Loch Ettrick | 720nm IR [Long Expo’] – PT.I | 35Chronicle

black & white, boats, infrared, landscape, Long Exposure, nature, photography, rural, skies, summer, trees, waterscape

“Today, the Weather Will Consist Mainly of Horse-Flies, Cloud, Kayaking Intruders & Occasional, Infrequent Outbreaks of Sunshine”. (That’ll Do!)


I’m really struggling to find time enough to sit and write, lately. You may or may not have noticed and perhaps, it’s a nice change for readers to not have to feel guilty for all the ‘scanning’ we have to do when we do our best to keep up with all of the posts we follow and digest, in a meaningful way. A way that does justice to the incredible quality of works that are so regularly posted. Well, today, I have to write. I’m sorry. But I am starting to feel that distancing of connection with what I love to do so much and that which often lends context, most acutely comes down to words. Sometimes a frame by itself cannot be its own justification. This one almost achieves that, for me – but only because I was there shooting it. Still, my sub-header pretty much covers it. What it doesn’t portray, however, are the little yet frequent internal struggles I am having to do something a little different with my cameras. Ideas that have been explored and exploited for as long as any of us can remember are thus, still a little new to me and, as confident as I am at many genres of photography, long exposures still make me scratch my head as to how best to go about it. In this case, as with the previous recent frames that I have posted, I am winging it. Timing as best I can to achieve good exposure and some decent movement within the frame where it can move the eye and the mind. But slow-moving clouds are still just that, even over the course of a minute with the shutter open and so, we come to the water to hopefully save the day. The water came through in fine style. 

For years I have marvelled at the talents of photographers who have taken long-exposure photography to ever new heights and, whilst in no way could I hope to emulate some of the most incredible work that I have had the good fortune to view, I hope at the very least to be able to grasp the concept with the little knowledge that I do have and, put it to the test in making some frames of my own. Here, at the Loch-side, I was granted a gift, when eight year-old Flynn, on his first outing in a Kayak since he was four years old, drifted slowly into my frame. I made no attempt to ward him away (he was having so much fun, bless ‘im!) and, as I view the shot, I am bloody glad that I didn’t and, that he did. If only the shutter had remained open for another few seconds though? Nonetheless, happy accidents win the day and I have a frame to be delighted with. 


Loch Ettrick [I] | 720nm IR w/Hoya R72 & 10-Stop ND | Ricoh GXR A16 LTFS Conversion | 24mm – 60” – f22 – ISO:100.

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Although I am all too aware that conditions on this day weren’t perfect for this kind of exploration, I intend to keep going and will take my camera with me whenever and wherever I can in the hope that I will discover for myself, what to look out for and how to play with it. In the meantime, the cleg bites on my shoulders are reducing nicely and I can smile at great memories. I hope you’ll enjoy this one and, that you’ll have a great week ahead. 

R.


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

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

Necessity is Indeed the Mother of Invention.


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

I hope that you too will enjoy the views.

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If you would like updates, please click Follow. All Images & Posts © 35:Chronicle (2018-2020) 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.
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R.
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I Think it Might Have Been Next Door’s Cat? | 35Chronicle

black & white, nature, photography, spring

It’s Been Almost a Week, Now…


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

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

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

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Thank you for visiting.
R. 

Going Home | 720nm Infrared | 35Chronicle

35mm, black & white, infrared, nature, photography, rural, spring, waterscape

If it Wasn’t for the Night-Shifts…


Travelling home a couple of weeks ago, I passed, as I always do on my commute – the utterly beautiful Castle Loch. It’s a sight I see hundreds if not thousands of times a year and one that I never tire of but, it is rare to be near it when its surface is quite as millpond-still as this. As the sun was only a couple of hours awake and still rather low in the sky, I wasn’t even sure as to whether I would get any decent IR frames and through the trees to my left, I did my best to spot the condition of the light before I decided to pull-in. I caught a glimpse through the foliage, decided it might work and, quickly checked my mirrors – nothing behind me; time for a sharp left and a swift look at the scene. It was worth it.

As a passing thought: given that one of my favourite coffee mugs is emblazoned with the all-too-accurate words, “I am Not a Morning Person!” –  I can only say that if I was left to my own devices on a lazy day-orff, I wouldn’t have managed to grab this early frame. I hope you’ll enjoy it!

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Castle Loch [Low Sun] | 720nm IR | GXR [LTFS Conversion w/Front-Mounted Hoya R72] – 35mm – 1/220th – f7.2 – ISO:200

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Thank you for visiting.
-R-

The Mono-Archives | PT.II | 35Chronicle

35mm, black & white, infrared, landscape, nature, photography, rural

There is a House…


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Upper Dalveen (Below Clouds and Snow-Caps, on the Dalveen Pass) | VIS & 720nm Infrared, Respectively.
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Thank you for visiting.
-R-

The Mono-Archives | PT.I | 35Chronicle

35mm, black & white, infrared, landscape, nature, photography, ruins, structures, trees

Castle Kennedy & Gardens (2019) | 720nm IR [PT.I]


Given that we’re all a little restricted nowadays, I have decided to do a little catching-up on some much loved scenes and places that I have had the good fortune to capture over the past year or so. Welcome to the Mono-Archives series, a proposed mix of both IR and visible light monochrome frames. I hope you’ll enjoy what I certainly hope will become a worthy collection of some of my more recent black and white work.

-R-

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Taking Time Out | Ricoh GR III | 35Chronicle

black & white, colour, nature, personal, photography, rural, skies, spring, sunset, trees, waterscape

A Change of Rhythm.


