Of Sir Walter Scott [1771-1832] | 35Chronicle Photography

black & white, fine art, full-spectrum, history, night / low-light, people, photography, structures

Scotland’s Image-Maker. 


Following on from my last two posts from Abbotsford House, I feel it’s only right to share some frames of the man himself – insofar as it can be possible given the passage of time. At Abbotsford, a striking bust of Scott stands at the head of the room as one exits his study from where he wrote much of his work. As for the Playmobil character – I have no idea as to why it was even there but felt it humourous enough to simply leave it there. In hindsight, I think I should have moved it away before making that shot – still, I like it enough. But by far my favourite of the two shared here, is this first frame – of Scott and his Deerhound, Maida, both relaxing beneath the Sir Walter Scott Monument on Princes Street, in Edinburgh. That this utterly astounding and beautifully ornate monument happens almost certainly to be my favourite structure to have ever even seen, let alone photographed (yes, you may have seen it feature once or twice in much older posts, here) is no coincidence. In any case, I do hope you’ll enjoy these frames.

R.

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I | Scott & Maida Beneath His Monument, Princes Street, Edinburgh | 1/25th – f5.6 – ISO:3200 – 28mm – LTFS Full-Spectrum.

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II | Bust of Scott w/Life-size Playmobil Character, Abbotsford House, Melrose | 1/80th – f5.6 – ISO:3200 – 50mm – LTFS Full-Spectrum.

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III | The Head of the Room, Abbottsford House | 1/40th – f4.0 – ISO:3200 – 24mm – VIS

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Abbotsford House, Melrose | 720nm Series: PT.II/II | 35Chronicle Photography

black & white, history, infrared, rural, structures

A Few More Takes: A National Monument.


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IV| 1/540th – f7.5 – ISO:200 – 35mm – 720nm IR | Ricoh GXR A16 LTFS Conversion w/Hoya R72

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V | 1/110th – f8.0 – ISO:200 – 24mm – 720nm IR | Ricoh GXR A16 LTFS Conversion w/Hoya R72

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I | 1/380th – f8.0 – ISO:200 – 24mm – 720nm IR | Ricoh GXR A16 LTFS Conversion w/Hoya R72

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Abbotsford House, Melrose | 720nm Series: PT.I/II | 35Chronicle Photography

black & white, history, infrared, people, photography, rural, structures

Great Scott!


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I | 1/350th – f7.5 – ISO:200 – 35mm – 720nm IR | Ricoh GXR A16 LTFS Conversion w/Hoya R72

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II | 1/270th – f8.0 – ISO:200 – 24mm – 720nm IR | Ricoh GXR A16 LTFS Conversion w/Hoya R72

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There is a special ‘something’ about the Scottish Borders when the sun is even only half out. From home, it takes barely and hour and a half to get there and so, at the beginning of this month we planned a whistle-stop visit with an overnight stay on the outskirts of Melrose; I had a few places on my list – two of which, my lenses would be extremely interested in! The first was here, at Abbotsford House; the famous home of the infinitely more famous late Sir Walter Scott – poet, novelist, playwright, historian, antiquarian, judge (to name just a few of his accolades, that is). It can be said that Scott can be largely held responsible for Scotland’s national and international identity;  there’ll be no argument from me on that one.

Though it is now a visitor attraction should not take away from the fact that Abbotsford is of huge historical importance to Scotland and, it is more a monument than a house. Not only this, it is also utterly breath-taking; outside and in. The restrictions still placed upon us by Covid however, meant that during our visit to Abbotsford – there was a blessings and a curse. The obvious blessing was the reduced amount of visitors as a result of lengthy timeslots between admissions; this meant a great deal to me personally because as with any time that I visit a place of interest, I always prefer to capture without the obvious element of tourism and favour making frames which concentrate solely (inasmuch as can ever be possible) upon my subject, without avoidable distractions within the frame itself. Conscious exclusion is a big part of how I prefer to compose and so this was indeed a welcome blessing. As for the curse – most of the interior of the house (in fact all, above the ground floor) was inaccessible by visitors and so, we were constrained to a very few rooms downstairs. This is not to say that what remains on view to the public is not of interest. I have seldom witnessed or enjoyed such eclecticism or marvelled at such broad tastes and collections. Though I am sure curators had a difficult time of putting everything together (it is impossible to know and even more difficult to conceive as to whether the house’ interiors have been preserved in their ‘natural’ state – yet, I doubt it very much given the huge passage of time since Scott’s death in 1832) – it is both wondrous and romantic to spend time taking it all in. Though I have never read his works, I really do feel that I should. I do feel a niggle in my side, edging me towards a few more books for my Kindle!

