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

35mm, black & white, Indoor, nature, photography, portraits, still life

One Temperate Heart.


A little over three weeks into my recovery and I still have a long road ahead. Without labouring any point as to how I got into this position in the first place (you’ll have to read PT.I if you want the most basic of gists) I am at home, being well cared for by my Angie, and, when I have the opportunity (in other words, when she agrees that I’m fit and steady enough to move around a little and not completely doped on opioid pain relief and tripping over my crutches) – the first thing I still want to do (remember: this is a public forum, kids!) is, to make photographs. 

During my second week at home, I was able to do just that from my bedside and, as a way of reiterating that things could definitely be worse, I share these few frames with you all. I am missing some glorious spring sunshine but, it’s not going to stop me. I must keep moving. 

Warmth, Gratitude & Love.

R.

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I | From Friends.

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II | Introducing Charlotte the Red, by Window Seat (Don’t Ask!)

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III | Angie – After Fluffing-Up my Pillows.

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IV | From Friends & to Friends.

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All Frames: Ricoh GR | 35mm [APS-C Internal Crop at 4:3]
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Angie | An Impromptu Portrait Sesh’! | 35:Chronicle

35mm, black & white, Indoor, people, photography, portraits

It’s About Time(s).


It’s been around five years since I made any serious portraits and, it goes without saying that after shooting almost nothing but faces for over five years up to that point, I have been missing the genre more and more, as the years have ticked by. With this is in mind, I decided upon a course of action which, seems to me perfectly timed. Despite my recent predicament, rendering me almost useless, physically, my partner agreed to help me with an interior set-up with a view to sitting for me, for a short shooting session. My ulterior motive should be clear however, for, during my previous week-long hospital stay and, at home too over recent weeks, she has barely left my side for even a moment. I could never have expected such unquestionable devotion and yet, every day, I have it. In spades. 

So, as a way of giving something back, my most heartfelt gratitude for time spent and, that which is yet to be – here’s my little gift of a few preserved moments in time. It’s the best I can offer for now. 

Introducing – my beautiful Angie-Bee. (Another huge reason for me to know what a lucky sod I am.) I hope you’ll enjoy these few frames.

R. 

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III.

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IV.

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[Equip: X100T | Daylight & Single Spotlight Mix | Two Crutches and Pain-Relief!]

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

35mm, black & white, personal, photography

Two Sides to the Coin [PT.I]

When something awful happens, it’s often easiest of all to see the negatives, impossible to ignore the seriousness, however, helpful too, if we can reflect and find at least some positives, no matter how small. The latter, takes a little more time, though, naturally – after acceptance.

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I | Life-Lines.

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As I lay in the bed in my local hospital, during the week that I was there, I had much time to reflect on what had happened to me and, to worry myself stupid as to the possible outcomes, relative to my future. With four broken bones in my spine, a broken toe (there’s a cruel joke if ever I heard one!) and severely bruised (yet miraculously, not broken) ribs (so I was told) – I had to suffer the indignity of wearing knee-length white socks, too. Okay, I know – I’m in the trade so I know how badly I absolutely do not want a DVT or worse, a PE. But with the help of regular pain relief, I was able to see the lighter side of things, sometimes. Most notably, I was still alive, and, I guess I’m in bonus-time now. 

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II | Introducing – Wendy.

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While friends and colleagues kept me busy with frequent, daily visits, appropriate (and inappropriate) humour(!), anecdotes, utter mickey-taking and wishes for a good recovery, I (fortunately, gratefully) had little time to wallow in self-pity  – still, that would happen all by itself during the early hours of each morning as I lay flat on my back, not even able to turn myself when my back-side became numb, or my back became more painful through each passing hour. The night terrors had successfully installed themselves in my head like a post-shutdown virus, to be activated every night during the hours of midnight and five a.m. just as they still do, and so, I needed something normal to act as a coping mechanism. Something intrinsic inside me.

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III | Abbie – One of my Guardian Angels.

