Abnormal Service is Resumed | 35Chronicle

black & white, colour, photography, rural, structures, waterscape

When I said “It’s Not Over Yet”…

… I meant it. Back in Post No.62 [August 2018] – I shared a few 715nm & 760nm infrared frames from Talla Reservoir, here in beautiful Tweedsmuir, a place which I have revisited many times over the last twenty or so years and each time I do, I hope for ever more still water. I have yet to witness it though I have imagined it many, many times. I know what my perfect image of Talla and its pump-house look like; I’ve just never been able to capture it. Yet. This is a place which I have always known to be wonderfully picturesque, reassuringly tranquil and yet never easy to capture in two dimensions. It can take a good hour or more to get here from home and in an hour, Scottish weather can change a dozen times and so, no matter what you expect on the way, often – conditions can be far different when one finally arrives. Insosaying, I have learned not to expect or hope for ‘favourable’ conditions and instead, work with what I have; what I had on this day – was cloud, haze, and my three DPMs. I’ve said this before and I absolutely believe it, that the medium shouldn’t be the message… but when the medium is so good at getting the message across, it’s hard to ignore its importance. 

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I | Talla Reservoir & The Pump-House [DP3M]

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Sigma’s DP Merrills have accompanied me here once before – perhaps six or seven years ago and back in a time when I really don’t think I was photographically or artistically mature enough to truly appreciate them; what they truly offer. Things are different now. I have slowed down my approach to a point where I don’t care anymore that these little brick-like cameras take an absolute aeon to write even one image to card, or that the shutter-lag catches me out every single time I make a shot, or that its Foveon sensor can’t render well above ISO 400 (in black and white; for colour frames, 200 is the limit, especially if you’re making large prints). What I do love though, is how these little bricks capture immensely detailed frames without fuss or flourish, without scene modes, art filters or other awful, tacky, consumer-poaching gimmicks but with menus which are helpfully customisable and hence, are so ridiculously easy to quickly navigate. It’s got all I need to make a shot – and absolutely nothing more. Halle*******lujah! With the Holy Three in my bag, my shoulder barely knew they were even there. No changing lenses, no slow zooms, just perfectly matched primes and sensors that bite a chunk out of your arse when you’ve finally uploaded for edit. Hey, you have to forgive me – this is photo-blog after all! 

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II | Tweedsmuir Parish Church & a Sorrowful Stone [DP1M]

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Quite by accident, something else I have come to enjoy about the DPM series (and the DPs before them, I might add) is their unusual colour signature. Without going into too much science – the Foveon is made of three separate layers each capturing a different colour, from front to back – blue, green and red. This means that blue light hits the sensor first, and red, last. Naturally then, more red light is required than blue to register on the sensor (as it has to penetrate the blue and green layers first) and this is, as I understand it, why the Foveon’s captures look a little less warm than a standard, interpolated Bayer sensor would produce. Furthermore, I really like the look. Oddly then, for me – being predominantly a black and white photographer (and by the way, these things totally ROCK for monochrome!) that I should enjoy the Sigma’s colour output in the way that I currently am. I absolutely look forward to much better light where I can really find out just how much these tools can interpret what and how I see. Maybe one day soon I will get my wish and, my long-suffering and ever-faithful Bumble will be able to stop concentrating so hard at paying attention to my incessant wafflings and just, perhaps – enjoy a few more frames instead, over a nice cuppa. 

Which – I hope you also do. Thank you, as always – for reading! 

R.

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III | Cross-Over [DP2M]

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32 Years On: Remembering Pan Am 103 | 35Chronicle

people, photography

21.12.1988.


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There’s not a lot I actually know that hasn’t been in the media over the last 32 years, about the Lockerbie Disaster. Though, this week, the BBC reported that the man alleged to have been behind the making of the bomb that killed 270 people on board Pan Am Flight 103 0n the 21st December 1988 has been charged with terrorism offences. When the disaster occurred, I was still living in my hometown in the Midlands and hadn’t even made the move to Scotland. I wouldn’t even have contemplated that mover for another 11 or 12 years afterwards. I remember the news though and the horror of it all – so many lost; and their families, loved ones, friends, colleagues, fellow students – all of them feeling the pain of this horrific attack. And the people of Lockerbie too, those who died on the ground and those who didn’t. It affected everyone I think, far and wide but none so much as those 270 people who lost their lives on the 21st December 1988. I was 18 when it happened.

