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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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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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.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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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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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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Gelston Castle – PT.III | 35Chronicle

black & white, infrared, Long Exposure, photography, ruins, rural, skies, structures, summer

Revisiting Old Haunts – PT.I | 720nm Infrared – Long Exposure Series.


The spring of last year was a tremendously difficult time for me and, for those closest to me I think it must have been even harder. After a crazy-serious accident at work that rendered me flat on my back for almost twelve weeks due to multiple spinal and rib fractures, I absolutely needed to get out with my cameras again. For almost nine months afterwards and in so many ways, my entire being was in recovery-mode and eventually, even on crutches, I was able to make short trips out for the specific purpose of bagging even a few more frames – of all the things that made me feel whole and normal again, this was it. Barmy, don’t you think? Not long before that, though (and I think that this was a presiding reason for my increasing restlessness) – I had the amazingly good fortune to visit some truly beautiful places and one one of them was here, at the utterly stunning ruin of Gelston Castle, just a few miles from Castle Douglas. (My first post on Gelston is here, if you’d like to check it out). Oddly, for me, a second summer on-the-bounce has seen me confined (like almost everyone else lately) to quarters. My shutter finger gets very itchy when I know that I don’t have the freedom to exercise it and so, you can possibly imagine my joy when, just yesterday, Bumble and I visited Gelston again. This time, I wanted to do things a little differently and so, rather than just walk around for a half hour bagging IR shots that I probably have already snagged, the Big-Stopper came out of the bag and for once, I stopped being a lazy-arse, and brought the tripod along – probably for the first time in a lot of years. Here then, is one of yesterday’s frames from Gelston Castle – from the rear entrance to the ruin (that I would never have been able to get last year anyway, due to the sun being on the opposite side of the building once we’d arrived) and, whilst I would love to post a couple more right here, sadly, I’m still catching up on edits; soon, though.  

I do hope that you’ll enjoy this first frame, from what is for me a little bit of a different approach, though to many, not new at all, I am sure. Nonetheless, I hope it measures up. 

For now – thank you as always for visiting and, if this is your caper, I hope you’ll watch this space.

R.

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Gelston Castle Ruins – Rear Elevation | 720nm IR w/ Hoya R72 & 10Stop ND | Ricoh GXR LTFS Conversion | 24mm – 60secs – f18.0 – ISO:100.

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Feel free to join me on Instagram (click below) and, thank you for visiting.
@35chroniclephotography
R.
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Lowther Castle – PT.III | VIS Collection | 35Chronicle

black & white, photography, ruins, rural, structures

To Be Continued… One Day.


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IV | 1/60th – f8.0 – ISO:200

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V | 1/60th – f8.0 – ISO:200

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VI | 1/60th – f8.0 – ISO:200

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VII | 1/125th – f8.0 – ISO:100

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Lowther Castle – PT.II | VIS Collection | 35Chronicle

28mm, 35mm, black & white, photography, ruins, rural, structures

An Impromptu Stop-Off.


After an unpredictable weekend away (during the most recent storms, here in the UK) the day of our return seemed much brighter and, a lot easier on the outdoor gear. Rather than to return straight home, we decided instead to make the most of the atmospheric reprieve and make a mid-morning stop-off here, at Lowther Castle, near Penrith. In PT.I, I published a few infrared frames that I was able to bag during a couple of short-lived bursts of less diffused sunshine but sadly, as my preamble would suggest, they just didn’t last. The tail-end of ‘Dennis’ was still licking in the air.

Though I would have loved to have shot a good many more IR pictures here at the beautiful Lowther Castle, I was nonetheless extremely happy to take in the atmosphere here and, with my standard GR in hand – make a generous number of black & whites. Shots I & III were captured at 35mm using the GR’s internal crop mode, while shot II was snagged at its native 28mm. 

Thank you so much for stopping by my pages and, I hope you’ll enjoy these few captures.

– R –

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I | 1/60th – f5.6 – ISO:125

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II | 1/60th – f8.0 – ISO:160

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III | 1/60th – f8.0 – ISO:125

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Morton Castle: Reprise | PT.II | 35:Chronicle

50mm, black & white, landscape, nature, photography, ruins, rural, skies, structures, trees

Clouds (& Their Silver Linings).


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IV | A Morton Kind of Mood.

