Restricted: Dryburgh Abbey | 720nm Infrared | 35Chronicle

35mm, autumn / fall, black & white, history, infrared, landscape, ruins, rural, skies, structures, trees

On Certainty &… Unwavering Gratitude.


To my mind, there is only one thing better than having a solid seven days off work and that is, waking up on the first morning after a busy run of shifts and knowing that you have seven days off until the roundabout starts spinning again. This morning, I woke almost immediately at the sound of Bumble’s 7:00 alarm, (almost two hours after my usual start) and felt nothing but bliss at the realisation that I had nothing specifically to get up for and, nowhere that I needed to be. It makes it easier to rise – to accept getting out of bed as a part of the day; especially for one who enjoys his sleep as much as I do. When I can get it. Shit! I make myself sound so lazy – I’m really not! At around half-past, Flynn called from outside the bedroom door, “knock, knock!” (because his hands were full) and as I greeted him back, he carefully tip-toed in with a mug of coffee, gently placing it next to me on my nightstand; he barely spilled a drop! From his left hand he then revealed a piece of kitchen-towel, wiped up a few drops with a smile and then we agreed, we wouldn’t tell mum! Such foresight for one so young! As he left the room, I caught up on the news of the day as I supped, smiling. Another bliss. Across the landing, I heard Flynn cheerily getting ready for school.

Though the news, the world over, is pretty much the same – and not often something to smile about of late, I am happy today because I am grateful. For the life that I live now after such an awful event last year is one of positive recovery, much improved health, work, purpose, enjoyment, reason, acceptance – and most of all, my family. That closest of circles full of love in all directions and understanding without shadows. Feelings like these are essential for me on days like this – when I have nothing specific to which I must attend, yet, in the knowledge that if I were to achieve nothing by the end of the day, would leave me feeling much disappointment in time wasted. The older I become, the more I loath wasted time. And so I write. Forgive me if you can’t see the link yet.

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I |  The Ruins of Dryburgh [I] – 720nm IR – 35mm

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As I read the news (and before I continue, I would like you to know that I do not wish to blabber on about the latest ‘C’ word – even though apathy is spreading, an apathy to which I absolutely cannot subscribe or agree with, the news of it is becoming as tedious as Brexit had) – I felt more grateful still. We are all well, until the day that we are not and days of wellness should be seized and – enjoyed. So many are suffering as a result of this modern problem, made worse by the lack of understanding that sometimes, only old methods have the real and lasting solution. Whether we liked it or not, we all grew up hearing those words – “do as you’re told!”. It was for our own good. And look, we’re still here, more than likely because on occasion, we actually listened. Many are not hearing, not listening and this is doubtlessly exacerbating the problems which we are facing now – like a horrendous, ugly pyramid-scheme, hurtling towards the ground at freefall speed before we realise it. But many are listening and, actually doing something about it and soon, I hope – we will start to see our lives and our potentials open up and bloom again. I say this because a recent visit to Scott’s View (see post #240) was terminated by a visit to the beautiful, richly historical Dryburgh Abbey, near Melrose in the Scottish Borders – the final resting place of Sir Walter Scott, in 1832.

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II |  Scott’s View – 35mm w/Lens-Ball – 720nm IR.

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Dryburgh Abbey was founded in 1150 (10th November to be more precise) and, is the Daughter House of Alnwick Abbey in Northumberland. In 1322 it was burned down by English troops and, after restoration it was burned again by the armies of Richard II in 1385. During the fifteenth century though, it is known to have flourished – until that is, the coming of 1544 when it was destroyed completely. What remains of the building, as of the grounds too, are considered to be a Scheduled Monument (of national, or historical importance) and, happens to be one of the most beautiful sites I have ever had the pleasure of visiting. The weather helped of course. But, Bumble and I were still hampered.