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After a visit from my beloved, and a heartfelt request for my camera bag – she arrived later that evening to put a huge smile on my face as she sat it on my drawer unit next to me. I imagined that whilst having to remain still on my back for the time being, I would be rather stuck for shooting opportunities and, I wasn’t wrong. With this in mind, I hope that you will forgive my distinct lack of artistic content in these images. They are real, though. If the desire is strong enough – it’s still possible to capture a few frames that will serve to remind me again and again, of just how bloody lucky I am to even be here. I live to shoot again. Bonus time or not – however I look at it, for everything that’s good in this life, a second bite is a most welcome gift and, “every day, in every way – I am getting better, and better”.

(Thank you, Emile Coue de la Chataigneraie for the quotation!)

R.

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IV | Defining: ‘Snookered’?

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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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Closer Still(s) | PT.XXI | These Bleeding Hearts | 35:Chronicle

35mm, black & white, close-up, colour, macro, nature, personal, photography

Moments Like This.


When a six year-old boy comes home with a gift like this, tied to his huge smile as he hands it to me (because all he can think about is the pictures that I’m going to make from it) it really does tug at the strings. If moments like this mean anything at all, it is that one can never underestimate the hearts of innocents. He’s even promised me he’ll save all of his pocket-money so that he can buy more for me to photograph. If that isn’t worth sharing, I don’t know what is.

(Thanks, Flynn!)

R.

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II.

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III.

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Closer Still(s) | PT.XX | A Little More Delicate | 35:Chronicle

35mm, black & white, close-up, macro, nature, photography

In [& from] the Garden.


Over this recent and beautiful Easter weekend,  I took immense pleasure in setting up my close-up gear and, I took a wander around the borders and beds to see what I might find to shoot. I did manage a number of frames and, whilst I worked primarily for colour in this instance, I still couldn’t find as much pleasure from them, as I found in them once I had processed for black and white. Even here, there’s no getting away from the sheer, unavoidable distraction of colour. 

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I | Bleeding Hearts | 35mm. 

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II | Early Bluebells | 35mm.

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III | Bleeding Hearts [Side View] | 35mm.

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IV | Magnolia | 35mm.

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Drumlanrig Castle [720nm IR] | PT.III | 35:Chronicle

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

The Last of the First | Ricoh GR Infrared.


To say that I love shooting with an IR-converted GR is an understatement. As Drumlanrig has been its initial proving-ground, I know all too well that I will have to return when spring has worked its magic, and the leaves have returned to complete the effect. More than likely, I will also be looking to compare outputs between this wonderful conversion and, my converted X100 – I know already it’ll be a very close call. Furthermore, as the gardens to the house will soon be open again to the public (on my recent visit, the groundsmen were working furiously to prepare them) I feel extremely excited to know that I will have much more time here, to explore again – and yes, shoot to my heart’s content, should conditions be fair. Hopefully, photographically speaking- I will be able to do this place much more justice. I’m not there yet, but my shutter-finger is twitching already at the prospect; and my impatience is becoming increasingly apparent. Anyway, I hope you’ll enjoy these two frames as much as I have. 

R.

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V | Drumlanrig Castle | 720nm IR | 35mm Internal Crop / 4:3 – 250th – f8 – ISO:100

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VI | Lined | 720nm IR | 35mm Internal Crop / 4:3 – 125th – f7.1 – ISO:100

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Drumlanrig Castle [720nm IR] | PT.II | 35:Chronicle

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

Pilgrim’s Progress | Ricoh GR Infrared.


III | Drumlanrig Castle, Thornhill | 720nm IR | 35mm Internal Crop / 4:3 – 125th – f8 – ISO:100

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IV | Drumlanrig Castle, Thornhill | 720nm IR | 35mm Internal Crop / 4:3 – 180th – f8 – ISO:100

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Drumlanrig Castle [720nm IR] | PT.I | 35:Chronicle

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

About Turn | Ricoh GR Infrared.


Each of us has the right to change our minds. (That’s my excuse and, I’m sticking to it!) Insosaying, last month, I wrote a post about my newly converted GR – to 450nm, internally. The idea was that I’d be able to choose my preferred wavelengths for split-spectrum or infrared photography, but, things have been simplified rather, thanks to a few unwelcome dust-spots on its sensor. (Every cloud, an’ all that?) I arranged for the sensor to be cleaned and, in the interests of keeping the camera compact (without having to use the filter adapter for mounting an IR filter over the lens) I opted to have the internal 450nm glass removed and replaced with my preferred 720nm glass, instead. This has turned out to be a monumentally productive decision. 

