Threave Castle: PT.II/II | 720nm Infrared | 35Chronicle Photography

35mm, autumn / fall, black & white, boats, fine art, history, infrared, landscape, nature, photography, ruins, rural, structures, waterscape

Shifting Perspectives – On a Mirror.


Following on from PT.I here at Threave Castle, I would like to share my final two frames from this gorgeous, secluded, sun-drenched spot. Though the river surface was as still as a mirror’s, the undercurrent was very slowly shifting the ferry round at its bow towards its port-side and added an attractive new angle to the scene. As the undercurrent pulled the ferry round, I shifted towards its stern and lined it up with the bank as much I could (before actually falling into the river) in order to capture this beautiful scene. Wooden jetties – very slippery when wet! I also wanted to share the closer shot of the castle itself – a very simple composition and a fetching reflection. I do hope you’ll enjoy it too. 

Thank you so much for reading and I wish you a fabulous weekend!

R.

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III | Shifting Perspective: On & Across the Dee | 35mm – 720nm IR.

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IV | On a Mirror: Closer to the Walls | 85mm – 720nm IR.

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Threave Castle: PT.I/II | 720nm Infrared | 35Chronicle Photography

35mm, 50mm, black & white, boats, fine art, history, infrared, landscape, photography, ruins, rural, structures, waterscape

The Day of Two Cakes [PT.II]


As I make the transition from days to nights today, I find that I have a little time to share a few images, straight out of the final edit stage that I was able to grab on Friday last week; a day of glorious sunshine and the whole day with which to enjoy it! Bumble and I decided to head out to Threave Castle at Castle Douglas both as one last go at getting out before my run of shifts commenced and, as a treat for our youngest, Flynn. We called it ‘The Day of Two Cakes – Part II’. We’ve done this before with the kids – we head somewhere for a visit and a few shots then head to a nice café for lunch and cake, and in the afternoon we do it all over again. It’s a way to keep their attention I guess and gives them something less arduous to look forward to. Believe me, it works! Anyhow – Threave was our first stop and I cannot understand why I have never shot or even visited here in the twenty plus years that I have been living in South West Scotland. It’s such an obvious place to come and see and given my penchant for castles, ruins and the odd infrared landscape shot(!) – not to mention water and boats, I have to ask myself how I could have been so neglectful as to wait so long to come here? Perhaps I knew I’d rave about it after as much as I seem to be doing and, I guess it’s better to keep something wonderful in reserve rather than eat all our sweeties in one sitting? 

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I | Reflections of Threave Castle & the Ferry | 35mm – 720nm IR

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The tower was built by Archibald ‘the Grim’ in 1369 as a 30 metre high stronghold for the Black Douglases and for 21 years it was the seat of the very powerful Margaret Stewart, Lady of Galloway. It is accessed by boat across the River Dee, though when we visited, the crossings were not available. I guess we’re getting used to this now, however, the best views were indeed from the opposite bank and, as these frames contain a few of my favourite things, I can only hope that you will enjoy them as much as I do. The peace, the still of the water and the utterly gorgeous light. 

Not to mention – two cakes. Does life get any better than this?

R.

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II | Threave Castle on the Dee | 50mm – 720nm IR

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London Skylines: PT.II | 35Chronicle Photography

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

Above & Below.


III | OXO [LTFS] – From the Thames.

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IV | Westminster Bridge, Houses of Parliament & Elizabeth Tower in Scaffolding [720nm IR] – From the Eye.

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– Memento Vivere! – 
R.
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Ribblehead Viaduct: PT.II | 720nm Infrared | 35Chronicle Photography

black & white, fine art, infrared, landscape, nature, photography, rural, structures, summer

Look Back, Before You Leave.


When arriving here at the viaduct, it’s so easy to forget to look around at the landscape. It really is that jaw-dropping. If I was a walker (as in, a keen rambler) I would have already known the name of the flat-top hill behind us as Pen-Y-Ghent, one of the Three Peaks so popular with enthusiasts. Suffice to say, though, I love this landscape so much that I am even thinking about a trip here for a few days, after a visit to a reputable outdoor clothing shop! 

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IV.

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VI.

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Thank you all for your clicks and kind thoughts and comments and, I do hope you’ll enjoy these last few IR frames from Batty Moss! 

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– Memento Vivere! – 
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.

Ribblehead Viaduct: PT.I/II | 720nm Infrared | 35Chronicle Photography

black & white, infrared, landscape, photography, ruins, rural, structures

An Ode to ‘Batty Moss’.