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On my commute to work as a paramedic, I pass the Garden of Remembrance at the top of Cemetery Brae before the start of every shift, and after the end of each. In fact, I would probably pass it a dozen times during my shift and over the past fifteen years of being stationed at Lockerbie, like every local or worker in the town – it’s a fixture, easily disregarded when negotiating those bends at speed. There’s a small car park in front of it and the cemetery itself runs a good few hundred yards before one arrives at the memorial.  We arrived yesterday, late morning – barely another person in sight. The day before, however, the annual remembrance ceremony had taken place and fresh flowers and tributes laid for the victims of Pan Am Flight 103. Though the people of Lockerbie are seldom heard to talk about it, the disaster is palpably, tangibly close the town’s heart. To the outside world, it’s a town defined almost solely by those awful events – but as one who has worked here for almost 20 years, I can’t agree completely. Yes, there will always be the memory and the scars of what happened to those who lived through it and the knowledge, for those who did not. But the town and it’s people carry on – because that is all that can be done; it’s a very stoic, strong and resolute community. As for the families and loved ones of those who were taken, one can only speculate on the pain that they will feel as they always have since that night. Former Secretary of State for Scotland, David Mundell MP, said it beautifully when he wrote in a tribute which he placed yesterday, “For those who haven’t been able to make it to Lockerbie this year, you are not forgotten. They are not forgotten.”

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Over the years, I’ve had many conversations with colleagues about what happened that awful night. One such gentleman I spoke with was a former ambulance technician by the name of George White. He was on call that evening and was the first clinician on scene. The horror he faced was something which he was never able to put into actual words and we’d never have forced them either, but by the look on his face as he spoke all those years ago – he told the scene without ambiguity. I remembered George again yesterday when I read one particular name on the plaque. Suzanne Marie Miazga. She was 22 years old. Her body was found on the grounds of the ambulance station directly after the 747 was torn apart; her picture still sits in a frame on the bookshelf in our rest-room, directly beneath the TV. Her life, and the taking of it is also the reason why we tend a pink rose-bush at the corner of the entrance to our station – her name engraved in the brass plaque on the front of the planter. Pink roses were her favourite. Every single person on that flight had a favourite something and that is still worth remembering. 

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During the decades after, Suzanne’s mother kept in regular touch with George and he would travel to the States often to see her; eventually they became so close that they married. Memory fades a little for me now and I can’t remember exactly when they were married but it was certainly within the last ten years. Sadly though, due to failing health, and age – George passed away just a few years ago. As I remember him here, I hope that you’ll have a look at a few frames I grabbed yesterday and remember them all. 

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Never Forget.

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Call Me Old Fashioned… | 35Chronicle

35mm, black & white, close-up, colour, fine art, full-spectrum, macro, people, personal, photography, portraits, still life

A Prior Engagement.


Okay, a little bit of an announcement. At the end of last month, after two years together through thick (and even thicker) I proposed to Bumble and – after her initial tears of disbelief and throwing her hands up to her face at the sight of me on one knee, she said, “Yes”! Needless to say, we are both ridiculously happy and our wonderful nuclear family, too, has a solidified and renewed direction. After everything we’ve come through over the last eighteen months or so, I couldn’t be happier. But this post isn’t just an announcement. This is a photography blog after all and I have been waiting until I had the requisite shots, before writing.

As an engagement gift to me, Bumble gave me a new cocktail watch for my wrist and also, for my growing collection. I have collected watches, (only certain movements it must be said) for many years and, this new gift had me rather stunned, even moreso because she clearly knows me so well. Insosaying, though I do feel a tad selfish posting these, it also stands as my little testament to the value of time and, how we spend it. Many of my readers will know that I don’t just shoot old ruins and infrared scenes – I enjoy many forms of photography and macro-photography is one of my firm favourites and major passions when I am forced to shoot indoors. Couple this with my love of mechanical watches (as opposed to quartz movements) where, I have always felt that there is more magic and fairy dust inside such a watch than levers, cogs and springs, well, you might understand just how marvellous and precious these instruments are to me, personally. And, a watch is a very personal thing. If it is thing of visual beauty, then I am in awe of it. Keats said something very similar, I recall. Such is the case here, with my beautiful (5147/8000) Seiko Presage SSA392J1.

With its 4R57 automatic movement, 41-hour power reserve indicator, gorgeous colours (inspired by the classic, ‘Old Fashioned’ cocktail – recipe at the bottom of this post!) perhaps it is indeed, itself, a classic in the making. What I am certain of however, is that for me, this combination is as classic as it’s possible to get and the value of time somehow becomes even more poignant when I wear it. So, by way of utter appreciation and gratitude for the love of the woman in my life, who knows me better than I do – I now post a few shots that I have very carefully selected after a painstaking couple of days editing, post-shooting. Whatever you photograph, it should always be shot with love. I hope I have done enough here.

