Crichton Memorial Church – PT.III | 720nm Infrared | 35Chronicle

black & white, infrared, photography, rural, skies, spring, structures, trees

When the Ground Marries the Sky.


It really isn’t all that often that I’m lucky enough to see settings like this. Back in November I shot the church for my first time (2019: posts 169 & 178 on my Archives page, if you’d like to roll back a little) and, given the beautiful weather on that day too, albeit cold and autumnal – I was extremely happy to have come away with some lovely IR frames that, yes, I am still very pleased with; but today, in the midst of spring and of course, during the still current lock-down, I managed to snag a few more that, even before I reached for my camera, had me drawing sharp intakes of breath. (Social- distancing – unbreached of course; in fact that part really wasn’t difficult at all.) 

I hope that you are all keeping well and, that you’ll enjoy these few captures. 

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I | 24mm – 1/380th – f6.3 – ISO:200 | Ricoh GXR LTFS Conversion w/Hoya R72

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II | 24mm – 1/290th – f6.3 – ISO:200 | Ricoh GXR LTFS Conversion w/Hoya R72

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III | 28mm – 1/850th – f4.3 – ISO:200 | Ricoh GXR LTFS Conversion w/Hoya R72

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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-

Going Home | 720nm Infrared | 35Chronicle

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

If it Wasn’t for the Night-Shifts…


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

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

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

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-R-

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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Taking Time Out | Ricoh GR III | 35Chronicle

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

A Change of Rhythm.


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

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

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I.

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II.

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III.

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

R.

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2018 Photographic Review | 35:Chronicle

28mm, 35mm, 50mm, black & white, boats, close-up, colour, faux-colour, Indoor, infrared, landscape, macro, nature, personal, photography, review, skies, spring, structures, trees, waterscape

One Hundred to One.


Seeing as how this post happens to be my one hundredth, it’s actually ninety-nine into one . Since I began this blog back in March, I have also enjoyed the works and posts of so many of you and, if there could be more hours in a day, there would be many more besides, too, providing me with no less enjoyable learning, entertainment or, food for thought. I have also, over the last ten months, hoped to provide some interest in the field of photography, my own takes from various genres of our art-form which I feel so passionate about. Without the love for it, the desire to (hopefully) create something a little different on occasion or, the discipline to stay true, it’s all for nothing. Insosaying, I hope with all the passion that I have for various genres of photography, that my sincerity is not only intact but also, perhaps more importantly, unmistakably evident.

As this year now tick-tocks on to draw its last, making way for the next, I would like not only to thank you most sincerely for your input, your comments, clicks, follows and conversations, but to wish every one of you a very happy New Year for 2019. Your presence here is just as important as my own works, because without a reader, a word or a picture – would be pointless. Therefore, if you will forgive my indulgence, I would like to share with you all just some of my favourite frames from this inaugural year on 35:Chronicle.  I truly hope that you will enjoy them.

Wishing you all wonderful celebrations and, much happiness from the coming year.

Warmest regards,

Rob. 

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Snowdrops | 35mm.

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Telford Woz ‘Ere! | 720nm Faux-Colour Infrared | 35mm.

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Double-Masted | 720nm Infrared | 35mm.

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Bluebell | 35mm.

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Broom | 35mm.

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Milkbank House Ruins | 760nm Infrared | 28mm.

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Talla Reservoir | 760nm Infrared | 28mm.

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Talla’s Monitoring Station | 720nm Infrared | 50mm.

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How the Other Half Live | 720nm Infrared | 35mm.

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Sir Duncan Rice Library | University of Aberdeen | 28mm.

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Moonrise | 720nm Infrared | 85mm.

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Grandeur | 35mm.

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Happy New Year 2019, to You All!

R.


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Eleven Arches | 35:Chronicle

35mm, black & white, landscape, photography, spring, structures, trees

Kinclair Viaduct | Pinmore.


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I. | The House Under the Bridge.

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II. | Nine of Eleven.

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III. | Ten of Eleven.
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IV. | From the South.

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V. | From the North.

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Thank you.

Closer Still(s) | PT.VIII | 35:Chronicle

35mm, close-up, colour, Indoor, nature, photography, spring

Spring Broom | PT.II of II.


