Note to Self: Take TWO Tripods… | 35Chronicle Photography

35mm, black & white, Long Exposure, night / low-light, photography, structures

A Light in the Black.


Back in November 2019, I first shot this gorgeous building under beautiful winter sunshine with my IR gear and last posted it here near the end of May, last year. I was extremely happy with my frames then and, I do have a couple of them mounted and framed, hanging on the wall in the hallway. Only the best of my work makes it that far and it has to be said, on a slightly different subject – printing is  definitely the way to go. For years I just… didn’t. Then I got the bug a few years back and now I simply can’t stop going through my archives for more. Still, after going through those frames recently and chatting with Bumble about perhaps getting out at night for some more considered longer exposures, she suggested that we might make a trip back to  the church in question (set amongst some stunning grounds, I might add) and shoot it at night. It was lit-up, apparently? Well, this was news to me. But an instant pang of excitement had me sorting out my bag for night shooting, the very same day. Three evenings later, when the weather was more favourable and the bustle of Christmas celebrations were over, we headed out for the short drive to the Crichton University Campus to make a few more frames. 

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I: Splendour | 20″ – f16.0 – ISO:400 – 35mm

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Dodging late-evening dog-walkers and the occasional runner, I set up my tripod (the base plate I had already screwed to the bottom of my camera before leaving the house, with no issues at all – or so I thought) and when clamping it to the head, the darn thing refused to lock in. The lever had become extremely loose (somewhere between the house and taking it out of the car!) and simply wouldn’t sit back in place. Now, this may all seem irrelevant but if you can imagine trying to keep the camera level and still while it’s perched precariously over five feet from the ground while a very stiff breeze whipped around it, you might understand my slightly nervous disposition at the time. Self-timer engaged, I decided to just go for it and would let the cards (rather than my camera and lens) fall where they may; and so, I got very lucky, the laws of gravity were favourable to me and, I was able to come away with a few very pleasing captures. Next time, I’ll keep a spare set of legs in the boot!

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II: Reflection of Human Nature? [The Ground Lights on the Right of Frame Flickered Out for Just Long Enough for this Capture] | 10″ – f14.0 – ISO:400 – 35mm

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As an aside, (on editing) – because my version of LR doesn’t support later Fuji RAF files, I have always used Adobe DNG Converter to process my RAFs to DNG for editing, and when I was able to get these new files transferred to my laptop just a few days ago, I did just the same thing again. I started to go through the DNGs one by one and remembered then, a conversation I had had with fellow photographer and work colleague about converting Fuji’s RAFs and, his conclusion was that Iridient’s X-Transformer seemingly handled the files noticeably better and that I should give it a go. Okay, so I downloaded and tried out the demo version on my latest captures and simply could not believe the difference. All this time (years, in fact) I had been guilty of a ridiculous injustice to my own work and the difference in quality and detail is such that I feel ashamed at myself for having allowed such a mistake. The difference is instantly noticeable even at 50% and will, I am sure, improve print quality. With all that said, I am happy to share these few grabs and hope that you’ll enjoy them. (Rest assured, I have given myself a very stern talking-to!)

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III: Splendour [II] | 15″ – f16.0 – ISO:400 – 35mm

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I wish you all a very happy, healthy and prosperous ’22, thank you again for reading and please feel free to leave any comments you wish. 

VB…
R.
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2021: A Photographic Review | 35Chronicle Photography

28mm, 35mm, 50mm, autumn / fall, black & white, candid, cityscapes, close-up, fine art, full-spectrum, history, Indoor, infrared, landscape, Long Exposure, nature, people, personal, photography, portraits, review, ruins, rural, skies, spring, structures, summer, trees, urban, waterscape

Doesn’t it Come Around Quickly?


It is hard to believe that it’s this time of year again, the year almost over, the shortest day has passed and, I’m sitting here at my laptop – pondering over my favourite frames from 2021; a year of lockdowns, socially-distanced days out, home-schooling, trip disappointments and yet gratitude in abundance. A new grandchild has graced us, three weddings are in the offing (Bumble & I included!), health is good and I have been busier than ever. This may explain why my posts this year have been a little more frugal than previous years but, I have so enjoyed every opportunity that I have had to get out and make frames. I’ve learned quite a bit too and, changed a few aspects of my shooting and editing routines which, have pleased me greatly, too. In the coming year I hope to move slightly away from IR shooting – or rather, I want to engage further with more visible-light photography and, to also forge my creative aspirations a little more. How that’s going to work out, I have no ide as yet, but we’ll see how it pans out. My reasoning is simple, I am a staunch enemy of stagnation and whilst infrared light is a huge passion, I’ve been allowing myself to indulge so much that I have been experiencing rather more complacency than I would like. It’s again time for a little shift. Does that mean I am disappointed with my work this year? Not exactly. But there’s more – and I need to dig inside for it. I thought I’d be a natural after all these years, but therein lies the message; one can never stop trying to be better. And I need to shoot more.

