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.


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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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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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Never Look a Gift-Horse in the Mouth… | 35Chronicle

35mm, autumn / fall, black & white, boats, infrared, photography, rural, skies, waterscape

Port, Starboard or – Straight Up? | Kippford [720nm IR]


It was to be a day of semi-relaxation – getting things done at home interspersed with doing not very much at all; a little of everything and not much of anything. After the initial rigours of an early Friday morning and a quick visit to town, on foot, I received a message on my ‘phone – “Looks a bit too nice to stay in all day!” This message was punctuated by an emoji indicative of a Bumble who was rather miffed by our joint lack of outdoor plans (something that regular readers of my pages will know already isn’t a habit I usually indulge in). Still, I had to agree that the day was looking rather splendid indeed and even by 09:30 I was excited to know that the little jobs around the house would have to wait until later that afternoon. As I walked home, I decided that a little jaunt to Kippford, a small sailing village not far from Dalbeattie – would be perfect. Lunch at the Mariner and perhaps, just perhaps – a few shots? 

Whenever we visit, I always seem to find much difficulty shooting here. Though my preferred light-source is IR when the sun is shining, I would always settle very happily for any decent light black and whites with the tide being in for once and, 99% of the time I will arrive here to look at glistening, soggy silt and sandbanks as the water of the Solway has already waved “cheerio!” for another few frustrating hours; a few hours that I don’t have, to wait for it to return, usually. Yes, I should check the tides – I mean, who wants to see boats (or shots of them, anyway) listing hard to port or starboard and resting either hull on what is essentially a mud-flat? On this day, however, I got lucky and, after lunch, I still had plenty of time. An hour or so anyway, before the tide tucked-tail and started to run out again. 

With all this said, please enjoy a few of my infrared frames from another of South West Scotland’s beautiful little ‘postcard’ villages. I hope you have a fabulous week and, thank you for reading! 

R.

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I | Kippford – from a Pontoon | X100-IR – 35mm.

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II | Little Land, Big Sky | X100-IR – 35mm.

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III | Up & Away | X100-IR – 35mm.

 

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IV | Signals? | X100-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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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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Loch Ettrick | 720nm IR [Long Expo’] – PT.I | 35Chronicle

black & white, boats, infrared, landscape, Long Exposure, nature, photography, rural, skies, summer, trees, waterscape

“Today, the Weather Will Consist Mainly of Horse-Flies, Cloud, Kayaking Intruders & Occasional, Infrequent Outbreaks of Sunshine”. (That’ll Do!)


I’m really struggling to find time enough to sit and write, lately. You may or may not have noticed and perhaps, it’s a nice change for readers to not have to feel guilty for all the ‘scanning’ we have to do when we do our best to keep up with all of the posts we follow and digest, in a meaningful way. A way that does justice to the incredible quality of works that are so regularly posted. Well, today, I have to write. I’m sorry. But I am starting to feel that distancing of connection with what I love to do so much and that which often lends context, most acutely comes down to words. Sometimes a frame by itself cannot be its own justification. This one almost achieves that, for me – but only because I was there shooting it. Still, my sub-header pretty much covers it. What it doesn’t portray, however, are the little yet frequent internal struggles I am having to do something a little different with my cameras. Ideas that have been explored and exploited for as long as any of us can remember are thus, still a little new to me and, as confident as I am at many genres of photography, long exposures still make me scratch my head as to how best to go about it. In this case, as with the previous recent frames that I have posted, I am winging it. Timing as best I can to achieve good exposure and some decent movement within the frame where it can move the eye and the mind. But slow-moving clouds are still just that, even over the course of a minute with the shutter open and so, we come to the water to hopefully save the day. The water came through in fine style. 

For years I have marvelled at the talents of photographers who have taken long-exposure photography to ever new heights and, whilst in no way could I hope to emulate some of the most incredible work that I have had the good fortune to view, I hope at the very least to be able to grasp the concept with the little knowledge that I do have and, put it to the test in making some frames of my own. Here, at the Loch-side, I was granted a gift, when eight year-old Flynn, on his first outing in a Kayak since he was four years old, drifted slowly into my frame. I made no attempt to ward him away (he was having so much fun, bless ‘im!) and, as I view the shot, I am bloody glad that I didn’t and, that he did. If only the shutter had remained open for another few seconds though? Nonetheless, happy accidents win the day and I have a frame to be delighted with. 