For now, here are my first few chosen infrared exteriors taken at Abbotsford House and, I can only hope that they bring even a little, light-hearted enjoyment. As always, thank you so much for reading!

R.
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III | 1/380th – f8.0 – ISO:200 – 24mm – 720nm IR | Ricoh GXR A16 LTFS Conversion w/Hoya R72

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Mono-Archives: PT.XIV | The Draw of ‘Sleepy-Hollow’ | 35Chronicle Photography

black & white, fine art, infrared, photography, rural, skies, structures, summer, trees, waterscape

The Mill on the Fleet: 720nm Infrared.


In July this year, I made another visit to one of my favourite stop-offs and, I am surprised that I hadn’t shared a couple of frames from my last jaunt to Gatehouse’s Mill on the Fleet sooner than this. The last time I had actually posted from The Mill was almost a year ago and so, I am happy to put this right, today. Though a popular and often a busy small town, Gatehouse offers some absolutely stunning scenery and, beautiful walks right from its heart; and none more tranquil or evocative than the views from the bridge, alongside the old mill. A perfect day for some alternative wavelength photography, such as it was – what else could I have done? The light and the clouds played right into my hands and, I have seldom seen this view look quite so haunting, or breath-taking. 

Thank you, as always for stopping by my pages and, I do hope you’ll enjoy these two frames from one of my all-time favourite spots. 

R.

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I | The Mill | 1/310th – f6.0 – ISO:200 – 28mm – 720nm IR

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II | The Mill on the Fleet | 1/190th – f8.0 – ISO:200 – 24mm – 720nm IR

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Closer Stills: PT.XXXI | Barnacles on Razor Shell

28mm, black & white, close-up, fine art, macro, nature, photography

On Perfect Imperfections?


It’s hard to believe (for me, anyway) that it has been over a year since I shot or posted any serious macro shots here. It may also be difficult to believe that macro is one of my favourite genres of photography and has fascinated me ever since I first picked up a serious camera. Many years ago I would have had so much macro gear and I’d made good use of it all too; but the longer I have been shooting, the less gear I want and, the more use I want to get out of the much less that I have. I have even started, over the last few years, to stop craving perfection (insomuch as I have been able to obtain it. Was it ever so, though? Probably not.) With all this mind, I have a number of macro and close-up options open to me but when I am shooting under controlled conditions (in my purpose-made cupboard under the stairs!) I still prefer to reach for my old Ricoh GRD IV. Desk tripod, a couple of clamps and desk lights, ISO:80, self-timer and a cuppa – sorted. Oh, and black & white of course. Who needs colour when form and texture can slap one in the face like this? Speaking of old, if you’re interested (and this is the case for all my work) – I don’t care much for updating my software when I can see results that I absolutely love with an eight year old version of LR (yup, I’m still on 4.4). So, old cameras, old software (old brain?) who cares? I still love this caper! 

Subject: The razor shell was something I picked up from Prestatyn beach when we were in North Wales for our holibags; I wrapped it in a napkin, stuffed it in my camera bag and once I left it in my studio on our return home, I promptly forgot about it. With an hour to kill this morning, I thought it was time I set it up for a shoot. It’s not particularly pretty but I love it anyway. So, just for fun, here’s an old shell, shot with an old camera and processed on comparatively ancient software. I hope you’ll enjoy! 

R.