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V | King of Clubs.

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VI | Proud.

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Morton Castle: Reprise | PT.I
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Morton Castle: Reprise | PT.I | 35:Chronicle

50mm, black & white, landscape, nature, people, personal, photography, ruins, rural, structures, trees

Wind & G.A.S are Not the Same.


I seem to have developed (no pun intended) a propensity for posting late at night, recently – probably because I am still taking regular daytime naps to get me out of pain and it’s better than woofing the narcs that I’m currently prescribed. So, I am more awake at night than I am for most of the day, just lately. It’s not an impossible cycle and I’ll shake it soon, I know. Truthfully, I am feeling great presently and am looking forward to getting truly back to life and furthermore, I am  no longer having to endure most of the awful side-effects of the drugs, some of them rather embarrassing to say the least but, nonetheless, on grounds of utter propriety – unmentionable. A clue could be in the sub-heading, I guess. (If you read on with your tongue in your cheek – that’d be better than taking the rest too seriously. Stuff just – happens, you know?)

Onwards.

Back in February, I visited Morton Castle on a day which initially promised gorgeous blue skies inset with a clear and bright low winter sun – ideal for some IR shots of this utterly beautiful ruin. That was at around the time we had set orff! By the time we arrived, however, the clouds had moved in and the rain (known in Scotland as ‘smirry‘ – fine, light drizzle, really) began to descend and I ended up shooting the whole lot with my standard X100T. (See post I of III – here). There would be no infrared frippery on this particular day. No matter, but with that said, I wasn’t completely happy with the frames I came away with; compositionally I was very happy, but the ‘T’ buggers about with micro-contrast and smears finer details to the point where I just couldn’t live with it. A beautifully usable camera, fabulous lens but, it had to go. Either my software didn’t like its RAWs or, there was simply something about the ‘T’ that seemed to no longer agree with me. At all. Maybe I simply outgrew it, which may have been different if they’d kept the sensor from the very first X100. (Now that one was a peach!) I digress. 

Within just over two months of those initial shots at Morton, I found myself incapacitated, hospitalised, and then convalescing flat on my back for the following two and a half months with around eight or nine fractures to my spine, ribs and foot, a little internal bleeding and more pain than I could have comprehended possible at that time. What else was I to do to cheer myself up – other than to buy a new camera? Apart from the obvious things, photography was right up there on the list of things I was missing the most. Probably joint second, I’d say. I knew I wouldn’t be able to shoot it right away but I could spend weeks familiarising and reading up on it’s features so that when the day came where I could get out and play with it, I’d be more than ready; and so, that’s what I did. I bought the camera I have spent the past five years or so drooling over and, buggered the expense sideways. After all, I might not have even existed anymore – I jest not when I say that it really was that close, at the time of the incident. Hang it all. The Df arrived within a couple of days and the ‘T’ was history. I felt no remorse or pain. Not even a twinge. Move on. 

It’s not really G.A.S (gear acquisition syndrome) though – I guess that I have enough equipment to shoot pretty much any way I choose to. No, this was about something different entirely. I no longer wanted a camera that would mess about with the detail during shot processing, even in the RAWs – just a tool that would record what it sees and let me decide on output. Full-frame or not, I couldn’t care less (apart from the fact that this thing shoots clean even in the (photographically speaking) dark) – but I have been proved that I waited five years too long. What a plonker. But this isn’t a review (yawn!) – I only wish to post up my first frames from it, taken on a day that started out dismal, and pretty much remained that way, just last week. Low photographic expectations led me to something I didn’t expect – I love these frames, but not as much as being out there again. Despite the clouds, it was the finest of days. For life and, for loved ones.

I hope you’ll enjoy these.

R.

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I | Across Morton Loch.

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II | Brothers.

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III | [A Bit of] Morton Castle.

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This post is so gratefully dedicated to everyone who has been here for me in deed, word, or thought over the past couple of months – colleagues, friends, healthcare professionals, well-wishers and fellow bloggers and, most lovingly dedicated to my loved ones, whose patience, warmth and love know no conceivable bounds. Lucky isn’t the word.