Loch Ettrick [I] | 720nm IR w/Hoya R72 & 10-Stop ND | Ricoh GXR A16 LTFS Conversion | 24mm – 60” – f22 – ISO:100.

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Although I am all too aware that conditions on this day weren’t perfect for this kind of exploration, I intend to keep going and will take my camera with me whenever and wherever I can in the hope that I will discover for myself, what to look out for and how to play with it. In the meantime, the cleg bites on my shoulders are reducing nicely and I can smile at great memories. I hope you’ll enjoy this one and, that you’ll have a great week ahead. 

R.


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From Either Side of a Bridge | 720nm Infrared | 35Chronicle

black & white, infrared, nature, photography, rural, skies, trees, waterscape

Necessity is Indeed the Mother of Invention.


These frames were captured a few weeks ago amidst the current lock-down here in Scotland. Standing on the bridge over the Annan at Brydekirk on the most glorious of days, I couldn’t help ponder that statement, as I looked out to parallel rocks beneath slowly flowing shallow waters to one side and, a cloudless sky to the other. Yes, I think I had just invented the revolving deckchair right there and, if I could have – I’d have remained in it all day. 

I hope that you too will enjoy the views.

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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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@35chroniclephotography
R.
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Re-embracing the Clouds | 35Chronicle

black & white, infrared, photography, waterscape

To Air & Water | PT.II


Following on from my previous post, over the past couple of days I have found myself more closely observing the recent cloud formations that have (a good few times over the last twenty-four hours or so) preceded some rather heavy rainfall. I remember that when I first became interested in photography, well over twenty years ago, I was obsessed with them – easy ‘targets’ or perhaps it was simply the ethereal aspect that I was most drawn to; I don’t really remember. Maybe it was both. Fast forward to present day and indeed, an obsession that I apparently lost along my way so many years ago – seems to be creeping back somewhat; and so, after a stroll (yesterday), I was very happy to come home and find a few pleasing frames on my SD card. Both of these were caught with my LTFS converted GXR. The first with my faithful R72 mounted on the front of the lens and, the second, with the wonderful Tiffen UVIR Cut, instead.

I hope you’ll enjoy them. 

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I | Across the Nith & Devorgilla Bridge | 720nm Infrared | 1/800th | f5.6 | ISO:200 | 24mm

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II | Along the Caul (Weir) – River Nith | 1/270th | f8.0 | ISO:100 | 24mm

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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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Thank you for visiting.
R. 

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

35mm, black & white, infrared, photography, spring, trees, waterscape

Reflections: Spring in Full Bloom.


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I | GXR – 1/400th – f6.3 – ISO:200 – Hoya R72

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II | GXR – 1/400th – f6.3 – ISO:200 – 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.
Feel free to join me on Instagram: @35chroniclephotography
Thank you for visiting.
R. 

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

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

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


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

Indeed; I wonder how this will all play out.

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I | Rosefield Mills [Derelict]

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II | Dock Park

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III | Bandstand

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IV | Devorgilla Bridge

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Thank you for visiting.
-R-

Going Home | 720nm Infrared | 35Chronicle

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

If it Wasn’t for the Night-Shifts…


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

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

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

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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.
Thank you for visiting.
-R-

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

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

Exercise Can Take Many Forms.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

R.

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Taking Time Out | Ricoh GR III | 35Chronicle

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

A Change of Rhythm.


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

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

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I.

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II.

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III.

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

R.

HOME A RATIONALE | LIGHT-WAVES | ARCHIVES | LINKS
Thank you for visiting. If you would like updates, please click Follow. All Images & Posts © 35:Chronicle (2018-2020) except where specified. No Copying or Redistribution of any kind is permitted without prior consent from the author, unless links to original work is clearly provided.
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