Threave Castle: PT.II/II | 720nm Infrared | 35Chronicle Photography

35mm, autumn / fall, black & white, boats, fine art, history, infrared, landscape, nature, photography, ruins, rural, structures, waterscape

Shifting Perspectives – On a Mirror.


Following on from PT.I here at Threave Castle, I would like to share my final two frames from this gorgeous, secluded, sun-drenched spot. Though the river surface was as still as a mirror’s, the undercurrent was very slowly shifting the ferry round at its bow towards its port-side and added an attractive new angle to the scene. As the undercurrent pulled the ferry round, I shifted towards its stern and lined it up with the bank as much I could (before actually falling into the river) in order to capture this beautiful scene. Wooden jetties – very slippery when wet! I also wanted to share the closer shot of the castle itself – a very simple composition and a fetching reflection. I do hope you’ll enjoy it too. 

Thank you so much for reading and I wish you a fabulous weekend!

R.

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III | Shifting Perspective: On & Across the Dee | 35mm – 720nm IR.

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IV | On a Mirror: Closer to the Walls | 85mm – 720nm IR.

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Threave Castle: PT.I/II | 720nm Infrared | 35Chronicle Photography

35mm, 50mm, black & white, boats, fine art, history, infrared, landscape, photography, ruins, rural, structures, waterscape

The Day of Two Cakes [PT.II]


As I make the transition from days to nights today, I find that I have a little time to share a few images, straight out of the final edit stage that I was able to grab on Friday last week; a day of glorious sunshine and the whole day with which to enjoy it! Bumble and I decided to head out to Threave Castle at Castle Douglas both as one last go at getting out before my run of shifts commenced and, as a treat for our youngest, Flynn. We called it ‘The Day of Two Cakes – Part II’. We’ve done this before with the kids – we head somewhere for a visit and a few shots then head to a nice café for lunch and cake, and in the afternoon we do it all over again. It’s a way to keep their attention I guess and gives them something less arduous to look forward to. Believe me, it works! Anyhow – Threave was our first stop and I cannot understand why I have never shot or even visited here in the twenty plus years that I have been living in South West Scotland. It’s such an obvious place to come and see and given my penchant for castles, ruins and the odd infrared landscape shot(!) – not to mention water and boats, I have to ask myself how I could have been so neglectful as to wait so long to come here? Perhaps I knew I’d rave about it after as much as I seem to be doing and, I guess it’s better to keep something wonderful in reserve rather than eat all our sweeties in one sitting? 

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I | Reflections of Threave Castle & the Ferry | 35mm – 720nm IR

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The tower was built by Archibald ‘the Grim’ in 1369 as a 30 metre high stronghold for the Black Douglases and for 21 years it was the seat of the very powerful Margaret Stewart, Lady of Galloway. It is accessed by boat across the River Dee, though when we visited, the crossings were not available. I guess we’re getting used to this now, however, the best views were indeed from the opposite bank and, as these frames contain a few of my favourite things, I can only hope that you will enjoy them as much as I do. The peace, the still of the water and the utterly gorgeous light. 

Not to mention – two cakes. Does life get any better than this?

R.

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II | Threave Castle on the Dee | 50mm – 720nm IR

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South Stack Lighthouse | Holy Island, Anglesey | 720nm Infrared | 35Chronicle Photography

black & white, infrared, photography, rural, skies, structures, waterscape

Remote Pleasures.


Over my last four or so days off, my feet seemed to have barely touched the ground and as of tomorrow, I’m back to the grindstone for another long run and so, I wanted to just quickly share a couple more frames with you – taken during our summer break. If you have read recent posts, you’ll know that we made a visit to Anglesey, North Wales, and we couldn’t really leave North Wales until we had paid this beautiful island a visit. After a few hours stop at Beaumaris [see post #190 here, if you might be interested] we drove further up to Holy Island to visit the lighthouse at South Stack. Whilst the RSPB visitor centre, cafe and tours were completely closed due to persistent restrictions, I had an absolute blast (in more ways than one) shooting from the top of the cliffs to soak up this utterly breath-taking view.

