“Love It or, Hate It” – ‘They’ Say! | 35Chronicle Photography

50mm, black & white, close-up, colour, fine art, macro, photography, still life

There’s No Room for Ambivalence Here…


I’ve been a fan of this stuff since I was a very young child and am delighted to be able to show off a few Special Editions that I have collected over the years. These three completely intact and sealed jars all went out of date (second frame, left to right) in 2009, 2014 and 2011, respectively; and yes, I have tried all of them but I kept these unopened – hoping to add more releases to my small collection. Alas, these are all I have. Though I had always intended to photograph them, it’s taken me until now to get around to it. They’ve been sat in my Harry Potter cupboard (aka: my macro-studio under the stairs!) for a couple of years now and the only reason that I ended up getting around to making a few frames with them last week was because my friend, the Good Doctor, sent me a few more fabulous goodies for my GXR system – one of which was a split-spectrum converted (from 330nm) A12 50mm macro lens & sensor unit. (I’ve discussed split-spectrum photography on my Light Waves page, if you’re not familiar). Whilst not hugely important for close-up or macro photography where a tripod and base ISO are used (just as they should be in a nicely controlled shooting environment) it is very nice to see the subtle different in luminescence in the black and white images as a result of a small amount of IR radiation from my desk lights – captured by this fabulous and versatile lens unit. As the weather here in Scotland has been nothing short of atrocious of late, it was also the perfect excuse to have a little fun indoors and, to make these frames.

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A few little known facts about Marmite, too; it’s named after a French Casserole dish (often pictured on the label, and always, on the standard jars), was invented accidentally by a German, Justus von Liebig in 1902, in New Zealand, it’s parent company is the Sanitarium Health & Wellbeing Company; here in the UK – Unilever has ownership.  Whether or not you’re a fan of Marmite – I do hope you’ll enjoy these captures.

Have a great week!

R.

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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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Closer Still(s) | PT.XXX | Sunflower [II] | 35Chronicle

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

Not My Usual Caper…

Seeing as how I rarely shoot or, process for colour – it was a lot of fun the other day to make a few more frames with the GR III  which is, in my opinion a black and white gem of a camera. Marketed, written about and most often thought of as a street camera, I have been shooting close-ups and macros with the GR line for years. My last post (a giant sunflower shot at 720nm IR) was made on my old, converted Fujifilm X100  but these three frames were in fact made on the GR III, believe it or not – albeit in my favoured 35mm crop mode. They were handheld shots (I had little time to set up the tripod, I’m sorry) and because the light was so appealing, I decided to leave a couple of frames in colour. I wrote a long time ago about how I only usually think in terms of colour when the colour itself is the reason why I make the images in the first place and, my intentions were the very same when I made these. This GR’s lens focuses a lot closer in macro-mode than the first two iterations of the camera and I’m pretty sure I could have got even nearer to my points of interest but, that would have ruined my framing. Close-up parallax during focusing sometimes makes it tricky especially when shooting with a wider lens, even when having moved the focus-point beforehand but as you can see here, it does a fine job. 

I do hope you’ll enjoy these few frames. Have a great weekend, all! 

R.

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Closer Still(s) | PT.XXIX | Sunflower – 720nm IR | 35Chronicle

35mm, black & white, close-up, infrared, macro, nature, photography

Looking Up!


Fujifilm X100 – IR Conversion | 35mm
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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

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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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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2019 Photographic Review | 35Chronicle Photography

black & white, boats, close-up, colour, Indoor, infrared, landscape, macro, nature, night / low-light, people, photography, portraits, review, ruins, rural, skies, still life, structures, summer, trees, waterscape

As the Days Begin to Lengthen.


This time last year I was preparing my first ever photo-review here at 35Chronicle and, at the time, I could never have professed to have known just what a year 2019 was going to be for me. In every sense of the word it’s been an amazing year, and – a traumatically difficult one for the large part. Suffice to say that if you are a regular reader of my pages, you’ll know a little of what I’ve been up to and, subjected to and – you might also realise that as well as those closest to me who have kept me going throughout the year since spring, my love of all things photographic have been my main non-pulsatile impetus to get back out there and, get better. Better in health, at life, at shooting – just, better; in any way I can.

Despite some difficulties in getting back out there (you try shooting whilst holding on to your crutches while your camera bag is threatening to slide forward under the weight of the gear – with the express intent of taking one of your legs from underneath you!) I have enjoyed many excursions this year. Insosaying, I have done my best to represent each month of 2019 (by date of publishing) with what I feel is the one shot that truly made the cut. My cut. I hope I have done enough.