We ended up here by a kind of accident, really. So far off the beaten track and so far from home, you’d be excused for questioning such a statement. But I’d listed a camera outfit on a popular sales app and ended up meeting the buyer (Hi, George – if you’re reading!) down the road in Cumbria. We simply decided to make a day of it and take the RF for a bit more of a spin. A glorious, hot day, stunning views – roof down; it was as perfect a day for a run as any I can ever remember.

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I.

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Ribblehead, or Batty Moss Viaduct at Ribblehead in North Yorkshire is, as you might imagine, strewn with history – both good and bad. Work commenced on the foundations in 1870 and through re-design issues and financial problems, the final key-stone wasn’t placed until the end of 1874. It was opened as a single-track line in 1876 and despite many attempts to close the line as early as the 1980s, it remains open today as a result of increasing passenger numbers on the Settle to Carlisle line and, huge petitions to save it. During the construction of the viaduct, some one-hundred or so of the two-thousand (plus) workforce died either as a result of construction related injuries, fights or – smallpox. The land around the viaduct itself is now a scheduled ancient monument as the remains of the three settlements and construction camps (Batty Wife Hole, Sebastapol and Belgravia) are situated here. Its architect was the renowned John Sydney Crossley who died some three years after the line opened to the public.

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II.

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During our visit to the viaduct, I did my best to compose to exclude the scores of cars and smoking BBQs below many of the twenty-four arches and humming drones above them; this place is an absolute magnet when the sun’s out! As with most things in life though, patience is a virtue and occasionally I was able to get clear views of this magnificent structure. An absolute treat.

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III.

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I hope you’ll have enjoyed these first few frames and I wish you all a fabulous week.

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– Memento Vivere! – 
R.
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A Day in the Life | 720nm IR | 35Chronicle Photography

black & white, infrared, landscape, photography, rural, skies

May ’21 | To & from Knocktinkle…


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I | From Knocktinkle, with a Smidge’ of Tonal Work | 720nm IR

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II | Looking Behind… Difficult Choices, Here | 720nm IR

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III | Be Honest… You Thought I Was Kidding?! | 720nm IR

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– Memento Vivere! – 
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.

Breaking the Curse of Morton Castle: PT.V | 720nm Infrared | 35Chronicle Photography

28mm, 35mm, black & white, fine art, infrared, landscape, nature, photography, ruins, rural, skies, structures, summer, trees, waterscape

Until Our Paths Cross Again.


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X | Sentinel of Paradise.

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XI | Old Stone & New Buds.

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– Memento Vivere! – 
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.

Breaking the Curse of Morton Castle: PT.IV/V | 720nm Infrared | 35Chronicle Photography

black & white, fine art, infrared, landscape, nature, photography, ruins, rural, skies, structures, trees, waterscape

In Blissful Isolation.


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VIII | The Sheer Beauty of Solitude.

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IX | Nature Sharing Empathy, Perhaps?

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– Memento Vivere! – 
R.
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Breaking the Curse of Morton Castle: PT.III/V | 720nm Infrared | 35Chronicle Photography

black & white, infrared, photography, ruins, rural, skies, structures

Rule No.1: Never Shoot into the Sun.


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VI | Of Course, Rules Can Be Stretched…

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VII | The Left-Hand Lens-Shade Method: With Practise, It Works!

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Memento Vivere…
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.

Breaking the Curse of Morton Castle: PT.II/V | 720nm Infrared | 35Chronicle Photography

black & white, history, infrared, landscape, nature, photography, ruins, rural, trees

Through Older Apertures.


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IV | The Ace of Clubs | 720nm IR.

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V | The Archer’s View | 720nm IR.

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Memento Vivere…
R.
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[All frames: Ricoh GXR LTFS Full-Spectrum Conversion & Front Mounted 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.

Breaking the Curse of Morton Castle: PT.I/V | 720nm Infrared | 35Chronicle Photography

black & white, fine art, infrared, landscape, nature, photography, ruins, rural, structures, summer, trees, waterscape

Light, Love & a Vision.


