Carnsalloch House, Kirkton | 35Chronicle

black & white, full-spectrum, photography, ruins, rural, structures

Black & White Heaven | A Full-Spectrum Photographic Adventure.


14th August 2020.

It all started with a half-hearted faff-around on the web, looking for some more interesting, old and abandoned places nearby worthy of a visit and, a photo-sesh. I’ve taken my cameras to so many wonderful old and [seemingly] forgotten places over the past many years that I might well at some point have thought that I may have ticked off a good many of them but still, I love to be proved wrong and, surprised. Last week, I got another such surprise when Bumble stumbled upon a short article about Carnsalloch House, near Kirkton. Passing me her ‘phone, she asked, “How about this old place? It’s not far, either!” I took a look and, feeling that familiar pang of excitement, a huge smile now lay wide across my face. Tomorrow, we would go. The BBC weather app was called to duty and, the day was consigned.

Not even two weeks prior, I had sent off a couple of A16 lens units for my trusty GXR outfit, to my good and clever friend, Amar. One was for a simple sensor clean and, the other for another LTFS [full-spectrum] conversion. Only a few days later they arrived back and, I was extremely keen to put them both through their paces again – dedicating one for LTFS [UV + VIS + IR] shooting and, the other for 720nm IR; this would save me swapping out mounted lens filters as the light changed. I know too that Amar is very keen to see results from his labours and, who can blame him? With that said, all of the frames I will be sharing over this series were shot on both units and, with nothing else. Anyhooz, back to Carnsalloch House…

The Old Stable Building:

24mm | 1/125th | f6.3 | ISO:1467 | VIS.

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24mm | 1/125th | f6.3 | ISO:209 | LTFS.

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When we arrived at first, we thought we’d found the house. Poking around outside and comparing the few shots we’d found on the ‘net had us befuddled and actually scratching our heads because the shots definitely didn’t correspond to the building we had arrived at. It was certainly a grand building but there were too many differences to ignore. This wasn’t the place. Still, it was worth a good look and so we carefully found an easy way inside. After a quick look around, it was clear to see from the original ceiling height, the sheer cubic footage of each room and the huge arched entry doors front and rear that we were actually inside the old stable building. The Austin Maestro ‘Tandy’ van (made between 1982 and 1995) that stood just as derelict as the building itself, looked no bigger than a child’s toy in here. Vandals have visited and, revisited over the years – fires have been set and spray cans have been emptied and this once, clearly magnificent building, now lies in complete ruin with no hope of rescue. After an hour or so, with the afternoon moving steadily on, we decided to look for the locally famous crypt. Quite how many know of it is unknown to me but there are very few images to discover online and, in true fashion, I decided that I wanted to change that. What I had seen of it had me feeling very edgy, and keen to push on and – find it. Looking around the old Johnston Estate, we followed what appeared to be a promising trail to where we believed it might have been an ideal place to build such a thing. Only a five minute walk from the old stable building, we came across the instantly recognisable Carnsalloch House.

28mm | 1/125th | f6.8 | ISO:591 | LTFS.

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28mm | 1/125th | f6.8 | ISO:351 | LTFS.

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Carnsalloch House:

24mm | 1/500th | f8 | ISO:200 | LTFS.

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The house has been empty since 2000 or thereabouts and since then, it too has been the target of arsonists and vandals. Built in 1759 (there is a stone depicting this on the outside wall of the north wing) Carnsalloch was once a palladian two-storey mansion house; an A-listed building (as of May 1959) that first belonged to Alexander Johnston[e] of Carnsalloch – a London chemist. Along its timeline, the house has had many extensions built (and destroyed by fire) and, for its latter years since 1960 it was run by the Leonard Cheshire Foundation (a UK health and welfare charity). It is reportedly the most haunted house in Scotland and has even raised questions and concerns about the sighting of ‘the ghost of’ a Great Dane – standing at a first floor window to the east of the pillared entrance. Believe what you will, but there are those who have wandered the area with dog treats in hand, hoping to find the pooch and, lure it to safety. I have no idea as to whether the canine (apparition or not) was ever located or indeed, seen again. Suffice to say, we met nor encountered no Grey Lady, or a seemingly semi-see-through Scooby-Doo! Largely, due to the extensive damage and vandalism, this once gorgeous building was not so much of a treat to walk around as we would have hoped. Entry on our part would have been extremely dangerous (and probably quite stupid, too) and so, we took a look only around the outer building itself. The weather too was closing in a tad and after just a few frames, we headed back to the car for a re-group. It was time again to re-consult the oracle. We just had to find the crypt.