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I | 1″ – f9.0 – ISO:80 – 28mm – Spot Metred – EV -0.7

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II | 1/6th” – f5.6 – ISO:80 – 28mm – Spot Metred – EV -1.0

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III | 1/2″ – f8.0 – ISO:80 – 28mm – Spot Metred – EV -1.0

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IV | 1″ – f8.0 – ISO:80 – 28mm – Spot Metred – EV -1.0

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Gwrych Castle: PTII/II | 35Chronicle Photography

black & white, history, photography, ruins, rural, structures

The Real in Surreal.


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IV | 1/270th – f8.0 – ISO:200 – 85mm – Matrix

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V | 1/750th – f8.0 – ISO:200 – 50mm – Matrix

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VI | 1/500th – f6.0 – ISO:200 – 35mm – Spot

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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.

Gwrych Castle, Conwy: PT.I | 35Chronicle Photography

black & white, history, photography, ruins, rural, skies, structures, trees

“The Showpiece of Wales”? No Bl**dy Wonder!


It’s name literally means, “Hedged Castle” and Gwrych was built between 1810 and 1825 by Lloyd Hesketh Bamford-Hesketh in memory of his mother, among other relatives. As we drove along the Expressway just a day after arriving in North Wales, the listed country house was clearly visible from the road and appeared to have been built into the rockface behind it; to say that it is impressive is probably the most ridiculous understatement I could possibly come up with. It is staggering. From first sight of it, it was on our list of sites to visit before heading home at the end of the week and, on our last full day we managed to secure a booking, the first of the day and, we finally headed out to see it. Though I was hoping for better weather and the chance to capture some IR frames (and was denied by the cloud and threatening drizzle) I cannot be unhappy one bit for the experience of having been able to wander through this beautiful, jaw-dropping place, with only a dozen or so other visitors at the time; it’s easy to understand why Gwrych would become so busy not even an hour later and having managed an early timeslot was to prove more than fortunate with the shots that I was able to grab before we finished our tour. But having timeslots, the need for which was obviously enforced by the pandemic – has its downsides, especially when entering the more confined or indoor spaces; visitors who’s slots were only ten or twenty minutes behind us – began to catch up and, the wish to slowly take in the place becomes an exercise in either moving out of people’s way or, worse, rushing along in order to keep our distance. The imposed one way system and countless cordons and other exclusions cut out much of the ground we had hoped to cover during our time here and that made the whole visit even shorter. So, what should have taken a good couple of hours, was over in around forty-five minutes. (There’s plenty I could say about that but common sense doesn’t always prevail and besides most of the site available was outside in the fresh air – this didn’t make much difference to the speed at which visitors were herded in, and ushered out by more following visitors.) I was and, still am a little amazed as to how they managed it given that there’s so much ground here! A calculated exercise in speedier throughput for maximum gain, perhaps. I have to admit to being rather surprised when we reached the exit arch so soon; almost as though we were the subject of a time-lapse recording. An anti-climax? Yup. You bet. But those walls (despite the crane which, in its defence, did lend an air of scale)… oh, it was worth it!

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I | 1/350th – f7.6 – ISO:200 – 70mm – Spot.

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II | 1/125th – f8.0 – ISO:218(!) – 24mm – Spot.

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Despite poor light, I was able to snag some very pleasing frames from Gwrych Castle and no, though the castle was host to the UK show, “I’m a Celebrity…” last year, I won’t be sharing the frame of Ant & Dec’s life-size cardboard cut-outs here. With that said, the castle has a huge amount of history and claims to fame, and I’m sure last years series barely scratched the surface. A simple search from your chosen browser will return much, if places like this are your thing. But for me – I love Gwrych for what it is. Splendid. Mind-bendingly huge. One of a kind. 

Magnificent!

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III | 1/220th – f8.0 – ISO:200 – 24mm – Spot.

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As an aside, this post happens to be my 300th here on 35Chronicle Photography. As such, I’d like to dedicate this one to every single one of you who either read just occasionally, follow, click, comment, contribute in any way and, at any point over the last (almost) four years since I started this blog. If it weren’t for you, there would be no point in any of this. Thank you!