Righto, this is the second of two posts (otherwise it gets boring!) containing shots that I made last week of the gorgeous red and yellow broom flowers that are in massive numbers at the back of my house right now. They truly are stunning little flowers and, though most of the shrubs are offering yellow flowers only, there is just one out of the entire lot of ’em that has given up these beautiful variations, the like of which I have not witnessed before. To look at them with the naked eye, they are not all that remarkable, however, when getting up-close and very personal with these 15mm or so flowers, they do take on a much more intricate character, if that can be said of a plant? 

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IV. | 35mm w/Hoya +10

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V. | 35mm w/Hoya +10

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My macro / close-up set-up is pretty basic really and shooting only with a 35mm lens (which is not a macro-lens either) does make my choices very simple – I either can shoot what I envisage or, I can’t. It’s as simple as that. There are of course limitations but these only serve me to do my best to get more creative with what I do have in my bag. Yes, I have mentioned my little 49mm Hoya +10 Close-up filter a few times but I cannot stress how abso-bloody-lutely brilliantly useful that little filter is. Having spent countless thousands of pounds on photographic equipment over the many years I have been enjoying the art, it truly is a revelation to know that instead of forking out (and carrying around) more lenses, I have finally managed to put together a collection of three cameras and a few filters that even collectively weigh less than my last DSLR with it’s 50/1.4 mounted. Picky, I am indeed and I would be the first to be unhappy with my images if my chosen rigs weren’t producing the goods that I work towards – and the only duds I ever find are those reflecting my own mistakes. 

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VI. | 35mm w/Hoya +10

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I love these images and I am very happy to have made them – yet, though I don’t expect anyone else to share my utter enjoyment of them, I do hope that some will find a little pleasure in them. Such an understated plant and yet, so full of form and vibrance that I find incredibly appealing. To have these frames is a real pleasure for me because, very soon, the garden floor will be coated in a carpet of faded yellow petals and, the hedgerows? Well, they’re certainly going to be left wanting, aren’t they?

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VII. | 35mm w/Hoya +10

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Click for PT. I of II
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Closer Still(s) | PT.VII | 35:Chronicle

35mm, close-up, colour, nature, photography, spring

Spring Broom in Bloom | PT.I of II.


I. | 35mm w/Hoya +10

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II. | 35mm w/Hoya +10

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III. | 35mm w/Hoya +10

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Click for PT.II of II
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To May, Farewell | 35:Chronicle

35mm, black & white, colour, infrared, landscape, nature, photography, spring, trees

A Small Tribute (from a Country-Boy).


Every year for as long as I can recall, May always seems to be the finest month of them all. The coming of the Spring, the new growth – and the welcome respite at the tail-end of another long, cold and windy winter. This is, I realise hardly a fitting tribute for all of the light, warmth and, even hope that May brings, however, it’s all I have time for before the last day of this beautiful month, ticks-tocks away for another eleven. 

(23:40 – 31st May 2018) 

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Bluebells. | 35mm

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Calves | 35mm

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Contrails | 35mm | 720nm Infrared

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Under the Boughs | 35mm

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Old Stones | 35mm | 720nm Infrared

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Farewell… | 35mm | 720nm Infrared

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Until next year, then?

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Thank you.

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The Writhings on the Wall | 35:Chronicle

35mm, black & white, close-up, colour, nature, photography, spring

Sterling Moss.


I.

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II.

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III.

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Current Alternate | 35:Chronicle

35mm, black & white, colour, nature, photography, spring, sunset, trees, waterscape

Ups & Downs.


Intending to head out and catch the sunset over the water – hoping for its often noted millpond stillness, I found myself a tad disappointed on arrival. Though not choppy, there was just too much movement on the surface this evening and, though the sunset was utterly beautiful, I found that the calming of the waters just wasn’t worth the wait. After an hour, loss of light and, several insect bites, I gave it up for the night; but, not before making a few frames. (I’m easily consoled.)

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I.
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II.
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III.
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IV.
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A Little Bit of Delicate | 35:Chronicle

35mm, black & white, close-up, colour, nature, personal, photography, spring

[…and a Smidgen of Rustic]


Okay, so I have been completely lazy here. With little by way of an agenda today, I spent my time titivating the garden and enjoying a little more sunshine, while we’re fortunate enough to have some. (Good weather for six days straight has to be some kind of a record in the UK but, I’m loving it). As the afternoon wound down, I followed suit soon after and, took another appreciative look around this little corner of my world. I never tire of its rusticness, the ever present multi-layered birdsongs, the sound of the brook just past the front of the house and from the outskirts of my garden on two sides, there’s plenty of attractive woodland with, among many others, tall pines audibly filtering the occasional breeze and straining the sunlight. I decided to grab my camera, to take a short stroll and, make a few frames before the light dipped for the day. 

