Drumlanrig Castle – Revisited | PT.II | 35Chronicle

50mm, black & white, photography, rural, structures

Splendour in Stone.


After my last post of the stonkingly gorgeous Drumlanrig Castle, here are my final three frames which were made with my Sigma DP3 Merrill. Its 50mm [75mm equivalent] is probably my favourite of the three I have in my bag and, requires more thought to use for architecture and landscape compositions than the wider 30mm[45mm] and 19mm [28mm] lens versions. The micro-contrast of this lens and sensor pairing absolutely bite my face off on review for editing and the details punch back hard for good measure, too. This thing needs a little taming, I think. Now, the cage and chair are ready – if I could only find my whip?!

For all of your clicks and comments on my previous post, thank you so much! I hope you’ll enjoy these few longer FL frames. 

R.

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I | 1/160th – f5.6 – ISO:200

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II | 1/100th – f5.6 – ISO:100

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III | 1/80th – f5.6 – ISO:100

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

Drumlanrig Castle – Revisited | PT.I | 35Chronicle

black & white, photography, rural, structures

Old Habits Die Hard.


Last week we took a spin in the new jalopy and headed for a place that not only do we both love, but also somewhere that I have so enjoyed making photographs for almost twenty years. Though my techniques have evolved moreso over the last ten years or so, sometimes, I still crave the simple, bare-bones approach to shooting. Drumlanrig Castle is as beautiful a place as any I have ever visited that can shine all by itself, with the simplest of photographic approaches. Some subjects need little work at all. The last time I photographed here was back in early November ’19 [Post No.166]. It was so good to be back, especially before the gardens open to the public again! All this space to myself… kid, sweetshop…

All frames: Sigma DP2 Merrill | 30mm [45mm Equivalent].

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I | 1/50th -f8 – ISO:125

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II | 1/80th – f5.6 – ISO:100

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III | 1/100th – f8 – ISO:100

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The Devils in the Detail! | 35Chronicle

28mm, 35mm, 50mm, black & white, close-up, landscape, nature, photography, rural, skies, waterscape

Sigma DP Merrill Series – Still Relevant in ’21.


First of all, I want to say a huge thank you (and I really should do this more often, I’m sorry) to everyone who contributed and commented on my last post. It was actually extremely warming to know that, despite the fact that I’m back working with what is to me (again, and for the present time at least) a new system, that I was still able to make a few frames worthy of such kind contributions. Thank you!

The DPM series, as it has been written many times (and then some) – is not a system for the faint-hearted photographer, and – having been doing this for many, many years, it still manages to scare me a little, in a way; and herein lies the reason for it. Knowing its (vast array of) limitations is absolutely the key to being able to exploit its one massive strength; this helps hugely to maintain a constant focus on the real possibilities and easily dispels the airy-fairy visions we often have for our own personal photography. This one element is so important for serious photographers and cannot be overstated. I can think of one analogy that explains this perfectly: I once bought into a M43 system and for the most part, I loved it. I loved it because it opened up a whole new slew of opportunities for me to expand on what I have always enjoyed doing and, in a portable system with reasonably decent IQ. A few lenses here, some colour options there, modes galore – and the reasons why I took to it so well in the beginning were to become the very reasons why I began to resent it after only a few months. In my heart and in my head – I shoot the way I shoot and no amount of gear is going to change that, no matter how many bells or whistles there are. I began to realise that all I needed was a lens, and the means to change my Tv, Av, ISO, WB and metering mode. That was all I wanted – oh, and a decent sensor would be a bonus. Even mid-range DSLRs were coming equipped with scene modes, crap ‘kit’ lenses and therefore, being the snob I can be – I resented even those aspects too. I began to feel that photography was being made – cheap, too accessible (an archaic, short-sighted, even elitist view) and, I didn’t like it. 

I didn’t like it at all.