What I really wish for now is that I haven’t bitten off more than I can chew. It’s been a ridiculously chaotic, busy, unpredictable and yet fun past week or so and, after over three days of stealing odd hours here and there to finish editing two separate shoots, I can finally sit down and share a few more frames with you.  Today, we’re heading back to the beautiful Morton Castle, just outside Thornhill in South West Scotland. It’s been a bit of a nemesis for me in the past and, with six previous posts from this amazing ruin, I have never felt like I got it quite right. Sometimes, I look back over those older posts and clench my teeth as I realise that on occasion, I actually got it quite wrong. You see, I’ve always had a vision of how I would have wanted my captures of Morton to come out and yes, naturally, given my love for alternative-wavelength photography and old ruins, good light and strong IR radiation were always going to be key for me, in achieving captures that I have always imagined from here. My most recent post from Morton was way back in March 2020 – I still can’t believe it was that long ago. But how time flies indeed! So, last week, because time was short and commitments were many (and I just had to get back there!) I literally had only around a half-hour to wander round the castle ruins to make a few more shots before having to race back home again. Forgivingly, the sun was shining in a cloudless blue sky and there was no excuse not to make a dash for it. The weather reports did not let us down and, as Bumble had the keys to the jalopy  – ‘Lady Stig’ was born!

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I | Across Morton Loch | 720nm IR.

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Of course, knowing the layout so well by now does make it easier to plan just how I want to make my captures and where I need to be – it’s the same for any re-visit, I guess. Sometimes it’s possible to know almost exactly how many steps one needs to take from one spot to the next. On this, my fourth visit – though I do know Morton very well now, it still gives me that ‘wow‘ even before I’ve swung open the kissing-gate that leads me to the path along the loch. Very few people visit here at any one time and so it is easier to capture its peace and the solitude. Very few places have stolen my heart the way this one obviously has. I do wonder just how many more times I will make the trip here; I long to capture its reflection in still waters below – which means at least once more will I head this way. But in truth, I love this place so much that I would be completely happy if the answer was always, “once more”.

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II | The Light of Stone & Wood | 720nm IR.

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I do hope that you’ll forgive me from the off, though – that I intend to post up around five posts in total from this, my most recent visit to the castle. There are so many views and angles that I simply love and if I missed any of them out, well – they’d get posted eventually, anyway! Please feel free to post a ‘yaaawwwwwn’ emoji in the comments if you start drifting! Of course, I do hope that that won’t be the case and instead, that you’ll enjoy some beautiful views under alternative light of a truly stunning corner of Scotland. I call it – home.  Thank you so much for reading my pages; as always, I am so grateful and, I wish you a fabulous week ahead.

Memento Vivere…

R.

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III | To a Time | 720nm IR.

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[All frames: Ricoh GXR LTFS Full-Spectrum Conversion & Front Mounted 720nm IR Filter]


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Mono-Archives: PT.VII | 35Chronicle Photography

black & white, fine art, infrared, Long Exposure, nature, photography, ruins, rural, skies, structures

The Way They Move…


Gelston Castle: Long Exposure 720nm IR | 60″ – f22 – ISO:100

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The Lighthouse at Southerness: Long Exposure 720nm IR | 30″ – f22 – ISO:100

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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.

2020: A Photographic Review | 35Chronicle

35mm, black & white, candid, close-up, colour, fine art, full-spectrum, history, Indoor, infrared, landscape, Long Exposure, macro, nature, night / low-light, people, personal, photography, portraits, review, ruins, rural, skies, spring, still life, structures, summer, trees, waterscape

Decisions, Decisions.


Every one of us has a similar story to tell of this trying year that has been – 2020. It was touted as the coming year of clear vision and foresight, change for the better, its number instilling feelings of hope and reason in each of us. It stood for something. Then – it arrived. Instead, it has been the year that has made us all think harder about what it means to be human, about how we act, how we look after ourselves and our fellow man; our families, friends, loved ones and most of all, those whom we will never know and yet we hope that they have also regarded our well-being in just the same way. Not everyone has given it so much thought or consideration though; those who have had us shaking our heads in despair at showings of ignorance or selfishness. That hyper-awareness that has been growing all year, is at its peak now – for those who have been paying attention, that is. So many have suffered and lost, many more have suffered and, will be doing so still. And these thoughts keep me grounded when it comes to looking back over my own personal year – small fish by comparison yet, relevant to what I love.