As I say at the end of every year (because it’s true) – I am so grateful to each and every one of you for reading and visiting my pages. For all of your clicks and comments, your shares, follows, and other contributions you have made to my pages (hard to believe that it’s been almost four years already!) – I am ridiculously grateful because, without you, there’d be no point and my pages would be little more than an online diary. I am also inspired by so many of you, not that I always get or am able to find the time to let you know in person (that seems to be very selfish on my part and I must and will try harder) and often wonder at the amazing amount of talent that exists, often to share for the simple joy of sharing. I am sure that’s why we all do it and I hope that we can all continue to do so, around the many mayhems of life. So, for one last post of ’21, I would like to share my favourite frames of the year, one shot from each month – in the hope that you too will enjoy this little revisit. 

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January 2021 | Flynn: By {Kindle) Fire Light!

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February 2021 | Infrared Rainbow: Sandyhills Beach.

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March 2021 | Metal Bridge on Disused Portpatrick to Dumfries Line, at Parton [720nm Infrared]

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April 2021 | The Caul on the River Nith, Dumfries [720nm Infrared]

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May 2021 | Pinmore Viaduct [720nm Infrared]

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June 2021 | Boomer: Paper, String or Tin-Foil Will Do Just Fine!

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July 2021 | A London Skyline from the Thames [LTFS Full-Spectrum]

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August 2021 | Southerness Lighthouse [720nm Infrared]

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September 2021 | Turret: Penrhyn Castle, N.Wales [720nm Infrared]

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October 2021 | Dunskey Castle, Nr. Portpatrick [720nm Infrared, Long Expo.]

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November 2021 | Abbotsford House, Melrose [720nm Infrared]

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December 2021 | The Fountain, Princes Street Gardens & Edinburgh Castle [720nm Infrared]

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To my family, I am utterly blessed – what more can I say? It’s been a manic yet a wonderful year with a lot of plans either fulfilled or yet to become and, through it all (stop singing, Bumble – I know what you’re doing!) each and every one of you have indulged me as I truly hope I’ve reciprocated. When the world is in the mess it is right now, you are all the one reason I keep to feel the happiness that I do. 

To all of you who read and contribute to my pages (and hopefully enjoy some of my work, too?) – I hope that you have all had a wonderful holiday and, I wish you all the very best for 2022. Thank you so much for sharing and being a part of what I do. 

Warmest wishes to you all…

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.

Corbelly Hill Convent, Dumfries: PT.III | 720nm IR | 35Chronicle Photography

28mm, 35mm, 50mm, black & white, fine art, full-spectrum, infrared, photography, ruins, structures, urban

One Last Look Around.


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VII.

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VIII.

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X.

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[All frames: Ricoh GXR LTFS Full-Spectrum Conversion & Hoya R72 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.

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

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

In the Light & the Dark.


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VI

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[All frames: Ricoh GXR LTFS Full-Spectrum Conversion & Hoya R72 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.

Corbelly Hill Convent, Dumfries: PT.I | 720nm Infrared | 35Chronicle Photography

black & white, fine art, full-spectrum, history, infrared, photography, ruins, structures, trees, urban

All Roads Lead to… Roam?!?


Content Warning: This post contains elements of sarcasm, arrogance and common-sense, which some readers may find either offensive, or rib-tickling – depending on your sense of humour!

I may or may not be about to start on a little ‘Rob-rant’; in fact – perhaps I’ll just roll my eyes at this point and take a deep breath instead. Yes, that may be a better thing to do. You see, the one question I get asked a lot when I am out shooting old buildings, ruins, lighthouses, you name ’em – is, “Can I help you?” You may have read my thoughts about this question during one of my posts where I published a few frames of the beautiful lighthouse at Corsewall [PT.I – here] back in December, last year. It grates me every time – and it shouldn’t. 

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I have been meaning to come here to the old convent at Corbelly Hill for around six months. Waiting for a clear day with good sunlight and plenty of time has been the only reason it has taken me so long to get up here, to what is the highest building in Dumfries. Known as St. Benedict’s, and also – Corbelly Hall Convent, it was commissioned in 1881 for the Nuns of the Perpetual Adoration and, was completed in 1884. In its time, it has also been used as a girls’ school, a makeshift Sheriff Court and even a museum. It has lain empty and semi-derelict for a good many years now, though. In 2003, it was used in the filming of Peter Mullan’s film “The Magdalene Sisters” – set in 1964 onwards, about the cruel abuse of women at a convent in Ireland. Though I would dearly have loved to have spent some time shooting inside the buildings, as some have before me – it was not to be. 