For almost a year, we had Dryburgh on our list of ‘must visits’ and, indeed when we had visited Jedburgh and Melrose last November (on a most miserable of days, climate-wise), we simply ran out of daylight and had to re-schedule – date as yet unplanned. After an hour or so looking out over Scott’s View though, we were so close to the abbey that to not stop by would have been (from an infrared photographer’s point of view anyway) a cardinal sin. (No pun intended though in retrospect, apt!) As we drove down the hill from the ‘View’ – Bumble checked the oracle and we were happy to know that we had about an hour before the gates would be closed. What an end to a fabulous daytrip this would turn out to be! We even bypassed the statue of William Wallace so that we’d have time to see it. After a few more minutes though, we arrived to park the car behind the entrance to the abbey –  the sign read,

“Closed to Visitors”.

Bollocks!

We stood a moment in disappointment, bewilderment, joint frustration and even disbelief as the sun shone through the trees, squirrels seemingly taunting us from the other side of the wall within the vast acreage of their rich and autumn-tinged playground. We even called the site office to enquire as to why coronavirus had any impact on opening times to such a vast outdoor space – as if they would see sense, come down and re-open the gates just for us. But honestly, as so many organisations seem to use this current predicament as an excuse to fold up early without letting anyone know, it’s a frustrating experience to say the least. Even the local Post Office has seen fit to close its counters two and a half hours early, as if herding the same amount of customers per day to their two windows in a shorter space of time would have a positive impact on the spread of C-19? Any excuse to knock-off early and balls to an explanation? Okay, so my frustrations clear, fuzzy thinking acknowledged – how to get a few frames of this gorgeous ruin?!

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III | The Ruins of Dryburgh [II] – 720nm IR – 35mm

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Being made of more ‘abiding citizen’ than ‘ah, what the hell?!’ – we decided not to test Scotland’s ‘no-tresspass’ law, especially given the residing occupants of the lodge cottage at the gates directly to our left. Instead, we drove around to the hotel around the other side of the ruin, the sign for which, in my former excitement and anticipation I had completely ignored in passing and yet, Bumble hadn’t. We parked up outside the front of the hotel and I quickly retrieved a couple of cameras from Molly’s back-seat. (Yes, my car has a name :0) Looking around we were waiting for a bow-tied, waist-coated employee to perhaps tick us off for not at first coming in for so much as an afternoon tea, however, no such interaction ensued and we were glad of it. Time was running out and the light was threatening to fade on us. Over a high wall separating the hotel from the abbey’s grounds, we could instantly see that, as luck would have it, we were far better off where we were. The view over top is just incredible. As I prepped my cameras for a few shots, the sun again burst through the clouds as if on cue and I raised my hands above the wall, now so high over my head that I was unable to use the viewfinder – the screen would do just fine now. Though I wasn’t able to shoot any other angles than these (or slight variations of very similar) as I walked the length of that wall, I can honestly say that I remain extremely grateful. Yes, a return visit is necessary – but we’ll phone the office first, I think. Just to make certain!

Thank you for reading and I hope, as always, that you’ll have enjoyed these few frames.

R.

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Dundrennan Abbey | 720nm IR – PT.III | 35Chronicle

black & white, history, infrared, photography, ruins, rural, structures

I Really, Really Can’t Help It!

Way back in April of last year, I wrote what was to be my first post on Dundrennan Abbey. It was certainly not the first time I have shot here for, I have been revisiting this beautiful ruin for almost twenty years. It has a draw that very few other places can illicit quite in the way that it does and, seeing as how I keep my cameras with me whenever I’m on any kind of road-trip, well – it stands to reason that if ever I am near the place and I have time to stop, I invariably do. I don’t always get lucky with the light but seeing as how I have shot here over a dozen times or so, I have a very pleasing stash of visible light and infrared captures. Each time, I try to see different angles of the abbey, capture something different and – this can be quite a challenge because revisiting somewhere, anywhere, multiple times in order to shoot can lead to a bit of muscle-memory taking over, trying to catch again those favourite angles only – better, this time. I sometimes have to try very hard to stop myself from doing this. Nonetheless, I also believe in shooting every angle possible while on location and, edit hard when I get to the upload at home. This little shoot was a tad different though. I have started to be more selective when it comes to the work of my shutter-finger. If I don’t ‘see’ it, I don’t shoot it anymore. If I see the frame and it’s not working for me, no matter what the balance between positive and negative elements, the camera will mostly stay in my bag nowadays. With that said, these frames came pretty naturally and while I did repeat a few past shots, these are (to my mind) a little more mature and pleasing. On this occasion, well over a year since my last visit, the grounds are now extremely overgrown; the result of a pandemic which as yet displays no signs of abating to the point of disappearing and so, much is left to wither. The lack of maintenance here at Dundrennan, however, only amplifies its historical and physical authenticity from a visual perspective – and despite the hard work put in under normal circumstances to maintain these grounds and this stunning structure, I rather prefer the look it has now that nobody has touched it since our own lockdown commenced.

