2021: A Photographic Review | 35Chronicle Photography

28mm, 35mm, 50mm, autumn / fall, black & white, candid, cityscapes, close-up, fine art, full-spectrum, history, Indoor, infrared, landscape, Long Exposure, nature, people, personal, photography, portraits, review, ruins, rural, skies, spring, structures, summer, trees, urban, waterscape

Doesn’t it Come Around Quickly?


It is hard to believe that it’s this time of year again, the year almost over, the shortest day has passed and, I’m sitting here at my laptop – pondering over my favourite frames from 2021; a year of lockdowns, socially-distanced days out, home-schooling, trip disappointments and yet gratitude in abundance. A new grandchild has graced us, three weddings are in the offing (Bumble & I included!), health is good and I have been busier than ever. This may explain why my posts this year have been a little more frugal than previous years but, I have so enjoyed every opportunity that I have had to get out and make frames. I’ve learned quite a bit too and, changed a few aspects of my shooting and editing routines which, have pleased me greatly, too. In the coming year I hope to move slightly away from IR shooting – or rather, I want to engage further with more visible-light photography and, to also forge my creative aspirations a little more. How that’s going to work out, I have no ide as yet, but we’ll see how it pans out. My reasoning is simple, I am a staunch enemy of stagnation and whilst infrared light is a huge passion, I’ve been allowing myself to indulge so much that I have been experiencing rather more complacency than I would like. It’s again time for a little shift. Does that mean I am disappointed with my work this year? Not exactly. But there’s more – and I need to dig inside for it. I thought I’d be a natural after all these years, but therein lies the message; one can never stop trying to be better. And I need to shoot more.

As I say at the end of every year (because it’s true) – I am so grateful to each and every one of you for reading and visiting my pages. For all of your clicks and comments, your shares, follows, and other contributions you have made to my pages (hard to believe that it’s been almost four years already!) – I am ridiculously grateful because, without you, there’d be no point and my pages would be little more than an online diary. I am also inspired by so many of you, not that I always get or am able to find the time to let you know in person (that seems to be very selfish on my part and I must and will try harder) and often wonder at the amazing amount of talent that exists, often to share for the simple joy of sharing. I am sure that’s why we all do it and I hope that we can all continue to do so, around the many mayhems of life. So, for one last post of ’21, I would like to share my favourite frames of the year, one shot from each month – in the hope that you too will enjoy this little revisit. 

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January 2021 | Flynn: By {Kindle) Fire Light!

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February 2021 | Infrared Rainbow: Sandyhills Beach.

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March 2021 | Metal Bridge on Disused Portpatrick to Dumfries Line, at Parton [720nm Infrared]

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April 2021 | The Caul on the River Nith, Dumfries [720nm Infrared]

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May 2021 | Pinmore Viaduct [720nm Infrared]

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June 2021 | Boomer: Paper, String or Tin-Foil Will Do Just Fine!

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July 2021 | A London Skyline from the Thames [LTFS Full-Spectrum]

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August 2021 | Southerness Lighthouse [720nm Infrared]

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September 2021 | Turret: Penrhyn Castle, N.Wales [720nm Infrared]

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October 2021 | Dunskey Castle, Nr. Portpatrick [720nm Infrared, Long Expo.]

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November 2021 | Abbotsford House, Melrose [720nm Infrared]

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December 2021 | The Fountain, Princes Street Gardens & Edinburgh Castle [720nm Infrared]

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To my family, I am utterly blessed – what more can I say? It’s been a manic yet a wonderful year with a lot of plans either fulfilled or yet to become and, through it all (stop singing, Bumble – I know what you’re doing!) each and every one of you have indulged me as I truly hope I’ve reciprocated. When the world is in the mess it is right now, you are all the one reason I keep to feel the happiness that I do. 