Over the last ten years, my love for infrared landscape photography has continued to evolve and I have a new love over these latter few years too – old ruins and Marsden-esque scenes that invoke the past, questions, stories forgotten or simply – awe. This year has been a little more tricky though, to capture them. Many places I have wished to visit have been closed or actually close-off, local restrictions have curtailed non-essential travel and I have been made to think a little differently as to what or how I would like to shoot. Another little learning curve has been experienced this year and this can only be a good thing. Creatively, I have still found myself struggling a little – mostly with my own photographic repertoire and not wanting to get ‘stuck’ in a niche – but I think it may be too late for such feelings. The rod is against my back already, however – I feel a coming change in my approach, necessitated by the course of recent history and by the passage of time. Change is inevitable and I can feel it bubbling under the surface. What it will be is yet only a series of random flickers of frames like subliminal advertising pasted inside life’s film reel. They exist – not yet realised. But time is changing us. And it’s changing me. Insosaying, this year’s review isn’t just about looking back at some old photographs – it’s about wondering where I’ll go and what I’ll do next. I still don’t know – but I’m looking forward to finding out. 

It’s been a little tricky for me to select my favourite frames from 2020 – it would’ve been easier if I had chosen by the number of clicks or comments by post. By some choices, I may coincide by accident – but these are my selections based on time, place, feeling and creative satisfaction.  The best I have been able to achieve really is here. All I can hope is that you’ll enjoy this little recap. 

 

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January 2020: The Wedding Trio | Scotland’s Folly – Calton Hill, Edinburgh.

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February 2020: Lowther Castle, Cumbria. 720nm IR | 35mm.

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March 2020: Hermitage Castle. 720nm IR | 35mm.

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April 2020: Seven Tonics [Whatever Gets You Through].

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May 2020: Home School…

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June 2020: Air & Water.

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July 2020: Southerness Lighthouse | 720nm IR w/ Hoya R72 & 10-Stop ND.

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August 2020: Dundrennan Abbey | 720nm IR.

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September 2020: Suspension Bridge Over the Nith.
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October 2020: Scott’s View – Melrose & The Magic of a Fair Maiden’s Hand.

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November 2020: Ol’ Fashioned | 3″ Macro.

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December 2020: The Silent Bell – Hoddom Castle | 720nm IR.

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Thank you all so much for your company and your contributions this year, and to both newer followers and more long-standing readers – I am always eternally grateful for your contributions both to my pages and, for what you yourselves create. Thank you! I wish you all a very happy, prosperous and healthy ’21! Please – join me again when you can. 

Warmest wishes to you all… 

Rob.


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If you would like updates, please click Follow. All Images & Posts © 35:Chronicle (2018-2020) 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.

Corsewall Lighthouse: PT.I | 720nm IR & LTFS | 35Chronicle

black & white, full-spectrum, history, infrared, landscape, photography, rural, structures, waterscape

The Light & the Dark.

The hotel at the lighthouse had been on our list of places to visit for a little while now, not least because it promotes itself as wedding venue too and, given recent engagements (ahem!) and our fondness for the west of our county, we made the journey during a three day stay in Portpatrick. The coastline is simply stunning here and even though the weather was extremely moody at best (and howling at its worst) there was no way that we were going to forego this particular jaunt. Looking out from the mouth of Loch Ryan it is hard to even contemplate why anyone would wish to look in any other direction, no matter what the elements.

Built around 1816-1817, the fully functioning tower is still run by the Northern Lighthouse Board, however, since automation in 1994 – the rest of the buildings were converted into a hotel. Word has it that in 1817, Corsewall’s Principle Light Keeper had fallen asleep on duty which caused the light to fail for a time, to the detriment of passing ships heading towards the coastline, and so therefore, he was subsequently and severely demoted. In November of 1970, Concorde flew over Corsewall Lighthouse on a trial flight and when passing the tower, it shattered many panes of glass around the light. Later flights by Concorde would not cause the same phenomena. Sadly though, at the time of our visit the whole place was closed due to the effects of Coronavirus and ensued restrictions and, we were unable to enter. Instead, after a lovely walk around the place and taking in the views, Bumble sought protection from the ever worsening elements inside the car, and why not? Nobody wants to get soaking wet or freezing cold on their birthday!

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I |  The Hotel & Tower [720nm IR]

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As I walked Bumble back from the hotel itself towards the car, having wandered around the tower and the foghorn together so that I could grab a few frames, we were met by a lady in her 4×4 who, having sped down the hill stopped alongside us on approach to the building and wound down her window to speak to us. Then, she asked the one question that is guaranteed to irk me more than any other when I am making my frames. “Can I help you?” she asked. Well, “I don’t know, can you take over shooting for me if I should suddenly forget how to do it?” I wanted to reply. Instead, I refrained from sarcasm and exchanged politely with her until she explained that she owned the place and was popping in to check her emails. Why would I even care about that? In truth, I think our presence triggered off a sensor or we were on camera perhaps, prompting her expedient arrival from her nearby abode. I mean, I can see how a couple like us would put a lot of fear into someone – especially when you take in the evidence – holding hands, the odd cuddle to dispel the cold of the gusts, the picture taking. Of course. I once again prepared to endure the worsening elements – for the sake of art, you understand. I mean, why else?