Of course, the whole reason I am writing any of this is because, well – you are reading it. As such, I need to say a massive thank you to a huge amount of people who have been with me this year and without whom, my 2019 would have turned out rather different and probably not as good. Therefore, to loved ones, to friends, to everyone here on WP, and to everyone who has been of support to me throughout the year, I thank you, from the bottom of my heart. You all know who you are and I forget not one of you.

Please do enjoy this selection of just some of my favourite frames of this year and I hope you’ll join me again in 2020. It’ll be great to see you again. (To H – thank you and please forgive me for my shameless and blatant use of your sign-off. It fits perfectly, expresses my intent to a tee and I truly can’t think of or find a better way to say it. I promise to only use it this once!)

See you on the flip-side, folks!

In Metta.

– Rob –


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January 2019 | Moss after Rain.

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February 2019 | The Wellspring – Kirkcudbright | 720nm IR.

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March 2019 | Thirlstane Arch – Powillimont, Southerness | 720nm IR.

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April 2019 | Dundrennan Abbey [AKA: The Day of Two Cakes!]| 720nm IR

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May 2019 | Angela.

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June 2019 | Gelston Castle | 720nm IR.

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July 2019 | River Nith to Greyfriars | 720nm IR.

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August 2019 | Angela & her Machines.

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[Just After] September 2019 | The Kelpies – Falkirk | Late Dusk.

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October 2019 | Light Muse (Sic!)

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November 2019 | Edinburgh, from the Castle.

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December 2019 | Paisley James – 4 Hours Old.
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Happy New Year 2020, to You All!

X

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Closer Still(s) | PT.XXIII | 35:Chronicle

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

A Chance Encounter with a Bumble.


To all of you who follow my pages, please accept my deepest apologies for not having posted lately. I know, it’s been around a fortnight. I also know that the world won’t stop turning just because I haven’t pulled my proverbial finger out, either; however, it’s been a busy time for me and I have so much to catch-up on, in life and here on WP. (Harold, I haven’t forgotten, I swear it!) 

When I have had the time, I have taken every opportunity available to get out and shoot and insosaying, I do have a ridiculous amount of work to go through, the (hopeful) fruits of which I will inevitably be sharing with you all just as soon as I have time. I’m making as much as I can and hope to be back on track very soon. In the meantime – I thought I would like to share with you all – a series that I had not expected to be working on over the last few days. As for the colour frame – I know it’s not like me to post much colour work, but, I couldn’t resist the little gem in frame two. The shots aren’t perfect by any means, but I have had a ridiculous amount of fun making them. I do hope that you’ll also enjoy them.

For your enduring patience and commitment, I thank you all. For your kind wishes during my recovery, I am overwhelmed and, I am delighted to report that things are looking good and I hope to be back to my normal routine within the next couple of months, stronger than ever. 

How much we take for granted.

R.

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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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Closer Still(s) | PT.XXII | AKA: Miss Jekyll

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

Love in a Mist.


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[All frames: Ricoh GR | 4:3 | Internal 35mm Crop | w/Hoya +10.]
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Closer Still(s) | PT.XXI | These Bleeding Hearts | 35:Chronicle

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

Moments Like This.


When a six year-old boy comes home with a gift like this, tied to his huge smile as he hands it to me (because all he can think about is the pictures that I’m going to make from it) it really does tug at the strings. If moments like this mean anything at all, it is that one can never underestimate the hearts of innocents. He’s even promised me he’ll save all of his pocket-money so that he can buy more for me to photograph. If that isn’t worth sharing, I don’t know what is.

(Thanks, Flynn!)

R.

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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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Closer Still(s) | PT.XX | A Little More Delicate | 35:Chronicle

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

In [& from] the Garden.


Over this recent and beautiful Easter weekend,  I took immense pleasure in setting up my close-up gear and, I took a wander around the borders and beds to see what I might find to shoot. I did manage a number of frames and, whilst I worked primarily for colour in this instance, I still couldn’t find as much pleasure from them, as I found in them once I had processed for black and white. Even here, there’s no getting away from the sheer, unavoidable distraction of colour. 

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I | Bleeding Hearts | 35mm. 

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II | Early Bluebells | 35mm.

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III | Bleeding Hearts [Side View] | 35mm.

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IV | Magnolia | 35mm.

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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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