To all of you who read and contribute to my pages (and hopefully enjoy some of my work, too?) – I hope that you have all had a wonderful holiday and, I wish you all the very best for 2022. Thank you so much for sharing and being a part of what I do. 

Warmest wishes to you all…

R.

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Mono-Archives: PT.XIV | The Draw of ‘Sleepy-Hollow’ | 35Chronicle Photography

black & white, fine art, infrared, photography, rural, skies, structures, summer, trees, waterscape

The Mill on the Fleet: 720nm Infrared.


In July this year, I made another visit to one of my favourite stop-offs and, I am surprised that I hadn’t shared a couple of frames from my last jaunt to Gatehouse’s Mill on the Fleet sooner than this. The last time I had actually posted from The Mill was almost a year ago and so, I am happy to put this right, today. Though a popular and often a busy small town, Gatehouse offers some absolutely stunning scenery and, beautiful walks right from its heart; and none more tranquil or evocative than the views from the bridge, alongside the old mill. A perfect day for some alternative wavelength photography, such as it was – what else could I have done? The light and the clouds played right into my hands and, I have seldom seen this view look quite so haunting, or breath-taking. 

Thank you, as always for stopping by my pages and, I do hope you’ll enjoy these two frames from one of my all-time favourite spots. 

R.

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I | The Mill | 1/310th – f6.0 – ISO:200 – 28mm – 720nm IR

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II | The Mill on the Fleet | 1/190th – f8.0 – ISO:200 – 24mm – 720nm IR

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Gwrych Castle, Conwy: PT.I | 35Chronicle Photography

black & white, history, photography, ruins, rural, skies, structures, trees

“The Showpiece of Wales”? No Bl**dy Wonder!


It’s name literally means, “Hedged Castle” and Gwrych was built between 1810 and 1825 by Lloyd Hesketh Bamford-Hesketh in memory of his mother, among other relatives. As we drove along the Expressway just a day after arriving in North Wales, the listed country house was clearly visible from the road and appeared to have been built into the rockface behind it; to say that it is impressive is probably the most ridiculous understatement I could possibly come up with. It is staggering. From first sight of it, it was on our list of sites to visit before heading home at the end of the week and, on our last full day we managed to secure a booking, the first of the day and, we finally headed out to see it. Though I was hoping for better weather and the chance to capture some IR frames (and was denied by the cloud and threatening drizzle) I cannot be unhappy one bit for the experience of having been able to wander through this beautiful, jaw-dropping place, with only a dozen or so other visitors at the time; it’s easy to understand why Gwrych would become so busy not even an hour later and having managed an early timeslot was to prove more than fortunate with the shots that I was able to grab before we finished our tour. But having timeslots, the need for which was obviously enforced by the pandemic – has its downsides, especially when entering the more confined or indoor spaces; visitors who’s slots were only ten or twenty minutes behind us – began to catch up and, the wish to slowly take in the place becomes an exercise in either moving out of people’s way or, worse, rushing along in order to keep our distance. The imposed one way system and countless cordons and other exclusions cut out much of the ground we had hoped to cover during our time here and that made the whole visit even shorter. So, what should have taken a good couple of hours, was over in around forty-five minutes. (There’s plenty I could say about that but common sense doesn’t always prevail and besides most of the site available was outside in the fresh air – this didn’t make much difference to the speed at which visitors were herded in, and ushered out by more following visitors.) I was and, still am a little amazed as to how they managed it given that there’s so much ground here! A calculated exercise in speedier throughput for maximum gain, perhaps. I have to admit to being rather surprised when we reached the exit arch so soon; almost as though we were the subject of a time-lapse recording. An anti-climax? Yup. You bet. But those walls (despite the crane which, in its defence, did lend an air of scale)… oh, it was worth it!

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I | 1/350th – f7.6 – ISO:200 – 70mm – Spot.

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II | 1/125th – f8.0 – ISO:218(!) – 24mm – Spot.