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II |  ‘Round the Rugged Rock the Ragged Rascal Ran [LTFS]

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Getting here though, was a bit of pain the derriere – and I am surprised that anyone planning a wedding or reception would make the trek if they knew beforehand how the final part of their journey would pan out, should the weather turn sour. This is definitely a fair-weather destination if you wish to remain – unsavoury. Imagine if you will, donning your finest finery, having washed and polished the car (as such an occasion would suggest as appropriate) and turning out as pristinely as you possibly could before setting off. Your journey to within a mile or two of Corsewall may be largely uneventful, perhaps even wonderful, then the heavens open as you approach the back roads, past the farms, through as much cow-sh*t as it’s possible to spread across the hugely pitted and pot-holed tracks that wind around and down towards the tower. Imagine too, all of that muck sprayed up both sides of your previously pristine jalopy, as you pray that you won’s split a rim or two in any of the deeper craters who’s depth and severity are sinisterly hidden beneath copious quantities of shit and water. (You can tell I’m a little precious about my car now, can’t you?!) So – let the nightmare begin! How to arrive? Or, how not to! Perhaps save it for the sunshine?

Despite high winds and a decent amount of rain, I somehow managed to snag a number of shots both in IR and in LTFS (full-spectrum) when the light started to fade – that I am actually very happy with. Sorry about all the back story and though not every shoot I go on isn’t as romantic as they might appear to be, I hope too that you’ll enjoy these first few frames of (really) a beautiful and picturesque corner of South West Scotland. 

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III |  The Tower & Foghorn [LTFS]

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Thank you ever so much for reading and I do hope that you are keeping safe and well.

Until PT.II – toodle-pip!

R.

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Restricted: Dryburgh Abbey | 720nm Infrared | 35Chronicle

35mm, autumn / fall, black & white, history, infrared, landscape, ruins, rural, skies, structures, trees

On Certainty &… Unwavering Gratitude.


To my mind, there is only one thing better than having a solid seven days off work and that is, waking up on the first morning after a busy run of shifts and knowing that you have seven days off until the roundabout starts spinning again. This morning, I woke almost immediately at the sound of Bumble’s 7:00 alarm, (almost two hours after my usual start) and felt nothing but bliss at the realisation that I had nothing specifically to get up for and, nowhere that I needed to be. It makes it easier to rise – to accept getting out of bed as a part of the day; especially for one who enjoys his sleep as much as I do. When I can get it. Shit! I make myself sound so lazy – I’m really not! At around half-past, Flynn called from outside the bedroom door, “knock, knock!” (because his hands were full) and as I greeted him back, he carefully tip-toed in with a mug of coffee, gently placing it next to me on my nightstand; he barely spilled a drop! From his left hand he then revealed a piece of kitchen-towel, wiped up a few drops with a smile and then we agreed, we wouldn’t tell mum! Such foresight for one so young! As he left the room, I caught up on the news of the day as I supped, smiling. Another bliss. Across the landing, I heard Flynn cheerily getting ready for school.

Though the news, the world over, is pretty much the same – and not often something to smile about of late, I am happy today because I am grateful. For the life that I live now after such an awful event last year is one of positive recovery, much improved health, work, purpose, enjoyment, reason, acceptance – and most of all, my family. That closest of circles full of love in all directions and understanding without shadows. Feelings like these are essential for me on days like this – when I have nothing specific to which I must attend, yet, in the knowledge that if I were to achieve nothing by the end of the day, would leave me feeling much disappointment in time wasted. The older I become, the more I loath wasted time. And so I write. Forgive me if you can’t see the link yet.

