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

35mm, close-up, macro, nature, photography

Purple Poppy-Pods.


I. | 35mm – 1/3″ | f10 | ISO:100

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II. | 35mm – 1/2″ | f10 | ISO:100

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Talla’s Monitoring Station | 715 & 760nm IR | 35:Chronicle

28mm, 50mm, black & white, infrared, photography, waterscape

It’s Not Over, Yet.


Secluded and sheltered deep between the hills, Talla reservoir is a hidden gem. The views from the peaks are simply stunning, no matter what the conditions. It is not often that I visit this beautiful place, however, whenever I do make the trip, I spend as long as I can here, to wander, makes frames and, absorb the quiet of this not often frequented spot. One road descends steeply from the top of the hill, winds around the edges of the reservoir, past the farm which looks onto the south-east tip of this almost mile long stretch of water, and continues north-westwards towards its far edges and, out to Tweedsmuir. Here, at the north-western end of the reservoir, is the monitoring station. 

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I. | 28mm 760nm IR.

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At Megget, the station is of far different design and structure, has a less aesthetic exterior and, due to it being situated in a much larger body of water,  it’s considerably bigger too. But the domed station at Talla with its modern walkway, is something that I have wanted so much to capture (properly) for many years – and, after around half a dozen photo-visits over the last ten or so years, I have finally come away with a few frames that I am happy with. The water here is seldom still – that mill-pond surface that can render a waterscape  as close to photographically perfect as one could get, is seldom seen on Talla. Nevertheless, though I am sure calm water does happen here, I have never seen that glass-like still that I hope one day to capture at Talla. I know that I will have to keep returning, until the day that I do. Photographing this curious structure alone is for me, a plenty good-enough reason to revisit.

Shooting these in infrared has certainly rendered a more pleasing contrast than I would have been able to portray if shooting visible-light, particularly in the skies of the 28mm – 760nm frames; hence, the 715nm frame displays markedly less definition but still, to my eyes, an even quality that even on a slightly cloudy day, seems to do the scene some noticeable justice.

I do hope that you’ll enjoy these captures. 

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II. | 28mm 760nm IR.

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III. | 50mm 715nm IR.

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In the Still of the Light | 35:Chronicle

28mm, 35mm, black & white, infrared, photography, structures

An IR Trilogy.


From spring, right through to the far reaches of autumn (or, fall, depending on where you’re reading this)  the one thing that I really do look forward to (I mean, apart from scaring the natives with my leggy-peggies when I swap jeans for shorts!) is getting out and making some infrared photographs. This year, I am (thanks in major-part to my good friend, the Doctor)  better equipped for IR shooting than I have found myself to be before. However, and this is the kicker – the conditions over the past few weeks have been little short of diabolical and, as a result, I have not been able to make a lot of use of the equipment anywhere near as much as I have been truly hoping to. Nonetheless, I have managed a few forays into the further reaches of the EMS and, I thought I might put together a little trilogy, if you like, of some of my most recent favourites. Though not always taken under perfect conditions for IR capturing, I like them; also, they keep me inspired – to keep the batteries charged, the lenses clean and, my eyes t’wards the sky.

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I. | 35mm [720nm IR].
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II. | 28mm [760nm IR].

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III. | 28mm [760nm IR].

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‘Between Moments | PT.II | 35:Chronicle

50mm, black & white, close-up, colour, macro, nature, personal, photography

(A Little More) Backyard Buffoonery.


Okay, nothing serious here – just a few frames I managed to snick from a mess-around this afternoon in the garden, with various Ricoh set-ups. 

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Waiting for the Bumble (that Never Showed) | GXR & 50mm (EFoV).

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An Unfolding Gladiolus | GXR & 50mm (EFoV).

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(For a Four-Legged Friend) Sweet William | GXR A16 & Hoya +10.

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Gladiolus | GXR A16 & Hoya +10.

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

50mm, black & white, colour, macro, nature, personal, photography

Taking a Chill-Pill.


Heck, I can’t always take photography too seriously; without doubt it is and has been one of my biggest passions throughout the past twenty (plus) years of my life and, I dare say, by those who know me personally, I am known for it. But there’s another side to the seriousness of getting the image and that is, to simply get the camera out and just have a little fun with it – and to not worry or be so seriously preoccupied with perfect composition or, focus or, whatever else we look for. The truth told, I love to shoot freestyle, freehand, free-lensed and, I don’t do it anywhere nearly as often as I would like, and, I have been photographically rather lazy lately. I could make excuses about the weather or some-such, but I’d be spouting bollocks so, I’m not going to place a blame. I guess sometimes, we just need a little break from the – constant thinking? I don’t know if I am making any sense here but I promise, I’m not writing for the sake of it. 