The Johnston[e] Chapel & Crypt:

24mm | 1/125th | f6.3 | ISO:591 | LTFS.

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It was almost impossible to find any useful information about the Crypt. Nothing we could find could tell us where the heck it was situated but one search made us think that it could be in the vicinity of Kirkton Kirk itself. Time was still on our side (just) and so, we set off again. Barely a mile on, we stopped and looked around the church, looking for signs and familiar landscapes from images we’d found that would point us in the right direction. Nothing. We scratched our heads again and, while I was checking my batteries and cards, Bumble showed me her ‘phone again. I was now looking at a small map of Cemetery Wood. There was a red pointer marked only some fifty yards from the road out of Kirkton. We excitedly spun around again.

The light was fading as the clouds moved in and, seemingly there was nowhere to stop anywhere near the wood. Checking the road behind, between the bends as we approached the sharp left near the entrance to the wood itself, Bumble spied the small patch of ground just off the road and right around the bend and made straight for it. Parked. Now to find the crypt. Climbing over the gate, eyes peeled – no sign. Observing the light under densely foliaged and closely-neighboured trees I was beginning to worry that even if we found the crypt, I’d have little useful light under which to shoot it. Certainly IR was not going to be a choice. We walked towards a high mound and there, through the murk, was the corner outline of what was clearly a beautiful and ornate stone structure. We hurried forward and climbed the earthy slope. Stood right in front of us – was the crypt.

24mm | 1/125th | f6.3 | ISO:436 | LTFS.

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Out of interest, one of the shots I’d seen on the web (of the Johnston[e] Crypt) was in fact an IR shot, taken by someone on a converted Nikon pocket camera of some sort. A slight hint of jealousy that someone had stolen a little thunder from me, sure – but, whimsical and no more. I was determined to capture this place reflecting its mood and setting. LTFS turned out to be absolutely perfect for this part of the trip due to the light conditions and, it enabled me to capture wavelengths impossible to do so with any of my visible light set-ups, thus keeping my Tv higher and ISO lower than usual. The frames of the crypt may have you realising that I was back in hog-heaven and, you’d be right. I was beside myself. The chapel and crypt were built in around 1850 and, have also suffered multiple break-ins, vandalism, roof damage due to a fallen tree – gables and ornate roof stones scatter the ground around it and as resting place, it has been desecrated horrendously. Seeing it, taking it all in just for what it is now – renders a feeling of noticeable sadness. But to be able to capture it like this – I am almost speechless now. I am still stunned that we even found it. Rather, I didn’t! It’s okay though.

24mm | 1/125th | f6.3 | ISO:295 | LTFS.

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24mm | 1/125th | f6.3 | ISO:766 | LTFS.

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It was my intention to post a few images at a time and over a few posts – you know, break it up a little bit? I never like to over-indulge or test a reader’s resolve or patience. Ever. But for some reason, I just want to get these frames out there. A little bit of a back-story, perhaps but without the means to yet find out more about Carnsalloch – this is the best I can do right now. I do hope that you’ve enjoyed these frames. They have been extremely pleasurable to make and mean a little more to me than some of my other works. If you have stuck with me through all of this – wow; and… thank you!

In closing this one, I would like to thank Amar for yet again creating for me another wonderful piece of technology – my leading eye is very fortunate, my friend. I remain in black and white Nirvana! Thank you, my friend!

To the R&D and marketing peeps at Pentax Ricoh – thank you for making what Ricoh must have believed was a bit of a mistake at the time – poppycock! This thing rocks – still!

Of course, equally, to my bestie and lifetime sidekick, Bumble – who seems to have as much passion for what I do as I do. Now there’s a rarity and one worth looking after. Cheers darlin’!

R.
24mm | 1/125th | f5.9 | ISO:456 | LTFS.

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New Lanark | PT.IV – The Ties That Bind | 35Chronicle

black & white, full-spectrum, Indoor, photography

Only Our Methods Have Changed.


This is to be the final part in my New Lanark photo-series – from this beautifully preserved cotton mill, once alive with workers and currently, one of the six UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Scotland. As I alluded to in PT.II – I decided to shoot around the entire site with my Ricoh GXR A16 LTFS conversion which, on gloomy days such as these lets in a lot more light and conserves detail in appreciably more dynamic range than a standard set-up. The only true trade-off (far moreso outdoors) is a little contrast (mostly due to available infrared light pollution) but in post, this is never actually a problem.