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I |  The Ruins of Dryburgh [I] – 720nm IR – 35mm

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As I read the news (and before I continue, I would like you to know that I do not wish to blabber on about the latest ‘C’ word – even though apathy is spreading, an apathy to which I absolutely cannot subscribe or agree with, the news of it is becoming as tedious as Brexit had) – I felt more grateful still. We are all well, until the day that we are not and days of wellness should be seized and – enjoyed. So many are suffering as a result of this modern problem, made worse by the lack of understanding that sometimes, only old methods have the real and lasting solution. Whether we liked it or not, we all grew up hearing those words – “do as you’re told!”. It was for our own good. And look, we’re still here, more than likely because on occasion, we actually listened. Many are not hearing, not listening and this is doubtlessly exacerbating the problems which we are facing now – like a horrendous, ugly pyramid-scheme, hurtling towards the ground at freefall speed before we realise it. But many are listening and, actually doing something about it and soon, I hope – we will start to see our lives and our potentials open up and bloom again. I say this because a recent visit to Scott’s View (see post #240) was terminated by a visit to the beautiful, richly historical Dryburgh Abbey, near Melrose in the Scottish Borders – the final resting place of Sir Walter Scott, in 1832.

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II |  Scott’s View – 35mm w/Lens-Ball – 720nm IR.

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Dryburgh Abbey was founded in 1150 (10th November to be more precise) and, is the Daughter House of Alnwick Abbey in Northumberland. In 1322 it was burned down by English troops and, after restoration it was burned again by the armies of Richard II in 1385. During the fifteenth century though, it is known to have flourished – until that is, the coming of 1544 when it was destroyed completely. What remains of the building, as of the grounds too, are considered to be a Scheduled Monument (of national, or historical importance) and, happens to be one of the most beautiful sites I have ever had the pleasure of visiting. The weather helped of course. But, Bumble and I were still hampered.

For almost a year, we had Dryburgh on our list of ‘must visits’ and, indeed when we had visited Jedburgh and Melrose last November (on a most miserable of days, climate-wise), we simply ran out of daylight and had to re-schedule – date as yet unplanned. After an hour or so looking out over Scott’s View though, we were so close to the abbey that to not stop by would have been (from an infrared photographer’s point of view anyway) a cardinal sin. (No pun intended though in retrospect, apt!) As we drove down the hill from the ‘View’ – Bumble checked the oracle and we were happy to know that we had about an hour before the gates would be closed. What an end to a fabulous daytrip this would turn out to be! We even bypassed the statue of William Wallace so that we’d have time to see it. After a few more minutes though, we arrived to park the car behind the entrance to the abbey –  the sign read,

“Closed to Visitors”.

Bollocks!

We stood a moment in disappointment, bewilderment, joint frustration and even disbelief as the sun shone through the trees, squirrels seemingly taunting us from the other side of the wall within the vast acreage of their rich and autumn-tinged playground. We even called the site office to enquire as to why coronavirus had any impact on opening times to such a vast outdoor space – as if they would see sense, come down and re-open the gates just for us. But honestly, as so many organisations seem to use this current predicament as an excuse to fold up early without letting anyone know, it’s a frustrating experience to say the least. Even the local Post Office has seen fit to close its counters two and a half hours early, as if herding the same amount of customers per day to their two windows in a shorter space of time would have a positive impact on the spread of C-19? Any excuse to knock-off early and balls to an explanation? Okay, so my frustrations clear, fuzzy thinking acknowledged – how to get a few frames of this gorgeous ruin?!

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III | The Ruins of Dryburgh [II] – 720nm IR – 35mm

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Being made of more ‘abiding citizen’ than ‘ah, what the hell?!’ – we decided not to test Scotland’s ‘no-tresspass’ law, especially given the residing occupants of the lodge cottage at the gates directly to our left. Instead, we drove around to the hotel around the other side of the ruin, the sign for which, in my former excitement and anticipation I had completely ignored in passing and yet, Bumble hadn’t. We parked up outside the front of the hotel and I quickly retrieved a couple of cameras from Molly’s back-seat. (Yes, my car has a name :0) Looking around we were waiting for a bow-tied, waist-coated employee to perhaps tick us off for not at first coming in for so much as an afternoon tea, however, no such interaction ensued and we were glad of it. Time was running out and the light was threatening to fade on us. Over a high wall separating the hotel from the abbey’s grounds, we could instantly see that, as luck would have it, we were far better off where we were. The view over top is just incredible. As I prepped my cameras for a few shots, the sun again burst through the clouds as if on cue and I raised my hands above the wall, now so high over my head that I was unable to use the viewfinder – the screen would do just fine now. Though I wasn’t able to shoot any other angles than these (or slight variations of very similar) as I walked the length of that wall, I can honestly say that I remain extremely grateful. Yes, a return visit is necessary – but we’ll phone the office first, I think. Just to make certain!

Thank you for reading and I hope, as always, that you’ll have enjoyed these few frames.

R.

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