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.

An Old Sentinel: PT.II | 720nm Infrared & VIS | 35Chronicle Photography

35mm, 50mm, black & white, fine art, history, infrared, landscape, Long Exposure, photography, ruins, rural, skies, structures

Dunskey Castle: A Little More Time.


In December of 2019, I saw for the first time and photographed – the gorgeous ruins of Dunskey Castle near Portpatrick. The original post can be found here: Post No.170. Of course, when the weather is good for IR shoots, as it was in my original post, I’ll always reach for my infrared equipped cameras first but even when the light drops, as it did here right before sunset, if the subject is good and the conditions are favourable, IR isn’t always necessary in order for me to come away with a sense of achievement or pleasure from capturing the realisation of an image in my head before I even got there. Here, I wanted to concentrate on getting some longer exposures of the castle ruins at different focal-lengths and combine my use of infrared and visible light. So, as Bumble unpacked the chairs and the late evening picnic she’d lovingly prepared earlier, I set up my equipment and polished off my Big Stopper ND. I hope that I have done this wonderful place a little more justice than I managed on my first visit; and if I haven’t – I still have the beautiful memories of a cliff-top picnic at sunset, on the edge of the world with my bestie! Worth it!

Time passes like clouds, over us all – even the stone won’t survive forever and, I feel a poignant sense of relief in that sometimes, we can get to slow time down to a stop – and watch it in replay again and again, in a still.

R.

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I | 35mm. 30″. f21.0. ISO:200 – 720nm IR.

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II | 24mm. 60″. f22.0. ISO:100 – VIS.

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III | 50mm. 30″. f22.0. ISO:200 – 720nm IR.

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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.

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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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.

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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South Stack Lighthouse | Holy Island, Anglesey | 720nm Infrared | 35Chronicle Photography

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

Remote Pleasures.


Over my last four or so days off, my feet seemed to have barely touched the ground and as of tomorrow, I’m back to the grindstone for another long run and so, I wanted to just quickly share a couple more frames with you – taken during our summer break. If you have read recent posts, you’ll know that we made a visit to Anglesey, North Wales, and we couldn’t really leave North Wales until we had paid this beautiful island a visit. After a few hours stop at Beaumaris [see post #190 here, if you might be interested] we drove further up to Holy Island to visit the lighthouse at South Stack. Whilst the RSPB visitor centre, cafe and tours were completely closed due to persistent restrictions, I had an absolute blast (in more ways than one) shooting from the top of the cliffs to soak up this utterly breath-taking view.

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I | South Stack Lighthouse, Holy Island | 720nm Infrared | 24mm – f8 – 1/200th – ISO:200

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Even at 51 (sheesh, where does the time go?) I  found out that I was still fit enough (or rather, not completely fooked!) to take a steady run up the hill, in competition with our naturally, far fitter sixteen year-old, who remained only a few feet ahead of me all the way up! I was carrying all my camera gear though; that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it! (It was a valiant effort though, Corbs!) Once back down to the clifftop (after a little rest, you understand?) I was forced to enlist not only his, but also Bumble’s help in preventing me from getting blown over the cliff edge as, the wind, so strong from behind me as I faced the tower, more than threatened to hurl me over the edge into the rocky ravine below, some 150 metres or so down. Not an end I would have fancied facing. I needed to get as close to the edge as I could only because I was shooting wide and any foreground would have spoilt the drama of the rocks. So, with both of them curling there grip around the belt of my jeans and pulling me back from the edge, I placed my trust and managed to steady myself to grab some frames. You’d look at these and be forgiven that all was serene and calm, but – not a bit of it. It was wild up here. For me, it was well worth it. I do hope you’ll enjoy them too!

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II | North West Coast, Holy Island | 720nm Infrared | 50mm – f5 – 1/400th – ISO:200

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To all of you who visit and follow my ramblings and pictures (those of you who go back years and, new readers alike) I would like to say a huge, massive, gargantuan thank you. I’ve just subscribed to another two years of hosting here at WordPress so, that’s another two years of ad-free reading and (I hope) continued enjoyment. I wish you all a fabulous weekend! 