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I | South Stack Lighthouse, Holy Island | 720nm Infrared | 24mm – f8 – 1/200th – ISO:200

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Even at 51 (sheesh, where does the time go?) I  found out that I was still fit enough (or rather, not completely fooked!) to take a steady run up the hill, in competition with our naturally, far fitter sixteen year-old, who remained only a few feet ahead of me all the way up! I was carrying all my camera gear though; that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it! (It was a valiant effort though, Corbs!) Once back down to the clifftop (after a little rest, you understand?) I was forced to enlist not only his, but also Bumble’s help in preventing me from getting blown over the cliff edge as, the wind, so strong from behind me as I faced the tower, more than threatened to hurl me over the edge into the rocky ravine below, some 150 metres or so down. Not an end I would have fancied facing. I needed to get as close to the edge as I could only because I was shooting wide and any foreground would have spoilt the drama of the rocks. So, with both of them curling there grip around the belt of my jeans and pulling me back from the edge, I placed my trust and managed to steady myself to grab some frames. You’d look at these and be forgiven that all was serene and calm, but – not a bit of it. It was wild up here. For me, it was well worth it. I do hope you’ll enjoy them too!

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II | North West Coast, Holy Island | 720nm Infrared | 50mm – f5 – 1/400th – ISO:200

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To all of you who visit and follow my ramblings and pictures (those of you who go back years and, new readers alike) I would like to say a huge, massive, gargantuan thank you. I’ve just subscribed to another two years of hosting here at WordPress so, that’s another two years of ad-free reading and (I hope) continued enjoyment. I wish you all a fabulous weekend! 

R.

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Reflections: Point of Ayr Lighthouse | 35Chronicle Photography

35mm, black & white, colour, fine art, personal, photography, skies, structures, summer, sunset, waterscape

The Whole Picture.


Holidays shouldn’t just be holidays. They should be a closely connected string of wonderful and shared memories that make up the very fabric of each of our lives, interspersed with all the mundane and repetitive too, for the full picture to be truly appreciated. As I sometimes like to sit in quiet, philosophical contemplation, the two predominant feelings I always come back to are of gratitude and love, for what I’ve known and, what I have. Call it my positive outlook on life if you will, no doubt strengthened by certain life experiences; or just my appreciation for what I get to enjoy (whenever I am paying attention!) We should all pay more attention sometimes.

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I: Leaving |  Talacre Beach, North Wales | 35mm

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Even one week away from home, with the resultant shirking of responsibility of household chores, work, timetables and such-like is something we all need once in a while, and our trip to North Wales was not planned too far in advance, largely (pretty much entirely, actually) because during the pandemic, so many people have been losing out financially (we, included) to companies and organisations who were taking bookings before lockdowns and either not opening their doors again or simply not honouring them after restrictions were eased. Once bitten, as they say. With that in mind, we wanted to make sure that this time, we’d actually get away as a family and give the boys, too, the break that they deserved. It came good. 

As artists, writers, photographers – there is an inherent need in us to record life; the imagined, the seen, the felt, the experienced. Does a picture paint a thousand words, though? I would like to think so. But I don’t believe that a thousand words can always be enough. I could easily write a thousand here, today, but I wouldn’t be so sure that they’d conjure up anything so good as to convey such joys as knowing that my family were stood around me, behind me, waiting for me to take the “bloody” shot (they are never so impatient, in truth and are completely understanding when I have a camera in hand! What also isn’t conveyed, is that a nine year old boy is waiting for his step-dad to trip the shutter enough to satisfy, so that the same little boy can chuck a rock in the pool and see the splash; but he knows that the reflection is the reason for the shot, and so – patiently, he sacrifices for a while, and waits without complaint or resentment. His teenage brother too, waits; to kick his football across the beach or to throw me a ball in the hope he’ll catch me out; and his mother waits too  with no agenda save only to know that what I do makes me happy. So yes, you may see a lighthouse, but my mind is crammed with such memories that I am filled with both happiness for experiencing and, sadness for the passing of yet another, now filed to memories. But what memories!