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II

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One utterly fabulous thing about Scotland is the right to roam and so, seeing no signage indicating otherwise either, Bumble and I took the walk up the hill from Maxwell Street, enjoying the clearest of views over the town on the way up and, we had a little scout around the outside of this beautiful building with a view to setting up for some fitting frames. The light was just about perfect by midday and it almost took my breath away with the sheer size of this place. As we walked around towards the main entrance, we noticed two police vans, a builder’s van and, a couple of cars. Old vinyl 45s from the 70s were strewn curiously and chaotically across the lawns. A broken window to the left of the main entrance door. Not a person in sight though. We picked up a few of the vinyls and read their labels – each one a 70s chart-hit and not a true dud among them if I’m honest. As we wandered the grounds, I began to capture a few shots. That’s when a short and stocky, builder-chappy – surly of face and postured with intent, walked towards us with his faithful right-hand man… to his left. “Can I help you?” he asked. I smiled gently, trying to not smile my facetious smile at the one question that presents to me every time as a red rag to a proverbial bull. “I’m not sure.” I politely replied. “How much do you know about infrared photography?” This precipitated a stunned silence and a quizzical expression in the gentleman who, once he had remembered why he had asked the question in the first place, told us that there had been a break-in that morning and he was concerned as, he had just acquired the building for himself. “Fair enough, but as you can see – you’re unlikely to get any trouble from us. Would it be okay if we carry on around and get a few more frames before the gates go in?” We were graciously (okay, a little facetious there, I know!) granted the freedom to roam once more; our attire possibly an obvious indication that we were not at all dressed for a raid on this day and were safe to be let loose. Yet, every which way we turned from that moment on, we were followed at a distance of no more than ten paces by the builder-chappy and three others of his crew; every word Bumble and I shared from that moment on, was not private. We contained ourselves to the awe of this place and reigned in our feelings about what had just happened. 

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III

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For around four or five days after I made these frames I was confined to being back at work and so, I literally have only just got around to edits today and, having finished working on this series, I really do have the pleasure of sharing a number of shots with you, which, I sincerely do hope you will enjoy. One more day and I’ll be back in the jug again… so who knows, I may get a few more up tomorrow, too? 

Thank you again for reading and I do hope that you’re getting set for a wonderful weekend. 

R.

This post is thoughtfully dedicated to all owners of derelict land and property who needlessly fear the evil intentions of the middle-classes who walk hand in hand, wielding small cameras.

Fear not – we’re only making pictures!

[All frames: Ricoh GXR LTFS Full-Spectrum Conversion & Hoya R72 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.

In-Spired-Out | 35:Chronicle

black & white, infrared, photography, structures

We Are, Therefore, We Create.


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I | Scott Monument – Princes Street, Edinburgh | 28mm – 1/125th – f4.2 – ISO: 259.

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II | Spire of St. Theresa’s [II: VIS] – Dumfries | 35mm – 1/220th – f5.6 – ISO:200.

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III | Greyfriars [II] | 720nm IR | 24mm – 1/125th – f7.6 – ISO: 336.

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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, 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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A Different Light | PT.II | 720nm Infrared | 35:Chronicle

black & white, infrared, photography, structures

Resolution.


For over an hour I have been sitting at my laptop, reviewing recently processed images that I was able to capture during a leisurely walk around Dumfries on what was a beautifully sunny day, under the clearest, bluest sky. As  my tummy rumbles, my choices become even more difficult as I now find myself distracted by the whiff of lunch emanating from the kitchen. But it can wait – I’ve decided, but it hasn’t been an easy choice. You see, I’ve lived here for almost twenty years now and, almost all of my photo-excursions (the landscapes, anyway) have had me concentrate heavily on rural scenes and views, making the most from infrared light wherever possible and insosaying, I have never, ever – in all of my time here, wandered through or around the town with my cameras. Though I had them with me, my only wish for such a beautiful day was that I might snag a few IR frames along the River Nith, after which, on approaching the town in search of at least one cafe with an ‘Open’ sign (which was more difficult than I thought it would be), I wasn’t thinking about making any more images at all, just… hot chocolate.

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I | The Venue Nightclub Building | 720nm IR | 24mm | 1/125th | f8 | ISO: 835.

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Nevertheless, leaving the riverside and heading into town, my ever scanning eye became increasingly keen as my recent fascination and enjoyment of strong structures again came to the fore and against such a deep blue backdrop, it was impossible to ignore these few frames-to-be. For colour enthusiasts I make no apology; I am delighted to share these captures of a place I know so well and yet, until now, have never seen quite like this. I take this as stark reminder to keep my eyes and, my mind open – especially to all that is right in front of me; that which I see almost every day – and don’t even notice. Of course, this applies to life just as it does to photography. A new resolution, perhaps?

To all of you who read, follow, click  or comment – I thank you and, wish you a very happy and prosperous 2019. I hope you’ll enjoy these few frames.

R.

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II | Spire of St. Theresa’s | 720nm IR | 35mm | 125th | f6.7 | ISO: 308.

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III | Greyfriars | 720nm IR | 24mm | 1/125th | f8 | ISO: 283.
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Thank you for visiting. If you would like updates, please click Follow. 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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