Drumlanrig Castle – Revisited | PT.I | 35Chronicle

black & white, photography, rural, structures

Old Habits Die Hard.


Last week we took a spin in the new jalopy and headed for a place that not only do we both love, but also somewhere that I have so enjoyed making photographs for almost twenty years. Though my techniques have evolved moreso over the last ten years or so, sometimes, I still crave the simple, bare-bones approach to shooting. Drumlanrig Castle is as beautiful a place as any I have ever visited that can shine all by itself, with the simplest of photographic approaches. Some subjects need little work at all. The last time I photographed here was back in early November ’19 [Post No.166]. It was so good to be back, especially before the gardens open to the public again! All this space to myself… kid, sweetshop…

All frames: Sigma DP2 Merrill | 30mm [45mm Equivalent].

*
I | 1/50th -f8 – ISO:125

35chronicle.262 (2)

*
II | 1/80th – f5.6 – ISO:100

35chronicle.262 (3)

*
III | 1/100th – f8 – ISO:100

35chronicle.262 (1)

*
HOME A RATIONALE | LIGHT-WAVES | ARCHIVES | LINKS
If you would like updates, please click Follow. All Images & Posts © 35:Chronicle (2018-2021) except where specified. No Copying or Redistribution of any kind is permitted without prior consent from the author, unless links to original work is clearly provided. All images are resized prior to posting.

The Devils in the Detail! | 35Chronicle

28mm, 35mm, 50mm, black & white, close-up, landscape, nature, photography, rural, skies, waterscape

Sigma DP Merrill Series – Still Relevant in ’21.


First of all, I want to say a huge thank you (and I really should do this more often, I’m sorry) to everyone who contributed and commented on my last post. It was actually extremely warming to know that, despite the fact that I’m back working with what is to me (again, and for the present time at least) a new system, that I was still able to make a few frames worthy of such kind contributions. Thank you!

The DPM series, as it has been written many times (and then some) – is not a system for the faint-hearted photographer, and – having been doing this for many, many years, it still manages to scare me a little, in a way; and herein lies the reason for it. Knowing its (vast array of) limitations is absolutely the key to being able to exploit its one massive strength; this helps hugely to maintain a constant focus on the real possibilities and easily dispels the airy-fairy visions we often have for our own personal photography. This one element is so important for serious photographers and cannot be overstated. I can think of one analogy that explains this perfectly: I once bought into a M43 system and for the most part, I loved it. I loved it because it opened up a whole new slew of opportunities for me to expand on what I have always enjoyed doing and, in a portable system with reasonably decent IQ. A few lenses here, some colour options there, modes galore – and the reasons why I took to it so well in the beginning were to become the very reasons why I began to resent it after only a few months. In my heart and in my head – I shoot the way I shoot and no amount of gear is going to change that, no matter how many bells or whistles there are. I began to realise that all I needed was a lens, and the means to change my Tv, Av, ISO, WB and metering mode. That was all I wanted – oh, and a decent sensor would be a bonus. Even mid-range DSLRs were coming equipped with scene modes, crap ‘kit’ lenses and therefore, being the snob I can be – I resented even those aspects too. I began to feel that photography was being made – cheap, too accessible (an archaic, short-sighted, even elitist view) and, I didn’t like it. 

I didn’t like it at all.

*
I | Talla’s Pump-House | 1/400th – f8 – ISO:200

35chronicle.261 (2)

*

All I really wanted to carry was a camera, the way I used to in the 90s. No faff, no bullshit modes – just a camera, a lens, a little bit of know-how and inspiration. Sigma’s implementation of these core photographic aspects were brutal and necessary. Right back as far as the original DP series, the DPs, the DPx, and then – the hallowed DPM, core photographic values were held close, if rather shunkily implemented in reality of their limited hardware / software collusion. (I can’t include the DPQ here because I have never used them and, the design simply does not enamour me at all). In a huge way, Sigma went down the route that I always felt that Ricoh should have taken with their GR (APS-C) series. What I would have given to see them offer the tools that Sigma came up with. As much as Sigma cameras can be much of a mystery to most, to those who’ve used them and persevered, the draw is easily understandable. With a little thought, and a little work – they still produce today some of the finest image quality that I have ever seen. Whilst their JPGs far outweigh any OOC jpg I have seen in any Bayer systems, their RAWs are mind-blowing. Limitations accepted – but keeping within them, there’s still nothing like it today. (The Fp can be argued as yet another Sigma revelation – but that’s a whole different system).