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Despite poor light, I was able to snag some very pleasing frames from Gwrych Castle and no, though the castle was host to the UK show, “I’m a Celebrity…” last year, I won’t be sharing the frame of Ant & Dec’s life-size cardboard cut-outs here. With that said, the castle has a huge amount of history and claims to fame, and I’m sure last years series barely scratched the surface. A simple search from your chosen browser will return much, if places like this are your thing. But for me – I love Gwrych for what it is. Splendid. Mind-bendingly huge. One of a kind. 

Magnificent!

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III | 1/220th – f8.0 – ISO:200 – 24mm – Spot.

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As an aside, this post happens to be my 300th here on 35Chronicle Photography. As such, I’d like to dedicate this one to every single one of you who either read just occasionally, follow, click, comment, contribute in any way and, at any point over the last (almost) four years since I started this blog. If it weren’t for you, there would be no point in any of this. Thank you!

R.


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Penrhyn Castle Country House: PT.IV | 720nm Infrared | 35Chronicle Photography

black & white, fine art, history, infrared, photography, ruins, rural, skies, structures, summer, trees

From Shaky Ground to Solid Foundations. [* See: PT.I]


Over the course of the summer, I have had the most wonderful opportunities to photograph some simply stunning places and, Penrhyn Castle has found its way to becoming one of my most favourite so far. Here, I would to close this series with these final four infrared frames, made under glorious sunshine and beautiful blue skies – just perfect for this kind of caper. A fabulous way to spend time and to appreciate so much. Without my family, I would not have been able to get these shots at all, largely because – we decided to go and I would never have been there if it weren’t for them. But I have to extend my gratitude and love to them also, for their unending patience, good humour and tolerance of my endeavours. I guess there are only so many times they should be able to put up with’ “Hang on – I just need to grab this one. Oh, and this one!” I just haven’t found the limit yet. Neither, it seems, have they!

I do hope you’ll enjoy these last frames from Penrhyn and, thank you again for reading.

R.

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X | Through | 720nm Infrared

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XI | From Scrub to Splendour | 720nm Infrared

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XII | Through [II] | 720nm Infrared

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XIII | Penrhyn | 720nm Infrared

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Penrhyn Castle Country House: PT.I | 720nm IR | 35Chronicle Photography

black & white, fine art, history, infrared, photography, ruins, rural, skies, structures, trees

Serving Pennants?


It is said that Wales is the castle capital of Europe and has more castles per square mile than any other country on the same continent – as you can imagine, if you’ve followed my pages for any length of time, this became music to my ears, for one and yet, a little disappointing also; I was convinced that Scotland would hold that particular crown. Nevertheless, a week in North Wales with a good choice of camera set-ups, a family who don’t really do beaches but prefer a little history instead and a hankering for road-trips – well, I was in my element. One of the castles we stopped at was clearly here, at Penrhyn, near Bangor. With views to Snowdonia, Puffin Island and the Menai Strait, which separates the mainland from the Island of Anglesey, Penrhyn Castle sits in a proud position of not only elevation, but also of its architectural authority; due to its utter splendour – Penrhyn has become one of my most favourite historic structures to visit, and photograph. But it’s huge – and that can make it tricky!

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I | The ‘Tease-Frame’ | Penrhyn Castle – 720nm Infrared.

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Penrhyn’s history is long and varied and dates back to around the fifteenth century. Of particular note however, after 1833 (when the Slavery Abolition Act came into being) its owner George Dawkins-Pennant, who was an opposer to the emancipation of slaves, was compensated for being deprived of 764 slaves to the tune of £14,683 17s 2d (17 shillings & tuppence for anyone not au fait with old sterling). This compensation happened also to be the approximate cost of the building of the original, unfortified Penrhyn Castle. One can can only imagine the level of local outrage at the knowledge of this, that such a house could be thus constructed almost entirely from the proceeds of slavery. 