On a much different note: I notice now that my followers have surpassed 300 here on 35Chronicle Photography and I cannot let this go without saying a massive thank you to each and every one of you who follow my pages, and also, to the many of you who don’t follow yet return to read and peruse my words and images. I started this blog back in early 2018 and when there is so much competition (for want of a better word) for people’s time and consideration, I do feel that with this amount of followers and over 22,000 views to date – I have a lot to be very grateful for. To all of you, from the bottom of my heart, Thank You All!

Just lately I have been extremely busy with prints so it has taken me a little longer to getting round to posting, this week. I do hope though, that you will enjoy the following few frames as much as I do. Thank you so much for reading.

R.

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I.

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II.

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III.

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[All frames captured with Ricoh GXR A16 LTFS Conversion w/Hoya R72]

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If you would like updates, please click Follow. All Images & Posts © 35:Chronicle (2018-2020) except where specified. No Copying or Redistribution of any kind is permitted without prior consent from the author, unless links to original work is clearly provided. All images are resized prior to posting.

Carnsalloch House, Kirkton | 35Chronicle

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

Black & White Heaven | A Full-Spectrum Photographic Adventure.


14th August 2020.

It all started with a half-hearted faff-around on the web, looking for some more interesting, old and abandoned places nearby worthy of a visit and, a photo-sesh. I’ve taken my cameras to so many wonderful old and [seemingly] forgotten places over the past many years that I might well at some point have thought that I may have ticked off a good many of them but still, I love to be proved wrong and, surprised. Last week, I got another such surprise when Bumble stumbled upon a short article about Carnsalloch House, near Kirkton. Passing me her ‘phone, she asked, “How about this old place? It’s not far, either!” I took a look and, feeling that familiar pang of excitement, a huge smile now lay wide across my face. Tomorrow, we would go. The BBC weather app was called to duty and, the day was consigned.

Not even two weeks prior, I had sent off a couple of A16 lens units for my trusty GXR outfit, to my good and clever friend, Amar. One was for a simple sensor clean and, the other for another LTFS [full-spectrum] conversion. Only a few days later they arrived back and, I was extremely keen to put them both through their paces again – dedicating one for LTFS [UV + VIS + IR] shooting and, the other for 720nm IR; this would save me swapping out mounted lens filters as the light changed. I know too that Amar is very keen to see results from his labours and, who can blame him? With that said, all of the frames I will be sharing over this series were shot on both units and, with nothing else. Anyhooz, back to Carnsalloch House…

The Old Stable Building:

24mm | 1/125th | f6.3 | ISO:1467 | VIS.

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24mm | 1/125th | f6.3 | ISO:209 | LTFS.

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When we arrived at first, we thought we’d found the house. Poking around outside and comparing the few shots we’d found on the ‘net had us befuddled and actually scratching our heads because the shots definitely didn’t correspond to the building we had arrived at. It was certainly a grand building but there were too many differences to ignore. This wasn’t the place. Still, it was worth a good look and so we carefully found an easy way inside. After a quick look around, it was clear to see from the original ceiling height, the sheer cubic footage of each room and the huge arched entry doors front and rear that we were actually inside the old stable building. The Austin Maestro ‘Tandy’ van (made between 1982 and 1995) that stood just as derelict as the building itself, looked no bigger than a child’s toy in here. Vandals have visited and, revisited over the years – fires have been set and spray cans have been emptied and this once, clearly magnificent building, now lies in complete ruin with no hope of rescue. After an hour or so, with the afternoon moving steadily on, we decided to look for the locally famous crypt. Quite how many know of it is unknown to me but there are very few images to discover online and, in true fashion, I decided that I wanted to change that. What I had seen of it had me feeling very edgy, and keen to push on and – find it. Looking around the old Johnston Estate, we followed what appeared to be a promising trail to where we believed it might have been an ideal place to build such a thing. Only a five minute walk from the old stable building, we came across the instantly recognisable Carnsalloch House.

