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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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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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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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.III/V | 720nm Infrared | 35Chronicle Photography

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

Rule No.1: Never Shoot into the Sun.


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VI | Of Course, Rules Can Be Stretched…

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VII | The Left-Hand Lens-Shade Method: With Practise, It Works!

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Memento Vivere…
R.
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A Playful Intermission | 35Chronicle Photography

black & white, close-up, fine art, full-spectrum, personal, photography, portraits

Paper, String & Tin-Foil…


A little break from castles and ruins, today. I mean, I would hate to be completely predictable!?

We had been talking about perhaps finding a moggie for a year or so, on and off, as it happens. For my part, I wasn’t as forthcoming in the locating of said moggie as was a certain Bumble and this was in very large part to the fact that, as a big guy – I am also very soft on cats. I’ve had many over the years, loved each and every one of them and I can’t remember more than one or two that I lost to natural causes and those heart-breaking memories have kept me from rushing in again; that really was the long and short of it. But in April, along came an eight week old Boomer, and a few weeks later, in May – a pair of absolutely beautiful sisters to keep him company, too. In all honesty, I am a firm believer of the fact that a cat (or three) absolutely makes a home, and it is wonderful to have them here in ours – and to enjoy the utter happiness (along with the obvious and frequent little trials, too) that they bring, every day. And most nights. Nonetheless – though they have only been in their new home for a short time, they have all settled in perfectly, and Summer, the cloud-fluffy, gorgeous one who would surely be the personification of, say, Audrey Hepburn – is laying on my legs even as I write. Boomer (the Ginger Ninja) and Penny-Pitstop (Beryl the Peril) are curled up together on their window cushion behind me – no doubt whispering outlines for new, devilish plots to each other. Or perhaps I have too much time to think, today. 

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I | A Baby Ginger Ninja | Sigma DP3M LTFS

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II | Penny-Pitstop Upon Realising She’s Been Well & Truly Caught… | GXR A16 LTFS

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III | Boomer & Summer [Too Many Captions!] | GXR A16 LTFS

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I’ll get back to my usual posts soon enough but, in the meantime – I wish you all a very playful, cute and fluffy Sunday! 

Memento Vivere…
R.
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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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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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GETTING OUT [AHEM!] – LESS | PT.II | 35CHRONICLE

black & white, fine art, full-spectrum, infrared, nature, photography, rural, skies, winter

The Freezing of Time & Tide.


Moving on from my last post, sharing a few grabs from a beautiful coastal spot not far from home over a week ago, I mentioned that on a brighter day, we would return with the munchkins, a small picnic and flasks of tea, coffee and soup! I would also take my IR and LTFS gear along and give Sandyhills ‘the treatment’… jeez, this place screams out like it’s begging for it, I can tell you! Anyway, after checking the forecast for the coming week after our first visit, Wednesday looked like it was to be the best for shooting and, for access, the tide times app gave us a window of around two hours prior to sunset which would enable us to safely get back to the caves and, the Needle’s Eye again. We arrived at a completely empty beach just around lunchtime – not even a dog-walker in sight. We had the whole place to ourselves. I would never have imagined that, even though it was so bitterly cold, that this place would be so empty of people, considering the space here and the fact that sensible outdoor pursuits are still permitted as long as distancing is observed. Still, not a soul for the most part of the time we spent here. A real rarity.

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I.

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In my bag, I had my trusty pair of LTFS converted GXRs – one set-up for 720nm IR and the other for VIS using a Tiffen UVIR cut on the front of the lens. This latter set-up, I find, yields noticeably sharper results than a standard VIS camera configuration, which I put down to the (potentially) complete eradication of extraneous wavelengths other than those within the VLS from reaching the sensor. If the light had been poorer and less, I might have removed the UVIR altogether and shot full-spectrum for the extra light it would have gathered (and conversely – softness, due to UVIR light pollution) but, the light played ball and remained (almost) where I wanted it to be.

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II.

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One thing I have never seen in my life, though I have lived many years on or near a coast in the UK – is a frozen, receding tide; yet, here it was right in front of us. Stunning, beautiful and, almost other-worldy. If I were not such a fan of Attenborough, I’d have been even further taken aback. Now though, I am reminded of our youngest who, on this day, when he was warned about the lack of grip beneath his feet as he walked behind us, suddenly called out… “Wait! I shouldn’t step on… WHAAAAAAAAAAAAT???! You can guess, perhaps, the position we found him in, the moment he’d finished asking the question! Honestly, to say I pissed myself is a bit of an understatement. The penguin-dive and slide were a nice touch, too!

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III.

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Further along the beach, in a deeply recessed rock at the entrance to one of the caves, we sat together on the sand, we ate and drank, we laughed and marvelled at the space around us; the breeze didn’t touch us at all and the sun was by now warm enough that it had us removing our jackets. It was like the world and all its problems didn’t exist – if only for a couple of hours. It was indeed a blissful day. Photography isn’t always just about making photographs, because, I truly believe that the moments between the frames, those feelings that you just can’t capture in a still are always on the outside edge of every single capture – hidden in memory.

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Enjoy your moments – and capture them, however you can.

R.


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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.

The Mono-Archives | PT.III | 35Chronicle

black & white, full-spectrum, photography, ruins, structures

Jedburgh Abbey.


Caught last year during a very drizzly November day, where light was as best terribly poor – I decided that I would capture the beautiful Jedburgh Abbey using my LTFS / full-spectrum set-up (see my Light Waves page if this is a concept that you’re not too familiar with). In so doing, I was able to catch any potential extra light in the UV and IR ends of the spectrum (admittedly very little but any extra light on days like these is a bonus, I feel) and, just that little extra detail in the darker shadows. Though a completely un-ideal day for dramatic light, instead, I hope that I have managed to capture a few frames that might just about portray just how stunning a  structure Jedburgh Abbey is. I  do hope you’ll enjoy these few frames from the archives.

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I | GXR A16 LTFS Conversion: 1/140th | f6 | ISO:200 | Spot Metered.

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II | GXR A16 LTFS Conversion: 1/125th | f6.7 | ISO:766 | Spot Metered. 

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III | GXR A16 LTFS Conversion: 1/125th | f6.3 | ISO:872 | Spot Metered.

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


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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.