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II | Through Trees to Towers & Turrets | 720nm Infrared

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In 1951 the property and its 40,000 or-so acres passed to the treasury in lieu of death taxes after the death of Lady Jane Douglas-Pennant and is now owned and maintained by the National Trust; and this makes any visitor extremely fortunate. The awe on the approach up the shallow incline towards it is simply breath-taking, and from here, I will do my best to demonstrate without the use of further words. I can only hope that these frames (and those to follow in future posts) will speak for me; if you’ll forgive me the prevailing blankets of grey clouds which lingered, from time to time. 

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III | A Little Wide-Angle Drama | 720nm Infrared.

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Thank you so much for reading and, I hope you will have enjoyed these first few IR frames from my Penrhyn Series. 

R.
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Breaking the Curse of Morton Castle: PT.V | 720nm Infrared | 35Chronicle Photography

28mm, 35mm, black & white, fine art, infrared, landscape, nature, photography, ruins, rural, skies, structures, summer, trees, waterscape

Until Our Paths Cross Again.


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X | Sentinel of Paradise.

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XI | Old Stone & New Buds.

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– Memento Vivere! – 
R.
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Breaking the Curse of Morton Castle: PT.IV/V | 720nm Infrared | 35Chronicle Photography

black & white, fine art, infrared, landscape, nature, photography, ruins, rural, skies, structures, trees, waterscape

In Blissful Isolation.


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VIII | The Sheer Beauty of Solitude.

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IX | Nature Sharing Empathy, Perhaps?

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– Memento Vivere! – 
R.
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If you would like updates, please click Follow. All Images & Posts © Rob Lowe | 35Chronicle Photography  (2018-2021) 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.

Breaking the Curse of Morton Castle: PT.II/V | 720nm Infrared | 35Chronicle Photography

black & white, history, infrared, landscape, nature, photography, ruins, rural, trees

Through Older Apertures.


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IV | The Ace of Clubs | 720nm IR.

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V | The Archer’s View | 720nm IR.

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Memento Vivere…
R.
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[All frames: Ricoh GXR LTFS Full-Spectrum Conversion & Front Mounted 720nm IR Filter]

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If you would like updates, please click Follow. All Images & Posts © Rob Lowe | 35Chronicle Photography  (2018-2021) 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.

Breaking the Curse of Morton Castle: PT.I/V | 720nm Infrared | 35Chronicle Photography

black & white, fine art, infrared, landscape, nature, photography, ruins, rural, structures, summer, trees, waterscape

Light, Love & a Vision.


What I really wish for now is that I haven’t bitten off more than I can chew. It’s been a ridiculously chaotic, busy, unpredictable and yet fun past week or so and, after over three days of stealing odd hours here and there to finish editing two separate shoots, I can finally sit down and share a few more frames with you.  Today, we’re heading back to the beautiful Morton Castle, just outside Thornhill in South West Scotland. It’s been a bit of a nemesis for me in the past and, with six previous posts from this amazing ruin, I have never felt like I got it quite right. Sometimes, I look back over those older posts and clench my teeth as I realise that on occasion, I actually got it quite wrong. You see, I’ve always had a vision of how I would have wanted my captures of Morton to come out and yes, naturally, given my love for alternative-wavelength photography and old ruins, good light and strong IR radiation were always going to be key for me, in achieving captures that I have always imagined from here. My most recent post from Morton was way back in March 2020 – I still can’t believe it was that long ago. But how time flies indeed! So, last week, because time was short and commitments were many (and I just had to get back there!) I literally had only around a half-hour to wander round the castle ruins to make a few more shots before having to race back home again. Forgivingly, the sun was shining in a cloudless blue sky and there was no excuse not to make a dash for it. The weather reports did not let us down and, as Bumble had the keys to the jalopy  – ‘Lady Stig’ was born!

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I | Across Morton Loch | 720nm IR.

