Edinburgh – From Calton Hill | 35Chronicle

black & white, cityscapes, photography, ruins, structures

Scotland’s Folly [& Other Views].


Back in December, I posted a number of night-shots from around Edinburgh – all taken on the evening before these frames were snagged. Weather-wise, the morning after was miserable, however, I was undeterred. We’d had a wonderful evening celebrating Angela’s birthday the night before and so despite the cloud and the drizzle, our spirits remained perky. Therefore, after breakfast, we walked to Calton Hill, to see what we might see and, here – are just a few of those captures. 

In all honesty, the very last thing we expected to see was an Oriental wedding trio – bride, groom and their photographer, standing right in front of one of Edinburgh’s most famous monuments (the unfinished – known as ‘Scotland’s Folly’) and it would have been completely remiss of me to ignore this almost Vettriano-esque moment, albeit from more of a distance. (I have no idea how the young bride kept her shoes clean for the shoot?) Looking out over the city, too (despite the very poor light) from such a vantage point is a real buzz. In better weather, I could have  spent a good many hours up here; and on another day, I plan to do just that. 

Thank you, as always for reading my pages and I do hope that you’ll enjoy these captures.

-R-

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I | The Wedding Trio | Ricoh GXR A16 | 35mm – 1/125th – f6.7 – ISO:1234[!]

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II | Chimney | Ricoh GXR A16 | 70mm – 1/125th – f6.7 – ISO:703[!]

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III | To the Castle | Ricoh GXR A16 | 24mm – 1/125th – f7.1 – ISO:617[!]

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… and yes, the ISOs are correct! (Why do you think I love shooting with this thing?!)

*Wink!*

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Hexham Abbey | PT.II | 35Chronicle

35mm, black & white, Indoor, photography, structures

A Little More Light-Play | Pushing the Ricoh GR


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IV | Ricoh GR 1/10th [H/H] – f3.5 – ISO:3200 – 35mm Internal Crop

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This little camera never, ever fails to astound me. After all I wrote about it [here] there was still one aspect of it that I never properly tried out. As a rule, I have seldom, if ever – shot at equivalent film-speeds of faster than ISO: 1600; not on any camera and certainly not seriously (save for occasionally with the incredible Nikon offering, the Df, which is  a whole different beast altogether). However, when the light drops and one finds oneself tripodless (say, through poor preparation, perhaps) the only way to get the shot, sometimes, is to bump up the ISO and, without anywhere suitable to rest my GR during the making of these frames, handheld was the only way to go. 1600 wasn’t cutting it as, even with reasonably steady hands and good stance, most of the frames were just coming out a little too soft due to that smidgen of camera movement.  Therefore, 3200 was the only way to get them. Without realising it, I was on a test mission after which I would find myself thoroughly delighted. My initial thoughts were simply that it’d be better to get the shots than not. 

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V | Ricoh GR 1/10th [H/H] – f2.8 – ISO:3200 – 35mm Internal Crop

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I’ve always enjoyed the grain that appears in the GR’s images, especially at around 800-1600; it’s light, almost organic in appearance and lends a feel to a composition that instead of destroying it or breaking it up, actually appears to add more warmth and cohesion instead. To me, it harks back to when I used to enjoy shooting Ilford HP5 on an old ME Super, all those years ago – and to be honest, on most occasions, grain is such an integral part of the frame that I rarely even see it; and that’s exactly what happened here when I started editing these shots. I couldn’t even see it. You’d be forgiven for thinking that these have all undergone a major repertoire during processing but in truth, I really don’t enjoy spending too long in LR and so, these are very lightly processed and NR hasn’t even been touched. Exposures are a breeze and accurate with the GR and after having shot with it for so many years, I’m fortunate to be able to feel like it’s really an extension of my hand and, it has seldom let me down. Whilst for some types of composition, clean, pristine is more desirable – it’s not always what I’m looking for and I am moving quickly away from the ‘keeping it sharp and clean’ school of thought. Insosaying, if the light is good, I’ll be happy come what may. I think that no longer being pointlessly critical is going to open up a whole new wave of ideas that I am already very keen to exploit. It doesn’t just do it in black and white, either; colour frames come up pretty nice too!

