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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Thank you for visiting.
R. 

 

 

New Lanark | PT.IV – The Ties That Bind | 35Chronicle

black & white, full-spectrum, Indoor, photography

Only Our Methods Have Changed.


This is to be the final part in my New Lanark photo-series – from this beautifully preserved cotton mill, once alive with workers and currently, one of the six UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Scotland. As I alluded to in PT.II – I decided to shoot around the entire site with my Ricoh GXR A16 LTFS conversion which, on gloomy days such as these lets in a lot more light and conserves detail in appreciably more dynamic range than a standard set-up. The only true trade-off (far moreso outdoors) is a little contrast (mostly due to available infrared light pollution) but in post, this is never actually a problem.

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As I wandered around New Lanark, taking in the old, cobbled walkways, living-quarter museums, restored façades and the breathtaking, surrounding scenery, it occurred to me that even though so many years have passed since the days of industry here at the mill, we really don’t do anything all that differently to the ways in which they were always done. Everything is linked in just the same ways – only the tools or the methods have changed. From wall-ties, to marriage ties, the daily bread we break together, the comforts and necessities of home and, even the bell that calls us from slumber and to our workplaces. No, not much has changed, at all.

I am reminded here of a line which Douglas Adams once wrote (in reference to L.P Hartley’s opening of ‘The Go-Between’): “The past, they say, is now truly like a foreign country. They do things exactly the same, there”. 

-R-

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XI | Comforts of Home | GXR A16 LTFS 1/75th – f4.2 – ISO:1600 – 35mm.

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XII | Ties – Two Different Kinds | GXR A16 LTFS 1/290th – f5.5 – ISO:200 – 85mm.

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XIII | Necessities of Home | GXR A16 LTFS 1/125th – f4.0 – ISO:1600 – 24mm.

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XIV | Alarm Bells | GXR A16 LTFS 1/200th – f8.0 – ISO:200 – 85mm.

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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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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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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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Edinburgh Nightscapes | PT.I – Final Postcards from the Recovery Position | 35Chronicle

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

Multiple Exposures, Perhaps?


In a way, I suppose that blogging is as much about diarising as it is about simply sharing what we do, think, or feel, sharing who we actually are – adding little pieces of ourselves to a community that in some way might appreciate it, and give back too. For me, it’s about all things – including the sometimes more personal side of my own life. Though I am not one to purposefully overshare (believing instead in the sacred and private aspects of life) I would like to share these few words, inspired by someone very, very special who has been here for me tirelessly and in every conceivable way – throughout my recovery from multiple spinal (and other less serious) fractures and injuries, back in April. It’s been a winding road thus far – and the fact that I can share these words and images with you all, is a testament to many, many people, and yet most of all, one.  It’s about as real as it gets but I don’t often share like this, so you’ll please forgive me for opening up this way. Photography for me, is so important – probably my biggest ‘thing’. But it’s not – everything.

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‘Tis the Eve’.

‘Tis the eve’ of my return to work,
Though much to do, no blogging I’ll shirk.
With broken bones, through healing too,
Small takes on a life, I’ve shared with you.

As I look now to brighter times,
Routines return, lay-ins subside;
And, before my mindset changes tack,
Special memories are skipping back.

Many of them circle my mind,
But, the fondest here, I think you’ll find,
A recent jaunt, a cold birthday weekend,
In celebration of my love and, my friend.

For these frames you see were only made
Of patience, love and a care that stayed,
That helped me heal in body and mind,
And to keep me giving, of the very same kind.

– R –

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I | Over Princes Street Christmas Market & Waverley Station from Edinburgh Castle. The Light-Beam, Shining from the Castle to Nelson’s Column on Calton Hill. | 0.5″ – f7.6 – ISO:400 – Ricoh GXR A16 LTFS Conversion [Unfiltered].

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II | Waiting to Cross – Edinburgh | 1/25th” [Handheld] – f4.8 – ISO:3200 [No NR] – Ricoh GXR A16 LTFS Conversion [Unfiltered].

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III | Moonrise from Edinburgh Castle, with Light-Beam to Nelson’s Column. | 0.5″ – f8 – ISO:1600 – Ricoh GXR A16 LTFS Conversion [Unfiltered].

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Now, we can move on.
X


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Ricoh GR | You Can Call Me – ‘Jack’ | 35:Chronicle

black & white, close-up, colour, full-spectrum, Indoor, infrared, landscape, macro, nature, night / low-light, personal, photography, review, ruins, structures

Photographic ‘Mechano‘? | A Few More Nuts & Bolts.


