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

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

Spring Broom | PT.II of II.


Righto, this is the second of two posts (otherwise it gets boring!) containing shots that I made last week of the gorgeous red and yellow broom flowers that are in massive numbers at the back of my house right now. They truly are stunning little flowers and, though most of the shrubs are offering yellow flowers only, there is just one out of the entire lot of ’em that has given up these beautiful variations, the like of which I have not witnessed before. To look at them with the naked eye, they are not all that remarkable, however, when getting up-close and very personal with these 15mm or so flowers, they do take on a much more intricate character, if that can be said of a plant? 

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IV. | 35mm w/Hoya +10

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V. | 35mm w/Hoya +10

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My macro / close-up set-up is pretty basic really and shooting only with a 35mm lens (which is not a macro-lens either) does make my choices very simple – I either can shoot what I envisage or, I can’t. It’s as simple as that. There are of course limitations but these only serve me to do my best to get more creative with what I do have in my bag. Yes, I have mentioned my little 49mm Hoya +10 Close-up filter a few times but I cannot stress how abso-bloody-lutely brilliantly useful that little filter is. Having spent countless thousands of pounds on photographic equipment over the many years I have been enjoying the art, it truly is a revelation to know that instead of forking out (and carrying around) more lenses, I have finally managed to put together a collection of three cameras and a few filters that even collectively weigh less than my last DSLR with it’s 50/1.4 mounted. Picky, I am indeed and I would be the first to be unhappy with my images if my chosen rigs weren’t producing the goods that I work towards – and the only duds I ever find are those reflecting my own mistakes. 

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VI. | 35mm w/Hoya +10

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I love these images and I am very happy to have made them – yet, though I don’t expect anyone else to share my utter enjoyment of them, I do hope that some will find a little pleasure in them. Such an understated plant and yet, so full of form and vibrance that I find incredibly appealing. To have these frames is a real pleasure for me because, very soon, the garden floor will be coated in a carpet of faded yellow petals and, the hedgerows? Well, they’re certainly going to be left wanting, aren’t they?

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VII. | 35mm w/Hoya +10

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Click for PT. I of II
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Closer Still(s) | PT.VII | 35:Chronicle

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

Spring Broom in Bloom | PT.I of II.


I. | 35mm w/Hoya +10

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II. | 35mm w/Hoya +10

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III. | 35mm w/Hoya +10

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Click for PT.II of II
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Show Me a Sign | 35:Chronicle

35mm, black & white, landscape, photography, ruins

The Crossing.


My fascination with old ruins and cemeteries has nothing at all to do with religion (take that any way you will) – but has in truth, everything to do with the fact that such subjects, in the right light, can make beautiful topics for black and white photographs and what’s more, 35 is perfect for this kind of caper. That’s why, on my way home from work on Sunday morning, I stopped at The Cross to photograph this ol’ church (upon which, the local council, as well as boarding-up most of the gorgeous arched windows (sigh!) has thoughtfully mounted a bold blue & white sign reporting that “This Building is in Ruin…”, (as though it were not obvious) and words to the effect that “All Ye Who Enter, Beware of Death!”  Nonetheless, it get’s them off the hook I s’ppose and, seeing as how everything has to be so obviously safety-netted in this age, largely I presume for the terminally unaware hence, and more importantly, local authority backsides well and truly covered, it’s no surprise that it’s there. But it is a shame that someone felt the need to point out the (bleedin’) obvious and in so doing deface this Gothic gem. Still, the sign is on the north side and the sun was already rising in an almost cloudless sky in the east – I could navigate around it. The graveyard itself has three Georgian burial enclosures where are interred both civilian deceased and many, even more sobering war-graves.  

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The truth is, the fact that I only live up the road from this Gothic ruin means that I have driven past it more times that I could possibly imagine and, have always meant to stop and capture it when the light’s been suitable – and when it has been, my cameras have been at home. That said, I have taken to leaving them in the car when I’m out and about, I mean, what’s the point leaving the things anywhere else? As I drove home, I pulled up outside and took a wander around it, absorbed the morning’s early sunshine and grabbed a few frames of the old place before continuing on my way home for some much needed shut-eye.

This church (built in 1817) has been in this ruined state since a fire rendered it roofless in 1975, when-abouts the alter was removed (presumably by the Church or maybe persons unknown?) the grass though, is still maintained around the war-graves and the air of the place, especially when wandering around alone on a beautiful early Sunday morning, is one of the most peaceful imaginable. I only hope that this comes across even just a little, in these frames. 

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III.

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IV.

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Current Alternate | 35:Chronicle

35mm, black & white, colour, nature, photography, spring, sunset, trees, waterscape

Ups & Downs.