*
II | Fruid Reservoir & Hills | 1/250th – f8 – ISO:200

35chronicle.261 (1)

*

Three years ago this very month, I started writing this blog. My initial view for these pages was to only shoot a 35mm FL and display just how ridiculously versatile this focal-length is. Not long after I started publishing, I then wrote a page that you can still read here  discussing the huge value I have always given to short prime lenses. With this understood as still very much an aspect of my ethos – it’ll come as no surprise as to why I refer to the DP1/2/3M series as the Holy Three. 

*
III | A Talla Prince in Disguise? | 1/100th – f8 – ISO:200

35chronicle.261 (1)

*

My creativity is limited, my imagination is flawed, my images far from perfect and yet, with these three in the bag – I have more brain-space to use for composition and less to waste on the airy-fairy. This surely, can only be a good thing and, among other things – what photography should always be about. The image.

As always, thank you for reading and, I wish you all a fabulous weekend. 

R.

*

[All frames: X3F to 16-bit tif in SPP & Exported to Lr for final edits].


HOME A RATIONALE | LIGHT-WAVES | ARCHIVES | LINKS
If you would like updates, please click Follow. All Images & Posts © 35:Chronicle (2018-2021) except where specified. No Copying or Redistribution of any kind is permitted without prior consent from the author, unless links to original work is clearly provided. All images are resized prior to posting.

Abnormal Service is Resumed | 35Chronicle

black & white, colour, photography, rural, structures, waterscape

When I said “It’s Not Over Yet”…

… I meant it. Back in Post No.62 [August 2018] – I shared a few 715nm & 760nm infrared frames from Talla Reservoir, here in beautiful Tweedsmuir, a place which I have revisited many times over the last twenty or so years and each time I do, I hope for ever more still water. I have yet to witness it though I have imagined it many, many times. I know what my perfect image of Talla and its pump-house look like; I’ve just never been able to capture it. Yet. This is a place which I have always known to be wonderfully picturesque, reassuringly tranquil and yet never easy to capture in two dimensions. It can take a good hour or more to get here from home and in an hour, Scottish weather can change a dozen times and so, no matter what you expect on the way, often – conditions can be far different when one finally arrives. Insosaying, I have learned not to expect or hope for ‘favourable’ conditions and instead, work with what I have; what I had on this day – was cloud, haze, and my three DPMs. I’ve said this before and I absolutely believe it, that the medium shouldn’t be the message… but when the medium is so good at getting the message across, it’s hard to ignore its importance. 

*
I | Talla Reservoir & The Pump-House [DP3M]

35chronicle.260 (3)

*

Sigma’s DP Merrills have accompanied me here once before – perhaps six or seven years ago and back in a time when I really don’t think I was photographically or artistically mature enough to truly appreciate them; what they truly offer. Things are different now. I have slowed down my approach to a point where I don’t care anymore that these little brick-like cameras take an absolute aeon to write even one image to card, or that the shutter-lag catches me out every single time I make a shot, or that its Foveon sensor can’t render well above ISO 400 (in black and white; for colour frames, 200 is the limit, especially if you’re making large prints). What I do love though, is how these little bricks capture immensely detailed frames without fuss or flourish, without scene modes, art filters or other awful, tacky, consumer-poaching gimmicks but with menus which are helpfully customisable and hence, are so ridiculously easy to quickly navigate. It’s got all I need to make a shot – and absolutely nothing more. Halle*******lujah! With the Holy Three in my bag, my shoulder barely knew they were even there. No changing lenses, no slow zooms, just perfectly matched primes and sensors that bite a chunk out of your arse when you’ve finally uploaded for edit. Hey, you have to forgive me – this is photo-blog after all! 