(For anyone interested, these frames were made with my Ricoh GR III (the closest frame, with the Hoya +10 – front-mounted) except for frame two of Angela, which was shot on an LTFS converted Ricoh GXR, in full-spectrum – hence the slight softness of the focus). 

Thank you so much for bearing with me and for reading once again. I hope you’ll enjoy these few frames too.

… To Bumble – whatever I have to say to you, I’ll say it in private! 

R.

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To Mix an Old Fashioned:
  • Place the sugar cube in an Old Fashioned glass. 
  • Wet it down with Angostura bitters and a short splash of club soda.
  • Crush sugar with a wooden muddler, rotate the glass so that the sugar grains and bitters give it a lining. 
  • Add a large ice cube. Pour in the whiskey. 
  • Garnish with an orange twist, and serve with a stirring rod if you’re so inclined.

…and, relax!

R.

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Closer Still(s) | PT.XXX | Sunflower [II] | 35Chronicle

35mm, black & white, close-up, colour, macro, nature, photography

Not My Usual Caper…

Seeing as how I rarely shoot or, process for colour – it was a lot of fun the other day to make a few more frames with the GR III  which is, in my opinion a black and white gem of a camera. Marketed, written about and most often thought of as a street camera, I have been shooting close-ups and macros with the GR line for years. My last post (a giant sunflower shot at 720nm IR) was made on my old, converted Fujifilm X100  but these three frames were in fact made on the GR III, believe it or not – albeit in my favoured 35mm crop mode. They were handheld shots (I had little time to set up the tripod, I’m sorry) and because the light was so appealing, I decided to leave a couple of frames in colour. I wrote a long time ago about how I only usually think in terms of colour when the colour itself is the reason why I make the images in the first place and, my intentions were the very same when I made these. This GR’s lens focuses a lot closer in macro-mode than the first two iterations of the camera and I’m pretty sure I could have got even nearer to my points of interest but, that would have ruined my framing. Close-up parallax during focusing sometimes makes it tricky especially when shooting with a wider lens, even when having moved the focus-point beforehand but as you can see here, it does a fine job. 

I do hope you’ll enjoy these few frames. Have a great weekend, all! 

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 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.

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Closer Still(s) | PT.XXIV | 35:Chronicle

50mm, black & white, colour, photography, still life

A Little Light Muse [Sic]!


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I | Wall-Flowers.

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II | Light-Headed, Perhaps?

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III | Fin!

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Back-lit Orchids | 35:Chronicle

black & white, close-up, colour, Indoor, nature, personal, photography

Is Three Really a Crowd?


Okay – forgive me, please! This is my third post on-the-bounce of the same photographic subject. I promise, I really was not intending to rip the arse out of this, however, the host plant from my last two posts was happily perched on my living-room window-sill, soaking up some of that gorgeous, bright stuff this afternoon – and, I just couldn’t resist a few casual frames of this beautiful plant. (Oddly, I have made some frames in colour today, that I am actually pretty happy with. Who’d have thunk it?!)

I’ll probably not be able to post again until almost the middle of next week, therefore, I’ll leave you with this smidgen of sunshine and, wish you all a fabulous weekend! 

R.

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III.

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[To view other posts in my recent series, please click the ‘orchid’ tag].

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Closer Still(s) | PT.XI | 35:Chronicle

50mm, black & white, colour, macro, nature, personal, photography

Taking a Chill-Pill.


Heck, I can’t always take photography too seriously; without doubt it is and has been one of my biggest passions throughout the past twenty (plus) years of my life and, I dare say, by those who know me personally, I am known for it. But there’s another side to the seriousness of getting the image and that is, to simply get the camera out and just have a little fun with it – and to not worry or be so seriously preoccupied with perfect composition or, focus or, whatever else we look for. The truth told, I love to shoot freestyle, freehand, free-lensed and, I don’t do it anywhere nearly as often as I would like, and, I have been photographically rather lazy lately. I could make excuses about the weather or some-such, but I’d be spouting bollocks so, I’m not going to place a blame. I guess sometimes, we just need a little break from the – constant thinking? I don’t know if I am making any sense here but I promise, I’m not writing for the sake of it. 

