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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CORSEWALL LIGHTHOUSE: PT.II | LTFS | 35CHRONICLE

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

Loch Ryan’s Beacon.


IV.

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V.

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VI.

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

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

The Light & the Dark.

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

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

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I |  The Hotel & Tower [720nm IR]

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

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

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

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

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III |  The Tower & Foghorn [LTFS]

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

Until PT.II – toodle-pip!

R.

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

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

Finale.

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

Wishing you all a fabulous weekend.

R.

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VII |  “1891”.

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VIII | Desolate.

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IX | Shadows Before Light [III]

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

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

LUXURY APARTMENTS FOR PIGEONS & CROWS?


In my last post, I shared the first few frames from a recent shoot at Hoddom Castle, my first successful IR jaunt here, ever. If you read the first in this series you may remember that I asked anyone who has time, to please let me know in the comments section of each post, their favourite one shot, so that I can put together a trilogy of frames which I am going to gift to the estate upon which Hoddom Castle stands. So, here are the second three frames from which I would like to hear your opinions and choice. Of course there will be one more post to come in due course so please do watch this space. I really am grateful for your input and you will save me a small headache for not having to choose, myself. 

Thank you so much for reading and please, any and all comments are welcome, below. 

R.

IV | The Silent Bell.

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V | Shadows Before Light [II]

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VI | Parapets.

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Hoddom Castle – 720nm IR [PT.I/III] | 35Chronicle

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

IT’S ALL ABOUT PERSPECTIVE.

A few years ago, I visited Hoddom Castle to photograph there under infrared conditions and, whilst I was disappointed and let down by the weather upon my arrival, I came away with some rather pleasing visible-light monochrome frames. It’s not always about alternative wavelengths for me and I do love just shooting with my normal equipment – but even saying that, I hear my honest brain asking me who the hell do I think I am kidding? After all, I don’t recall posting any of those older frames. Honestly, I still enjoy those frames, but after a recent visit back to the castle with a couple of hours to kill under a glorious sky, the word eclipsed, springs to mind now. I forgot how difficult it is to shoot around here though and the angles really made me think a lot harder. I hope though, that I have done this beautiful building some justice.

As an aside, over a year ago, I moved out of my little cottage in the country on the very estate where the castle stands, and on leaving, I was asked by the estate office if I would take a few IR shots around the castle and let them have two or three frames for their holiday site promotions. I offered to them that the kind of work I produce might not be suitable for their intended purposes in that, eerie black and whites of their prized, listed building might actually put people off, unless they are planning on starting up a ghost-hunting side-line? Nonetheless, their request was a perfect enough reason for me to go back and photograph it again, the way I have always wanted to see it.

Whilst I haven’t selected which frames I will gift out yet, I thought it may be more interesting to hear your views instead. So here’s the deal – I am planning three posts of the castle over the next week or so and anyone who has time to message me in the comments with their favourite (one only) shot from each post, will make my decision for me. Please do feel free to drop me a message and, of course any and all comments are very welcome. Thank you again for reading my pages and, have a great week, all. 

R.

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I | The Birds.

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II | Shadows Before Light.

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III | Pay Your Green Fees!

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Hanging the Washing in Sleepy Hollow | 35Chronicle

35mm, autumn / fall, black & white, infrared, landscape, photography, rural, skies, structures, trees, waterscape

Views from Two Bridges | 720nm Infrared.


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I | On the Fleet: The Mill, Gatehouse | 720nm IR | 35mm.

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II | On the Fleet [II]: Behind the Crafty Crow, Gatehouse | 720nm IR | 35mm.

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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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The Rat was a bit of an Unexpected Sight… | 35Chronicle

35mm, black & white, cityscapes, infrared, photography, structures

Chester: An Impromptu Jaunt in Infrared.

Ten days ago, we were on the road to Chester for a (kind of) mad-dash visit which, I am sure, will be of no huge interest to anyone reading this now, however, arriving early(ish) on the Sunday meant that we could take a walk around the city and see a few sights before the rigours of the impending Monday would find us somewhere between A and B or, B and D or – even C and F! You get the idea. It had been a good thirty-plus years since I had seen Chester and still I thought I would remember a few landmarks; yet – I remembered barely anything of the place at all. That is pretty odd for me because I am not in the habit of forgetting much and I was certain that I would at least remember something.  But no. On the plus side, however – I was seeing the place with fresh eyes, undistracted by memories (or the distinct lack of) and this alone made the city centre a bit of a playground for me, because, under beautiful sunshine (though periodically a little bit on the harsh side) I was able to grab some pleasing IR frames between coffees, doughnuts and, well – other indulgent diversions. I do have a few more captures to post in the near future but for now, I invite you to find Basil the Rat! It shouldn’t be too difficult – but I did have a chuckle when I saw it once I had got down to the editing stage. 

I do hope that you’ll enjoy these few captures and, that you’re having a great week. 

R.

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I | Chester Town Hall [720nm IR | 35mm]

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II | Desperately Seeking Basil [720nm IR | 35mm]

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III | Queen Victoria Clock Tower [720nm IR | 35mm]

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Bridging Gaps [with the GR III] | 35Chronicle

35mm, black & white, Long Exposure, night / low-light, photography, structures, waterscape

If I Take Just One Camera…


I | Devorgilla Bridge [Long Exposure]

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II | Suspension Bridge Over the Nith.

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III | The Caul & Devorgilla Bridge [Long Exposure]

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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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[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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In Contrast: Two Lighthouses | 720nm Infrared | 35Chronicle

35mm, black & white, boats, infrared, photography, rural, skies, structures, summer, waterscape

Some Overdue IR Fun with the X100.


It’s been a good long while since I took my IR converted X100 out for a spin – preferring usually, the utter versatility of my wonderful GXR A16 full-spectrum conversions instead. However, every now and then, when the conditions are just right, it’s wonderful to travel a little lighter still and restrict myself to just one focal-length; it avoids all the choice and confusion over which FL I’m going to shoot with and allows me to just – make pictures. Compose, frame – capture. If there is one thing I love about the X100 series, it is simply that. It just doesn’t get in the way. At all. So, after a jaunt to the Mull of Galloway and then up through Port Logan, travelling as (camera) light as I believe it is possible to do so, here are a couple of rather pleasing frames that, I do hope that you’ll enjoy too.


Port Logan Lighthouse | X100 [720nm Internal Conversion] | 35mm – 1/220th – f8 – ISO:200

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Mull of Galloway Lighthouse [as a Smoking Chimney, Perhaps?] | X100 [720nm Internal Conversion] | 35mm – 1/420th – f8 – ISO:400

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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.
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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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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.
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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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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.
Feel free to join me on Instagram (click below) and, thank you for visiting.
@35chroniclephotography
R.
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