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As always, thank you so much for reading my pages and I do hope you’ll enjoy these few captures of Hexham’s gorgeous abbey. [PT.I can be viewed here].

-R-

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VI | Ricoh GR 1/45th [H/H] – f2.8 – ISO:3200 – 35mm Internal Crop

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Harbouring Light | PT.II – 720nm IR | 35Chronicle

black & white, boats, infrared, photography, waterscape, winter

Back to the Front | Kirkcudbright Harbour.


Life has settled into a new-old rhythm lately and, now that I have a little less time on my hands, it’s time to reflect on those days when I had an awful lot more time to do the very same thing. 

Whenever I have a day to kick my heels, I often think about coming back to Kirkcudbright, a place I love so much and have spend many, many happy hours wandering around with my cameras, shooting around the harbour in particular – satisfying my utter love of water, boats and glorious light; albeit the low, early winter sun. Just a couple  of weeks ago the jaunt was made again, instigated by the surety of a perfect day for shooting and, checking the tide-times only solidified intentions. Few ever walk the jetty to the pontoons; whenever I come, there’s hardly ever another soul to be seen and I guess that’s another reason as to why I love this spot as much as I do. Listening to the wind slapping the lines against their masts is an inspiration in itself and I can take minutes just thinking about a single frame – but what’s not to love about that?

For as long as I am still shooting, I know that I’ll come back here again and again. I’ll probably take the same shots over too and from the same places, but when inner peace is so easily found and there’s someone to share it all with, I don’t have a problem with that. At all. I do hope you’ll enjoy these few IR captures and, come back for another look too, perhaps?

Have a great weekend, peeps.

– R –

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I | The Boat that Never Moves.

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II | A Wave on a Daisy.

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III | Reflected Calm.

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[All frames: Ricoh GXR A16 LTFS w/Hoya R72]


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New Lanark | PT.III – On the Rooftop | 35Chronicle

black & white, full-spectrum, photography, rural

Robert! Enjoy Scenes!


Alright , so this post is a really just for a little fun and probably a little bit of an artistic (or perhaps, lazy) cop-out on my part – a few more shots from an overcast day’s visit to New Lanark late last year (see PT.I for a little more information on this UNESCO World Heritage Site) – this time, from the award-winning roof garden and focusing on the centrepiece – the water-feature. In the woodwork surrounding it is carved this: 

“The ever-changing scenes of nature afford not only the most economical, but also the most innocent pleasures which man can enjoy”. (Robert Owen  A New View of Society:  Third Essay, 1813.)

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VII | Robert | GXR A16 LTFS 1/640th – f7.6 – ISO:200 – 28mm

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As the weather and poor light were slowing down my Tv on my standard camera, I decide to keep shooting with my full-spectrum set-up, without any external filtering and took a walk around the fountain. I was then able to keep my ISO down and , as the clouds thinned a little, snag a little IR pollution too. In order to emphasise feelings of my own relevance of being in this beautiful place, I decided to select and capture just three words. I think that they sum it up, perfectly. 

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XIII | Enjoy | GXR A16 LTFS 1/570th – f4.2 – ISO:200 – 35mm

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XIX | Scenes | GXR A16 LTFS 1/310th – f4.2 – ISO:200 – 35mm

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Ironically and unbeknown to me, whilst I was wandering round and grabbing a few frames, Angela was grabbing her own on her iPhone! So, shot four – can’t possibly be mine, but I love it and it stays! I won’t divulge her exact title for it, but it involves a frog (possibly even, a toad?!) and a prince; I can say no more! 

– R –

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X | A Frog & a Prince (I’ll Let You Work it Out!) | iPhone 7+ | ©ACB

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Hexham Abbey | PT.I | 35Chronicle

black & white, colour, photography, structures

Light-Play | Outside vs Inside…


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I | Ricoh GR 1/60th – f5.0 – ISO:400

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II | Ricoh GR 1/15th [H/H] – f2.8 – ISO:3200

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III | Ricoh GR 1/15th [H/H] – f2.8 – ISO:3200

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(…no comparison!)