28mm | 1/125th | f6.8 | ISO:591 | LTFS.

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28mm | 1/125th | f6.8 | ISO:351 | LTFS.

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Carnsalloch House:

24mm | 1/500th | f8 | ISO:200 | LTFS.

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The house has been empty since 2000 or thereabouts and since then, it too has been the target of arsonists and vandals. Built in 1759 (there is a stone depicting this on the outside wall of the north wing) Carnsalloch was once a palladian two-storey mansion house; an A-listed building (as of May 1959) that first belonged to Alexander Johnston[e] of Carnsalloch – a London chemist. Along its timeline, the house has had many extensions built (and destroyed by fire) and, for its latter years since 1960 it was run by the Leonard Cheshire Foundation (a UK health and welfare charity). It is reportedly the most haunted house in Scotland and has even raised questions and concerns about the sighting of ‘the ghost of’ a Great Dane – standing at a first floor window to the east of the pillared entrance. Believe what you will, but there are those who have wandered the area with dog treats in hand, hoping to find the pooch and, lure it to safety. I have no idea as to whether the canine (apparition or not) was ever located or indeed, seen again. Suffice to say, we met nor encountered no Grey Lady, or a seemingly semi-see-through Scooby-Doo! Largely, due to the extensive damage and vandalism, this once gorgeous building was not so much of a treat to walk around as we would have hoped. Entry on our part would have been extremely dangerous (and probably quite stupid, too) and so, we took a look only around the outer building itself. The weather too was closing in a tad and after just a few frames, we headed back to the car for a re-group. It was time again to re-consult the oracle. We just had to find the crypt.

The Johnston[e] Chapel & Crypt:

24mm | 1/125th | f6.3 | ISO:591 | LTFS.

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It was almost impossible to find any useful information about the Crypt. Nothing we could find could tell us where the heck it was situated but one search made us think that it could be in the vicinity of Kirkton Kirk itself. Time was still on our side (just) and so, we set off again. Barely a mile on, we stopped and looked around the church, looking for signs and familiar landscapes from images we’d found that would point us in the right direction. Nothing. We scratched our heads again and, while I was checking my batteries and cards, Bumble showed me her ‘phone again. I was now looking at a small map of Cemetery Wood. There was a red pointer marked only some fifty yards from the road out of Kirkton. We excitedly spun around again.

The light was fading as the clouds moved in and, seemingly there was nowhere to stop anywhere near the wood. Checking the road behind, between the bends as we approached the sharp left near the entrance to the wood itself, Bumble spied the small patch of ground just off the road and right around the bend and made straight for it. Parked. Now to find the crypt. Climbing over the gate, eyes peeled – no sign. Observing the light under densely foliaged and closely-neighboured trees I was beginning to worry that even if we found the crypt, I’d have little useful light under which to shoot it. Certainly IR was not going to be a choice. We walked towards a high mound and there, through the murk, was the corner outline of what was clearly a beautiful and ornate stone structure. We hurried forward and climbed the earthy slope. Stood right in front of us – was the crypt.

24mm | 1/125th | f6.3 | ISO:436 | LTFS.

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Out of interest, one of the shots I’d seen on the web (of the Johnston[e] Crypt) was in fact an IR shot, taken by someone on a converted Nikon pocket camera of some sort. A slight hint of jealousy that someone had stolen a little thunder from me, sure – but, whimsical and no more. I was determined to capture this place reflecting its mood and setting. LTFS turned out to be absolutely perfect for this part of the trip due to the light conditions and, it enabled me to capture wavelengths impossible to do so with any of my visible light set-ups, thus keeping my Tv higher and ISO lower than usual. The frames of the crypt may have you realising that I was back in hog-heaven and, you’d be right. I was beside myself. The chapel and crypt were built in around 1850 and, have also suffered multiple break-ins, vandalism, roof damage due to a fallen tree – gables and ornate roof stones scatter the ground around it and as resting place, it has been desecrated horrendously. Seeing it, taking it all in just for what it is now – renders a feeling of noticeable sadness. But to be able to capture it like this – I am almost speechless now. I am still stunned that we even found it. Rather, I didn’t! It’s okay though.

