Behind the Scenes: An Introduction | 35Chronicle

black & white, people, personal, photography, portraits

Meet the Family.


Breaking with tradition here somewhat (as in – I’m not posting any IR, ruins, waterscapes or close-ups, for a change) it’s time to have a little break from my usual outings and big-up some very important people. Well, almost all people anyway. This is the crowd that put up with me and my photo-shenanigans, as well as everything else too and, without whom – my life could be so, so different. It is said that behind every good man, there’s a good woman and it’s very true. But also, there are a couple of great boys and, two long-suffering beagles, as well. Usually, I’d post this many shots over a couple of posts but this is different – we don’t spread out over two pages in life, so, here we all are.

I have always been so grateful to all of my readers and contributors throughout the evolution of my pages – yes, that means you too, and (aside from the pooches, obviously) each and every one posted here knows just how important photography has always been and still is to me and, how I strive to do something with it that satisfies my inner need. With that said, this isn’t just about you meeting us all, but it’s also about the lot of us meeting you too. As a whole.

I often miss the genre of portraiture after having enjoyed it for so many years, and it’s always fun to find an excuse to grab a camera and snag little moments – especially when they mean so much. Life can change in the blink of an eye and I know just how lucky I am to have them all in mine. This is what it’s all for.

From us to you… hi!

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I | Corby-J. – Looking Like a Backgammon Master but actually asking “What Cunning Kind of Devilry is This?! Hmmm!”

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II | Flynn – Starbucks (Either Overly Focused or, Potentially Hypnotised by Hot Chocolate & Cake!) 

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III | Angela & Paisley (4 Hours Old) – Delivery Suite.

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IV | Lucy – An Ageing, Slightly Limping but Surprisingly Resourceful Jack Russell.

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V | Noodle – A Disloyal, Yet Ridiculously Easily Bought-Off Siberian Huskey. 

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VI | Rob – by Ang. “Help! Some Woman Just Nabbed my Camera!” (First Day Off the Crutches – Outside a Bar in Falkirk!)

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[Normal service will undoubtedly be resumed by the next post! As always, thank you for visiting!]

-R-

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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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On Human Connections | PT.II | 35Chronicle

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

Celebrations & Christmas Wishes.


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

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

Warmest wishes,

Rob.

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I | Four Hours Old | For Paisley | 35mm

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

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

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

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

From my Quiet Corner.


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

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I.

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

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

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

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II.

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

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Angie – Through Open Eyes | PT.I | 35:Chronicle

black & white, close-up, people, personal, photography, portraits

A Gift – for a Gift.


It’s not often that I get overly personal through my pages but constant reflection urges me to do so right now. As a passionate photographer, I love to capture, to record in the best way I know how – life; or rather, important scenes and snippets in time (from it). That’s what we do. Our reasons for doing so may change over time or may simply be dependant on the occasion or our subject matter however,  but in truth – when I want to give something back, so to speak, a photograph is the probably the most indelible, lasting gift that I can give, outside of my own self. Insosaying, my time isn’t only spent wandering around old ruins, though by many of my recent posts you would be forgiven for believing so.

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I | Lost for Words.

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Most of my past four months, in fact, have been spent recuperating (something which I am still doing, and happily I can say – with great improvement) and spending wonderful, quality time with my loved ones. It is fair to say that (especially) lately, in a multitude of ways my life has taken an huge amount of positive turns because of many yet mostly, unforgettably, because of the one most special person in my life – and, a great majority of those turns have been made possible and almost certainly could not have been so without her. It’s her face that I want to see whenever I walk into a room, whenever I pick up a camera, if only to capture her and to remind her to really look, and to see what I see. But she seldom does. 

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II | It’s All Fun & Games (Until the Bobbin Runs Out!)

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One day, I hope that she will see her importance to me and to many through her guises as a mother, a best friend, a lover, a sister, a daughter and granddaughter, a seamstress, an inspiration, a rock, no – my rock; and, my comfort. (As it turns out, contrary to her gentle demeanour – she’s a painfully merciless backgammon player too!) 

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III | Late Evening (or – From Where Evil Plots are Hatched!)

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From thin air, through open eyes and, straight to my heart.

R.

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Apollo 11: For Michael Collins [and Neil & Buzz] | 35:Chronicle

history, people, photography, skies

Snoopy [& Other Underdogs].