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As I wandered around New Lanark, taking in the old, cobbled walkways, living-quarter museums, restored façades and the breathtaking, surrounding scenery, it occurred to me that even though so many years have passed since the days of industry here at the mill, we really don’t do anything all that differently to the ways in which they were always done. Everything is linked in just the same ways – only the tools or the methods have changed. From wall-ties, to marriage ties, the daily bread we break together, the comforts and necessities of home and, even the bell that calls us from slumber and to our workplaces. No, not much has changed, at all.

I am reminded here of a line which Douglas Adams once wrote (in reference to L.P Hartley’s opening of ‘The Go-Between’): “The past, they say, is now truly like a foreign country. They do things exactly the same, there”. 

-R-

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XI | Comforts of Home | GXR A16 LTFS 1/75th – f4.2 – ISO:1600 – 35mm.

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XII | Ties – Two Different Kinds | GXR A16 LTFS 1/290th – f5.5 – ISO:200 – 85mm.

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XIII | Necessities of Home | GXR A16 LTFS 1/125th – f4.0 – ISO:1600 – 24mm.

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XIV | Alarm Bells | GXR A16 LTFS 1/200th – f8.0 – ISO:200 – 85mm.

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New Lanark | PT.III – On the Rooftop | 35Chronicle

black & white, full-spectrum, photography, rural

Robert! Enjoy Scenes!


Alright , so this post is a really just for a little fun and probably a little bit of an artistic (or perhaps, lazy) cop-out on my part – a few more shots from an overcast day’s visit to New Lanark late last year (see PT.I for a little more information on this UNESCO World Heritage Site) – this time, from the award-winning roof garden and focusing on the centrepiece – the water-feature. In the woodwork surrounding it is carved this: 

“The ever-changing scenes of nature afford not only the most economical, but also the most innocent pleasures which man can enjoy”. (Robert Owen  A New View of Society:  Third Essay, 1813.)

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VII | Robert | GXR A16 LTFS 1/640th – f7.6 – ISO:200 – 28mm

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As the weather and poor light were slowing down my Tv on my standard camera, I decide to keep shooting with my full-spectrum set-up, without any external filtering and took a walk around the fountain. I was then able to keep my ISO down and , as the clouds thinned a little, snag a little IR pollution too. In order to emphasise feelings of my own relevance of being in this beautiful place, I decided to select and capture just three words. I think that they sum it up, perfectly. 

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XIII | Enjoy | GXR A16 LTFS 1/570th – f4.2 – ISO:200 – 35mm

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XIX | Scenes | GXR A16 LTFS 1/310th – f4.2 – ISO:200 – 35mm

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Ironically and unbeknown to me, whilst I was wandering round and grabbing a few frames, Angela was grabbing her own on her iPhone! So, shot four – can’t possibly be mine, but I love it and it stays! I won’t divulge her exact title for it, but it involves a frog (possibly even, a toad?!) and a prince; I can say no more! 

– R –

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X | A Frog & a Prince (I’ll Let You Work it Out!) | iPhone 7+ | ©ACB

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New Lanark | PT.II – Outside the Machines | 35Chronicle

black & white, full-spectrum, night / low-light, photography, rural, structures

I am Automation.


From PT.I – a little more mono / full-spectrum fun in a few frames from inside a couple of the workshops. The ISO and Tv values might suggest use of a standard VIS light camera, however, the lack of natural light was a real issue, though reasonably easily overcome by LTFS and a steady hand, despite the distinct lack of UVIR infiltration. Despite a higher ISO in combination with what is essentially, technologically speaking, an ancient camera – I am delighted with the level of detail and contrast in these frames. I do hope you’ll also enjoy them, for what they are.

– R –

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IV | The Donkey Engine | LTFS 1/45th – f4.8 – ISO:1600 – 35mm.

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V | Back-End of a Donkey [Engine] | LTFS 1/75th – f5.5 – ISO:1600 – 85mm.

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VI | Spinning & Reeling | LTFS 1/30th – f7.5 – ISO:1600 – 35mm.

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[All images in this New Lanark series – snagged with a Ricoh GXR A16 LTFS (from ~280nm to ~1300nm) internal conversion, unfiltered.]


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New Lanark | PT.I – Overview(s) | 35Chronicle

black & white, full-spectrum, photography, rural, structures, waterscape

1786 [& the Legacies of Dale & Arkwright].