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II: Before the Splash! | Point of Ayr Lighthouse (Talacre) 1776 at Low Tide [Decommissioned 1844] | 35mm

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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.

 

Beaumaris Castle Ruins, Anglesey | 720nm Infrared | 35Chronicle Photography

35mm, black & white, fine art, history, infrared, photography, ruins, structures, waterscape

The Greatest Castle Never Built.


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I | The Moated North-West Walls of Beaumaris Castle.

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II | On the Inside & … Remembering Marsden.

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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.

London Skylines: PT.III | 35Chronicle Photography

black & white, boats, cityscapes, fine art, full-spectrum, photography, skies, structures, urban, waterscape

Silver Linings?


It’s been a little while longer than I prefer, since I last posted and, if you’re visiting again – I thank you! In short, after keeping ourselves busy during the holidays, we have returned to find ourselves rather the worse for wear despite double-vaccinations, social distancing, constant mask-wearing and the collective use of more than likely a half gallon of hand-gel. It seems that the easing of restrictions and the predictable mass complacency that was bound to ensue, has had rather a negative impact on the dreaded lurgy and, after almost two years of this thing – working in close quarters within the health sector, I had to wait to until I had a holiday to succumb to it. To say I’m a bit miffed is an understatement. As I am currently on isolation day four of ten, I find only today that I have any strength to even post, so I hope I can make it worth your time. Whilst I have been able to get busy editing frames from other summer excursions, stringing words together with any coherence has been a distant priority until now. Is it possible to be cheerful and pissed off at the same time? There’s a contrast I don’t consider often.

Speaking of contrast, as a black and white shooter – I look for it everywhere. It’s one of the most important anchors of black and white photography, along with good composition and exposure, texture, light-play and if you’re really good (or just fortunate) some kind of message. In the latter, I lack often – my Achilles Heel, I guess. Nonetheless, I hope you’ll enjoy these few frames from London, where, I have to say – the clouds really played ball! Perhaps slightly over-exposed in #3 but I like it enough to share it with you, too.

I hope that you are all remaining safe and well, and if you’re not, you have my profound acknowledgement and sympathy. Covid sucks. Isolation sucks. Photography Rules!

Every cloud?!

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V | The Dome of St. Paul’s Cathedral (& a Smoke-Break on the Steps) – from an Uber on the Thames | 720nm IR

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VI | Blackfriars Bridge & the Boomerang (One Blackfriars), Southwark – from the Millennium Bridge | LTFS

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VII | The Shard & the Belfast – & Some Naughty Clouds! | LTFS

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– Memento Vivere! – 
R.
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The Water Cure: PT.II | 35Chronicle Photography

35mm, black & white, boats, candid, close-up, fine art, infrared, people, photography, portraits, skies, structures, summer, waterscape

Different Takes, on a Theme?


Ah, the summer holidays! Anyone with young children will know very well the stresses and conundrums when it comes to keeping them entertained enough during the school hols. Here though, I have to say that we are very fortunate to  live in not only such a beautiful county, but also within relatively short journeys to some beautiful places which both Bumble and I love to revisit ourselves; places too, that we know well enough that – when the kids are at a loose-end, we just hop in the jalopy and head back and enjoy some good ol’ fashioned family time. So here, shot on three different days, from three different places – are my few takes on the theme of water. Sometimes, there’s plenty and other times – we could probably do with a little more. I hope you’ll enjoy…

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I: “Plenty.” | Mytilus, Kirkcudbright Harbour at High-Tide | 35mm – 720nm IR.

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II: “Just Enough.” | Southerness Lighthouse at Low-Tide & a Nice Pool for a Full-Length Reflection | 35mm – 720nm IR.

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III: “Bugger!” | A Disgruntled Flynn at Balcary Bay, Auchencairn; Low-Tide & a Long Walk Back! | 50mm – VIS.

