The Gardens of Drumlanrig | 720nm Infrared – PT.II | 35:Chronicle

35mm, black & white, infrared, photography, rural, structures, summer, trees

Light of Heart.


To find Drumlanrig so void of people on a gorgeous day like this is a rarity, a real rarity in fact. Perhaps it had something to do with the different timings of the school summer holidays between Scotland and England because from past experience, this place is usually teeming with people at this time of year. However, I complain not a bit simply because it did mean that I could exercise complete selfishness without a hint of guilt. Therefore, a few more IR frames from a place I love. To my mind – there’s no better way to see it. 

R.

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Caerlaverock Castle | 720nm Infrared | PT.I | 35:Chronicle

35mm, black & white, infrared, landscape, personal, photography, ruins, rural, skies, structures, trees

Crutches.


When things turn for the worst, we all need some kind of crutch to get us through – something (or things) that we can truly lean on. There’s no subtle message here, though. Besides the obvious, it’s not only been the sticks that have got me on my feet again. Though it was only the beginning, the end of April was a horrifying time for me and I have had no end of support from so, so many people. Friends, work friends and colleagues, healthcare professionals, family and of course, my love and my rock, Angela. I owe so many – so much.

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On the inside though, it has been imperative that I am and remain as positive as I  can possibly be and this is why, in writing this short post, I remember and continue to appreciate the support, care and love of every single person to have been here for me and, for those especially – who remain. No, I am not yet out of the woods, but I can see a clearing. Without every single iota of support that I have received over the last almost fifteen weeks, I am certain that I would not be in such good spirits, nor as motivated and hopeful as I unquestionably feel. The reason I’m writing these words, is this: these pictures of the beautiful Caerlaverock Castle are extremely important to me for one huge reason – they are the first outdoor pictures I photographed since the latter part of April.

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If photography was not another of my crutches, my loves, I don’t know what else I might have leaned upon to get me back out there, and so, with even the minutest support of every single person who helped to get me back out there and the love, support and patience of a very special woman, I was indeed able (after only eight weeks) to make these frames. I get almost tearful when I view them. The afternoon I made these was a struggle for sure – but it never was going to be just about getting a few pictures. Every single person around me – helped me to make them.

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In two words: thank you!

R.

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The Gardens of Drumlanrig | 720nm Infrared – PT.I | 35:Chronicle

28mm, 35mm, black & white, infrared, photography, rural, structures, summer, trees

Hog Heaven – An Alternative View.


Back in early April this year, we visited Drumlanrig Castle, near Thornhill. You may remember, if you’re a regular reader, that at the time, I was shooting with my then newly internally converted 720nm IR GR [PT.III of original series]- and, what I really wanted to capture were the beautiful gardens here. Sadly, April is a little early and the groundsmen were still working their fingers to the bone in preparing these fabulous grounds for the public and, some shots of the castle itself were the best that I could steal. Once they were open however, we went back – and, what a glorious day it was to wander around and to play with light again. 

Don’t be misled by a gentle introduction – this place is stunning in any light and, I hope to do Drumlanrig’s gardens justice over coming posts. I only hope you’ll enjoy them.

R.

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Down by the River | PT.II | 720nm Infrared | 35:Chronicle

35mm, black & white, infrared, photography, trees, waterscape

Looking Up.


Just a couple of weeks ago I was beginning to feel a lot more comfortable on my feet, (with hospital supplied crutches, naturally) – and so, I felt that it was a good time to get across the road and take a little stroll along the river path. My fitness is undoubtedly less since the end of April and I am determined to lessen the damage as much as I can. Not only this, but I have been utterly itching to get out with my cameras again. This day seemed to me a perfect opportunity to kill two proverbial birds with a single stone. With Angie at my side (mainly because she doesn’t trust me walking alone yet – probably a very wise thing) we gently walked for a while, taking in the beautiful afternoon sunshine across the Nith and, regular stops for shots meant that I wasn’t pushing things too hard. 

To keep my bag light, these frames were all shot on my internally IR converted GR (with internal 35mm crop). In all honesty it’s still my go-to for impromptu jaunts. No matter – I hope you’ll enjoy these few frames as I have. I guess that for me, they’re way more significant. I can once again enjoy what I love.

I hope that you will too.

R.

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I | Water or, Sky?

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II | Still.

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III | To Greyfriars.

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

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

A Chance Encounter with a Bumble.


To all of you who follow my pages, please accept my deepest apologies for not having posted lately. I know, it’s been around a fortnight. I also know that the world won’t stop turning just because I haven’t pulled my proverbial finger out, either; however, it’s been a busy time for me and I have so much to catch-up on, in life and here on WP. (Harold, I haven’t forgotten, I swear it!) 