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Of course, knowing the layout so well by now does make it easier to plan just how I want to make my captures and where I need to be – it’s the same for any re-visit, I guess. Sometimes it’s possible to know almost exactly how many steps one needs to take from one spot to the next. On this, my fourth visit – though I do know Morton very well now, it still gives me that ‘wow‘ even before I’ve swung open the kissing-gate that leads me to the path along the loch. Very few people visit here at any one time and so it is easier to capture its peace and the solitude. Very few places have stolen my heart the way this one obviously has. I do wonder just how many more times I will make the trip here; I long to capture its reflection in still waters below – which means at least once more will I head this way. But in truth, I love this place so much that I would be completely happy if the answer was always, “once more”.

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II | The Light of Stone & Wood | 720nm IR.

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I do hope that you’ll forgive me from the off, though – that I intend to post up around five posts in total from this, my most recent visit to the castle. There are so many views and angles that I simply love and if I missed any of them out, well – they’d get posted eventually, anyway! Please feel free to post a ‘yaaawwwwwn’ emoji in the comments if you start drifting! Of course, I do hope that that won’t be the case and instead, that you’ll enjoy some beautiful views under alternative light of a truly stunning corner of Scotland. I call it – home.  Thank you so much for reading my pages; as always, I am so grateful and, I wish you a fabulous week ahead.

Memento Vivere…

R.

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III | To a Time | 720nm IR.

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[All frames: Ricoh GXR LTFS Full-Spectrum Conversion & Front Mounted 720nm IR Filter]


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If you would like updates, please click Follow. All Images & Posts © Rob Lowe | 35Chronicle Photography  (2018-2021) 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.

Eleven Arches: PT.III | 850nm Infrared | 35Chronicle Photography

black & white, fine art, landscape, photography, rural, skies, spring, structures, trees

When the Chill Thwarts Spring.


After the thoughtful, wonderful responses I received to PT.II last week, I have to say that I am a little bit unsure as to how I can even think of topping it. Holding back on frame one was never an option (I get far too excited at grabbing shots like that and have the shameless, breaking-strain of a Kit-Kat when it comes to showing just what can be achieved with alternative wavelength photography on a good day) and so, with a slight concern for posting a bit of a ‘come-down’, I nonetheless have pleasure in sharing my last chosen three from an absolutely fabulous hour shooting this awesome structure that is the Kinclair Viaduct. I am grateful that the spring here has started so cold as it has this year; the growth of the foliage has been slowed down somewhat and, were that not so, I’d have struggled to make the stonework as prominent as I was indeed able to do for fighting my way through the dense leaves and branches (thinking here mostly about this top image). As a compromise, from higher up – I’ve seen beautiful and eerie hanging gardens – even if in retrospect; (thank you, Janet!)

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IV | Dodging Traffic | 850nm IR | 24mm – 1/125th – f8 – ISO:703.

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Anyhooz – this is my last post from Pinmore and will be, I’m sure, my last for a good long while. As spring warms up a little now – I have plenty of other places to discover and the viaduct will be relegated like the rest of my work to date, to my archives; nonetheless, I have much to think about with regards to composition and light if I am to feel as good about what I am still to achieve if these few frames remain the benchmark I have currently set for myself. Holy moly, this is so much fun! 

And summer is on the way…

…goodie!

R.

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V | Convergences | 850nm IR | 24mm – 1/125th – f8 – ISO:734.

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VI | Into a Floating Paradise | 850nm IR | 24mm – 1/125th – f8 – ISO: 476.

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[All frames: Ricoh GXR LTFS Full-Spectrum Conversion & Front Mounted 850nm IR Filter]


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If you would like updates, please click Follow. All Images & Posts © Rob Lowe | 35Chronicle Photography  (2018-2021) 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.

Corbelly Hill Convent, Dumfries: PT.I | 720nm Infrared | 35Chronicle Photography

black & white, fine art, full-spectrum, history, infrared, photography, ruins, structures, trees, urban

All Roads Lead to… Roam?!?