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I | Talla’s Pump-House | 1/400th – f8 – ISO:200

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All I really wanted to carry was a camera, the way I used to in the 90s. No faff, no bullshit modes – just a camera, a lens, a little bit of know-how and inspiration. Sigma’s implementation of these core photographic aspects were brutal and necessary. Right back as far as the original DP series, the DPs, the DPx, and then – the hallowed DPM, core photographic values were held close, if rather shunkily implemented in reality of their limited hardware / software collusion. (I can’t include the DPQ here because I have never used them and, the design simply does not enamour me at all). In a huge way, Sigma went down the route that I always felt that Ricoh should have taken with their GR (APS-C) series. What I would have given to see them offer the tools that Sigma came up with. As much as Sigma cameras can be much of a mystery to most, to those who’ve used them and persevered, the draw is easily understandable. With a little thought, and a little work – they still produce today some of the finest image quality that I have ever seen. Whilst their JPGs far outweigh any OOC jpg I have seen in any Bayer systems, their RAWs are mind-blowing. Limitations accepted – but keeping within them, there’s still nothing like it today. (The Fp can be argued as yet another Sigma revelation – but that’s a whole different system).

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II | Fruid Reservoir & Hills | 1/250th – f8 – ISO:200

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Three years ago this very month, I started writing this blog. My initial view for these pages was to only shoot a 35mm FL and display just how ridiculously versatile this focal-length is. Not long after I started publishing, I then wrote a page that you can still read here  discussing the huge value I have always given to short prime lenses. With this understood as still very much an aspect of my ethos – it’ll come as no surprise as to why I refer to the DP1/2/3M series as the Holy Three. 

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III | A Talla Prince in Disguise? | 1/100th – f8 – ISO:200

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My creativity is limited, my imagination is flawed, my images far from perfect and yet, with these three in the bag – I have more brain-space to use for composition and less to waste on the airy-fairy. This surely, can only be a good thing and, among other things – what photography should always be about. The image.

As always, thank you for reading and, I wish you all a fabulous weekend. 

R.

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[All frames: X3F to 16-bit tif in SPP & Exported to Lr for final edits].


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

Abnormal Service is Resumed | 35Chronicle

black & white, colour, photography, rural, structures, waterscape

When I said “It’s Not Over Yet”…

… I meant it. Back in Post No.62 [August 2018] – I shared a few 715nm & 760nm infrared frames from Talla Reservoir, here in beautiful Tweedsmuir, a place which I have revisited many times over the last twenty or so years and each time I do, I hope for ever more still water. I have yet to witness it though I have imagined it many, many times. I know what my perfect image of Talla and its pump-house look like; I’ve just never been able to capture it. Yet. This is a place which I have always known to be wonderfully picturesque, reassuringly tranquil and yet never easy to capture in two dimensions. It can take a good hour or more to get here from home and in an hour, Scottish weather can change a dozen times and so, no matter what you expect on the way, often – conditions can be far different when one finally arrives. Insosaying, I have learned not to expect or hope for ‘favourable’ conditions and instead, work with what I have; what I had on this day – was cloud, haze, and my three DPMs. I’ve said this before and I absolutely believe it, that the medium shouldn’t be the message… but when the medium is so good at getting the message across, it’s hard to ignore its importance. 

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I | Talla Reservoir & The Pump-House [DP3M]

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Sigma’s DP Merrills have accompanied me here once before – perhaps six or seven years ago and back in a time when I really don’t think I was photographically or artistically mature enough to truly appreciate them; what they truly offer. Things are different now. I have slowed down my approach to a point where I don’t care anymore that these little brick-like cameras take an absolute aeon to write even one image to card, or that the shutter-lag catches me out every single time I make a shot, or that its Foveon sensor can’t render well above ISO 400 (in black and white; for colour frames, 200 is the limit, especially if you’re making large prints). What I do love though, is how these little bricks capture immensely detailed frames without fuss or flourish, without scene modes, art filters or other awful, tacky, consumer-poaching gimmicks but with menus which are helpfully customisable and hence, are so ridiculously easy to quickly navigate. It’s got all I need to make a shot – and absolutely nothing more. Halle*******lujah! With the Holy Three in my bag, my shoulder barely knew they were even there. No changing lenses, no slow zooms, just perfectly matched primes and sensors that bite a chunk out of your arse when you’ve finally uploaded for edit. Hey, you have to forgive me – this is photo-blog after all! 