*
II | Tweedsmuir Parish Church & a Sorrowful Stone [DP1M]

35chronicle.260 (1)

*

Quite by accident, something else I have come to enjoy about the DPM series (and the DPs before them, I might add) is their unusual colour signature. Without going into too much science – the Foveon is made of three separate layers each capturing a different colour, from front to back – blue, green and red. This means that blue light hits the sensor first, and red, last. Naturally then, more red light is required than blue to register on the sensor (as it has to penetrate the blue and green layers first) and this is, as I understand it, why the Foveon’s captures look a little less warm than a standard, interpolated Bayer sensor would produce. Furthermore, I really like the look. Oddly then, for me – being predominantly a black and white photographer (and by the way, these things totally ROCK for monochrome!) that I should enjoy the Sigma’s colour output in the way that I currently am. I absolutely look forward to much better light where I can really find out just how much these tools can interpret what and how I see. Maybe one day soon I will get my wish and, my long-suffering and ever-faithful Bumble will be able to stop concentrating so hard at paying attention to my incessant wafflings and just, perhaps – enjoy a few more frames instead, over a nice cuppa. 

Which – I hope you also do. Thank you, as always – for reading! 

R.

*
III | Cross-Over [DP2M]

35chronicle.260 (2)

*
HOME A RATIONALE | LIGHT-WAVES | ARCHIVES | LINKS
If you would like updates, please click Follow. All Images & Posts © 35:Chronicle (2018-2021) except where specified. No Copying or Redistribution of any kind is permitted without prior consent from the author, unless links to original work is clearly provided. All images are resized prior to posting.

Cushion-Psychology & The Holy Three | 35Chronicle

28mm, 50mm, black & white, Indoor, people, personal, photography

Back to Foveon | Sigma DP Merrill Series.


It’s been a good six or seven years since I shot with the DP Merrill series of cameras; as I recall, I only had the 2 [30mm] & the 3 [50mm] versions back then but I do remember just how much clarity and detail these things are capable of capturing – and it’s really scary, to put it mildly. They’ve been called the ‘medium-format in your pocket’ by many who appreciate them and it really isn’t difficult to see why. I recently saw [and took] the opportunity to acquire what I like to refer to as the ‘Holy Three’ with a view to not only lightening my bag a little but also, to get back to practicing a little more restraint and consideration in my photo-endeavours; that of course and the fact that I really missed those Foveon files. [In fact it was a DP2M shot of a few toadstools taken by my good friend, photographer and camera-surgeon, Amar [and also of the Guildford Photographic Society]  that inspired me to part with my hard-earned without a quibble.

*
DP1M | The Message is Clearer Now…

35chronicle.259 (1)

*
DP2M/I | Flynn, Running All the Way…

35chronicle.259 (2)

*

After they arrived late last week I spent a short while setting them all up [not at all difficult seeing as how the menus are not only very simple but also very intuitive] and over the last few days that I have had off work, I spent some time getting reacquainted with them. With prevailing Covid restrictions considered as well as pretty awful weather, I thought it might be nicer to get a few home-grown frames with my three ol’ friends – from my most natural environment. Therefore, as it was coming up to Mother’s Day [rather for the boys, not I] I thought about home, those most important to me and – about just how much I appreciate them all. With that said, though you may read all this as oh-so-slightly gushy, I say, home and family is what it really is all about. It has to be.

*
DP2M/II | Corbs, I’m Sorry!  I Should Have Moved the Money-Tree…

35chronicle.259 (3)

*
DP3M/I | On Mother’s Day…

35chronicle.259 (4)

*

Anyone who knows the DPM series of cameras will know already just how poorly they perform above base ISO and so yet, the tripod came out a few times but, not for every one of these frames. So, another chance to meet the family and, another chance for me to experiment and refine my work with the Holy Three. I hope you’ll enjoy these few grabs and that you have a great week ahead. Stay safe and – thank you, as always – for reading.

R.

*
DP3M/II | Full-Circle? All You Need Is…

35chronicle.259 (5)

*

For now, toodle-pip! 


HOME A RATIONALE | LIGHT-WAVES | ARCHIVES | LINKS
If you would like updates, please click Follow. All Images & Posts © 35:Chronicle (2018-2021) except where specified. No Copying or Redistribution of any kind is permitted without prior consent from the author, unless links to original work is clearly provided. All images are resized prior to posting.