Content Warning: This post contains elements of sarcasm, arrogance and common-sense, which some readers may find either offensive, or rib-tickling – depending on your sense of humour!

I may or may not be about to start on a little ‘Rob-rant’; in fact – perhaps I’ll just roll my eyes at this point and take a deep breath instead. Yes, that may be a better thing to do. You see, the one question I get asked a lot when I am out shooting old buildings, ruins, lighthouses, you name ’em – is, “Can I help you?” You may have read my thoughts about this question during one of my posts where I published a few frames of the beautiful lighthouse at Corsewall [PT.I – here] back in December, last year. It grates me every time – and it shouldn’t. 

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I have been meaning to come here to the old convent at Corbelly Hill for around six months. Waiting for a clear day with good sunlight and plenty of time has been the only reason it has taken me so long to get up here, to what is the highest building in Dumfries. Known as St. Benedict’s, and also – Corbelly Hall Convent, it was commissioned in 1881 for the Nuns of the Perpetual Adoration and, was completed in 1884. In its time, it has also been used as a girls’ school, a makeshift Sheriff Court and even a museum. It has lain empty and semi-derelict for a good many years now, though. In 2003, it was used in the filming of Peter Mullan’s film “The Magdalene Sisters” – set in 1964 onwards, about the cruel abuse of women at a convent in Ireland. Though I would dearly have loved to have spent some time shooting inside the buildings, as some have before me – it was not to be. 

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II

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One utterly fabulous thing about Scotland is the right to roam and so, seeing no signage indicating otherwise either, Bumble and I took the walk up the hill from Maxwell Street, enjoying the clearest of views over the town on the way up and, we had a little scout around the outside of this beautiful building with a view to setting up for some fitting frames. The light was just about perfect by midday and it almost took my breath away with the sheer size of this place. As we walked around towards the main entrance, we noticed two police vans, a builder’s van and, a couple of cars. Old vinyl 45s from the 70s were strewn curiously and chaotically across the lawns. A broken window to the left of the main entrance door. Not a person in sight though. We picked up a few of the vinyls and read their labels – each one a 70s chart-hit and not a true dud among them if I’m honest. As we wandered the grounds, I began to capture a few shots. That’s when a short and stocky, builder-chappy – surly of face and postured with intent, walked towards us with his faithful right-hand man… to his left. “Can I help you?” he asked. I smiled gently, trying to not smile my facetious smile at the one question that presents to me every time as a red rag to a proverbial bull. “I’m not sure.” I politely replied. “How much do you know about infrared photography?” This precipitated a stunned silence and a quizzical expression in the gentleman who, once he had remembered why he had asked the question in the first place, told us that there had been a break-in that morning and he was concerned as, he had just acquired the building for himself. “Fair enough, but as you can see – you’re unlikely to get any trouble from us. Would it be okay if we carry on around and get a few more frames before the gates go in?” We were graciously (okay, a little facetious there, I know!) granted the freedom to roam once more; our attire possibly an obvious indication that we were not at all dressed for a raid on this day and were safe to be let loose. Yet, every which way we turned from that moment on, we were followed at a distance of no more than ten paces by the builder-chappy and three others of his crew; every word Bumble and I shared from that moment on, was not private. We contained ourselves to the awe of this place and reigned in our feelings about what had just happened. 

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III

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For around four or five days after I made these frames I was confined to being back at work and so, I literally have only just got around to edits today and, having finished working on this series, I really do have the pleasure of sharing a number of shots with you, which, I sincerely do hope you will enjoy. One more day and I’ll be back in the jug again… so who knows, I may get a few more up tomorrow, too? 

Thank you again for reading and I do hope that you’re getting set for a wonderful weekend. 

R.

This post is thoughtfully dedicated to all owners of derelict land and property who needlessly fear the evil intentions of the middle-classes who walk hand in hand, wielding small cameras.

