS converted GXRs – I took them both, set-up for 720nm – in case one of them decided to freeze up on me (it’s happened before). I am happy to say that, though aging now (in camera technology terms) they still performed perfectly. Lest not that the medium become the message, I still have to remind myself that for some reason, I have never been able to ‘see’ quite so well with any other camera that I have ever shot with, than these cumbersome ol’ things. Perhaps I am a cumbersome ol’ thing, too, which may well be why we get along so perfectly. Slow, methodical, meticulous and as always – enjoying the moment. And here, with family, on a day like this, what else could possibly be quite so worth getting out of bed for? 

From the icicled ceiling of the Needle’s Eye and the frozen beaches of Southern Scotland, may I say, as always, thank you so much for reading, I do hope that you’ll enjoy these few grabs and – I wish you all a fabulous, safe and healthy weekend ahead. 

R.

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GETTING OUT [AHEM!] – LESS | PT.II | 35CHRONICLE

black & white, fine art, full-spectrum, infrared, nature, photography, rural, skies, winter

The Freezing of Time & Tide.


Moving on from my last post, sharing a few grabs from a beautiful coastal spot not far from home over a week ago, I mentioned that on a brighter day, we would return with the munchkins, a small picnic and flasks of tea, coffee and soup! I would also take my IR and LTFS gear along and give Sandyhills ‘the treatment’… jeez, this place screams out like it’s begging for it, I can tell you! Anyway, after checking the forecast for the coming week after our first visit, Wednesday looked like it was to be the best for shooting and, for access, the tide times app gave us a window of around two hours prior to sunset which would enable us to safely get back to the caves and, the Needle’s Eye again. We arrived at a completely empty beach just around lunchtime – not even a dog-walker in sight. We had the whole place to ourselves. I would never have imagined that, even though it was so bitterly cold, that this place would be so empty of people, considering the space here and the fact that sensible outdoor pursuits are still permitted as long as distancing is observed. Still, not a soul for the most part of the time we spent here. A real rarity.

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In my bag, I had my trusty pair of LTFS converted GXRs – one set-up for 720nm IR and the other for VIS using a Tiffen UVIR cut on the front of the lens. This latter set-up, I find, yields noticeably sharper results than a standard VIS camera configuration, which I put down to the (potentially) complete eradication of extraneous wavelengths other than those within the VLS from reaching the sensor. If the light had been poorer and less, I might have removed the UVIR altogether and shot full-spectrum for the extra light it would have gathered (and conversely – softness, due to UVIR light pollution) but, the light played ball and remained (almost) where I wanted it to be.

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One thing I have never seen in my life, though I have lived many years on or near a coast in the UK – is a frozen, receding tide; yet, here it was right in front of us. Stunning, beautiful and, almost other-worldy. If I were not such a fan of Attenborough, I’d have been even further taken aback. Now though, I am reminded of our youngest who, on this day, when he was warned about the lack of grip beneath his feet as he walked behind us, suddenly called out… “Wait! I shouldn’t step on… WHAAAAAAAAAAAAT???! You can guess, perhaps, the position we found him in, the moment he’d finished asking the question! Honestly, to say I pissed myself is a bit of an understatement. The penguin-dive and slide were a nice touch, too!

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Further along the beach, in a deeply recessed rock at the entrance to one of the caves, we sat together on the sand, we ate and drank, we laughed and marvelled at the space around us; the breeze didn’t touch us at all and the sun was by now warm enough that it had us removing our jackets. It was like the world and all its problems didn’t exist – if only for a couple of hours. It was indeed a blissful day. Photography isn’t always just about making photographs, because, I truly believe that the moments between the frames, those feelings that you just can’t capture in a still are always on the outside edge of every single capture – hidden in memory.

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Enjoy your moments – and capture them, however you can.

R.


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Getting Out [Ahem!] – Less | PT.I | 35Chronicle

35mm, 50mm, black & white, fine art, nature, photography, rural, skies, structures, waterscape

Romancing the Stone.