Old, Secluded Stone | 35Chronicle

35mm, black & white, full-spectrum, photography, ruins, rural, structures

The Temple of Cally Woods.


This one was another rare find… and again, I can’t take any credit! What can I say? Bumble finds ’em and I shoot ’em!

In 1779, a landscape gardener by the name of James Ramsay built this beautiful gothic ‘temple’ from which, at the time, fantastic views over Gatehouse and the open parkland of the Cally Estate could be breathtakingly enjoyed. Now, it stands hidden within the Cally Woods, a stone’s throw from the A75 yet, invisible from it. Surprisingly, however, it was found to be a mere two-minutes walk from a side-road – barely visible through the trees until we we almost upon it. Some work had been undertaken in around 2005 to restore this building and this was evident in some very obvious modern materials and techniques used, but its aura matches its era – and offered a very enjoyable half-hour for one particular gent. Oddly, its main facia and entrance to the south is identical to the west face, albeit that the doorway and windows on the west side are bricked up now. It seems a little odd and I wonder if Ramsay had changed his mind while building it or, perhaps, was it altered at some time in its future? One William Todd was a known resident here, for ten years, whilst he was in charge of drove cattle belonging to James Murray. I can’t imagine how cosy this place would have been with the open fire roaring. Of course, it would have had a roof, back then! 

I hope you’ll enjoy these few grabs and, thank you again for reading.

R.

*
I | To the Trees [Ricoh GR III – VIS] | ISO:1600

35chronicle.258 (1)

*
II | The South Entrance [Ricoh GR III – VIS] | ISO: 800

35chronicle.258 (2)

*
III | The West Wall [Ricoh GR III- VIS] | ISO: 640

35chronicle.258 (3)

*
IV | The South Entrance [Ricoh GXR – LTFS] | ISO: 673[!]

35chronicle.258 (4)

*
V | Roofless [Ricoh GXR – LTFS] | ISO: 2810[!]
35chronicle.258 (5)
*
HOME A RATIONALE | LIGHT-WAVES | ARCHIVES | LINKS
If you would like updates, please click Follow. All Images & Posts © 35:Chronicle (2018-2021) except where specified. No Copying or Redistribution of any kind is permitted without prior consent from the author, unless links to original work is clearly provided. All images are resized prior to posting.

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.

*
I.

35chronicle.257 (2)

*
II.

35chronicle.257 (4)

*
III.

35chronicle.257 (1)

*
IV.

35chronicle.257 (3)

*
HOME A RATIONALE | LIGHT-WAVES | ARCHIVES | LINKS
If you would like updates, please click Follow. All Images & Posts © 35:Chronicle (2018-2021) except where specified. No Copying or Redistribution of any kind is permitted without prior consent from the author, unless links to original work is clearly provided. All images are resized prior to posting.

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.

*
I.

35chronicle.256 (3)

*

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.

*
II.

35chronicle.256 (2)

*

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!

*
III.

35chronicle.256 (4)

*

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.

*
IV.

35chronicle.256 (1)

*

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

R.


HOME A RATIONALE | LIGHT-WAVES | ARCHIVES | LINKS
If you would like updates, please click Follow. All Images & Posts © 35:Chronicle (2018-2021) except where specified. No Copying or Redistribution of any kind is permitted without prior consent from the author, unless links to original work is clearly provided. All images are resized prior to posting.

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.

*
I.

35chronicle.255 (1)

*
II.

35chronicle.255 (2)

*
III.

35chronicle.255 (4)

*
IV.

35chronicle.255 (3)

*
V.

35chronicle.255 (5)

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

HOME A RATIONALE | LIGHT-WAVES | ARCHIVES | LINKS
If you would like updates, please click Follow. All Images & Posts © 35:Chronicle (2018-2021) except where specified. No Copying or Redistribution of any kind is permitted without prior consent from the author, unless links to original work is clearly provided. All images are resized prior to posting.

Cabin-Fever, Diversionary Tactics & Silver Linings | 35Chronicle

black & white, photography, rural, structures

Durisdeer Church.