To my Angie, to Corbs & to Flynn. X

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Postcards from the Recovery Position | PT.VIII | 35:Chronicle

35mm, black & white, photography, ruins, rural, structures

Drumcoltran Tower [PT.III]


Okee doke, this is to be the last in my ‘Postcards’ series – no point kicking the backside out of it; (otherwise it just gets boring). Though I did get out and shoot a lot before I ended up rather incapacitated, I have been as productive as I can be of late and, will have some newer, more recent material up soon. Still, with regards to Drumcoltran Tower, I feel that despite three posts, there’s more to capture here and, when I am back on my feet, I absolutely intend to return and shoot again under even better light.

You’ll notice, if you have read Drumcoltran Tower [PT.II] – that I have chosen to post a similar first shot from the parapet and over the neighbouring farm, taken under visible-light conditions as opposed to the original IR frame in PT.II. I guess I still cannot decide which  I prefer. Nonetheless, the whole place has a wonderful feel which, I fully intend to exploit again in the near future. 

R.

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VII | From the Parapet.

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VIII | From the 3rd ‘Floor’.

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IX | Stone Steps by Window.

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Postcards from the Recovery Position | PT.VI | 35:Chronicle

black & white, infrared, photography, ruins

Lincluden Collegiate Church | 720nm Infrared [PT.I]


Captured well over a month ago, I had to be a little creative with my angles here, as in and around the grounds of this marvellous relic (which dates back to the 12th century) a large group of very young school children were enjoying some outdoor time under glorious sunshine.  Without my even having to ask (which I wouldn’t have, anyway) but, as if they knew, I was politely granted all the privacy I needed to make my shots without any of them running into my frames. What more could I have asked for? Another one of Scotland’s ancient, tucked-away, lesser-known and beautifully preserved treasures, to which I as many others too, I am certain, would and do happily return. 

Note: Of late, I am learning to adapt my workflow with more emphasis and, whilst I have always worked towards more even exposures, staying safe and sticking to preconceived ideas and so-called rules, I have decided that I am no longer going to do this. I need to push my boundaries and see where they take me and, I do hope that my work will reflect these ideas and remains enjoyable to those of you who read my pages. It’s a process – and I’ve been stagnant for so long. 

Reflection. Evolution. Discovery… Onward.

R.

[PT.II]

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I.

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II.

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III.

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Postcards from the Recovery Position | PT.IV | 35:Chronicle

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

Drumcoltran Tower [PT.II]


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IV | From the Parapet | 35mm | 720nm Infrared.

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V | From the Third ‘Floor’ | 21mm.

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VI | Without: Within | 21mm.

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Postcards from the Recovery Position [PT.I]
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Postcards from the Recovery Position | PT.II | 35:Chronicle

35mm, black & white, infrared, photography, ruins, rural, structures

Gelston Castle [PT.I] | 720nm Infrared.


To date, no ruin has ever taken my breath away on a first encounter as much as Gelston Castle did, on this day, one month ago.  As I understand, it is not under the umbrella of any protective organisation and, stands on land now being run as holiday accommodation, in the village of Gelston, between Castle Douglas and the Palnackie to Auchencairn road. Completed around 1805, designed by Richard Crichton (a pupil of Robert Adam) Gelston Castle was built by Sir William Douglas, of Castle Douglas.  During WWII, the house was requisitioned in order to care for handicapped boys evacuated from Glasgow and, once this use had ceased, it was de-roofed, never to be inhabited again. 

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I | Rear Elevation | 35mm | 720nm IR | X100-IR.

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Those of you who are regular readers of my pages will know that whenever the sun is out, if I am shooting beneath it, my IR cameras are the first tools I’d reach for. On this day however, conditions were unpredictable at best. This meant that I required around two to three hours to make enough images to cover my wish-list, at least, as frequent and prolonged cloud-cover tested my patience somewhat. With that said, I could have wandered around here for many more hours than I did. A beautiful monument, some of the most fabulous, fine architecture I have seen of late and, a lovely spot for just being what it is amidst stunning countryside views. 

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II | Front & Side Elevation | 35mm | 720nm | X100-IR.

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Shooting these old ruins is becoming a bit of a habit of late – one I am happy to continue to immerse myself in, I must say. When I am back on my feet, I’m going to go a-hunting again!  Though I must remain patient – another ten weeks or more, I can’t wait.

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III | Rear Elevation Between Tall Trees | 35mm | 720nm IR | X100-IR.

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Postcards from the Recovery Position [PT.I]
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