Two very special cameras have made up the mainstay of my shooting arsenal over the past eight years; the Fujifilm X100 (the debut, the ‘S’ and, the ‘T’) and, the Ricoh GR (also, the GR II). The model numbers don’t really make much of a difference to me because it’s all about how they allow me to work when I’m making pictures. Furthermore, my joy of them has nothing to do with button layouts, menu-order, online reviews, or much else either. It’s really all about the ability to carry a portable, capable and an ever more familiar set-up that produces very workable digital negatives shot through focal-lengths that I prefer the most. Shooting with shorter focal lengths has been my passion for a good number of years now, ever since I made the decision to give up on larger systems and telephoto lenses. That decision itself came from a notion that being out of range didn’t make me a better photographer at all – it wasn’t brave and, I always felt like I was on the outside looking in, instead of immersed in the process. That’s why I ditched the longer lenses. Simple. I wanted to learn more about photography and could no longer find satisfaction from picking-off frames from a distance – no matter how attractive I found focal-plane-to-background separation. The change was swift and, sharp.

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I. | Sir Duncan Rice Library Building – University of Aberdeen.

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After a few years with the Fuji-X I wanted something a little smaller for my pocket, for those days we all hanker for at one time or another – when we can grab the shots without carrying the bag as well; not a replacement as such, but a complement to my existing camera(s). By that time, I was completely hooked on shorter focal-lengths, the immersive experience of making pictures with them and that was when I bit the proverbial bullet on a GR – a camera that has been in my bag or my pocket for almost six years, no matter what else I have been shooting alongside it. Now, you may think that this is going somewhere a little bit too romantic and, you might be right. You see, out of every piece of equipment I have ever shot with over the last twenty-plus years, Ricoh’s GXRs and GRs have been my absolute favourite to use. The GR however, (even for all of the APS-C variants of the GXR) – tops the lot. I have no issue with admitting that the GR is (digitally speaking) the best, most customisable, usable camera with which I have ever made pictures. But the oddity in all of this is that – it just got even better. I’m not talking of anything Ricoh has done to it or, for it. It’s simply that as well as my standard model, I now have another, converted to split-spectrum with an internal 450nm filter. This might not sound like a big deal (especially if you’re more a colour enthusiast or just not a fan of black and white photography) but bear with me, and you’ll see that it actually – is.

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II. | Kinclair Viaduct.

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My first foray into split-spectrum and true full-spectrum happened when I had received a converted A16 unit for my old GXR a few years ago and, with that one unit, I was able to reduce issues of low-light black and white photography and shoot any alternative wavelengths that I chose to – usually near-infrared around the 720nm mark. In truth, my main love for a split-spectrum converted camera lies in the ability for me to choose different IR wavelengths as my base, when shooting, though primarily, I stick to 720nm (give or take around 20-30nm) – as I have done for the last twelve or so years. But it’s lovely to have the latitude when it’s needed. If any of you browsed through my images of St.Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh, late last year, you will notice, if you look, the clear benefits of shooting indoors with a split or full-spectrum converted camera as, such a set-up effectively doubles the shutter speed because the amount of wavelengths and subsequently, available light, is also doubled. For this kind of photography, black and white is really the only option (unless you’re into really funky colours and peculiar white-balance) and if you’re happy with this, you’d be even happier at the reduced (or complete absence of) camera / motion blur in your shots, not to mention the huge amounts of extra detail in the blacks and shadows.

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III. | St. Gile’s Cathedral – Edinburgh [Full Spectrum – Handheld].