With non-essential travel still restricted here in Scotland, I have read nowhere that once a journey becomes essential – that there are restrictions upon the route one should take to make it. Obviously I would not decide to travel an overly excessive distance to make any trip but, I did make a choice to take us off the beaten track when it came to a well-timed dental appointment last week. Every cloud… as they say. Heading ‘roughly’ in the direction intended, instead of taking a main trunk road there, I though that it would be nice to drive the longer, more rural and leisurely route through vast hills, taking in views from above and below the low clouds that floated between them. The ever present mist and fog had ensured that the air remained damp and cold, and even so, it was nice to be outside the house for what was the first time in many weeks. Home is and should always be the heart of life and yet, the space outside can be a new-born revelation when cabin-fever has taken such a firm hold. We were glad, probably for the first time – that the reason we were taking in a little scenery was due to a visit to the dentist. Who’d have thunk it?!

On the way, we made just one stop – in the tiny hamlet of Durisdeer to take a look at the local church; a quick leg-stretch if you like and one that enabled me to grab these few shots with my 5D III. (It’s a recent addition to my bag and I’ve had nowhere near enough time with it – after all, there are only so many shots of busy coffee tables, indoor plants, studious children or – the pooch, that anybody could take and, I would not wish to over-indulge you with family portraits!) These are the first frames I have snagged here and I really do want to go back with my infrared gear too – reminds me a little of the ruined church at Hoddom Cross that I shot a couple of years back. Definitely a trip for the (hopefully) near future once all of this madness is under control. 

I hope you’ll enjoy these few captures and, are staying safe and well.

R.

*
I.

35chronicle.254 (1)

*
II.

35chronicle.254 (2)

*
III.

35chronicle.254 (3)

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

HOME A RATIONALE | LIGHT-WAVES | ARCHIVES | LINKS
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.

It’s Really All About ‘Glue’. | 35Chronicle

black & white, candid, people, personal, photography, portraits

They Know I Can’t Be Easy!


 

Not oddly, around this time of year – I usually take a break from photography and January is never a month where I post a huge amount of material; I don’t write too much either as you may or may not have noticed. There are, historically for me, good reasons as to why this is the case. First off – for at least one month of the year, I need to clear my head of photography; to give myself some headspace enough to let new ideas and thoughts in. Not only does this allow me to rethink what I want to achieve but it also helps me from getting stuck in any creative rut. Call it a mental (early) spring clean, if you will. What helps me to choose this time of year for my annual hiatus, is the cold, the grey, the damp and the grubbiness of winter, here. It’s really not all that pretty unless I was – well, somewhere else more photogenic at this time of the year. Still, can’t be helped. This time around though, we’re in a Tier 4 ‘lockdown’ and the restrictions are plenty. The phrase “you should get out more” has never been more applicable than now. I would love the chance to travel unnecessarily. But, there’s something else.

*
I | From the Family Vault: Angela & Granddaughter, Paisley.

35chronicle.253 (1)

*

Since October, after a little bit of a meltdown during autumn last year, I’ve remained at home and have not been to work. The traumas I suffered at work near the end of April two years ago, have come back to taunt me. Whilst concentrations on my physical recovery were (and remain) thorough, I discovered last year that distraction techniques are not the most effective way of dealing with the psychology of almost losing one’s life. No, I do not exaggerate. After I woke early one afternoon after a nightshift, I discovered that my bladder wasn’t the cause of my increased consciousness (as it usually can be) but instead, it was the nightmare which had me coming to, and to find that my pillow was soaked with my own tears. I finished my run of nights, gave it another few weeks and caved in. Time to have a chat with my boss, I think. I was devastated; almost ashamed that I knew I needed help.

*
II | Flynn by Firelight [Kindle Fire, That Is!]