These frames are from our first visit to the small hamlet of Sandyhills, around a week ago. It was a little impromptu but the weather was fair and, as Stickola Nurgeon had promised the people of Scotland that despite the still current Tier 4 restrictions, we could indeed, still venture out for legitimate exercise without the fear of being questioned or arrested [hurrah and huzzah!] – so, Bumble and I hopped in the car and headed off for a stroll on the beach. I have been itching, you see, to get my 5D3 out into the open and put it through its paces a little (and a little is all it can get right now, obviously) so this was a perfect opportunity not only to get a little time in free air but also to, hopefully, snag a few frames. We’d been reading about this local-ish spot, famed for its caves and one particular arched rock, known as the Needles Eye (accessible only at low-tide) – the words ‘kid’ and ‘sweetshop’ leap to mind. But there’s a reason this is PT.I – you see, this place is so picturesque that we decided to visit again, later in the week and, we took the nippers on our sequel visit, under glorious low winter sun and blue skies; of course, this meant that I would give this place the IR treatment I so knew that it deserves (however, more on that in the next post). There’s a romance here that’s impossible to ignore. For now though, I do hope you will enjoy these captures from a beautiful part of Dumfries & Galloway’s coastline. Keep well, stay safe and thank you!

R.

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[All Frames: Canon 5D III | EF 24-105mm / f4]

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2020: A Photographic Review | 35Chronicle

35mm, black & white, candid, close-up, colour, fine art, full-spectrum, history, Indoor, infrared, landscape, Long Exposure, macro, nature, night / low-light, people, personal, photography, portraits, review, ruins, rural, skies, spring, still life, structures, summer, trees, waterscape

Decisions, Decisions.


Every one of us has a similar story to tell of this trying year that has been – 2020. It was touted as the coming year of clear vision and foresight, change for the better, its number instilling feelings of hope and reason in each of us. It stood for something. Then – it arrived. Instead, it has been the year that has made us all think harder about what it means to be human, about how we act, how we look after ourselves and our fellow man; our families, friends, loved ones and most of all, those whom we will never know and yet we hope that they have also regarded our well-being in just the same way. Not everyone has given it so much thought or consideration though; those who have had us shaking our heads in despair at showings of ignorance or selfishness. That hyper-awareness that has been growing all year, is at its peak now – for those who have been paying attention, that is. So many have suffered and lost, many more have suffered and, will be doing so still. And these thoughts keep me grounded when it comes to looking back over my own personal year – small fish by comparison yet, relevant to what I love.

Over the last ten years, my love for infrared landscape photography has continued to evolve and I have a new love over these latter few years too – old ruins and Marsden-esque scenes that invoke the past, questions, stories forgotten or simply – awe. This year has been a little more tricky though, to capture them. Many places I have wished to visit have been closed or actually close-off, local restrictions have curtailed non-essential travel and I have been made to think a little differently as to what or how I would like to shoot. Another little learning curve has been experienced this year and this can only be a good thing. Creatively, I have still found myself struggling a little – mostly with my own photographic repertoire and not wanting to get ‘stuck’ in a niche – but I think it may be too late for such feelings. The rod is against my back already, however – I feel a coming change in my approach, necessitated by the course of recent history and by the passage of time. Change is inevitable and I can feel it bubbling under the surface. What it will be is yet only a series of random flickers of frames like subliminal advertising pasted inside life’s film reel. They exist – not yet realised. But time is changing us. And it’s changing me. Insosaying, this year’s review isn’t just about looking back at some old photographs – it’s about wondering where I’ll go and what I’ll do next. I still don’t know – but I’m looking forward to finding out. 

It’s been a little tricky for me to select my favourite frames from 2020 – it would’ve been easier if I had chosen by the number of clicks or comments by post. By some choices, I may coincide by accident – but these are my selections based on time, place, feeling and creative satisfaction.  The best I have been able to achieve really is here. All I can hope is that you’ll enjoy this little recap. 

 

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January 2020: The Wedding Trio | Scotland’s Folly – Calton Hill, Edinburgh.

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February 2020: Lowther Castle, Cumbria. 720nm IR | 35mm.

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March 2020: Hermitage Castle. 720nm IR | 35mm.

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April 2020: Seven Tonics [Whatever Gets You Through].

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May 2020: Home School…

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June 2020: Air & Water.

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July 2020: Southerness Lighthouse | 720nm IR w/ Hoya R72 & 10-Stop ND.

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August 2020: Dundrennan Abbey | 720nm IR.

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September 2020: Suspension Bridge Over the Nith.
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October 2020: Scott’s View – Melrose & The Magic of a Fair Maiden’s Hand.

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November 2020: Ol’ Fashioned | 3″ Macro.

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December 2020: The Silent Bell – Hoddom Castle | 720nm IR.

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Thank you all so much for your company and your contributions this year, and to both newer followers and more long-standing readers – I am always eternally grateful for your contributions both to my pages and, for what you yourselves create. Thank you! I wish you all a very happy, prosperous and healthy ’21! Please – join me again when you can. 

Warmest wishes to you all… 

Rob.


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Call Me Old Fashioned… | 35Chronicle

35mm, black & white, close-up, colour, fine art, full-spectrum, macro, people, personal, photography, portraits, still life

A Prior Engagement.