When I have had the time, I have taken every opportunity available to get out and shoot and insosaying, I do have a ridiculous amount of work to go through, the (hopeful) fruits of which I will inevitably be sharing with you all just as soon as I have time. I’m making as much as I can and hope to be back on track very soon. In the meantime – I thought I would like to share with you all – a series that I had not expected to be working on over the last few days. As for the colour frame – I know it’s not like me to post much colour work, but, I couldn’t resist the little gem in frame two. The shots aren’t perfect by any means, but I have had a ridiculous amount of fun making them. I do hope that you’ll also enjoy them.

For your enduring patience and commitment, I thank you all. For your kind wishes during my recovery, I am overwhelmed and, I am delighted to report that things are looking good and I hope to be back to my normal routine within the next couple of months, stronger than ever. 

How much we take for granted.

R.

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Gelston Castle | PT.II | 35:Chronicle

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

Infrared & Visible-Light Comparisons.


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IV | Gelston Castle | Visible | X100T | 35mm Equiv.

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In Gelston Castle | PT.I I published a few initial frames of this utterly gorgeous ruin, all three – photographed in infrared, using my internally converted 720nm IR X100. There’s a reason that I use this camera for infrared shooting rather than any later iterations of Fuji’s iconic camera. The sensor. Though it has less resolution than the ‘S’, the ‘T’ or the ‘F’ – its more organic output is simply perfect, when the slightly grainier aspect of IR light is to be captured. For some reason, the later versions of the X-Trans sensor just failed to do it for me and, as much as I have tried to wait, to see if one day their output would one day find its way into my visual affections – it hasn’t. I think six years with later X offerings is more than long enough. So, whilst my ‘T’ ended up for sale recently, the original will stay in my bag until it croaks on me. 

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V | Gelston & Resident Crows | 720nm IR | X100 | 35mm Equiv.

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As I habitually resize all of my frames before uploading for posts, there won’t be much visible difference between my captures  and those from most other similar cameras with the same sensor size and subject to a similar workload, but when I’m working on them in post, I really do notice. On the other hand, my other internal IR conversion (the Ricoh GR) though slightly more gritty than the X-IR, has an even more pleasing output for infrared, but, oddly, even after setting WB prior to each excursion, the X seems to show much better colour balance and wider tonal range under infrared conditions, whereas the GR-IR shows only red and magenta tones. As I process all of my IR work for black and white, this makes very little difference in the long run – unless I need to accentuate any particular colour band. 

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VI | Gelston thro’ th’ Trees | 720nm IR | GR | 35mm Internal Crop.

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To (non-scientifically) show the differences between three very different cameras, and, just for fun – these are three more shots of the beautiful Gelston Castle, from three different perspectives; one from each bit of kit. I hope you will enjoy them for what they are. 

R.

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Closer Still(s) | PT.XXII | AKA: Miss Jekyll

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

Love in a Mist.


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[All frames: Ricoh GR | 4:3 | Internal 35mm Crop | w/Hoya +10.]
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Postcards from the Recovery Position | PT.VIII | 35:Chronicle

35mm, black & white, photography, ruins, rural, structures

Drumcoltran Tower [PT.III]


Okee doke, this is to be the last in my ‘Postcards’ series – no point kicking the backside out of it; (otherwise it just gets boring). Though I did get out and shoot a lot before I ended up rather incapacitated, I have been as productive as I can be of late and, will have some newer, more recent material up soon. Still, with regards to Drumcoltran Tower, I feel that despite three posts, there’s more to capture here and, when I am back on my feet, I absolutely intend to return and shoot again under even better light.

You’ll notice, if you have read Drumcoltran Tower [PT.II] – that I have chosen to post a similar first shot from the parapet and over the neighbouring farm, taken under visible-light conditions as opposed to the original IR frame in PT.II. I guess I still cannot decide which  I prefer. Nonetheless, the whole place has a wonderful feel which, I fully intend to exploit again in the near future. 

R.

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VII | From the Parapet.

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VIII | From the 3rd ‘Floor’.

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IX | Stone Steps by Window.

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After the Rain Stopped Falling | 720nm Infrared | 35:Chronicle

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

The Lighthouse at Southerness | 35mm | 720nm IR.


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

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

Messing About with Boats | 720nm Infrared [PT.I]


Show me just one day – then place within it some sunshine, a little water, a few boats, a blue sky and perhaps a few clouds, then – place my IR camera into my hands and you’ll see a smile on my face almost as broad at the Solway Firth. More than this, there really is no more to be said.

R.

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I | Fisherman’s [Stock] Anchor & Scalloper Behind | Kirkcudbright | 720nm IR.

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II | Hull Breached by Time & Weather | The Loch Ryan Lady | 720nm IR. 

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III | Perpendiculars | Kirkcudbright | 720nm IR.

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Postcards from the Recovery Position [PT.I]
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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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[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”.

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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