35chronicle.253 (2)

*

It’s normal, in fact – it’s actually good to feel like we can cope with everything yet conversely, it’s a real and savage kick to our personal pride when we suddenly realise that something has beaten us. And this, for a while, had beaten me. But, I am fortunate and moreso than so many intrusive thoughts let me even realise for so long. For the last four months I have been undergoing CBT and tackling things head-on for the first time since it happened and, though I did have CBT which started just a few months after the initial incident, I realise now that it was far too soon to have undertaken it. Hindsight has taught me very well that it served very little purpose to me during a physical recovery. This time around though, I really feel like I am continuing to make positive headway and I have a renewed perspective which is the reason for this post. I’m more lucky than I have ever known; not only for the patience of my employer, the expertise and compassions of the one known as ‘Isla’ – but also, especially, for my family.

*
III | One Corby-J [A Spotify-Master!]

35chronicle.253 (3)

*

The constrictions placed upon so many of us around the world over the last year or so are still apparent and, are still constricting. These imposed reigns make it so much more important to appreciate who and what we have and the once more frequent times of excitement and changes of scenery have been replaced with more time at home and far more reality than most of us have ever had to contend with. But these realities are just that – and they are the glue that holds all of those previously called wonderful moments together. These are the wonderful moments now – having more time with my family when I most need them. Give me more ‘normal’. Give me more ‘home’. Give me more of this. I’ll be back to work soon enough and I’ll miss all this time we’ve had. They should probably know it!

In closing, this is a further heartfelt thank you to those around me, helping me through it all no matter how hard it’s got, or how difficult I have been, I really do only have words and … pictures. (You may remember back in January last year, I introduced my family, well, from the vault, here they are again. They too should be taking a virtual bow right now for who they are and what they’ve done. They know I can’t be easy.)

R.
*
IV | Paisley – Far Cuter than her Buttons!

35chronicle.253 (4)

*
[All Frames: Canon 5D III | EF 50mm 1.4 Except [III] Nikon D610 | Sigma Art 24-105mm]

HOME A RATIONALE | LIGHT-WAVES | ARCHIVES | LINKS
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.

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. 

 

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

35chronicle.187 (1)

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

29FA3A8E-1479-4B2A-9F46-C290721644DA

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

35chronicle.198 (1)

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

35chronicle.200

*
May 2020: Home School…

35chronicle.212 (2)

*
June 2020: Air & Water.

35chronicle.219 (2)

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

35chronicle.226

*
August 2020: Dundrennan Abbey | 720nm IR.

35chronicle.234 (1)

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

35chronicle.240 (3)

*
November 2020: Ol’ Fashioned | 3″ Macro.

35chronicle.244 (4)

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

35chronicle.247 (2)

*

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.


HOME A RATIONALE | LIGHT-WAVES | ARCHIVES | LINKS
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.

32 Years On: Remembering Pan Am 103 | 35Chronicle

people, photography

21.12.1988.


*

35chronicle.251.pa103 (6)

*

There’s not a lot I actually know that hasn’t been in the media over the last 32 years, about the Lockerbie Disaster. Though, this week, the BBC reported that the man alleged to have been behind the making of the bomb that killed 270 people on board Pan Am Flight 103 0n the 21st December 1988 has been charged with terrorism offences. When the disaster occurred, I was still living in my hometown in the Midlands and hadn’t even made the move to Scotland. I wouldn’t even have contemplated that mover for another 11 or 12 years afterwards. I remember the news though and the horror of it all – so many lost; and their families, loved ones, friends, colleagues, fellow students – all of them feeling the pain of this horrific attack. And the people of Lockerbie too, those who died on the ground and those who didn’t. It affected everyone I think, far and wide but none so much as those 270 people who lost their lives on the 21st December 1988. I was 18 when it happened.

*

35chronicle.251.pa103 (2)

*

On my commute to work as a paramedic, I pass the Garden of Remembrance at the top of Cemetery Brae before the start of every shift, and after the end of each. In fact, I would probably pass it a dozen times during my shift and over the past fifteen years of being stationed at Lockerbie, like every local or worker in the town – it’s a fixture, easily disregarded when negotiating those bends at speed. There’s a small car park in front of it and the cemetery itself runs a good few hundred yards before one arrives at the memorial.  We arrived yesterday, late morning – barely another person in sight. The day before, however, the annual remembrance ceremony had taken place and fresh flowers and tributes laid for the victims of Pan Am Flight 103. Though the people of Lockerbie are seldom heard to talk about it, the disaster is palpably, tangibly close the town’s heart. To the outside world, it’s a town defined almost solely by those awful events – but as one who has worked here for almost 20 years, I can’t agree completely. Yes, there will always be the memory and the scars of what happened to those who lived through it and the knowledge, for those who did not. But the town and it’s people carry on – because that is all that can be done; it’s a very stoic, strong and resolute community. As for the families and loved ones of those who were taken, one can only speculate on the pain that they will feel as they always have since that night. Former Secretary of State for Scotland, David Mundell MP, said it beautifully when he wrote in a tribute which he placed yesterday, “For those who haven’t been able to make it to Lockerbie this year, you are not forgotten. They are not forgotten.”