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I | Drumlanrig Castle, Thornhill | 720nm IR | 35mm Internal Crop / 4:3 – 180th – f8 – ISO:100

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These two frames are the first that I’m publishing from this new conversion and, after what started out as an uncertain day for IR captures – I have to say that I am utterly blown away by what this GR-720nm can resolve. Compared to my X100 conversion, I definitely see more details in the GRs shadows, though the Fuji does have better overall dynamic range and, controls the highlights a little better. The GRs files do look more organic to me (which is why I have always loved them for black and white work) and, in such compact form, no longer having to use the filter adapter to capture frames like this, it’s ridiculous how little I have to carry in order to get results such as these. Happy? Pahhh… doesn’t even come close!

R.

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II | Drumlanrig Castle | 720nm IR + ND500 | 35mm Internal Crop / 4:3 – 8″ – f16 – ISO:100

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Inside Thirlstane Arch | PT.II of II | 35:Chronicle

35mm, black & white, infrared, personal, photography

Overseeing? | Internal Dialogue.


Eddie Van Halen once answered (while being interviewed for a famous rock magazine in the 80s) a question as to his playing style, most specifically, his soloing techniques. As I recall, he explained that when he constructs solos – he likened it to “falling helplessly down a long staircase but landing on my feet”. The reason I mention this, is because though I imagined this post to just be another few images of what some might see as ‘just another rock’, I have ended up writing… stuff. A ramble, if you like. I just hope that by the end of it, I also land on mine; and though I have little sense of thought-structure right now, the top of the staircase is in full and daunting view and, I am left feeling as though my shoes are on the wrong way round, laces untied.

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IV | 35mm – 720nm Infrared.

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When it comes to a scene, where compositional possibilities are somewhat limited (either by subject, angle, light or, our own abilities) what would be the point in taking  just one or two frames and walking away? If a scene makes me buzz, I hang around – explore it, and keep shooting. Not for the sake of it, though. There’s nothing more tedious than going through the editing process later, and knowing that 75% of my frames are destined for the bin before I’ve even begun looking  at them. Spray and pray? Not my style, at all. So, purposeful engagement with a pleasing subject, loaded with potential compositional snaggery (I don’t believe this is actually a word but, it works for me) can often be beautifully rewarding. Impatience has no place here. Instead, time, exploration, looking, seeing and the changing of shooting techniques (and yes, different wavelengths too) – are all keys to finding a different view of what, on first appearance to the human eye, might have been quite – normal. Unremarkable, even. Like a rock, perhaps.

Without direction, by perhaps explaining just why, what or how I saw or appreciated any given composition, I prefer instead to not influence a pattern of thought in a viewer and allow elements to come to the fore – or not, for that person. As you are reading this too, for you. Should not the very initial dialogue between the image and the seer, be internal? Seeing is a very personal thing, isn’t it? Whether you might (or, not) see what I see, or saw – is of little consequence to me personally and though this probably sounds dismissive, arrogant, cold or selfish, even, this would be as far from the truth of it as the stars must be. The freedom to perceive is the right of one and, the only wish I have is that you’ll enjoy even some of my frames, in whatever ways you see them. When someone, anyone, says to me that something I have seen resonated with them also has to be the biggest compliments I can imagine, and yet, often, I will hear or read words suggesting that something that I didn’t see – did the same thing. And so I keep learning to ‘see’ more effectively. By listening, too, I learn to look. The reason I mention any of this comes from my own internal dialogues of late; the ones that ask me to answer questions – begging answers in explanation as to why I do this in this first place. 

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V | 35mm – VIS.

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Before I attempt to answer my own question(s) I must explain though, as the idea for this particular post seemed to be a natural sequel to my previous, my first few frames from Thirlstane, there were to be no paragraphs, no sentences, no stringing together of words – at all. I figured that all that I wanted to say was already written in PT.I. The introduction and the conclusion. Still, as others have also poignantly written, sometimes the words come when we least expected them to and, other times, we ache to write something, stare at a blank screen and poke our brains for what feels like mini-aeons, and – nothing comes out from the fingertips. Whatever the intention, the reality of creativity seems to seek itself out and, as a conduit for whatever is or isn’t inside us, we do or we just – don’t. I think it’s as simple as that.

