A Playful Intermission | 35Chronicle Photography

black & white, close-up, fine art, full-spectrum, personal, photography, portraits

Paper, String & Tin-Foil…


A little break from castles and ruins, today. I mean, I would hate to be completely predictable!?

We had been talking about perhaps finding a moggie for a year or so, on and off, as it happens. For my part, I wasn’t as forthcoming in the locating of said moggie as was a certain Bumble and this was in very large part to the fact that, as a big guy – I am also very soft on cats. I’ve had many over the years, loved each and every one of them and I can’t remember more than one or two that I lost to natural causes and those heart-breaking memories have kept me from rushing in again; that really was the long and short of it. But in April, along came an eight week old Boomer, and a few weeks later, in May – a pair of absolutely beautiful sisters to keep him company, too. In all honesty, I am a firm believer of the fact that a cat (or three) absolutely makes a home, and it is wonderful to have them here in ours – and to enjoy the utter happiness (along with the obvious and frequent little trials, too) that they bring, every day. And most nights. Nonetheless – though they have only been in their new home for a short time, they have all settled in perfectly, and Summer, the cloud-fluffy, gorgeous one who would surely be the personification of, say, Audrey Hepburn – is laying on my legs even as I write. Boomer (the Ginger Ninja) and Penny-Pitstop (Beryl the Peril) are curled up together on their window cushion behind me – no doubt whispering outlines for new, devilish plots to each other. Or perhaps I have too much time to think, today. 

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I | A Baby Ginger Ninja | Sigma DP3M LTFS

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II | Penny-Pitstop Upon Realising She’s Been Well & Truly Caught… | GXR A16 LTFS

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III | Boomer & Summer [Too Many Captions!] | GXR A16 LTFS

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I’ll get back to my usual posts soon enough but, in the meantime – I wish you all a very playful, cute and fluffy Sunday! 

Memento Vivere…
R.
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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.

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

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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.

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

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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.

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

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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.
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IV | Paisley – Far Cuter than her Buttons!

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

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2020: A Photographic Review | 35Chronicle

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

Decisions, Decisions.


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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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May 2020: Home School…

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June 2020: Air & Water.

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

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August 2020: Dundrennan Abbey | 720nm IR.

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

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November 2020: Ol’ Fashioned | 3″ Macro.

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

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

Warmest wishes to you all… 

Rob.


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Call Me Old Fashioned… | 35Chronicle

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

A Prior Engagement.


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

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

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

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

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

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

R.

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III.

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IV.

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V.

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VI.

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

…and, relax!

R.

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In the Eyes of Beholders | 35Chronicle

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

Bumble’s ‘New’ Camera.


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Lockdown Blues | 35Chronicle

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

It’s Can’t be Easy, Being Seven!


Two weeks of lockdown before the school Easter holidays commenced and guess who’s had his fill of it all, already? Homeschool is tougher than he’d bargained for, he’s not allowed to visit the new local play-park, the shops have all run out of his favourite sweeties and through it all, I keep sticking my new GR III in his face! It’s tough, being a little ‘un, I can see that. To make matters worse, my Windows 10 laptop has all but died on me after a recent Windows Update (thanks for nothing, Mr. Gates – or whoever is running the show at Microsoft, now) and I have had to find a complete new way of processing, editing and saving my shots. To top it all, I have to use the WP app my iPad – which is not as simple as it should be and I can see a few corrections to formatting in Safari, coming right after I publish this. Anyhooz, all is not lost – it’s all about adapting, I guess.

Speaking of adapting, I know I said I wouldn’t do it, but yes, I did – and I am loving the latest iteration of Ricoh’s GR. All of these frames were captured on it at my favoured 35mm internal crop mode and to round off on a good note – young Flynn was only feigning in shot one. He’s coping just fine and can even tell the time now! Onwards!

Though I am certain that nobody has ever pegged the GR series as a serious portrait tool, I reckon it’ll pass. Keep smiling, keep well and, I hope you’ll appreciate the annoyance I have had to endure this afternoon to bring you these! One has to laugh, eh?!

R.

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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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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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[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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Postcards from the Recovery Position | PT.V | 35:Chronicle

35mm, black & white, Indoor, nature, photography, portraits, still life

One Temperate Heart.


A little over three weeks into my recovery and I still have a long road ahead. Without labouring any point as to how I got into this position in the first place (you’ll have to read PT.I if you want the most basic of gists) I am at home, being well cared for by my Angie, and, when I have the opportunity (in other words, when she agrees that I’m fit and steady enough to move around a little and not completely doped on opioid pain relief and tripping over my crutches) – the first thing I still want to do (remember: this is a public forum, kids!) is, to make photographs. 

During my second week at home, I was able to do just that from my bedside and, as a way of reiterating that things could definitely be worse, I share these few frames with you all. I am missing some glorious spring sunshine but, it’s not going to stop me. I must keep moving. 

Warmth, Gratitude & Love.

R.

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I | From Friends.

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II | Introducing Charlotte the Red, by Window Seat (Don’t Ask!)

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III | Angie – After Fluffing-Up my Pillows.

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IV | From Friends & to Friends.

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All Frames: Ricoh GR | 35mm [APS-C Internal Crop at 4:3]
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Angela | 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 Angela. (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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Thank you for visiting. If you would like updates, please click Follow. All Images & Posts © 35:Chronicle (2018, 2019) except where specified. No Copying or Redistribution of any kind is permitted without prior consent from the author, unless links to original work is clearly provided.
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