There’s no real artistic merit here – just a small handful of hand-held grab-shots, still, it’s a lot less predictable than, ‘Dear Diary, Today, I did next to bugger all except to sit on my arse!‘. Besides, simply capturing life is exactly what I’m loving about sticking with one focal-length and just – going with it. It’s a lot more liberating than I’d ever imagined it would be, in more ways than one. 

(And, no – I’m not a Walton, but, on days like today – there sure is no place like home!)

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I. Beneath Filtered Rays.

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II. The Loner.

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III. Almost in the Shade.

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IV. Potted…

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Photographing for Black & White or Colour | 35:Chronicle

35mm, black & white, boats, close-up, colour, infrared, landscape, nature, photography, spring, summer, waterscape

Discussing the Age-Old Debate.


Not wishing to make it sound like I’m imagining the two forms in a boxing ring, I use the word ‘or‘ instead of ‘versus‘. It’s not a win or lose decision, nor should it be a fight between the two so, I’ll get this said right off the bat – there’s absolutely no wrong answer. The simple reason for this is that both colour and monochrome have their place in photography and this has always been the case since the advent of colour photography back in 1861. We see in colour, for one thing, so that alone should give colour output the edge, right? Well, as it happens, no, not at all. What I’m hoping to achieve here is to pass on a collection of my own personal, simple thoughts on a subject that never seems to go away, and, which may help anyone considering this very question with the intent of applying such notions to their own work. Although it’s a question that I have considered during almost every shoot or processing session, I believe, for myself at least – that I have simplified the issue to a point that now, for me, it’s no longer a difficult decision. Perhaps this will help others too and, whilst I may not be considered an authority on the subject, well over twenty years behind the lens affords me a pretty full insight. Pinch of salt, an’ all that – but read on if you’re interested.

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In the Dog-House? | 720nm Infrared

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You may have gotten bored already and zipped down the page, noticing that I have only posted black and white images here. This is deliberate. No, I do not shun colour output, nor do I dislike it. I simply feel that if colour output is desired, the colours in the frame should be the sole reason I realised that I wanted to create it in the first place. Whilst I might produce an aesthetically pleasing BW from the colour RAW too, this would not discourage me from preferring the colour version. I’m getting a little ahead of myself at this point, so let me back-up a tad. What I should have said was that, I prefer black and white output, black and white prints, even previewing in black and white in camera. My brain just seems to think better in black and white. But it’s not for everyone and, learning to see light and dark colours as shades of grey came with time – but it’s how my brain interprets a scene more naturally than it does so at interpreting and processing colour, unless, the colours create something special. But black and white should not be (as it so often is) seen as the grail, in photography or, the best way to see an image. I can understand why many do, and yet, I also – can’t. It’s subjective, of course. Like colour, it’s a mode of expression, often over or under utilised. I know this to be true because I have been very guilty of this, too many times. 

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Horse-Chestnut or, Sticky Bud.

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For sure, the very first reason anyone should create either in colour or monochrome is – personal preference. However, I find colour distracting, largely unimportant and, mostly unnecessary; in the main. As one having way more than a passing interest in photography, my learned and experienced notions of light, composition, message and interpretation, contrast, texture, scene or frame interest – all of these things and more besides, reside in my brain and help me to make what I hope to be a successful image. Whether there is colour or not, doesn’t even become a consideration to me, unless, as I have mentioned, the colours have shouted at me already. Sometimes they do, mostly though, they don’t. If I make a shit frame – it’s my own fault and in no way is the presence or absence of colour responsible for it. 

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The Wellspring | Full-Spectrum.

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Rather than wax-on, paragraph by paragraph (the last thing I wish to induce is reader-fatigue, or even worse, your waking up to find your keyboard imprinted on your forehead!) – I shall instead, bullet the main points which I believe are most conducive to each output. Please remember, these are simply elements which work for me and, I speak for or against no-one else’s opinion. Hopefully, some of this will explain itself. 


Considerations for Colour Output:

  • Personal preference (either for screen viewing or, for actual prints).
  • When more accurate or  representational reproduction is required.
  • When presenting colours and shades create a desired contrast by their very existence (in other words, the colours are the actual reason you make the frame).
  • When the distraction of colour does not overpower the message of the image.
  • When a potentially lesser contrasty or less punchy image is desired – where heavier contrast would interfere with colour intensity, textures or overall / general dynamics.
  • Lower ISO usage where higher ISOs would increase colour noise (though with good APS-C and FF sensors, this is way less of an issue than it once was).
  • When shooting longer wavelength IR.

