Closer Still(s) | PT.XXVII | 35Chronicle

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

Purple Heart [Tiger] Lily | PT.II


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IV | Fuji X100S – 35mm [equiv] – 1/4th – f11 – ISO:400.

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V | Fuji X100S – 35mm [equiv] – 1/8th – f5.6 – ISO:400 [w/Hoya +10].

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[From a Little Further Back:]
VI | Fuji X100S – 35mm [equiv] – 1/20th – f2.8 – ISO:800.

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VII | Fuji X100S – 35mm [equiv] – 1/60th – f5.6 – ISO:3200.

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Closer Still(s) | PT.XXVI | 35Chronicle

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

Purple Heart [Tiger] Lily | PT.I


Ask anyone who knows me and they’ll all tell you just how easily pleased I am. I’ve never been one to want much, not in the grand scheme of things at least and I have always gone by the adage that “enough, is as good as a feast”; and I absolutely believe this. It is relevant because when it comes to photography, I have always been happy with and, tried to make the most of the tools at my disposal (most usually – my camera and my legs) but some things require a little more planning.

Macro and close-up photography has been a passion of mine since I first picked up a camera, almost twenty-five years ago. That passion has not only stayed with me ever since but it has continued to grow. The longer I go between these more intimate shooting sessions, the more it grows and, the more I seem to enjoy it when I finally make it back. For the past few years, I had been making do with an old lamp table for my close-up set-ups; I had fashioned a matt black card base on the table with two joined 12″ high-sides of the same material, clamped lights, mirrors, clamps, desk tripod and, a couple of torches for ad-hoc light-painting during those longer exposures. This week though, something changed.

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I | Fuji X100S – 35mm [equiv] – 1/12th – f5.6 – ISO:400.

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A few weeks before new year, Ang had decided to have a clear-out of the under-stairs cupboard on the first floor. Great idea I though – we could decorate it and make her a lovely, secluded and private office space in there (whilst secretly wanting to snatch the space for myself, you understand). I was thinking maybe some cosy lighting, a decent bluetooth speaker, a new desk and chair, even some pictures on the wall – you know? A space I’d be utterly jealous of, for sure. Still, this was all a while ago and sometimes, as I said, things change. 

At Christmas, I received a very nice portable light-tent. Lights, stands, backdrops, colour gels – yup, all there. The trouble was that we had nowhere to properly set it up and though it’s indeed designed to be portable, once I set something like this up, I’d prefer it to stay there and I can quickly set back up again any time I have a new or interesting subject. That’s when the suggestion came back to me: “What about the under-stair cupboard?” My eyes must have lit up as soon as those words left her lips!

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II | Fuji X100S – 35mm [equiv]- 1/4th – f11 – ISO:200 [w/Hoya =10].

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At the beginning of this week, we measured up; on Tuesday we bought the wood and the paint and I constructed the worktop to be fitted, as well as starting the paint-job.  On Wednesday, the last coat of matte-black went on all the surfaces and by that evening, it was dry enough to set it all up. Could I wait to get in there and shut the door? Could I, buggery! Now, I know that light-tents aren’t a new thing, but I’ve always indulged myself on a shoestring – not for any other reason than the fact that I was simply able to. But to have a dedicated little space where it can all happen, is a real treat. I don’t care if Harry Potter didn’t care much for his – I’m loving my cupboard! Yes, I’m sure that I must sound like an idiot to most of you but this is big stuff to me. A useful man-cave at last! (And yes, I also realise that I’m rambling a tad!) Anyway, I’ll shut up now and let you (I sincerely hope) enjoy a few of the very first frames from the newly crowned (tongues firmly in cheek, you understand?) Studio 35C. 

As always, thank you for visiting my pages and, I wish you all a great weekend ahead.

-R-

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III | Fuji X100S – 35mm [equiv]- 1/8th – f5.6 – ISO:400 [w/Hoya =10].

35chronicle.190 (2)

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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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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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Closer Still(s) | PT.V | 35:Chronicle

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

Sleeping Belles, Awake.


In my last post (Closer Still(s) | PT.IV) I posted two images from the pre-flowering stage of one of the many, many Bluebells, coming to life on the high slope in my back-yard. After leaving it in water after it’s first portrait session and essentially forgetting about it for a few days, I spied it today whilst doing the dishes and, was made to smile when I caught sight of them opening, there on the sill behind the window. After dark, I set up my backdrop, lights and, clamped the stem for another session. So, here for another whirl, is the same flower-head from PT.IV – only, a little bit more glorious. All we need now, to make it feel ultimately Spring-like – is some warmer weather. Oh, when?!

[Each image resized for web & may be tapped / clicked to open in a new tab / window]

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I.

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II.

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III.

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IV.

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V.

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

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

Simplicity Rules!


Finer details have always fascinated me. This is why, when I discovered macro-photography and, just how much I enjoy it, many years ago, I must have spent a small fortune on rails, bespoke lighting set-ups, and of course- lenses. That was back in the day when I thought I needed all that stuff for the kind of closer images I wanted to make. I quickly discovered though, that the kind of subjects that interested me didn’t require me to have any kind of extensive (or expensive) set-up at all and a collection of expensive 1:1 macro-lenses was a little pointless for my own personal approach. I find that simply getting closer is more than enough for the images I like to produce. Perhaps it’d be another story altogether if I shot bugs, but I don’t.

Often, my 35 with a close-up filter does more than adequately for most of what I like to do when getting up close and personal with my chosen subject. At other times, my subject will be of a size where, to fit it in my frame, the naked, unfiltered lens will focus close enough anyway (I think mine focuses from 280mm). For me, this is a win-win and helps me to keep my bag light and my choices, well, I don’t really need to make any choices (when it comes to lenses, that is). I just add a +10 if I want to get around 2:1 and that’s just tickety-boo by me.  I think of it as shooting on a shoe-string and, it’s a remarkably pleasurable way to enjoy what I do even more.

Keeping it simple helps me hugely to declutter my mind and, the creative process (and, at my age, I can use all the help I can get!) Not only is decluttering the mind important, but getting closer to the subject can tend more often to simplify the frame too, by isolating exterior factors which might otherwise interfere from the edges and into the frame. 


Mornin’, Sweet Pea!

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Two Cloves Short of a Bulb

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Just, Hanging Around…

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