Okay, a little bit of an announcement. At the end of last month, after two years together through thick (and even thicker) I proposed to Bumble and – after her initial tears of disbelief and throwing her hands up to her face at the sight of me on one knee, she said, “Yes”! Needless to say, we are both ridiculously happy and our wonderful nuclear family, too, has a solidified and renewed direction. After everything we’ve come through over the last eighteen months or so, I couldn’t be happier. But this post isn’t just an announcement. This is a photography blog after all and I have been waiting until I had the requisite shots, before writing.

As an engagement gift to me, Bumble gave me a new cocktail watch for my wrist and also, for my growing collection. I have collected watches, (only certain movements it must be said) for many years and, this new gift had me rather stunned, even moreso because she clearly knows me so well. Insosaying, though I do feel a tad selfish posting these, it also stands as my little testament to the value of time and, how we spend it. Many of my readers will know that I don’t just shoot old ruins and infrared scenes – I enjoy many forms of photography and macro-photography is one of my firm favourites and major passions when I am forced to shoot indoors. Couple this with my love of mechanical watches (as opposed to quartz movements) where, I have always felt that there is more magic and fairy dust inside such a watch than levers, cogs and springs, well, you might understand just how marvellous and precious these instruments are to me, personally. And, a watch is a very personal thing. If it is thing of visual beauty, then I am in awe of it. Keats said something very similar, I recall. Such is the case here, with my beautiful (5147/8000) Seiko Presage SSA392J1.

With its 4R57 automatic movement, 41-hour power reserve indicator, gorgeous colours (inspired by the classic, ‘Old Fashioned’ cocktail – recipe at the bottom of this post!) perhaps it is indeed, itself, a classic in the making. What I am certain of however, is that for me, this combination is as classic as it’s possible to get and the value of time somehow becomes even more poignant when I wear it. So, by way of utter appreciation and gratitude for the love of the woman in my life, who knows me better than I do – I now post a few shots that I have very carefully selected after a painstaking couple of days editing, post-shooting. Whatever you photograph, it should always be shot with love. I hope I have done enough here.

(For anyone interested, these frames were made with my Ricoh GR III (the closest frame, with the Hoya +10 – front-mounted) except for frame two of Angela, which was shot on an LTFS converted Ricoh GXR, in full-spectrum – hence the slight softness of the focus). 

Thank you so much for bearing with me and for reading once again. I hope you’ll enjoy these few frames too.

… To Bumble – whatever I have to say to you, I’ll say it in private! 

R.

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To Mix an Old Fashioned:
  • Place the sugar cube in an Old Fashioned glass. 
  • Wet it down with Angostura bitters and a short splash of club soda.
  • Crush sugar with a wooden muddler, rotate the glass so that the sugar grains and bitters give it a lining. 
  • Add a large ice cube. Pour in the whiskey. 
  • Garnish with an orange twist, and serve with a stirring rod if you’re so inclined.

…and, relax!

R.

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U-Turns | Ricoh GR III | 35Chronicle

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

I Know! I Said I Wouldn’t Do It…

Back in March 2019 I wrote a post about the (in my view, amazing) Ricoh GR entitled ‘You Can Call Me – Jack’ (post #121 from my archives page, if you’re interested) in which I wrote: “If the GR III is as good as it’s going to get, then I’m sorry Ricoh- you already got it bang-on with the first one – nuts, bolts, the lot. And I’m not moving. I mean, what would be the point?” Okay, so I have had the GR III for a few months now and whilst all the reviews are out there – I’m not about to write another one; not yet anyway. (I have a very early start tomorrow. That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it!) What I will do now, though, is just post a couple of macro / close-up frames of another of my favourite things and, let the images do the talking. I love how the GR line just gets better and better. I hope you’ll enjoy this little smidgen of self-indulgence. I have never found a camera so good at macro as the GR series and the III gets even closer than the I/II. All frames were shot using my favoured 35mm internal-crop mode and I didn’t even need my Hoya +10 for these… blows my mind!

Have a great week, all!

R.

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@35chroniclephotography

The Lighthouse at Southerness – PT.II | 35Chronicle

black & white, fine art, infrared, landscape, Long Exposure, photography, rural, skies, structures, summer

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


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Southerness Lighthouse | 720nm IR w/ Hoya R72 & 10Stop ND | Ricoh GXR LTFS Conversion | 24mm – 60secs – f22.0 – ISO:100.

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Feel free to join me on Instagram (click below) and, thank you for visiting.
@35chroniclephotography
R.
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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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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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