Oddly, though I had this post planned for a week or more, after an impromptu visit to McD’s today – I found the perfect way to commemorate all underdogs everywhere, as well as this marvellous anniversary. Celebrating a young boy’s birthday I found one of my childhood heroes staring back at me from, of all places, the inside of a Happy Meal. Not one child at the table could tell me who he was or the name of his scruffy little companion – but Peanuts-styled memories came flooding back. I bought two more to make the set – of three wind-up, moon-walking NASA Snoopys; repleat with Pumpkin Suits and backpacks. My smile was huge.

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Three of a Perfect Pair.

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Snoopy Woz ‘Ere?

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Tomorrow, on 16th July 2019 – it will have been fifty years to the day since the Apollo 11 mission was launched, which would land the first man on the moon, on 20th July 1969. That was the year during which I was born, too, almost four months later. In the grounds of Drumlanrig House, (near the Scottish town of Thornhill) – not far from me, where Neil Armstrong once stayed is a forty-seven year old Red Oak, planted in the March of ’72 by the man himself.

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The Growth of History.

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It’s an incredible part of human history but like many (I am supposing, here) it’s always been my opinion that Michael Collins didn’t get enough love or glory for his unforgettable contribution to those future-shaping events of 1969. Waiting in the moon’s orbit for Buzz and Apollo 11’s commander, Neil Armstrong to complete their short mission on the surface must have felt sickening and lonely; standing at the open doors to the greatest show on earth, looking in, hearing the fun that everyone else is having but, having to wait outside and endure it. Plenty of documentaries and publications can give us a huge amount of information about almost any detail of that mission, but how much did Michael Collins not tell about how he felt during those eight days? I have to wonder. Though an integral part of that incredible mission, hardly anyone I have asked can name all three crew-members; and Michael’s is the name most forgotten. I’m not here to set any record straight, but I’m sending out my own equal recognition for him as well. Like Neil & Buzz, I’m pretty sure he’s earned it.

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Michael Collins, Neil Armstrong & Buzz Aldrin [Left to Right]

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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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Angie | An Impromptu Portrait Sesh’! | 35:Chronicle

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

It’s About Time(s).


It’s been around five years since I made any serious portraits and, it goes without saying that after shooting almost nothing but faces for over five years up to that point, I have been missing the genre more and more, as the years have ticked by. With this is in mind, I decided upon a course of action which, seems to me perfectly timed. Despite my recent predicament, rendering me almost useless, physically, my partner agreed to help me with an interior set-up with a view to sitting for me, for a short shooting session. My ulterior motive should be clear however, for, during my previous week-long hospital stay and, at home too over recent weeks, she has barely left my side for even a moment. I could never have expected such unquestionable devotion and yet, every day, I have it. In spades. 

So, as a way of giving something back, my most heartfelt gratitude for time spent and, that which is yet to be – here’s my little gift of a few preserved moments in time. It’s the best I can offer for now. 

Introducing – my beautiful Angie-Bee. (Another huge reason for me to know what a lucky sod I am.) I hope you’ll enjoy these few frames.

R. 

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I.

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II.

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III.

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IV.

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[Equip: X100T | Daylight & Single Spotlight Mix | Two Crutches and Pain-Relief!]

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Takes on: ‘Up’ | Edinburgh | 35:Chronicle

35mm, black & white, people, photography

On the Ground & in the Air.


If you read my previous post, you’ll know that I spent a day in Edinburgh, enjoying the pre-Christmas festivities there, along Princes Street, St. Andrew’s Square and, along the Royal Mile. It’s a change for me to photograph people on the streets, though I do enjoy it when I can pull a frame or two off, but largely, I tend to stick to static scenes and structures. However, with so much going on, I was more like the proverbial child in a sweet-shop and I was very happy to snag these few captures of people doing what we do around this time of year. 

A small point on photometry: in frames one and four I spot-metered on the stone of the Scott Monument in order that it should not remain in silhouette and, rather pleasingly to me, the cables attaching the cars to the ride all but exposed out. This was intentional and not a mistake and gave me the option of titling the fourth frame “Look – No Strings!” – but clearly, I was able to resist! With the blanket of pure light grey above, I was able to seriously enjoy the contrast and details and, I sincerely hope that you will also. 

I hope that, however you’ve been celebrating, you’ve had at least as much fun, will also have a fabulous weekend and, I shall very much look forward to being back with you on Sunday.

R.

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I | Going Up.

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II | Looking Up.

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III | Slicing Up.

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IV | Very… Up!

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