Happy New Year, all!

– R –


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Closer Still(s) | PT.XXV | Wilt in Nowhere | 35Chronicle

35mm, black & white, close-up, colour, fine art, macro, nature, photography, still life

Oh, I’ve Missed this Caper!


We all have our favourite genres when it comes to photography; me – I love IR and alternative wavelengths, people, waterscapes and boats and of course, if you’ve been reading me for a while, close-up & macro photography. As I was sitting at dinner with my family this evening it occurred to me that it’s been simply ages since I set-up to shoot any close subjects and, this was all because of one wilting Gerbera Daisy in a vase on the opposite side of the kitchen. 

As a predominantly black and white shooter, I was shall we say, uncharacteristically jolted into thought by its colour and the way in which it had drooped forward away from the rest of the bunch as if reminding me that I’ve lost touch with the finer details; and so, after clearing up, I excitedly pulled all the gear I needed, downstairs, and set up in the kitchen to photograph this forlorn but  beautiful little flower, perhaps not too many days away from being destined for the bin but not yet completely void of its former form; certainly worth a few shutters.

(Sorry for nicking the title from Tom Sharpe – it just, fitted.) I hope you will enjoy these few eagerly processed frames. This is about as hot off the press as it gets… 

– R –

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I | Ricoh GXR A12 33mm [50mm Equiv] Macro | 1/12th – f8.0 – ISO:100.

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II | Ricoh GR w/Hoya +10 Close-Up | 1/12th – f8.0 – ISO:100 | 35mm Internal Crop.

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III | Ricoh GR w/Hoya +10 Close-Up | 1/30th – f8.0 – ISO:100 | 35mm Internal Crop.

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2019 Photographic Review | 35Chronicle Photography

black & white, boats, close-up, colour, Indoor, infrared, landscape, macro, nature, night / low-light, people, photography, portraits, review, ruins, rural, skies, still life, structures, summer, trees, waterscape

As the Days Begin to Lengthen.


This time last year I was preparing my first ever photo-review here at 35Chronicle and, at the time, I could never have professed to have known just what a year 2019 was going to be for me. In every sense of the word it’s been an amazing year, and – a traumatically difficult one for the large part. Suffice to say that if you are a regular reader of my pages, you’ll know a little of what I’ve been up to and, subjected to and – you might also realise that as well as those closest to me who have kept me going throughout the year since spring, my love of all things photographic have been my main non-pulsatile impetus to get back out there and, get better. Better in health, at life, at shooting – just, better; in any way I can.

Despite some difficulties in getting back out there (you try shooting whilst holding on to your crutches while your camera bag is threatening to slide forward under the weight of the gear – with the express intent of taking one of your legs from underneath you!) I have enjoyed many excursions this year. Insosaying, I have done my best to represent each month of 2019 (by date of publishing) with what I feel is the one shot that truly made the cut. My cut. I hope I have done enough.

Of course, the whole reason I am writing any of this is because, well – you are reading it. As such, I need to say a massive thank you to a huge amount of people who have been with me this year and without whom, my 2019 would have turned out rather different and probably not as good. Therefore, to loved ones, to friends, to everyone here on WP, and to everyone who has been of support to me throughout the year, I thank you, from the bottom of my heart. You all know who you are and I forget not one of you.

Please do enjoy this selection of just some of my favourite frames of this year and I hope you’ll join me again in 2020. It’ll be great to see you again. (To H – thank you and please forgive me for my shameless and blatant use of your sign-off. It fits perfectly, expresses my intent to a tee and I truly can’t think of or find a better way to say it. I promise to only use it this once!)

See you on the flip-side, folks!

In Metta.

– Rob –


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January 2019 | Moss after Rain.

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February 2019 | The Wellspring – Kirkcudbright | 720nm IR.

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March 2019 | Thirlstane Arch – Powillimont, Southerness | 720nm IR.

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April 2019 | Dundrennan Abbey [AKA: The Day of Two Cakes!]| 720nm IR

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May 2019 | Angela.