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II | Tweedsmuir Parish Church & a Sorrowful Stone [DP1M]

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Quite by accident, something else I have come to enjoy about the DPM series (and the DPs before them, I might add) is their unusual colour signature. Without going into too much science – the Foveon is made of three separate layers each capturing a different colour, from front to back – blue, green and red. This means that blue light hits the sensor first, and red, last. Naturally then, more red light is required than blue to register on the sensor (as it has to penetrate the blue and green layers first) and this is, as I understand it, why the Foveon’s captures look a little less warm than a standard, interpolated Bayer sensor would produce. Furthermore, I really like the look. Oddly then, for me – being predominantly a black and white photographer (and by the way, these things totally ROCK for monochrome!) that I should enjoy the Sigma’s colour output in the way that I currently am. I absolutely look forward to much better light where I can really find out just how much these tools can interpret what and how I see. Maybe one day soon I will get my wish and, my long-suffering and ever-faithful Bumble will be able to stop concentrating so hard at paying attention to my incessant wafflings and just, perhaps – enjoy a few more frames instead, over a nice cuppa. 

Which – I hope you also do. Thank you, as always – for reading! 

R.

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III | Cross-Over [DP2M]

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

Cushion-Psychology & The Holy Three | 35Chronicle

28mm, 50mm, black & white, Indoor, people, personal, photography

Back to Foveon | Sigma DP Merrill Series.


It’s been a good six or seven years since I shot with the DP Merrill series of cameras; as I recall, I only had the 2 [30mm] & the 3 [50mm] versions back then but I do remember just how much clarity and detail these things are capable of capturing – and it’s really scary, to put it mildly. They’ve been called the ‘medium-format in your pocket’ by many who appreciate them and it really isn’t difficult to see why. I recently saw [and took] the opportunity to acquire what I like to refer to as the ‘Holy Three’ with a view to not only lightening my bag a little but also, to get back to practicing a little more restraint and consideration in my photo-endeavours; that of course and the fact that I really missed those Foveon files. [In fact it was a DP2M shot of a few toadstools taken by my good friend, photographer and camera-surgeon, Amar [and also of the Guildford Photographic Society]  that inspired me to part with my hard-earned without a quibble.

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DP1M | The Message is Clearer Now…

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DP2M/I | Flynn, Running All the Way…

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After they arrived late last week I spent a short while setting them all up [not at all difficult seeing as how the menus are not only very simple but also very intuitive] and over the last few days that I have had off work, I spent some time getting reacquainted with them. With prevailing Covid restrictions considered as well as pretty awful weather, I thought it might be nicer to get a few home-grown frames with my three ol’ friends – from my most natural environment. Therefore, as it was coming up to Mother’s Day [rather for the boys, not I] I thought about home, those most important to me and – about just how much I appreciate them all. With that said, though you may read all this as oh-so-slightly gushy, I say, home and family is what it really is all about. It has to be.

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DP2M/II | Corbs, I’m Sorry!  I Should Have Moved the Money-Tree…

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DP3M/I | On Mother’s Day…

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Anyone who knows the DPM series of cameras will know already just how poorly they perform above base ISO and so yet, the tripod came out a few times but, not for every one of these frames. So, another chance to meet the family and, another chance for me to experiment and refine my work with the Holy Three. I hope you’ll enjoy these few grabs and that you have a great week ahead. Stay safe and – thank you, as always – for reading.

R.

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DP3M/II | Full-Circle? All You Need Is…

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For now, toodle-pip! 


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