For me, the real enjoyments of photography come from many aspects. It’s so engaging when you would want it to be, so technical in thought and deliverance at other times and yet, so passive and relaxing on occasion, too. Depending on any given genre, expectations, deadlines, or presenting difficulties, all are true. If you are yourself an enthusiast, you will know this already. But at the heart of every image is me, you, and how we see. I love to look; and see; and interpret; and steal a frame. What I don’t love – is to always feel like I’m overthinking because then, at some uncertain, invisible point of effort, a line gets crossed and, I don’t always enjoy it so much – especially when that line is completely bulldozed. Indeed, on such occasions, I can take a whole load of shit and know that I have before I have even depressed the shutter. Yet I do it anyway – like shutter-finger Tourette’s  Syndrome (hereafter referred to as SFTS). Damn, I hate it when I do that because not least, I know I’m just going to spend more time at home, after upload, deleting the crud. 

Most often, I find that when I’m making shots for the fun of it, with no actual goal in mind, when I don’t care so much about focus, or content – I tend to make images that I like, nevertheless. In opposition, as we all have – I have put so much effort and thought into a particular shoot or subject and come away with so much utter crap, it could make me cringe at the knowledge that my own brain decided that that capture was a good idea. Really? 

With all of this preamble out of the way, I decided, with plenty of time to kill today and, though the weather was not playing ball (I was hoping to get a little more of a tan on my chrome-dome – uh… no!) – to faff around with my favourite body & prime combo and, make a few frames; just to see what I might come away with. No, given the images I have posted here, you’d be forgiven and absolved for thinking that I have actually been yapping on for the sake of it, because technically these images are not fabulous, or varied. They are indeed unimaginative, poorly composed, a tad soft, but do you know what? Today, I don’t care. Today, I made some photographs; and I like ’em! Moreover, I hope you will too. Yes, I shot close without a tripod – I was chilling

By the way, the first image in this post is great in colour, because it really looks to me like a camouflage-act and, it may have been, in the mind of the Hoverfly. I wasn’t going to post it in colour because I really do prefer the mono-shot (moreover because I have genuine dislike for the colour orange for some barmy reason that I can’t explain) – but I caved in, and have included it at the end of this post. You’ll see what I mean when you get there, if, that is, you haven’t nodded-off already. Okay – time to wake up. It’s picture time!) Thanks so much for reading and I hope you have a great week ahead. 

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Montbretia & Hoverfly | 50mm – Handheld.

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Montbretia | 50mm – Handheld.

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Camouflage? | 50mm – Handheld.

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[There’s a photographer in India called Rajeev Virmani – he makes some beautiful environmental flora photographs and I have to say, he has nowhere near enough followers for the work he puts in and puts out here on WP. Please, if you like the genre, do take a look at his images. He has an intimate and opportunistic approach that may well appeal to many. I don’t know him but I do love so many of his images. If you have a little time, you may enjoy a peek!]


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Closer Still(s) | PT.VIII | 35:Chronicle

35mm, close-up, colour, Indoor, nature, photography, spring

Spring Broom | PT.II of II.


Righto, this is the second of two posts (otherwise it gets boring!) containing shots that I made last week of the gorgeous red and yellow broom flowers that are in massive numbers at the back of my house right now. They truly are stunning little flowers and, though most of the shrubs are offering yellow flowers only, there is just one out of the entire lot of ’em that has given up these beautiful variations, the like of which I have not witnessed before. To look at them with the naked eye, they are not all that remarkable, however, when getting up-close and very personal with these 15mm or so flowers, they do take on a much more intricate character, if that can be said of a plant? 

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IV. | 35mm w/Hoya +10

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V. | 35mm w/Hoya +10

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My macro / close-up set-up is pretty basic really and shooting only with a 35mm lens (which is not a macro-lens either) does make my choices very simple – I either can shoot what I envisage or, I can’t. It’s as simple as that. There are of course limitations but these only serve me to do my best to get more creative with what I do have in my bag. Yes, I have mentioned my little 49mm Hoya +10 Close-up filter a few times but I cannot stress how abso-bloody-lutely brilliantly useful that little filter is. Having spent countless thousands of pounds on photographic equipment over the many years I have been enjoying the art, it truly is a revelation to know that instead of forking out (and carrying around) more lenses, I have finally managed to put together a collection of three cameras and a few filters that even collectively weigh less than my last DSLR with it’s 50/1.4 mounted. Picky, I am indeed and I would be the first to be unhappy with my images if my chosen rigs weren’t producing the goods that I work towards – and the only duds I ever find are those reflecting my own mistakes. 

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VI. | 35mm w/Hoya +10

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I love these images and I am very happy to have made them – yet, though I don’t expect anyone else to share my utter enjoyment of them, I do hope that some will find a little pleasure in them. Such an understated plant and yet, so full of form and vibrance that I find incredibly appealing. To have these frames is a real pleasure for me because, very soon, the garden floor will be coated in a carpet of faded yellow petals and, the hedgerows? Well, they’re certainly going to be left wanting, aren’t they?

