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. 

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!

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!)

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. 

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