*

35chronicle.251.pa103 (3)

*

Over the years, I’ve had many conversations with colleagues about what happened that awful night. One such gentleman I spoke with was a former ambulance technician by the name of George White. He was on call that evening and was the first clinician on scene. The horror he faced was something which he was never able to put into actual words and we’d never have forced them either, but by the look on his face as he spoke all those years ago – he told the scene without ambiguity. I remembered George again yesterday when I read one particular name on the plaque. Suzanne Marie Miazga. She was 22 years old. Her body was found on the grounds of the ambulance station directly after the 747 was torn apart; her picture still sits in a frame on the bookshelf in our rest-room, directly beneath the TV. Her life, and the taking of it is also the reason why we tend a pink rose-bush at the corner of the entrance to our station – her name engraved in the brass plaque on the front of the planter. Pink roses were her favourite. Every single person on that flight had a favourite something and that is still worth remembering. 

*

35chronicle.251.pa103 (1)

*

During the decades after, Suzanne’s mother kept in regular touch with George and he would travel to the States often to see her; eventually they became so close that they married. Memory fades a little for me now and I can’t remember exactly when they were married but it was certainly within the last ten years. Sadly though, due to failing health, and age – George passed away just a few years ago. As I remember him here, I hope that you’ll have a look at a few frames I grabbed yesterday and remember them all. 

*

35chronicle.251.pa103 (5)

*

Never Forget.

*

35chronicle.251.pa103 (7)

*
Join Me On Facebook
HOME A RATIONALE | LIGHT-WAVES | ARCHIVES | LINKS
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.

CORSEWALL LIGHTHOUSE: PT.II | LTFS | 35CHRONICLE

black & white, boats, full-spectrum, photography, rural, skies, structures, waterscape

Loch Ryan’s Beacon.


IV.

35chronicle.250 (1)

*
V.

35chronicle.250 (2)

*
VI.

35chronicle.250 (3)

*
Join Me On Facebook
HOME A RATIONALE | LIGHT-WAVES | ARCHIVES | LINKS
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.

Corsewall Lighthouse: PT.I | 720nm IR & LTFS | 35Chronicle

black & white, full-spectrum, history, infrared, landscape, photography, rural, structures, waterscape

The Light & the Dark.

The hotel at the lighthouse had been on our list of places to visit for a little while now, not least because it promotes itself as wedding venue too and, given recent engagements (ahem!) and our fondness for the west of our county, we made the journey during a three day stay in Portpatrick. The coastline is simply stunning here and even though the weather was extremely moody at best (and howling at its worst) there was no way that we were going to forego this particular jaunt. Looking out from the mouth of Loch Ryan it is hard to even contemplate why anyone would wish to look in any other direction, no matter what the elements.

Built around 1816-1817, the fully functioning tower is still run by the Northern Lighthouse Board, however, since automation in 1994 – the rest of the buildings were converted into a hotel. Word has it that in 1817, Corsewall’s Principle Light Keeper had fallen asleep on duty which caused the light to fail for a time, to the detriment of passing ships heading towards the coastline, and so therefore, he was subsequently and severely demoted. In November of 1970, Concorde flew over Corsewall Lighthouse on a trial flight and when passing the tower, it shattered many panes of glass around the light. Later flights by Concorde would not cause the same phenomena. Sadly though, at the time of our visit the whole place was closed due to the effects of Coronavirus and ensued restrictions and, we were unable to enter. Instead, after a lovely walk around the place and taking in the views, Bumble sought protection from the ever worsening elements inside the car, and why not? Nobody wants to get soaking wet or freezing cold on their birthday!