For me, the real enjoyments of photography come from many aspects. It’s so engaging when you would want it to be, so technical in thought and deliverance at other times and yet, so passive and relaxing on occasion, too. Depending on any given genre, expectations, deadlines, or presenting difficulties, all are true. If you are yourself an enthusiast, you will know this already. But at the heart of every image is me, you, and how we see. I love to look; and see; and interpret; and steal a frame. What I don’t love – is to always feel like I’m overthinking because then, at some uncertain, invisible point of effort, a line gets crossed and, I don’t always enjoy it so much – especially when that line is completely bulldozed. Indeed, on such occasions, I can take a whole load of shit and know that I have before I have even depressed the shutter. Yet I do it anyway – like shutter-finger Tourette’s  Syndrome (hereafter referred to as SFTS). Damn, I hate it when I do that because not least, I know I’m just going to spend more time at home, after upload, deleting the crud. 

Most often, I find that when I’m making shots for the fun of it, with no actual goal in mind, when I don’t care so much about focus, or content – I tend to make images that I like, nevertheless. In opposition, as we all have – I have put so much effort and thought into a particular shoot or subject and come away with so much utter crap, it could make me cringe at the knowledge that my own brain decided that that capture was a good idea. Really? 

With all of this preamble out of the way, I decided, with plenty of time to kill today and, though the weather was not playing ball (I was hoping to get a little more of a tan on my chrome-dome – uh… no!) – to faff around with my favourite body & prime combo and, make a few frames; just to see what I might come away with. No, given the images I have posted here, you’d be forgiven and absolved for thinking that I have actually been yapping on for the sake of it, because technically these images are not fabulous, or varied. They are indeed unimaginative, poorly composed, a tad soft, but do you know what? Today, I don’t care. Today, I made some photographs; and I like ’em! Moreover, I hope you will too. Yes, I shot close without a tripod – I was chilling

By the way, the first image in this post is great in colour, because it really looks to me like a camouflage-act and, it may have been, in the mind of the Hoverfly. I wasn’t going to post it in colour because I really do prefer the mono-shot (moreover because I have genuine dislike for the colour orange for some barmy reason that I can’t explain) – but I caved in, and have included it at the end of this post. You’ll see what I mean when you get there, if, that is, you haven’t nodded-off already. Okay – time to wake up. It’s picture time!) Thanks so much for reading and I hope you have a great week ahead. 

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Montbretia & Hoverfly | 50mm – Handheld.

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Montbretia | 50mm – Handheld.

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Camouflage? | 50mm – Handheld.

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[There’s a photographer in India called Rajeev Virmani – he makes some beautiful environmental flora photographs and I have to say, he has nowhere near enough followers for the work he puts in and puts out here on WP. Please, if you like the genre, do take a look at his images. He has an intimate and opportunistic approach that may well appeal to many. I don’t know him but I do love so many of his images. If you have a little time, you may enjoy a peek!]


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Barefoot in Bucharest? | 35:Chronicle

28mm, colour, personal, photography

Where Friends Once Met.


There is a cafe in Bucharest, the owners of which have a beautiful take on one forgetful aspect of their imbibing clientele. I know it is all too easy, on a beautiful, sunny afternoon, to kick-back with friends, lose the footwear and, just chill. A few drinks and a great time, feet, bare on the warm concrete underneath and, afterwards, a happy wander in any direction – maybe home; who knows? I wonder how long it might take for such a person to realise that they’re still barefooted? Nonetheless, those shoes found under tables, when unclaimed, are pinned to the walls outside. A reminder of those who have visited, or perhaps, just a novel way of keeping the floors clear? I don’t know – but it makes me smile every single time I see this photograph because it reminds me, of wonderful times. It’s from my archives, but I came across it again today and, simply couldn’t resist sharing. Have a great weekend! 

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Replay | Wall-Mounted Quality Goo… | 28mm

20160514 RL - Bucharest

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Views from a Ridge | PT.III | 35:Chronicle

28mm, black & white, infrared, landscape, photography

Talla | One Last View from the Top.

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Talla Reservoir, Tweedsmuir | 28mm | 760nm Infrared.

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Symmetry | PT.I | 35:Chronicle

black & white, colour, infrared, landscape, nature, photography, skies, structures, waterscape

It’s Personal.


Sometimes, when I am looking at new compositions and also, reviewing past images, I come across a simple idea that quite clearly formed the basis of those overall images in question. In fact, I can recall many occasions where I have actively looked for it and done my best to use it. Yet, though I have looked for symmetry so often in my compositions, I have never actually questioned myself as to why I do so.