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Now, a small admission. Originally, when I started drafting this post, my intention was to write some kind or report or, review, about my newest acquisition in the 450nm GR. But as that camera is only half of my story, I have decided to be more – general and, as my title suggests, I do consider the GR to be the most customisable camera I have ever had the pleasure of getting my hands on. The mere fact that I now have two of them, both set-up in completely different ways, for alternative shooting requirements, will bear this out. The fact that I have most of the accessories available for them, is also a factor in their importance in much of my work because, by and large, I don’t go in for huge amounts of add-ons for my gear and, prefer to keep weight down instead. But as weight is not really an issue with a camera so compact, I allowed myself to indulge in order to make them as useful as possible, to me. As well as both cameras, one standard and one converted, I also have three GH-3 filter adapters. On one, I have the IR 720nm filter, on another – a C-PL and on the third, a +10 close-up filter for a little extra macro. Having each filter mounted on separate adapters allows me to very quickly swap-out filters between cameras with just a click & twist. Obviously, the R72 filter adapter only gets exchanged with the +10 if I’m going to choose close-up work in IR or split-spectrum, but the C-PL can be swapped out for either of the other two, because as I have discovered, the standard GR set-up is also receptive to IR wavelengths with no hot-spotting, giving the shooting process a natural ND sequence. So, for long exposure IR imagery, the standard GR handles infrared rather well indeed. (I will do my best to show this as artistically as I am able, during the summer). With the addition of the GW-3 wide lens (which is pretty special, I must say) I can add a 21mm repertoire to each set-up at will, with custom functions set for (35mm) crop-mode and conversion-lens use, on each camera; not to mention the ability to set each of the unit’s three custom modes, for different set-ups. The fact that I love the GR’s output is the reason I shoot with it in the first place but, coupled with its mechano-like, Swiss Army-Knife tendencies – I really don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything for wide shooting, or – much else, for that matter.

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IV. | Bluebell.

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Of late, I have found myself preferring 4:3 output straight from the camera and have noted a benefit to this also, in post. The GR’s lens has a certain amount of natural light fall-off (vignetting) in the corners (especially when shooting at its native 28mm with front-mounted filters) and shooting at 4:3 reduces this somewhat unappealing effect by cropping out the far-lateral sides of the sensor. Added to the fact that 35mm is my preferred focal-length, this internal crop-mode when utilised alongside the 4:3 option, reduces fall-off further, while still providing me with a fairly respectable 9mp RAW file for processing, minus the rather noticeable fall-off. Again, many quick functions are simple and quick to set-up and I also have a ratio option on my adjust lever as well as 28/35mm crop on the effects button at the side of the camera. There’s not really a whole lot more that I can say of the 450nm converted camera, per se – it is what it is and as long as it’s raison d’etre is realised and understood, it’s an extremely useful tool for low-light, indoor photography where crushed blacks aren’t desired but organic detail is. For me – it’s there for IR in the main. But that’s just me. I still need my bag, of course – but even so it weighs next to nothing and, my bases are all covered.

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V. | Church Ruin [720nm Infrared].

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The GR has mostly been heralded as the ideal street camera to have, and I will not argue this. But what has not been extolled, as far as I am able to discover for myself, is that it can do so much more than street-photography; decent macro (with or without external filter assistance), landscape, environmental, urban exploration, and even alternative wavelength, I don’t think there’s much this thing can’t do. I have probably harped on enough now about this camera but I so want anyone who is truly interested, to know just how much a little camera can do in hands attached to a mind that wants to truly explore photographic possibilities.

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VI. | Horse-Chestnut [Sticky] Bud.

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The GR III is soon to be released in the UK (note: this post was published in early March 2019) – and I know right now that I won’t be buying one at any time in the near future. The main reason that I keep my Fujis is because of their handling, their viewfinders and the lovely files that I get to make with them. Insosaying, (because its screen can be rather hard to see in sunlight) if the new GR had been designed and built with a finder (a la pop-up EFV on Sony’s RX100 MK3 and onwards) then I doubt that the X100/IR or the ‘T’ would get much handling. If the GR III is as good as it’s going to get, then I’m sorry Ricoh- you already got it bang-on with the first one – nuts, bolts, the lot. And I’m not moving. I mean, what would be the point?

R.
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Internal Affairs | PT.V | 35:Chronicle

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

St. Giles’ Cathedral – Edinburgh | PT.III.


This is to be the final part of my St. Giles series. In all honesty, I could have gotten way more value out of my £2 photo-pass that I purchased upon entry. I could easily have whiled away more hours here than the one that I did. Watching, looking, shooting, looking. The light was poor though, a very dull and overcast sky affording less quality and intensity through stained-glass – so diffuse that my fixed lens camera of choice made it much more difficult to grab a steady shot, the later the afternoon became. Insosaying, I grabbed my low-light camera. Actually, it’s primarily my weapon of choice for much of my IR compositions, but, removing the UVIR Cut filter from in front of the lens element, I was able to gather twice as much light as my primary, fixed-lens camera. Shot in true full-spectrum, capturing all available light (from UV-A through VIS to IR) renders even sharp details a little softer due to invisible lightwave pollution but I still think these make the grade. I hope you will enjoy these last few captures.  