One of six UNESCO World Heritage sites in Scotland, New Lanark is situated approximately twenty-five miles south-east of Glasgow, on the River Clyde. Once a thriving cotton mill (using water powered spinning machinery) and now a tourist attraction, many of the old workers’ homes are now tenanted apartments however, the old mill buildings are beautifully maintained with much of the old machinery and the whole village makes for a truly fascinating visit.

More info. can be found here.

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I | Boxing Hares in the Roof Garden | LTFS 1/500th – f5.6 – ISO:200 – 35mm.

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Because the overhead conditions were unfavourable, extremely overcast and damp, I took along my LTFS camera outfit to make the most of any and all available light (UV, VIS & IR). Being able to take advantage of the availability of those extra wavelengths is a real bonus under such conditions and keeps the ISO down too, which I prefer, of course. What I hope to show over the coming posts from New Lanark is just how versatile a good true full-spectrum set-up is, for black and white work specifically and, how there really isn’t a photo-scenario where its benefits can’t be exploited. I’ll move outside and inside and aim to show you another world, not that far removed from our own, but with subtle nuances not always instantly apparent or appreciated, still, that I hope will either please, or inspire; or both, perhaps. If I fail in both regards, then I need to work a little harder, methinks.

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II | Little Touches (Roof Garden to the Church) | LTFS 1/500th – f5.3 – ISO:200 – 70mm.

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I’ll shortly be preparing my 2019 Review for posting during the next couple of days, but in the meantime, I hope you are all enjoying yourselves over this festive season and, as always, thank you so much for reading my pages. I hope you’ll enjoy these first few frames from what is a very special place. 

– R –

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III | The Clyde – from the Water-Wheel to the Caul | LTFS 1/290th – f5.3 – ISO:200 – 70mm.

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[All images in this New Lanark series – snagged with a Ricoh GXR A16 LTFS (from ~280nm to ~1300nm) internal conversion, unfiltered.]


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Edinburgh Nightscapes | PT.II – LTFS Series | 35Chronicle

black & white, full-spectrum, night / low-light, photography

In the Black.


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IV | Scott Monument | 1/18th – f5.6 – ISO1600

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Following on from my previous post, I cannot resist sharing a few more frames from Edinburgh, shot from the Christmas Market on Princes Street and, a last night shot from the castle. All of the shots in this post and PT.I were made with my LTFS (Luminous Tone Full Spectrum) converted GXR A16 unit, without any external filtering and, handheld. Shooting in full spectrum for night-time black and white is a real treat, largely due to the fact that even artificial lighting can emit strong UV and IR wavelengths, adding to the amount of light that the camera is able to capture, thus, reducing Tv values and making for steadier shots without a tripod. Not only this, but the level of detail in the blacks, when compared to making the same shots on my standard, unconverted units, is – to be frank – completely wonderful. A little IR softening and a slight increase in grain is inevitable but, for me, these aspects please my eye to the point where I run out of words. I do hope you’ll enjoy these few frames as much as I do.

– R –

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V | Scott Monument | 1/45th – f5.6 – ISO1600

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VI | From Edinburgh Castle | 1/7th – f8.0 – ISO1600

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Internal Affairs | PT.V | 35:Chronicle

black & white, colour, full-spectrum, Indoor, night / low-light, photography, structures

St. Giles’ Cathedral – Edinburgh | PT.III.


This is to be the final part of my St. Giles series. In all honesty, I could have gotten way more value out of my £2 photo-pass that I purchased upon entry. I could easily have whiled away more hours here than the one that I did. Watching, looking, shooting, looking. The light was poor though, a very dull and overcast sky affording less quality and intensity through stained-glass – so diffuse that my fixed lens camera of choice made it much more difficult to grab a steady shot, the later the afternoon became. Insosaying, I grabbed my low-light camera. Actually, it’s primarily my weapon of choice for much of my IR compositions, but, removing the UVIR Cut filter from in front of the lens element, I was able to gather twice as much light as my primary, fixed-lens camera. Shot in true full-spectrum, capturing all available light (from UV-A through VIS to IR) renders even sharp details a little softer due to invisible lightwave pollution but I still think these make the grade. I hope you will enjoy these last few captures.  

R.

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I | The Dark Exit.

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II | Symmetry Divine.