Sticking to rules is not what I am best at – but some rules of photography can’t (rather, shouldn’t) be ignored. Clearly, composition is a highly key element in any photograph and, though none of us get it perfectly right all of the time, it has to be the mainstay of any serious photographer along with other obvious key elements. So why is symmetry such a valuable compositional tool and what does it say about us when we use it? 

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I.

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II.

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Symmetry can be used either vertically, horizontally or, more trickily, diagonally. In the main, it’s usually portrayed in 50/50 form rather than thirds (where symmetry would be a less accurate way of describing it than say, for example, repetition). Personally speaking, I love symmetry in composition for a few reasons: 

  • Composition of a strong or interesting subject can be made much more simply at the most appropriate FL.
  • It is highly probably that on viewing, the eye will be naturally drawn to this element, and therefore, the image may tend to ‘de-clutter’ itself.
  • It’s an excellent framing tool for creating isolation of a subject. 

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III.

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IV.

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Personally, I have a natural propensity to like things in order and I don’t enjoy chaos – certainly not in the images I make. This is applicable though, to most areas of my life because, my life is tended by this person with this personality or, hang-ups – and this cannot change without a life-changing episode. Nevertheless, I know that areas of my personality (or, persinility, perhaps?) are the reasons why I see how I do when I look to make a photograph. In a similar way, certain personality traits may compel one to create in vibrant colour, or say, use repeatedly similar subject matter. Yes, I think it is entirely personal, way beyond the rules – but then, no art can be anything but, can it?

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Views from a Ridge | PT.II | 35:Chronicle

50mm, black & white, infrared, photography

Talla & Megget | Take: 2.


In PT.I I posted three frames from a couple of beautiful locations not all that far from me, even though on the day that they were taken, sadly, I was not fortunate at all with the weather conditions (as far as shooting for infrared is concerned). Things like that niggle me somewhat and, if I was going to make images that I would want to look at again, ever, they have to be the best they possibly can be in-camera. That’s why I went back. Feel free to ignore the in-line link – these make me heap-loads happier. I hope that you’ll enjoy them too.

[Each image resized for web & for best quality view, may be tapped / clicked to open in a new tab / window]

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Megget Water (Westward, from the Dam) | 50mm 715nm IR.

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Talla Reservoir & Farm – Tweedsmuir | 50mm 715nm IR.

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Big Sky – Talla | 50mm 715nm IR.

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Megget (Looking East from the top of the Dam) | 50mm 715nm IR.

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Forgotten Gardens | 760nm IR | 35:Chronicle

28mm, black & white, infrared, landscape, photography, structures

The Crook’s Treasures.


Following on from The Lambs which I posted a week ago, I want now to share these images of another part of the grounds belonging to the Crook Inn. These are not just the Crook’s treasures though; they’re mine too. The reason I say this is very simple – I have stopped here on at least four separate occasions over a good many years, to shoot the place, and never did I think to venture across the road to see what lay behind the dry-stone dyke and, the trees. Happily, I did on this occasion and, what finds lay in wait! Two segregated gardens, one presumably for long-ago guests to sit and enjoy the beautiful scenery and, the one behind that which was where I believe the hotel staff grew and tended their own vegetable produce for their kitchens in the pitted and rusty-framed, glass-less greenhouse and the land beyond. The latter garden is heavily overgrown and neglected, but still, the scenery beyond is nothing short of stunning. I am not at all religious but I can well understand why the Scots call Scotland ‘God’s Own Country’. There are fewer rural views that will stir the heart as much as they stirred mine on this day. 

My main aim was to make some frames in the rear-most garden. Largely this was because the smaller enclosed garden next to the roadside, aside from trees and a large granite burial stone in its centre (to, “Mungo”) was largely featureless, but also,  the tall and thick trees around it prevented much direct sunlight from entering most of its area. So, I followed the light through, and further back to the more open space.

Capturing in infrared only serves to accentuate the contrast and form of such scenes and, I really don’t believe that a natural light approach would have had quite such an impact, visually. As much as I have enjoyed these frames and continue to do so, I hope you will too. 

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I | Inside the First Gate | 28mm – 760nm IR.

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II | Thro’ the Second Gate | 28mm – 760nm IR.

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III | At the Entrance to the Old Greenhouse | 28mm – 760nm IR.

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IV | Forgotten | 28mm – 760nm IR.

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V | Breath? What Breath? | 28mm – 760nm IR.

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[Each image resized for web & may be tapped / clicked to open in a new tab / window]
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Perfect Reception? | 760nm IR | 35:Chronicle

28mm, black & white, infrared, photography

“Back Then, Son, Sky was all We Could Get!”


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Av, Tv – or Both? | 28mm – 760nm Infrared.

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[All images are resized for web & may be tapped / clicked to open in a new tab / window]
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