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June 2019 | Gelston Castle | 720nm IR.

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July 2019 | River Nith to Greyfriars | 720nm IR.

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August 2019 | Angela & her Machines.

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[Just After] September 2019 | The Kelpies – Falkirk | Late Dusk.

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October 2019 | Light Muse (Sic!)

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November 2019 | Edinburgh, from the Castle.

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December 2019 | Paisley James – 4 Hours Old.
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Happy New Year 2020, to You All!

X

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New Lanark | PT.II – Outside the Machines | 35Chronicle

black & white, full-spectrum, night / low-light, photography, rural, structures

I am Automation.


From PT.I – a little more mono / full-spectrum fun in a few frames from inside a couple of the workshops. The ISO and Tv values might suggest use of a standard VIS light camera, however, the lack of natural light was a real issue, though reasonably easily overcome by LTFS and a steady hand, despite the distinct lack of UVIR infiltration. Despite a higher ISO in combination with what is essentially, technologically speaking, an ancient camera – I am delighted with the level of detail and contrast in these frames. I do hope you’ll also enjoy them, for what they are.

– R –

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IV | The Donkey Engine | LTFS 1/45th – f4.8 – ISO:1600 – 35mm.

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V | Back-End of a Donkey [Engine] | LTFS 1/75th – f5.5 – ISO:1600 – 85mm.

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VI | Spinning & Reeling | LTFS 1/30th – f7.5 – ISO:1600 – 35mm.

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[All images in this New Lanark series – snagged with a Ricoh GXR A16 LTFS (from ~280nm to ~1300nm) internal conversion, unfiltered.]


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New Lanark | PT.I – Overview(s) | 35Chronicle

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

1786 [& the Legacies of Dale & Arkwright].


One of six UNESCO World Heritage sites in Scotland, New Lanark is situated approximately twenty-five miles south-east of Glasgow, on the River Clyde. Once a thriving cotton mill (using water powered spinning machinery) and now a tourist attraction, many of the old workers’ homes are now tenanted apartments however, the old mill buildings are beautifully maintained with much of the old machinery and the whole village makes for a truly fascinating visit.

More info. can be found here.

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I | Boxing Hares in the Roof Garden | LTFS 1/500th – f5.6 – ISO:200 – 35mm.

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Because the overhead conditions were unfavourable, extremely overcast and damp, I took along my LTFS camera outfit to make the most of any and all available light (UV, VIS & IR). Being able to take advantage of the availability of those extra wavelengths is a real bonus under such conditions and keeps the ISO down too, which I prefer, of course. What I hope to show over the coming posts from New Lanark is just how versatile a good true full-spectrum set-up is, for black and white work specifically and, how there really isn’t a photo-scenario where its benefits can’t be exploited. I’ll move outside and inside and aim to show you another world, not that far removed from our own, but with subtle nuances not always instantly apparent or appreciated, still, that I hope will either please, or inspire; or both, perhaps. If I fail in both regards, then I need to work a little harder, methinks.

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II | Little Touches (Roof Garden to the Church) | LTFS 1/500th – f5.3 – ISO:200 – 70mm.

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I’ll shortly be preparing my 2019 Review for posting during the next couple of days, but in the meantime, I hope you are all enjoying yourselves over this festive season and, as always, thank you so much for reading my pages. I hope you’ll enjoy these first few frames from what is a very special place. 

– R –

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III | The Clyde – from the Water-Wheel to the Caul | LTFS 1/290th – f5.3 – ISO:200 – 70mm.

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[All images in this New Lanark series – snagged with a Ricoh GXR A16 LTFS (from ~280nm to ~1300nm) internal conversion, unfiltered.]


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

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

Tails: Chased [Tick!]


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IV | Flare | 24mm | 720nm IR.

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V | South Face w/ Shadows – II | 24mm | 720nm IR

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VI | South & West Face | 24mm | 720nm IR.

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VII | East Face – II | 35mm | 720nm IR.

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[PT.I – Click!]
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On Human Connections | PT.II | 35Chronicle

35mm, black & white, people, personal, photography, portraits

Celebrations & Christmas Wishes.