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III | Symmetry Divine [II]

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Thank you for visiting. If you would like updates, please click Follow. All Images & Posts © 35:Chronicle (2018, 2019) 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. 35chronicle@gmx.com 
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INTERNAL AFFAIRS | PT.IV | 35:CHRONICLE

35mm, 50mm, black & white, colour, full-spectrum, Indoor, night / low-light, photography, structures

St. Giles’ Cathedral – Edinburgh | PT.II


IV | Grandeur.  [X100T: 35mm – 1/12th – f2.8 – ISO:1600 – +0.7 – Matrix]

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V | Light. [GXR A16 (Full-Spectrum): 85mm – 1/125th – f5.5 – ISO:1600 – Matrix]

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VI | Blue II. [X100T: 35mm – 1/9th – f2.8 – ISO:1600 – +0.7 – Matrix]

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VII | Lantern. [GXR A16 (Full-Spectrum): 50mm – 1/30th – f4 – ISO:1600 – Matrix]

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(St. Giles’ – PT.I)
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Thank you for visiting. If you would like updates, please click Follow. All Images & Posts © 35:Chronicle (2018, 2019) 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. 35chronicle@gmx.com 
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Internal Affairs | PT.III | 35:Chronicle

35mm, black & white, colour, full-spectrum, Indoor, night / low-light, photography, structures

St. Giles’ Cathedral – Edinburgh | PT.I


We’re all running short of time at this end of the year, so, let me say this off the bat in case you don’t have time yet to read to the end of the post – to all of you who read and follow my pages, I would like to wish you all a very happy Christmas and,  I extent my warmest thanks for your support, your comments and, your valuable time ever since I started my little blog, back in March. It’s been a superb journey thus far and, I hope to get at least one more post in before Hogmanay!

On Friday of last week, I had occasion to visit Edinburgh. As it’s that time of year again, I do like to get to Princes Street and do the whole Christmas Market thing, kind of a tradition and as I didn’t get to visit last year, I was very keen to get there before this Christmas kicked off, proper. Now, I resisted the temptation to shoot all things Christmassy so please do forgive me for the lack of tinsel, Santa-hats, seasonal pullovers, mistletoe and the like. Instead, I again only wanted to capture the feel of the place at this time of year. With that said, the images I have chosen for this post may feel a little off-piste or, at the very least, somewhat off-topic. The thing is, I’m not religious nor do I have any great love of this time of year, however, I do enjoy its essence, and – different things mean different things to different people. So, instead of capturing the shiny and commercial side of the season, per se, I decided instead to simply wander and shoot. 

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I | Blue. [X100T: 35mm – 1/13th – f2.8 – ISO:1600 – +0.7 – Matrix]

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Sadly however, the weather was bloody atrocious, nothing but dull light, blanket grey skies and drizzle for most of it, which, made things a little tricky, as is oft’ the case under such conditions when you’re wielding a camera. I decided then, that West Parliament Square would be a great place to grab some serious frames – at the Cathedral of St. Giles. In my bag I carried two cameras – my X100T and, my Richoh (True Full-Spectrum converted) GXR – see my Light Waves page for more info on TFS if you’re not au-fait with it). The Fuji handled outdoors just fine but, being a habitual ISO:1600 maximum shooter, it was sluggish here. I did grab a good number of frames with it inside St. Giles’ and in fact, two of them are right here – but when I really struggled, the GXR’s completely unhindered sensor came into its own. Especially when the light became really difficult. Of course – shooting in mixed light with a full-spectrum camera makes things extremely tricky when it comes to colour reproduction but it’s forte is really black and white output anyway – so, I was in my element. Shutter speeds were almost twice as fast as the standard Fuji when my ISO and Av were the same. A nice little bonus when shooting hand-held indoors and, it certainly helped me in keeping a few frames a little less shaky, shall we say? 

As an aside, the X100T frames have a rather HDR look about them, which I am surprised at. After extremely minimal processing from RAW (RAF converted to DNG) and not even two minutes consideration I am, though I do not enjoy HDR images, very pleased with the results here – and the subject matter does seem to pop, rather nicely.  

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II | Ornation. [GXR (TFS): 24mm – 1/25th – f4.0 – ISO:1600 – -0.3 – Matrix]

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III | Yes, I Probably Looked a Right Berk Laying on my Back on the Cathedral Floor for this One – but, I Don’t Care! [X100T: 35mm – 1/13th – f2.8 – ISO:1600 – +0.7 – Matrix]

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I hope you will enjoy these few frames, that you have a splendid Christmas, however you’re celebrating and, I hope to be here again with you before the New Year! 

Have a fabulous time, all! 

R.


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