*
I |  The Hotel & Tower [720nm IR]

35chronicle.249 (1)

*

As I walked Bumble back from the hotel itself towards the car, having wandered around the tower and the foghorn together so that I could grab a few frames, we were met by a lady in her 4×4 who, having sped down the hill stopped alongside us on approach to the building and wound down her window to speak to us. Then, she asked the one question that is guaranteed to irk me more than any other when I am making my frames. “Can I help you?” she asked. Well, “I don’t know, can you take over shooting for me if I should suddenly forget how to do it?” I wanted to reply. Instead, I refrained from sarcasm and exchanged politely with her until she explained that she owned the place and was popping in to check her emails. Why would I even care about that? In truth, I think our presence triggered off a sensor or we were on camera perhaps, prompting her expedient arrival from her nearby abode. I mean, I can see how a couple like us would put a lot of fear into someone – especially when you take in the evidence – holding hands, the odd cuddle to dispel the cold of the gusts, the picture taking. Of course. I once again prepared to endure the worsening elements – for the sake of art, you understand. I mean, why else?

*
II |  ‘Round the Rugged Rock the Ragged Rascal Ran [LTFS]

35chronicle.249 (2)

*

Getting here though, was a bit of pain the derriere – and I am surprised that anyone planning a wedding or reception would make the trek if they knew beforehand how the final part of their journey would pan out, should the weather turn sour. This is definitely a fair-weather destination if you wish to remain – unsavoury. Imagine if you will, donning your finest finery, having washed and polished the car (as such an occasion would suggest as appropriate) and turning out as pristinely as you possibly could before setting off. Your journey to within a mile or two of Corsewall may be largely uneventful, perhaps even wonderful, then the heavens open as you approach the back roads, past the farms, through as much cow-sh*t as it’s possible to spread across the hugely pitted and pot-holed tracks that wind around and down towards the tower. Imagine too, all of that muck sprayed up both sides of your previously pristine jalopy, as you pray that you won’s split a rim or two in any of the deeper craters who’s depth and severity are sinisterly hidden beneath copious quantities of shit and water. (You can tell I’m a little precious about my car now, can’t you?!) So – let the nightmare begin! How to arrive? Or, how not to! Perhaps save it for the sunshine?

Despite high winds and a decent amount of rain, I somehow managed to snag a number of shots both in IR and in LTFS (full-spectrum) when the light started to fade – that I am actually very happy with. Sorry about all the back story and though not every shoot I go on isn’t as romantic as they might appear to be, I hope too that you’ll enjoy these first few frames of (really) a beautiful and picturesque corner of South West Scotland. 

*
III |  The Tower & Foghorn [LTFS]

35chronicle.249 (3)

*

Thank you ever so much for reading and I do hope that you are keeping safe and well.

Until PT.II – toodle-pip!

R.

*
Join Me On Facebook
HOME A RATIONALE | LIGHT-WAVES | ARCHIVES | LINKS
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.

HODDOM CASTLE – 720NM IR [PT.III/III] | 35CHRONICLE

autumn / fall, black & white, infrared, photography, ruins, rural, structures

Finale.

In closing up my posts from Hoddom Castle, I’d like to share my final three IR images from this beautiful 16th Century ruin. If you have been reading my recent posts, you’ll be aware that I will be gifting three shots to the local estate office which looks after it and, I am again looking for your input. It really is a pleasure to share these frames and I do hope I have done it at least a little justice. Please do leave your vote (one shot per post only, please) in the comments section if you have time. Thank you so much for reading, I hope you’ve enjoyed this little series and I look forward to putting my annual review together for posting just before Hogmanay – and a few other little nuggets in-between, I am certain.

Wishing you all a fabulous weekend.

R.

*
VII |  “1891”.

35chronicle.248 (2)

*
VIII | Desolate.

35chronicle.248 (3)

*
IX | Shadows Before Light [III]

35chronicle.248 (1)

*
Join Me On Facebook
HOME A RATIONALE | LIGHT-WAVES | ARCHIVES | LINKS
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.