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.

Penrhyn Castle Country House: PT.III | 35Chronicle Photography

35mm, black & white, fine art, history, Indoor, photography, rural, structures

Architects of Light.


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VII | The Grand Hall Ceiling | Penrhyn Castle

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VIII | Stone Staircase | Penrhyn Castle

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IX | The Grand Staircase Ceiling | Penrhyn Castle

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R.
Penrhyn Castle: PT.I
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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.

Penrhyn Castle Country House: PT.II | 35Chronicle Photography

35mm, black & white, fine art, history, Indoor, photography, still life, structures

Still Lifes & a Couple of Self-Portraits.


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IV | Out of Ink! | 35mm

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V | A Black & White Study | 35mm

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VI | From Behind Red Ropes | 35mm

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R.
Penrhyn Castle: PT.I
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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.

Reflections: Point of Ayr Lighthouse | 35Chronicle Photography

35mm, black & white, colour, fine art, personal, photography, skies, structures, summer, sunset, waterscape

The Whole Picture.


Holidays shouldn’t just be holidays. They should be a closely connected string of wonderful and shared memories that make up the very fabric of each of our lives, interspersed with all the mundane and repetitive too, for the full picture to be truly appreciated. As I sometimes like to sit in quiet, philosophical contemplation, the two predominant feelings I always come back to are of gratitude and love, for what I’ve known and, what I have. Call it my positive outlook on life if you will, no doubt strengthened by certain life experiences; or just my appreciation for what I get to enjoy (whenever I am paying attention!) We should all pay more attention sometimes.

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I: Leaving |  Talacre Beach, North Wales | 35mm

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Even one week away from home, with the resultant shirking of responsibility of household chores, work, timetables and such-like is something we all need once in a while, and our trip to North Wales was not planned too far in advance, largely (pretty much entirely, actually) because during the pandemic, so many people have been losing out financially (we, included) to companies and organisations who were taking bookings before lockdowns and either not opening their doors again or simply not honouring them after restrictions were eased. Once bitten, as they say. With that in mind, we wanted to make sure that this time, we’d actually get away as a family and give the boys, too, the break that they deserved. It came good. 

As artists, writers, photographers – there is an inherent need in us to record life; the imagined, the seen, the felt, the experienced. Does a picture paint a thousand words, though? I would like to think so. But I don’t believe that a thousand words can always be enough. I could easily write a thousand here, today, but I wouldn’t be so sure that they’d conjure up anything so good as to convey such joys as knowing that my family were stood around me, behind me, waiting for me to take the “bloody” shot (they are never so impatient, in truth and are completely understanding when I have a camera in hand! What also isn’t conveyed, is that a nine year old boy is waiting for his step-dad to trip the shutter enough to satisfy, so that the same little boy can chuck a rock in the pool and see the splash; but he knows that the reflection is the reason for the shot, and so – patiently, he sacrifices for a while, and waits without complaint or resentment. His teenage brother too, waits; to kick his football across the beach or to throw me a ball in the hope he’ll catch me out; and his mother waits too  with no agenda save only to know that what I do makes me happy. So yes, you may see a lighthouse, but my mind is crammed with such memories that I am filled with both happiness for experiencing and, sadness for the passing of yet another, now filed to memories. But what memories!

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II: Before the Splash! | Point of Ayr Lighthouse (Talacre) 1776 at Low Tide [Decommissioned 1844] | 35mm

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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.

 

Beaumaris Castle Ruins, Anglesey | 720nm Infrared | 35Chronicle Photography

35mm, black & white, fine art, history, infrared, photography, ruins, structures, waterscape

The Greatest Castle Never Built.


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I | The Moated North-West Walls of Beaumaris Castle.

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II | On the Inside & … Remembering Marsden.

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– Memento Vivere! – 
R.
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HOME A RATIONALE | LIGHT-WAVES | ARCHIVES | LINKS
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.