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– Memento Vivere! – 
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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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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Corbelly Hill Convent, Dumfries: PT.II | 720nm IR | 35Chronicle Photography

black & white, fine art, infrared, photography, ruins, structures, urban, waterscape

In the Light & the Dark.


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IV

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V

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VI

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

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When Elements Align | PT.II | 35Chronicle Photography

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

River Nith – Recomposed | 720nm Infrared.


A parting gift from the Nith, glorified under beautiful IR light; the first three frames from which were shared in my previous post. Playing the angles a little has helped me to see that frame ‘VI’ is for me anyway, rather better composed than frame ‘II’ in PT.I – the lesson has to be: always take a series and never trust the first take! Nonetheless, I do hope that you will also enjoy these captures and, to those who’ve clicked, commented and reposted my last entry – I am more grateful than you can know. As I have always believed, writing or sharing anything here is absolutely worthless without each of you who read and get involved. So, thank you!

From a sunny South West Scotland – wishing you all a very happy Tuesday!

R.

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IV: Devorgilla Bridge Across the Nith | 720nm Infrared.

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V: Buccleuch Street Bridge from Devorgilla Bridge | 720nm Infrared.

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VI: Hunters Gathering [II] | 720nm Infrared.

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

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When Elements Align | PT.I | 35Chronicle

black & white, fine art, infrared, nature, photography, skies, structures, urban, waterscape

River Nith | Back in the ‘Red’.


For the last few years, I have been up and down this stretch of the River Nith more times than I can remember, shooting visible-light monochrome, long-exposure night shots and plenty of infrared frames too – all in the hope of capturing that ‘perfect’ series of frames – shots I’d be so proud to print and hang on the wall; but without labouring the point, I have always felt that I have struggled here. The reasons I keep coming back and having yet another go are purely the attraction and, the challenge. It really is an eye-catching place. With regard to IR capturing however, I don’t think that I have ever come back with the shots that I had always itched for. Despite its obvious charms, it’s really not the easiest place to photograph and requires a lot of care where composition is concerned and though I have been enjoying this caper for well over twenty years, I accept that it’s no great surprise to me that it’s taken me until now to feel satisfied with my efforts.

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I. Along the Caul | River Nith, Dumfries | 720nm Infrared.

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Having a ‘thing’ for beautiful bridges and picturesque skies as I clearly do, makes some decisions on angles and perspective a little bit more intuitive when it comes to where I want the structures to be viewed within their frames but there’s a whole lot more going on around them, which, often has me scratching my head. Learning to ‘see’ within a frame and compose is largely down to preference, but there are certain rules which I do try my best to adhere to – such as subject, light and contrast, texture (and contrasting textures too), proportions, foreground, background, overall feel – and also, my own space and place within it all. On this day, the light was just about perfect and I was inspired to have another go.

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II. Hunters Gathering | River Nith, Dumfries | 720nm Infrared.

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As more and more people are now out and about in their cars, on foot or bikes after the last year of repeated and prolonged C-19 lockdowns, it was fabulous to get out here and see some more life about the place. As the sun beat down, we leisurely walked over the Devorgilla Bridge to the other side of the river and felt like living was starting to happen again which for me is certainly yet another reason to feel inspired. As we crossed the bridge, an opera-fan with very capable speakers punched out a little culture in Gm from  an upper storey window, an unusual backing track to the sound of the streets below and yet, I couldn’t help smiling because of it.

The elements had aligned and, I do hope you’ll enjoy these first few little outcomes.

R.

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III. Buccleuch Street Bridge, Dumfries | 720nm Infrared.

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

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Farewell: Shaking Hands with a National Icon | 35Chronicle

black & white, fine art, infrared, nature, personal, photography, rural, waterscape

A Royal Connection.