Conscious creativity seems to me, the very hardest part of making images. I don’t know if I’m answering my own questions but the nearest I can get to concluding why I shoot, think and continue to explore photography is the simple knowledge that I do not believe I’ve made all that I can make. I haven’t seen my best photograph because I haven’t made it yet. I haven’t explored the full possibilities of what my own limitations will allow me to see and make, with light and shadow. Though I search, sometimes painfully consciously for creativity, it seems to me that when I just relax with it, don’t push myself to make anything happen, instead just capturing what I see, trusting what I do know and being relaxed with variables – even by accident and not even thinking about every single element, I find ridiculous amounts of enjoyment in seeing a moment; and then, feeling the camera in my hand, stealing it.

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VI | 35mm – VIS.

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Not for recognition, not for the struggle or competition, not for anything else except the pure enjoyment, the passion, the constant pre-excitation – for discoveries; and, being able to share it. What is a picture without anyone there to look inside it?  

Perhaps I’ve just landed? Only you know the answer to that one.

R.

[Frames V & VI: X100T | Frame IV: X100 720nm Conversion]
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Inside Thirlstane Arch | PT.I of II | 35:Chronicle

35mm, black & white, infrared, photography

On Being Prepared.


Barely a few miles from our county’s popular resort of Southerness is situated the picturesque inlet and beach of Powillimount (pron: po-wil-i-mont). I’d never heard of it (despite having lived around here for almost twenty years). The weather wasn’t great, but the kids (who had been before) wanted to go back and find the ‘cave’, again. Me? I was going because I was promised a delicious fish ‘n’ chips with curry sauce, afterwards. It was a grey day, chilly, with the sun making only fleeting appearances between larger cloud-pockets. Nonetheless, I took cameras for both visible and infrared opportunities – should they have arisen. It’s impossible to know beforehand. I remember, before moving to Scotland, being told that if going out for a whole day in shorts, that I should also take an overcoat; and if it’s raining when heading out, not to forget my Factor 30. It’s kind of true – and I’m grateful for that. On arrival, rather than walk the beach, we headed straight for the ‘cave’, just a few minutes walk away. As it turns out, the ‘cave’ happens to be the Thirlstane; rather  popular for climbers and, clamberers alike – and, photographers, too. Goodie!

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I. | 35mm -VIS.

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While the boys clambered or kicked the football on the beach, hunted for ‘fossils’ or swirled sticks in low-tide rock-pools, A and I sat and took in the view out across the Solway towards a hazy Cumbrian coastline, and the peace (between childish cries of discovery, astonishment, self-congratulation, or any of the frequent, “Watch this!” moments. The whole time, as we chatted, I kept my eyes open, for light; and after the best part of an hour, it arrived. Sliding my backside off a low rock, I took a wander around and, made a few frames. The Arch itself however, was the only part I could consider worthy of photographic appreciation, so, I concentrated here. 

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II. | 35mm – 720nm Infrared.

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Shooting both visible light and at 720nm renders  light so wonderfully differently and though both set-ups have their own characteristics, I will always have a preference for IR for conducive subjects under suitable light, to visible-light. However – on days like this, having a small collection of the same scenes photographed using both bands of wavelengths, lends to the eyes an absolutely gorgeous comparison which I am hopeful (yet, also certain) upon review, of not actually needing to explain.

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III. | 35mm – VIS.

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Getting an exposure balanced just right is tricky when the difference between shade and light is so great, still, I am very happy with these few frames and, I do hope you’ll have enjoyed this first instalment.

R.

[Frames I & III: X100T | Frame II: X100 720nm Conversion]
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First Shot from Ricoh GR 450nm Conversion | 715nm Infrared | 35:Chronicle

35mm, black & white, infrared, photography, urban

Decisions, Decisions.