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VII. | 35mm w/Hoya +10

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Click for PT. I of II
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Thank you.

Closer Still(s) | PT.VII | 35:Chronicle

35mm, close-up, colour, nature, photography, spring

Spring Broom in Bloom | PT.I of II.


I. | 35mm w/Hoya +10

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II. | 35mm w/Hoya +10

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III. | 35mm w/Hoya +10

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Click for PT.II of II
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To May, Farewell | 35:Chronicle

35mm, black & white, colour, infrared, landscape, nature, photography, spring, trees

A Small Tribute (from a Country-Boy).


Every year for as long as I can recall, May always seems to be the finest month of them all. The coming of the Spring, the new growth – and the welcome respite at the tail-end of another long, cold and windy winter. This is, I realise hardly a fitting tribute for all of the light, warmth and, even hope that May brings, however, it’s all I have time for before the last day of this beautiful month, ticks-tocks away for another eleven. 

(23:40 – 31st May 2018) 

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Bluebells. | 35mm

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Calves | 35mm

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Contrails | 35mm | 720nm Infrared

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Under the Boughs | 35mm

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Old Stones | 35mm | 720nm Infrared

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Farewell… | 35mm | 720nm Infrared

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Until next year, then?

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Thank you.

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Either Side of the Day | 35:Chronicle

35mm, colour, landscape, photography, skies, sunrise, sunset, waterscape

Shades of Blue & Gold.


To the East.

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To the West | I.

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To the West | II.

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All Images & Posts © 35:Chronicle (2018, 2019) 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. 35chronicle@gmx.com
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The Writhings on the Wall | 35:Chronicle

35mm, black & white, close-up, colour, nature, photography, spring

Sterling Moss.


I.

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II.

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III.

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As always, thank you for visiting & if you would like updates, please click Follow. All images are resized for publishing.
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All Images & Posts © 35:Chronicle (2018, 2019) 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. 35chronicle@gmx.com
Thank you.

Current Alternate | 35:Chronicle

35mm, black & white, colour, nature, photography, spring, sunset, trees, waterscape

Ups & Downs.


Intending to head out and catch the sunset over the water – hoping for its often noted millpond stillness, I found myself a tad disappointed on arrival. Though not choppy, there was just too much movement on the surface this evening and, though the sunset was utterly beautiful, I found that the calming of the waters just wasn’t worth the wait. After an hour, loss of light and, several insect bites, I gave it up for the night; but, not before making a few frames. (I’m easily consoled.)

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I.

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II.

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III.

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IV.

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As always, thank you for visiting & if you would like updates, please click Follow. All images are resized for publishing.
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All Images & Posts © 35:Chronicle (2018, 2019) 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. 35chronicle@gmx.com
Thank you.

A Little Bit of Delicate | 35:Chronicle

35mm, black & white, close-up, colour, nature, personal, photography, spring

[…and a Smidgen of Rustic]


Okay, so I have been completely lazy here. With little by way of an agenda today, I spent my time titivating the garden and enjoying a little more sunshine, while we’re fortunate enough to have some. (Good weather for six days straight has to be some kind of a record in the UK but, I’m loving it). As the afternoon wound down, I followed suit soon after and, took another appreciative look around this little corner of my world. I never tire of its rusticness, the ever present multi-layered birdsongs, the sound of the brook just past the front of the house and from the outskirts of my garden on two sides, there’s plenty of attractive woodland with, among many others, tall pines audibly filtering the occasional breeze and straining the sunlight. I decided to grab my camera, to take a short stroll and, make a few frames before the light dipped for the day. 

There’s no real artistic merit here – just a small handful of hand-held grab-shots, still, it’s a lot less predictable than, ‘Dear Diary, Today, I did next to bugger all except to sit on my arse!‘. Besides, simply capturing life is exactly what I’m loving about sticking with one focal-length and just – going with it. It’s a lot more liberating than I’d ever imagined it would be, in more ways than one. 

(And, no – I’m not a Walton, but, on days like today – there sure is no place like home!)

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I. Beneath Filtered Rays.

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II. The Loner.

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III. Almost in the Shade.

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IV. Potted…

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As always, thank you for visiting & if you would like updates, please click Follow. All images are resized for publishing.
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All Images & Posts © 35:Chronicle (2018, 2019) 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. 35chronicle@gmx.com
Thank you.

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