In some ways, we can all do with it – albeit enforced of late but, I have other reasons to feel the benefits of little changes here and there. For those of you who follow my pages here, you’ll know very well that I am a devout fan of monochrome output for my own personal photographic endeavours. Colour has mostly (since I first picked up a proper camera over twenty years ago) remained a constant source of confusion, distraction and dare I say – annoyance, too. I’ve discussed these feelings somewhat in previous posts so I won’t be waxing on about it here; suffice to say – I have often struggled with colour photography. Recently however, I managed to get my hands on a new GR III – a camera that for me would supersede all others when it comes to black and white shooting. Then, yesterday evening, Bumble looked out through the living-room window and remarked upon the sunset across the other side of the Nith. A short, gentle walk was suggested, and, (in keeping with current restrictions of course) – we happily stepped out.

I grabbed my GR on our way through the door. What a treat! But though I have, as so many photographers – naturally, had little opportunity to get out and shoot this camera (any camera) I am nevertheless extremely happy to share these few frames.

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I do hope that you’ll enjoy these few captures and, that you are all remaining safe and well. Sending my very best wishes to every reader; to you and to yours. 

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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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!

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Morton Castle: Reprise | PT.II | 35:Chronicle

50mm, black & white, landscape, nature, photography, ruins, rural, skies, structures, trees

Clouds (& Their Silver Linings).


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IV | A Morton Kind of Mood.

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V | King of Clubs.

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VI | Proud.

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Morton Castle: Reprise | PT.I
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Morton Castle: Reprise | PT.I | 35:Chronicle

50mm, black & white, landscape, nature, people, personal, photography, ruins, rural, structures, trees

Wind & G.A.S are Not the Same.


I seem to have developed (no pun intended) a propensity for posting late at night, recently – probably because I am still taking regular daytime naps to get me out of pain and it’s better than woofing the narcs that I’m currently prescribed. So, I am more awake at night than I am for most of the day, just lately. It’s not an impossible cycle and I’ll shake it soon, I know. Truthfully, I am feeling great presently and am looking forward to getting truly back to life and furthermore, I am  no longer having to endure most of the awful side-effects of the drugs, some of them rather embarrassing to say the least but, nonetheless, on grounds of utter propriety – unmentionable. A clue could be in the sub-heading, I guess. (If you read on with your tongue in your cheek – that’d be better than taking the rest too seriously. Stuff just – happens, you know?)

Onwards.

Back in February, I visited Morton Castle on a day which initially promised gorgeous blue skies inset with a clear and bright low winter sun – ideal for some IR shots of this utterly beautiful ruin. That was at around the time we had set orff! By the time we arrived, however, the clouds had moved in and the rain (known in Scotland as ‘smirry‘ – fine, light drizzle, really) began to descend and I ended up shooting the whole lot with my standard X100T. (See post I of III – here). There would be no infrared frippery on this particular day. No matter, but with that said, I wasn’t completely happy with the frames I came away with; compositionally I was very happy, but the ‘T’ buggers about with micro-contrast and smears finer details to the point where I just couldn’t live with it. A beautifully usable camera, fabulous lens but, it had to go. Either my software didn’t like its RAWs or, there was simply something about the ‘T’ that seemed to no longer agree with me. At all. Maybe I simply outgrew it, which may have been different if they’d kept the sensor from the very first X100. (Now that one was a peach!) I digress. 

Within just over two months of those initial shots at Morton, I found myself incapacitated, hospitalised, and then convalescing flat on my back for the following two and a half months with around eight or nine fractures to my spine, ribs and foot, a little internal bleeding and more pain than I could have comprehended possible at that time. What else was I to do to cheer myself up – other than to buy a new camera? Apart from the obvious things, photography was right up there on the list of things I was missing the most. Probably joint second, I’d say. I knew I wouldn’t be able to shoot it right away but I could spend weeks familiarising and reading up on it’s features so that when the day came where I could get out and play with it, I’d be more than ready; and so, that’s what I did. I bought the camera I have spent the past five years or so drooling over and, buggered the expense sideways. After all, I might not have even existed anymore – I jest not when I say that it really was that close, at the time of the incident. Hang it all. The Df arrived within a couple of days and the ‘T’ was history. I felt no remorse or pain. Not even a twinge. Move on. 

It’s not really G.A.S (gear acquisition syndrome) though – I guess that I have enough equipment to shoot pretty much any way I choose to. No, this was about something different entirely. I no longer wanted a camera that would mess about with the detail during shot processing, even in the RAWs – just a tool that would record what it sees and let me decide on output. Full-frame or not, I couldn’t care less (apart from the fact that this thing shoots clean even in the (photographically speaking) dark) – but I have been proved that I waited five years too long. What a plonker. But this isn’t a review (yawn!) – I only wish to post up my first frames from it, taken on a day that started out dismal, and pretty much remained that way, just last week. Low photographic expectations led me to something I didn’t expect – I love these frames, but not as much as being out there again. Despite the clouds, it was the finest of days. For life and, for loved ones.

I hope you’ll enjoy these.

R.

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I | Across Morton Loch.

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II | Brothers.

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III | [A Bit of] Morton Castle.

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This post is so gratefully dedicated to everyone who has been here for me in deed, word, or thought over the past couple of months – colleagues, friends, healthcare professionals, well-wishers and fellow bloggers and, most lovingly dedicated to my loved ones, whose patience, warmth and love know no conceivable bounds. Lucky isn’t the word.

To my Angie, to Corbs & to Flynn. X

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