This post started out as one of my more usual publications, yet –  barely a half of a paragraph in, I received a notification from Medscape on my phone. The sadness I immediately felt, changed this post completely. Forgive me please, for this little bit of reminiscence:

During the recent Easter weekend, we took a drive out to Castle Loch for the five kilometre walk around its enticing perimeter. This beautiful Loch is situated on the very outskirts of the Royal Burgh of Lochmaben, just a couple of miles from Lockerbie. I mention this because today, the media has announced the sad passing of the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip – the Queen’s husband. He was 99.

In the summer of 1984, I was about to start my fourth year at High School. I had at that time held down a weekday paper-round, an all-day Saturday job at a local butchers, a Sunday milk-round which started at around 4 a.m and, I was also a sea cadet. The latter – took up two evenings a week and usually, two to three weeks of my school summer holidays for around five years. So why do I mention all of this? It’s very simple really.

One of my fondest childhood memories dates back to the summer of ’84. As a cadet, I had saved up my part-time earnings for a ten-day training course, sailing the south-west coast of England during which time we would be part of the Royal Review at Portland, Dorset. After around six days mostly at sea, we had pulled in to Portland Bill to refit and refurbish for the review which would take place on the following morning. Decks were scrubbed, lines were stowed and arranged, battens were polished and gunnels painted. Boots were spit and polished and uniforms were cleaned and ironed to the point at which one could have shaved with the creases using our toe-caps as shaving mirrors. But I was just 14. Alas. Nonetheless, nothing was left unchecked – on our vessel at least!

On the morning of the review, Prince Philip boarded every vessel rafted up at Portland Harbour, accompanied by his entourage of course and eventually – he boarded ours. As we stood to attention, twelve of us is our best No.2 uniforms, he shook hands and spoke with each of us in turn. I was, I think, about half-way down the line. Then he stood in front of me. He offered his hand and asked me as I shook it what I hoped to be when I left school and so, I told him, “I want to join the Royal Navy and work in communications, Your Royal Highness!” (We had all been prepped for speaking to royalty beforehand, you’ll understand!)

“Really?!” he had replied. “I have absolutely no idea what that is!”

It may sound ridiculous that such a moment in time, as short as it was – should be either so memorable or, so relevant. But our lives are made of the moments we remember and measured moreso by those that we would never want to be without. This memory is one of mine and, I am fortunate to have it. His obvious quick and effortless whit was a huge part of his warmth and his charm, I suppose. He could get away with saying anything and heaven only knows what he had said when he boarded the vessel rafted next to us; an all-female crew who had apparently, embarrassingly… rushed their preparations for the Duke’s visit which then became front page news in one of the tabloids on the following day. A picture of Prince Philip holding aloft a pair of ladies underwear which he had seen on one of the vessel’s bunks. His expression, as I recall – was priceless. But his words would have had many people rolling around the lower deck! I wish I had been there to hear what he’d said to that! If you search online for Prince Philips verbal gaffs and witty retorts – you’ll easily find enough to compile a hardback! He once described himself as “the world’s most experienced plaque-unveiler”.

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Though I have never been what you could call a staunch follower of the Royal Family – I have always appreciated their place in our history, in our future and in our national identity and, I am so proud to have, as so many have before and after me – even shaken his hand. And I feel a tangible, palpable sense of personal loss at his passing.

Today then, is a very sad day. I can only extend my own personal condolences to our Royal Family for their hugely sad loss of Prince Philip. A charming and kind, warm and witty National Icon – who will be very sadly missed, yet happily, joyfully – remembered.

He shook my hand.

R.

[9th April 2021].


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I | Castle Loch from the Sailing Club | 720nm Infrared.

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II | Castle Loch  Reflections | 720nm Infrared.

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If you would like updates, please click Follow. All Images & Posts © 35:Chronicle (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.

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

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

…Yet Standing, Still.


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IV | A Little Perspective | Parton Viaduct | 720nm IR

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V | From the Bank of Loch Ken | 720nm IR [… kind of!]

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VI | A Last Look Back | 720nm IR [… with a little help!]

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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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If you would like updates, please click Follow. All Images & Posts © 35:Chronicle (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.