If you’re not interested in camera gear or those of us who harp on about it from time to time, you may want to switch the channel. Still, I’m not going to write a huge spiel here – not yet; there’ll be plenty of time for that, I know. However, what I will say is that last week, I received my latest alternative-wavelength conversion, in the form of my ol’ Ricoh GR. It’s had it’s internal IR-blocking filter removed, and that in turn has been replaced with 450nm glass, allowing me to shoot some lovely, detailed split-spectrum black and whites which will also absorb IR wavelengths under bright, outdoor light along with visible light above the 450nm threshold. Obviously, the the first reason I wanted this is because it’ll allow me to use IR filters of different wavelengths and, I can shoot it alongside my standard GR too without the need for a bag. My pair of Fujis need the bag but these two fit right in my jacket pockets without any fuss at all.  Insosaying, I took the bike out today, two GRs barely noticeable in the lower pockets of my jacket, and went for a leisurely spin. Those shots will come – but this one, was the first frame I bagged a few days ago (shot with a variable IR Gradient filter set to around 715nm, on the front element). 

The resolving power of this thing is just nuts despite the fact that this was shot using the GRs slightly lower resolution 35mm internal crop mode (in order to avoid vignetting from the hood). Though I have yet to compare its output with my 720nm converted X100 – for what I need, I know already it’s going to be impossible to have a preference. 

If you’re a fan of black and white IR, I hope you’ll appreciate this one. Experiment, play, repeat.

(A.V – thank you, my friend. It’s perfect!)

R.

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Peek-a-Boo | 35mm | 715nm Infrared.

IR000661

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Every (Bloody) Penny | Princes Street, Edinburgh | 35:Chronicle

35mm, black & white, photography, structures, urban

No Complaints – Honest!


Last year, during another of my annual pilgrimages to Edinburgh in order to enjoy some of the silly-season’s festivities, I did what I always do not long after I arrive – that is, to pay nothing short of a small fortune to board the Edinburgh Wheel at Princes Street Gardens and, make three full rotations before being booted-off. (One has to laugh, I suppose.) However, though I utterly begrudge the abusing of the general good-nature and festive-charity of the average, joy-seeking tourist, I can’t complain one bit when I have come away with a few frames that I couldn’t possibly have got, without having been royally fleeced, beforehand. So, here are my two chosen frames from inside my pod at the very top of the slowly rotating Ferris-wheel – looking out first over Princes Street Gardens, Waverley Station and towards the Royal Mile, and secondly, through the car’s rain-smeared window at the Scott Monument and along Princes Street itself. In a nutshell? For me anyway, worth every bloody penny!

R.

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I | Princes Street Gardens, Waverley, Royal Mile | 35mm.

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II | Scott Monument, Princes Street | 35mm.

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Morton Castle Ruins, Scotland | PT.III – Finale | 35:Chronicle

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

Its Place in Time.


At the risk of posting somewhat predictably of late, I can safely say that this is to be the last in my recent series of images taken at Morton. Since visiting, despite the awfulness of the weather and light-conditions at the time, it should be of no surprise that I fully intend to return to the ruins as soon as I possibly can; hopefully when conditions are far more conducive to my intentions, perhaps. Such a place is somewhat of a rarity – though local landscapes are abound with dilapidated historical and dare I say, romantic relics, however, Morton has a situation, a place-in-time so to speak, that can render one utterly speechless simply for the sight of it. Though I did try to capture the site from a number of angles and perspectives which might express just how romantic this place is, I know that I can do better. Finer weather would be a real treat, though. Yes, I shall certainly return – and, it won’t be a day too soon. 

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VII. | Morton Castle & Loch | 35mm.

35chronicle.114 (1)

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VIII. | East-Side D-Turret | 35mm.

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IX. | East-Nor-East [II] | 35mm.

35chronicle.114 (2)

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I very much hope that you’ll have enjoyed this series. 

R.


(For more images in this series, simple click on the ‘morton castle’ tag.)
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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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Morton Castle Ruins, Scotland | PT.II | 35:Chronicle

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

Solitude.


Occasionally, words only serve to get in the way. 

R.

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IV. | Morton Castle | 35mm.

35chronicle.113 (1)

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V. | Morton, from the Dam [II] | 35mm.

35chronicle.113 (2)

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VI. | Westerly, over Morton Loch | 35mm.

35chronicle.113 (3)

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(For more images in this series, simple click on the ‘morton castle’ tag.)
HOME A RATIONALE | LIGHT-WAVES | ARCHIVES | LINKS
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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