Time is short today and as festive preparations continue, I would like to take a little time out to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas. It’s been a very different kind of year for me, but for others, the experience of this thing called life is only just beginning. Therefore, to each and every one of my readers and followers, I extend my warmest wishes and, especially to one little girl, who is about to celebrate her very first – though she’ll never remember it. This one’s going to be a blast

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday, no matter how you’re celebrating. 

Warmest wishes,

Rob.

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I | Four Hours Old | For Paisley | 35mm

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II |  Paisley, with Mum & Dad, Elaina & Arran | 35mm

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III | Angela Gets a Hold – Paisley at 4 Hours Old | 35mm

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On Human Connections (& the Withholding of Sherry!) | 35Chronicle

35mm, black & white, people, personal, photography, portraits

From my Quiet Corner.


It’s not often that I photograph people anymore, however this post for me at least, is a little more poignant. This year has seen hospital visits very frequently on my agendas. Not only for myself have I spent time in one or another, but sadly with an ageing family member and the problems exacerbated by the very same and unstoppable process,  this has brought on the necessity to spend even more time in various departments and wards throughout the year. But there’s something else about hospitals other than the obvious that runs deep in their very ethos that, if you simply look around you – can be seen everywhere. 

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I.

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Now, I know it’s absolutely not ethical nor even polite to photograph at random the unfortunate plights of others in such a personal context, so, I’d like to share instead a couple of simple frames which for me epitomise the deeper connections between human beings  that I have only ever witnessed so emphatically – in hospitals. Though I have hung on to these shots for a good number of months, (I found it very difficult to find a cohesive context in which to publish them) now – I feel I can share them in such a way that I would hope makes such clear sense as to render the message obvious. 

As I sat in the corner of a nearby community hospital, observing Angela with her ninety-nine year old grandmother, Ellen, who had by then been a patient there for over two months, the intimacy and love that filled the room was something that I just had to try to capture. Heart-melting moments, right there in front of me.

Thankfully, Ellen is home again at the time of writing and is doing very well indeed. (We’ve had to withhold the sherry though; just in case.)

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II.

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[Both frames were discreetly captured on my secreted Ricoh GR, set to my preferred 35mm Crop mode.] 

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Portpatrick | PT.II – 720nm Infrared | 35Chronicle

35mm, black & white, infrared, photography, ruins, rural, structures

Old St. Patrick’s Kirk [Circa: 1629]


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I.

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II.

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III.

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[All frames: Ricoh GR Internal IR Conversion w/35mm Internal Crop]

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Portpatrick | PT.I – 720nm Infrared | 35Chronicle

35mm, black & white, boats, infrared, landscape, photography, summer, waterscape

The Harbour Series.


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I.

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II.

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III.

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[All frames: Ricoh GR Internal IR Conversion w/35mm Internal Crop]

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Edinburgh Nightscapes | PT.II – LTFS Series | 35Chronicle

black & white, full-spectrum, night / low-light, photography

In the Black.


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IV | Scott Monument | 1/18th – f5.6 – ISO1600

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Following on from my previous post, I cannot resist sharing a few more frames from Edinburgh, shot from the Christmas Market on Princes Street and, a last night shot from the castle. All of the shots in this post and PT.I were made with my LTFS (Luminous Tone Full Spectrum) converted GXR A16 unit, without any external filtering and, handheld. Shooting in full spectrum for night-time black and white is a real treat, largely due to the fact that even artificial lighting can emit strong UV and IR wavelengths, adding to the amount of light that the camera is able to capture, thus, reducing Tv values and making for steadier shots without a tripod. Not only this, but the level of detail in the blacks, when compared to making the same shots on my standard, unconverted units, is – to be frank – completely wonderful. A little IR softening and a slight increase in grain is inevitable but, for me, these aspects please my eye to the point where I run out of words. I do hope you’ll enjoy these few frames as much as I do.

– R –

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V | Scott Monument | 1/45th – f5.6 – ISO1600

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VI | From Edinburgh Castle | 1/7th – f8.0 – ISO1600

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