R.

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I | The Dark Exit.

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II | Symmetry Divine.

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III | Symmetry Divine [II]

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INTERNAL AFFAIRS | PT.IV | 35:CHRONICLE

35mm, 50mm, black & white, colour, full-spectrum, Indoor, night / low-light, photography, structures

St. Giles’ Cathedral – Edinburgh | PT.II


IV | Grandeur.  [X100T: 35mm – 1/12th – f2.8 – ISO:1600 – +0.7 – Matrix]

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V | Light. [GXR A16 (Full-Spectrum): 85mm – 1/125th – f5.5 – ISO:1600 – Matrix]

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VI | Blue II. [X100T: 35mm – 1/9th – f2.8 – ISO:1600 – +0.7 – Matrix]

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VII | Lantern. [GXR A16 (Full-Spectrum): 50mm – 1/30th – f4 – ISO:1600 – Matrix]

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(St. Giles’ – PT.I)
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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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Internal Affairs | PT.III | 35:Chronicle

35mm, black & white, colour, full-spectrum, Indoor, night / low-light, photography, structures

St. Giles’ Cathedral – Edinburgh | PT.I


We’re all running short of time at this end of the year, so, let me say this off the bat in case you don’t have time yet to read to the end of the post – to all of you who read and follow my pages, I would like to wish you all a very happy Christmas and,  I extent my warmest thanks for your support, your comments and, your valuable time ever since I started my little blog, back in March. It’s been a superb journey thus far and, I hope to get at least one more post in before Hogmanay!

On Friday of last week, I had occasion to visit Edinburgh. As it’s that time of year again, I do like to get to Princes Street and do the whole Christmas Market thing, kind of a tradition and as I didn’t get to visit last year, I was very keen to get there before this Christmas kicked off, proper. Now, I resisted the temptation to shoot all things Christmassy so please do forgive me for the lack of tinsel, Santa-hats, seasonal pullovers, mistletoe and the like. Instead, I again only wanted to capture the feel of the place at this time of year. With that said, the images I have chosen for this post may feel a little off-piste or, at the very least, somewhat off-topic. The thing is, I’m not religious nor do I have any great love of this time of year, however, I do enjoy its essence, and – different things mean different things to different people. So, instead of capturing the shiny and commercial side of the season, per se, I decided instead to simply wander and shoot. 

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I | Blue. [X100T: 35mm – 1/13th – f2.8 – ISO:1600 – +0.7 – Matrix]

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Sadly however, the weather was bloody atrocious, nothing but dull light, blanket grey skies and drizzle for most of it, which, made things a little tricky, as is oft’ the case under such conditions when you’re wielding a camera. I decided then, that West Parliament Square would be a great place to grab some serious frames – at the Cathedral of St. Giles. In my bag I carried two cameras – my X100T and, my Richoh (True Full-Spectrum converted) GXR – see my Light Waves page for more info on TFS if you’re not au-fait with it). The Fuji handled outdoors just fine but, being a habitual ISO:1600 maximum shooter, it was sluggish here. I did grab a good number of frames with it inside St. Giles’ and in fact, two of them are right here – but when I really struggled, the GXR’s completely unhindered sensor came into its own. Especially when the light became really difficult. Of course – shooting in mixed light with a full-spectrum camera makes things extremely tricky when it comes to colour reproduction but it’s forte is really black and white output anyway – so, I was in my element. Shutter speeds were almost twice as fast as the standard Fuji when my ISO and Av were the same. A nice little bonus when shooting hand-held indoors and, it certainly helped me in keeping a few frames a little less shaky, shall we say? 

As an aside, the X100T frames have a rather HDR look about them, which I am surprised at. After extremely minimal processing from RAW (RAF converted to DNG) and not even two minutes consideration I am, though I do not enjoy HDR images, very pleased with the results here – and the subject matter does seem to pop, rather nicely.  

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II | Ornation. [GXR (TFS): 24mm – 1/25th – f4.0 – ISO:1600 – -0.3 – Matrix]

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III | Yes, I Probably Looked a Right Berk Laying on my Back on the Cathedral Floor for this One – but, I Don’t Care! [X100T: 35mm – 1/13th – f2.8 – ISO:1600 – +0.7 – Matrix]

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I hope you will enjoy these few frames, that you have a splendid Christmas, however you’re celebrating and, I hope to be here again with you before the New Year! 

Have a fabulous time, all! 

R.


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