24mm | 1/125th | f6.3 | ISO:295 | LTFS.

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24mm | 1/125th | f6.3 | ISO:766 | LTFS.

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It was my intention to post a few images at a time and over a few posts – you know, break it up a little bit? I never like to over-indulge or test a reader’s resolve or patience. Ever. But for some reason, I just want to get these frames out there. A little bit of a back-story, perhaps but without the means to yet find out more about Carnsalloch – this is the best I can do right now. I do hope that you’ve enjoyed these frames. They have been extremely pleasurable to make and mean a little more to me than some of my other works. If you have stuck with me through all of this – wow; and… thank you!

In closing this one, I would like to thank Amar for yet again creating for me another wonderful piece of technology – my leading eye is very fortunate, my friend. I remain in black and white Nirvana! Thank you, my friend!

To the R&D and marketing peeps at Pentax Ricoh – thank you for making what Ricoh must have believed was a bit of a mistake at the time – poppycock! This thing rocks – still!

Of course, equally, to my bestie and lifetime sidekick, Bumble – who seems to have as much passion for what I do as I do. Now there’s a rarity and one worth looking after. Cheers darlin’!

R.
24mm | 1/125th | f5.9 | ISO:456 | LTFS.

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Big Water of Fleet Viaduct | 720nm Infrared | 35Chronicle

28mm, black & white, infrared, landscape, photography, ruins, rural, skies, structures

To the Missing Four Arches


This post is written with huge thanks to my good friend, Amar Verma at vermatec – for, I have not only my original GXR A16 LTFS conversion back in the bag, its sensor beautifully clean of all the dust spots I’ve been hoovering up with it but also, my spare A16 which is now also converted to LTFS and ready for some more of the same alternative wavelength caperings. I plan soon to delve into some shorter frequency IR work again, possibly as high as around 900nm which I will shoot alongside my currently favoured 720nm. Here’s a frame from the newly converted lens unit at 720nm. (Sadly, thanks to an inconsiderately parked Citroen camper-van, the four arches (of the twenty in total) to right of the frame were certainly obscured enough that they couldn’t be included here; never mind – another visit shouldn’t be too far away!) I hope that you’ll enjoy this one, nonetheless. And to Amar – thank you again, my friend. This one is just perfect!

R.


Sixteen Arches | GXR A16 LTFS 720nm IR | 28mm – 1/320th – f7.6 – ISO:200

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GELSTON CASTLE – PT.IV | 35CHRONICLE

28mm, black & white, infrared, landscape, Long Exposure, photography, ruins, rural, skies, structures

Revisiting Old Haunts – PT.V | 720nm Infrared – Long Exposure Series.


All About the Angles | 720nm IR w/Hoya R72 & 10-Stop ND | Ricoh GXR LTFS Conversion | 28mm – 60” – f22 – ISO:100.

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@35chroniclephotography
R.
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Orchardton Tower – PT.II | 35Chronicle

black & white, infrared, landscape, Long Exposure, photography, ruins, rural, skies, structures

Revisiting Old Haunts – PT.IV | 720nm Infrared – Long Exposure Series.


Cloudburst at Orchardton Tower, Palnackie | 720nm IR w/ Hoya R72 & 10Stop ND | Ricoh GXR LTFS Conversion | 24mm – 60secs – f22.0 – ISO:100.

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[PT.I: Here | Post: 135]

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@35chroniclephotography
R.
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Caerlaverock Castle – PT.III | 35Chronicle

black & white, infrared, landscape, Long Exposure, photography, ruins, rural, skies, structures

Revisiting Old Haunts – PT.III | 720nm Infrared – Long Exposure Series.