Intending to head out and catch the sunset over the water – hoping for its often noted millpond stillness, I found myself a tad disappointed on arrival. Though not choppy, there was just too much movement on the surface this evening and, though the sunset was utterly beautiful, I found that the calming of the waters just wasn’t worth the wait. After an hour, loss of light and, several insect bites, I gave it up for the night; but, not before making a few frames. (I’m easily consoled.)

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IV.
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Closer Still(s) | PT.VI | 35:Chronicle

35mm, black & white, close-up, colour, nature, photography, spring, summer

Dent de Lion.


We call it the Dandelion, from the French meaning ‘lion’s tooth’; but it has many more names, not oft’ used or heard such as: cankerwort, swine’s snout, witch’s or, yellow-gowan, monks-head, milk-witch, blowball, Irish daisy, priest’s-crown, wet-a-bed (presumably because of the diuretic effect of its roots when ingested), and, white or, wild-endive. No matter what we call it here in most parts of the UK, it’s generally regarded as a weed (but this is more than likely promoted as such by chemical companies producing consumer lawn and garden-care.) Nonetheless, though the humble dandelion is an all-too-common sight at this time of year, it would be a mistake to think that it wouldn’t be worthy of a frame or two. 

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Closer Still(s) | PT.V | 35:Chronicle

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

Sleeping Belles, Awake.


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

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

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

The Blue Belles of Spring.


Only a dozen or so posts into my project and already a third of my offerings  concentrate on the finer details. It’s true, I do love close-up photography and even moreso, visualising those details which too often go unnoticed simply because most of us don’t have the time to slow right down and observe. It’s easier to see the obvious, the ‘in your face’ elements of life; less so, all of those beautiful, artful elements of life hidden or camouflaged  within it’s fabric. I just don’t like missing out on anything that might force me to stop and wonder. There’s a reason in all of us, a perfect explanation as to why each of us fascinate over the things that we do. 

The fabric of the high and steep bank of what was once scrubland (before I got sick of looking at it and, mercilessly cleared it last year) behind my house – is currently a small sea of thick greens and indigo-blues. The Snowdrops and the Daffodils have had their time already and now, it’s the turn of another to bloom and saturate my garden with colour. As I look out of the kitchen window while I write, I see mainly sundrenched greens, but the ‘bells are rising up slowly and making themselves known. Out of curiosity, a few days ago, I decided that I wanted to make some close-up photographs once again, but this time, of the pre-flowering stage of the delicate Bluebell.

Never having regarded this little flower so closely before, I have to wonder – why on earth had I not?

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PT.V – Sleeping Belles, Awake
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Closer Still(s) | PT.III | 35:Chronicle

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

Spring | Horse-Chestnut Buds


Only once in the past have I ever photographed this bud, a true spring beauty when you get closer. That was a lot of years ago now and whilst I enjoyed the results back then (being relatively wet behind the ears as I undoubtedly was – to close-up and macro-photography) the images I had produced didn’t have the impact I now look for when making images this way.

My indoor close-up set-up has evolved a little and I like to play around much more nowadays with lighting for more pleasing effects and, dare I say, maybe even a little drama? Processing is, perhaps surprisingly, minimal; this is largely due to the controlled environment in which I create, allowing for few problems after initial set-up for a new shoot (no pun intended). New buds can be so ridiculously photogenic when they start to sprout and what I have endeavoured to capture in this series (of a number of horse-chestnuts at different stages of growth) are not only the different textures and their rich colours, but also, their clear gluey stickiness, making them impossible to handle without leaving fingermarks and thus, they must be handled by the host branch when placing correctly for composing and framing. I sincerely hope that you’ll enjoy these images – because I have had so much fun in making them.

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Horse-Chestnut | 35mm w/ Hoya +10 Filter
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A Little Seasoning | 35:Chronicle

35mm, autumn / fall, black & white, infrared, nature, photography, spring, summer, winter

Not Exactly Vivaldi.


This is a good thing. Whilst I enjoy music in many forms, Vivaldi’s ‘Four Seasons’ (most of it anyway, and, to my ears) sounds like perpetual motion for the sheer sake of it; long-winded and rather too repetitive for my liking. But still, this post has nothing to do with Vivaldi’s most popular pieces and I dare say, photographically, my present offerings will never even touch the sides of the adulation which he would have enjoyed from his own interpretations. Nonetheless, my offerings are short, (hopefully) sweet and, won’t annoy anyone’s eardrums, either. So, it’s all good, no? (Unless you’re a particular fan of the Big ‘V’ – in which case you’re probably reading somebody else’s pages already and this scribble is all rather redundant.) Still, as the first warm days of spring arrive to lighten the heart and stir the spirit, here is my little take on each of the seasons, with a doff of my cap, a wry smile and an anticipation of the changes to come.

My lens will be ready.


Spring Daffodils | 720nm Infrared

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Summer Shade | 720nm Infrared

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Autumn Mist

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Winter Closure

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