Fear not – we’re only making pictures!

[All frames: Ricoh GXR LTFS Full-Spectrum Conversion & Hoya R72 720nm IR Filter]

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In Long Forgotten Corners… | 720nm IR – PT.I | 35Chronicle

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

… and, Outside the Lines.

Of the things I absolutely love to do the most when the rain has passed (especially during prolonged lockdown measures, still current here in Dumfries & Galloway) getting out for a little daily exercise is one of them. Even if it is only a short walk with my cameras. Living in a county that is relatively sparsely populated, and that has more open space and beautiful scenery than one could possibly shake a proverbial stick at – is a bonus. It’s really not all that difficult to socially-distance here. With the weather clearing a few days ago, we decided to bundle ourselves into ChugaBoom and head out to a tiny hamlet near Castle Douglas, where we knew of an old bridge… 

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I | The Parton Viaduct – 1861-1965 | 720nm IR

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One of my favourite films inspired this little shoot and, if you have ever watched Eastwood & Streep in the ’95 film, “The Bridges of Maddison County” (yes, I know it’s touted as a chick-flick; who cares?!) you’ll perhaps understand why. What I wouldn’t give for the opportunity to simply drive – and shoot whatever caught my interest. Bridges, as it happens, have always been very high on my list and that’s why, just a  few days ago, Meryl, the chuckle-brothers and I made the short drive to Parton.

In 1861, the Port Road (aka: The Paddy Line) opened its rail service from Dumfries to Stranraer. Instead of taking the coastal route – it cut through thirty-two miles of Galloway’s hills. It was thought that a saving had been made at a cost of £7000 per mile, but due to extra construction required to accommodate the many gradients on its route, it turned out to be a false economy. Still, the line was open until 1965, at which time it was shut forever. Many of the stations on the line still stand in some form and Loch Skerrow’s platform (the smallest and most remote surviving in the UK) is barely one slab of stone seated above the ground on concrete plinths and surrounded by open land – you’d never know it, unless you knew already. But it’s Parton’s old metal viaduct I was interested in and, I hope from my frames here, you’ll see exactly why. 

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II | A Little More High-Key | 720nm IR

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The Boat o’ Rhone, the Parton Viaduct, the Loch Ken Railway Viaduct – it’s been called by many names. Nonetheless, it stands still in time, gated off now due its increasingly old and unstable floor but, through the bars, it can still be caught in two dimensions. I think that one of the beauties of my utter enjoyment of capturing in infrared, is the ability to feel that excitement every time I make a trip and to see what I can discover and capture – to enjoy in a way not often (or possibly never) enjoyed before. The light plays tricks, the clouds cover the sun… my eyes will dart around looking for vantage points, angles, flecks of light as rays of hope – but on this day, I was thwarted somewhat by the cover, above me.  Nonetheless, though I was not rewarded with strong IR light, I still have some frames that I am very happy to share with you and, I sincerely do hope that you’ll enjoy them, from this little corner of Scotland.

As always, thank you for reading, please do leave any comments below and, I hope you are all very well and winding down to a fabulous weekend.

R.

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III | Through the Bars of Locked Gates | 720nm IR

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[All frames: Ricoh GXR LTFS Full-Spectrum Conversion & Hoya R72 720nm IR Filter]

Link: Video taken in 1965, just before closure, in June of that year – opens in new window.

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2020: A Photographic Review | 35Chronicle

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

Decisions, Decisions.


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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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May 2020: Home School…

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June 2020: Air & Water.

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

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August 2020: Dundrennan Abbey | 720nm IR.

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

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November 2020: Ol’ Fashioned | 3″ Macro.

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

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

Warmest wishes to you all… 

Rob.


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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.

Hanging the Washing in ‘Sleepy-Hollow’ | 35Chronicle Photography

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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HOME A RATIONALE | LIGHT-WAVES | ARCHIVES | LINKS
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.

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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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.