Caerlaverock Castle – Nr. Dumfries | 720nm IR w/ Hoya R72 & 10Stop ND | Ricoh GXR LTFS Conversion | 24mm – 30secs – f22.0 – ISO:100.

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Gelston Castle – PT.III | 35Chronicle

black & white, infrared, Long Exposure, photography, ruins, rural, skies, structures, summer

Revisiting Old Haunts – PT.I | 720nm Infrared – Long Exposure Series.


The spring of last year was a tremendously difficult time for me and, for those closest to me I think it must have been even harder. After a crazy-serious accident at work that rendered me flat on my back for almost twelve weeks due to multiple spinal and rib fractures, I absolutely needed to get out with my cameras again. For almost nine months afterwards and in so many ways, my entire being was in recovery-mode and eventually, even on crutches, I was able to make short trips out for the specific purpose of bagging even a few more frames – of all the things that made me feel whole and normal again, this was it. Barmy, don’t you think? Not long before that, though (and I think that this was a presiding reason for my increasing restlessness) – I had the amazingly good fortune to visit some truly beautiful places and one one of them was here, at the utterly stunning ruin of Gelston Castle, just a few miles from Castle Douglas. (My first post on Gelston is here, if you’d like to check it out). Oddly, for me, a second summer on-the-bounce has seen me confined (like almost everyone else lately) to quarters. My shutter finger gets very itchy when I know that I don’t have the freedom to exercise it and so, you can possibly imagine my joy when, just yesterday, Bumble and I visited Gelston again. This time, I wanted to do things a little differently and so, rather than just walk around for a half hour bagging IR shots that I probably have already snagged, the Big-Stopper came out of the bag and for once, I stopped being a lazy-arse, and brought the tripod along – probably for the first time in a lot of years. Here then, is one of yesterday’s frames from Gelston Castle – from the rear entrance to the ruin (that I would never have been able to get last year anyway, due to the sun being on the opposite side of the building once we’d arrived) and, whilst I would love to post a couple more right here, sadly, I’m still catching up on edits; soon, though.  

I do hope that you’ll enjoy this first frame, from what is for me a little bit of a different approach, though to many, not new at all, I am sure. Nonetheless, I hope it measures up. 

For now – thank you as always for visiting and, if this is your caper, I hope you’ll watch this space.

R.

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Gelston Castle Ruins – Rear Elevation | 720nm IR w/ Hoya R72 & 10Stop ND | Ricoh GXR LTFS Conversion | 24mm – 60secs – f18.0 – ISO:100.

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The Mono-Archives | PT.III | 35Chronicle

black & white, full-spectrum, photography, ruins, structures

Jedburgh Abbey.


Caught last year during a very drizzly November day, where light was as best terribly poor – I decided that I would capture the beautiful Jedburgh Abbey using my LTFS / full-spectrum set-up (see my Light Waves page if this is a concept that you’re not too familiar with). In so doing, I was able to catch any potential extra light in the UV and IR ends of the spectrum (admittedly very little but any extra light on days like these is a bonus, I feel) and, just that little extra detail in the darker shadows. Though a completely un-ideal day for dramatic light, instead, I hope that I have managed to capture a few frames that might just about portray just how stunning a  structure Jedburgh Abbey is. I  do hope you’ll enjoy these few frames from the archives.

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I | GXR A16 LTFS Conversion: 1/140th | f6 | ISO:200 | Spot Metered.

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II | GXR A16 LTFS Conversion: 1/125th | f6.7 | ISO:766 | Spot Metered. 

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III | GXR A16 LTFS Conversion: 1/125th | f6.3 | ISO:872 | Spot Metered.

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[All images in this series – snagged with a Ricoh GXR A16 LTFS (from ~280nm to ~1300nm) internal conversion, unfiltered.]


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Thank you for visiting.
R. 

 

 

A Sign of the Times | PT.II – 720nm Infrared | 35Chronicle

black & white, infrared, photography, ruins, skies, spring, structures, trees, urban, waterscape

Un-Visual: A Diary of – the ‘Nobodies’.


All captured on the same gorgeous, warm Saturday afternoon and, I have to wonder – (how quickly) will we find our way back, and, can there be true context without – people?