Considerations for Black & White Output:

  • Personal preference (either for screen viewing or actual prints).
  • When a more ‘artistic’ look and/or feel is required. No, colour is not unartistic per-se, but the brain processes in colour and therefore, any black and white image causes it to reinterpret in, for want of a better description, a more artistic way. 
  • When the removal of colour allows for greater appreciation and, undestracted absorption of the content.
  • When greater contrast may be utilised to increase the punch of an image.
  • When shooting at higher film speeds where otherwise shooting on colour would not necessarily be conducive to higher noise values.
  • When the content of the image speaks for itself and does not require the use of colour to emphasise itself.
  • To remove the illusion or potential appearance of an era or time-frame; this is dependent on content, of course.
  • When WB cannot be pre-set accurately or, is unlikely to be achieved in post.
  • When content, light, contrast and texture are the image key there is often little requirement for colour.
  • When shooting infrared: longer wavelengths can yield pleasant faux-colour results with knowledge and experience, shorter wavelengths, less so, once you head north of 720nm.

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Telford Woz ‘ere… | 720nm Infrared.

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Many of these elements are of course, by our own nature and preferences, completely subjective and your views or interpretations may differ; though not all of these principles can work for every subject, I have found them to be extremely useful for me as starting points when I make the choice to reproduce in either colour or monochrome. For posts containing glorious colour please take a look at any of these posts: Travelling Light, Closer Still(s) PT.IIPT.IIIPT.IV or, click the colour tag on any of my entries and, feel free to have a mooch. If you got this far – thanks for bearing with me (and, I’m sure that those little square imprints in your forehead will disappear shortly!)

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A Life & Death Contrast | 35:Chronicle

35mm, black & white, photography, spring, sunset

Pirate Graves | Beneath, Between & Behind.


Whilst I love the coming of spring and, all of the wondrous new life that emerges with it, I seem also, conversely, perhaps even perversely, to have a little bit of a fascination for graveyards, church ruins, and dare I say it, possibly too, death. It’s not a consuming passion you must understand; perhaps more – they are simply notions of enquiry, empathy and a tinge of metaphysical intrigue. In a crude way, such intrigue was piqued a few evenings ago when I took a short after-dinner walk along the river, just before sunset, to the nearby site of a very old church, some three-hundred or so years past, the remains of which are now completely gone. What remains on the site, however, are around four or five dozen headstones and burial plots. With my camera in my pocket, I took a very leisurely but intent look at the stones and markers whilst enjoying the sound of the river and the golden, still warming shimmer from the setting sun behind me. On such an evening as this, my shutter-finger itches a little more than usual and it’s all I can do to keep my hand from reaching for my camera. Still, sometimes I prefer to take my time and just ponder, to look and take in – when the light is almost certain to not imminently disappear, that is. It was one of these kinds of evenings.

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I. Iron, Stone & Wood.

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II. In Memory.

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One of the general giveaways as to the potential wealth (or debt) of the departed and their immediate family, can often be perceived from the size, design and material and, wordage contained within their plot and, of their stone or marker. With this realisation in mind, you may be able to imagine my intrigue when, upon not too intense perusal, I discovered that the locally called ‘Pirate Graves’ actually existed – with no markings, barring the obvious emblem of the skull and crossed-bones and little to nothing else that might identify he or she below. They lay between areas filled with the stones of seemingly important people of their time (mostly from around the early 18th Century) and, this befuddled me somewhat. As I was unable to find any indications as to the years of burial on these so-called Pirate stones, I have no idea as to whether they are older than the stones marking the spots of the more affluent, or not.

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III. Skull-[un]-duggery?

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Some part of me cannot wholly accept that there were or are actual pirates buried here. Perhaps instead, there were stylistic and symbolistic changes after the Reformation and I would need to research this in much more depth. Their crudeness certainly seems to suggest a lack of patterning or stone-masonry skill. Perhaps too, they simply weren’t regarded all that highly and the skull and crossbones was their final judgement and the badge which they would wear for the rest of their eternities?

Nonetheless, all of these graves exist to intrigue, if no-one else, me – not only by their seemingly obvious socially contrasting proximity to one another but also for the fact that nothing (short of an exhumation), will ever be able to reveal anything about who the unnamed, were

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IV. Beneath, Between & Behind.

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