Indeed; I wonder how this will all play out.

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I | Rosefield Mills [Derelict]

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II | Dock Park

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III | Bandstand

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IV | Devorgilla Bridge

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Thank you for visiting.
-R-

The Mono-Archives | PT.I | 35Chronicle

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

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


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

-R-

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II.

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Down by the River | PT.IV | 720nm Infrared | 35Chronicle

35mm, 50mm, black & white, infrared, photography, ruins, skies, spring, structures, trees, waterscape

Exercise Can Take Many Forms.


We have been advised by Boris that during this extended period of Covid-19 induced lock-down, we are allowed: to make essential journeys, commute to work (and thankfully, gratefully – home again), make vital trips to shops and – to engage in (for up to an hour per day) outdoor exercise. Today, I had no essential journeys to make, nor did we need to run out for urgent supplies; furthermore, it’s my day orff, and so… on seeing what a beautiful spring day it was, Bumble and I decided that we would take the kids out for a much needed leg-stretch for an hour. A perfect opportunity to exercise my leading-eye and my right index finger too, I thought. 

The streets were largely deserted (to be expected of late) save for small groups of shoppers obediently queuing two metres (or thereabouts) apart outside a local supermarket and we had absolutely no issues with bumping into anyone at all. A short walk through the town brought us to a popular spot next to the River (the Nith) more usually popular at this time of year for seagulls and – local drinkers. Today though – all was quiet, serene, picturesque and fragrant. I recall thinking to myself, “If a spring Saturday in the glorious sunshine could always be as peaceful as this, who could possibly have a problem with social-distancing?” Of course, my tongue was firmly in my cheek but you have to admit, many of you will have thought it too at some time or other lately? Surely? I have never seen this part of town so quiet (at least not before 4 a.m, that is!) As we walked towards a near deserted park on the other side of the bridge, I had an idea; one that I had had many times before, in fact. “There is a building…”

I know – I shoot a lot of buildings (and for those of you new to my pages, they include old ruined abbeys, castles, fortifications, churches, to name but some) and usually, solely in my favoured 720nm infrared output when the weather allows me to. When I’m not shooting large structures, I love to shoot around or next to water and today, I would combine the two, as we strolled. 

Standing half-way along Devorgilla Bridge, you’d be forgiven for believing that my intention here was to capture the New Bridge (otherwise known as the Buccleuch Street Bridge) but in fact it was indeed the large willow which attracted me to making this frame. Seeing it draped over the water, newly budding – between me and the stonework, to my mind makes a very pleasing frame.

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Buccleuch Street Bridge & Willow | Ricoh GXR A16 Full-Spectrum Conversion w/Front-Mounted Hoya R72.
[50mm – 1/380th – f6.8 – ISO:200]

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Rosefield Mills is a Grade B Listed disused woollen mill, situated right on the bank of the Nith and, it’s in a sad and sorry state. I have been wanting so much to capture this beautiful, old Venetian style building under IR light for many years but have never, ever arrived to shoot it and been blessed with enough natural sunlight to do so, at each attempt. Today’s encounter with it was down to pure chance that I bagged my camera before setting off, oddly – not something that I always do (there’s a lesson here, don’t you think?) I did manage a good series of images here and, this one is a preview, I guess. 

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Rosefield Mills (from a Deserted Park) | Ricoh GXR A16 Full-Spectrum Conversion w/Front-Mounted Hoya R72.
[35mm – 1/140th – f8.4 – ISO:200]

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Douglas Adams once wrote that nothing turns a seemingly ordinary human being into an incredible musician more quickly that the knowledge of the rapid approach of impending deafness. I feel that there’s an echo here – that to not be able to exercise one’s freedom to roam inasmuch as we have always been able to prior to current times, all of a sudden there’s an urge to find, to see, to create – to enjoy. To the full. 

And so – I hope that you will enjoy these two frames as much as I have enjoyed making them. Stay well and, I hope you’re enjoying a great weekend. 

R.

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Hermitage Castle | PT.II – 720nm Infrared | 35Chronicle

35mm, black & white, infrared, landscape, photography, ruins, skies, structures

Monumental | II.


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[All frames: Fujifilm X100 – Internal 720nm Infrared Conversion / f8.0 – ISO:320]


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Thank you for visiting. 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.

Hermitage Castle | PT.I – 720nm Infrared | 35Chronicle

35mm, black & white, infrared, photography, ruins, rural, skies, structures

Monumental.


You may recall that I posted a few frames from the Chapel ruins here at the site of Hermitage Castle, back on the 9th of the month and, as we all know , a lot has changed since then. All I can say now is that without the benefit of foresight, I am so glad that we made the trip to Hermitage when we did. Not weeks before, around eighty homes were evacuated due to the severe floods in the area, the Hermitage water was some 12-15 feet higher than usual and, even most of the roads leading here had collapsed. As a result, it was touch and go as to whether we might have made it at all, however, fortunately for us, the road was passable right up to the point of the small bridge at the monument’s road-end, thus – a dead end. But we got here. 

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The monuments origins date back to around 1240 and was believed to have started out its life as a hunting lodge not far away from the castle itself. The castle we see today, however, wasn’t believed to have been built until the early to mid-fourteenth century and as you would imagine, is steeped in history and – horror stories. For me, though, its foreboding presence amidst wide expanses of moorland, the now peaceful Hermitage Water below it and, its views to the hills, make Hermitage Castle not only a beautiful place to be but, a very pleasing frame-filler, too. More information, if you wish, can be found here: https://www.undiscoveredscotland.co.uk/hawick/hermitagecastle/index.html – I do hope you’ll enjoy these few frames.

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Needless to say, these are recently archived shots – no trips disobeying government guidelines regarding COVID-19 have been made and, as one working on the front-line of healthcare myself, may I please urge everyone to maintain our  conscientious attitudes in fighting this outbreak. We can only do this together. I sincerely hope that all of you and yours are keeping well! 

Remember – Please, Stay at Home.

R. 

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[All frames: Fujifilm X100 – Internal 720nm Infrared Conversion / f8.0 – ISO:320]


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The Curse of Morton Castle | PT.I | 35Chronicle

35mm, black & white, infrared, landscape, photography, ruins, rural, skies, structures, trees, waterscape

When Light Plays Games | 720nm IR.


As a serious, enthusiastic photographer, I ask myself again and again – just how many times am I prepared to return to the same place in order to get the photograph that I long to capture? The image that I know I can bag, if the conditions play the game nicely? The answer, every time, has to be – “until I get the shot”. So it is the case here, at Morton Castle. It seems not to matter what time of year I visit, nor, what the weather forecasters says it’s going to be doing the evening before; for, whenever I arrive here, the clouds always close in. Every, bleedin’, time. Anyone who has set out to capture a scene only to be thwarted by the conditions, knows exactly what I’m talking about. It’s frustrating to say the least. Don’t you think?

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On the other hand, I am a firm believer that with a little patience, I am (usually always) rewarded with images that I did not envisage capturing at all, making most if not all a very pleasant surprise and yet something else in life to be completely happy about. Friday past was the fourth time I have made the trip to Morton to capture the ruin and its surroundings in infrared, after assurances by the Met. Office of clear skies and sunshine overhead until around lunchtime. Turning up during mid-morning however, afforded no preferential treatment and, as usual – the clouds were waiting. Though I had hoped we’d drive right past them, ’twas not to be. 

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Every now and then, pockets of blue around the sun would appear and, shafts of undiffused light would reign in short bursts, occasionally wide enough to light up the ground sufficiently enough to facilitate my pulse racing a little in my eagerness to trip another frame before the light disappeared again. For around two hours, the light would continue to cheekily lead me up and down the proverbial garden path, and, back up again in its mockery of my efforts. But patience is everything and, despite still not getting anything close to the frames I had hoped to preserve yesterday – I decided that even when the light plays games, I will play my own.

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The curse of Morton? A blessing in disguise, perhaps.

R.

[All images: Fujifilm X100 720nm IR Conversion | 35mm Equiv. | f8.0 | ISO:400]


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Thank you for visiting. 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.
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