Morton Castle: Reprise | PT.II | 35:Chronicle

50mm, black & white, landscape, nature, photography, ruins, rural, skies, structures, trees

Clouds (& Their Silver Linings).


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IV | A Morton Kind of Mood.

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V | King of Clubs.

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VI | Proud.

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Morton Castle: Reprise | PT.I
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Morton Castle: Reprise | PT.I | 35:Chronicle

50mm, black & white, landscape, nature, people, personal, photography, ruins, rural, structures, trees

Wind & G.A.S are Not the Same.


I seem to have developed (no pun intended) a propensity for posting late at night, recently – probably because I am still taking regular daytime naps to get me out of pain and it’s better than woofing the narcs that I’m currently prescribed. So, I am more awake at night than I am for most of the day, just lately. It’s not an impossible cycle and I’ll shake it soon, I know. Truthfully, I am feeling great presently and am looking forward to getting truly back to life and furthermore, I am  no longer having to endure most of the awful side-effects of the drugs, some of them rather embarrassing to say the least but, nonetheless, on grounds of utter propriety – unmentionable. A clue could be in the sub-heading, I guess. (If you read on with your tongue in your cheek – that’d be better than taking the rest too seriously. Stuff just – happens, you know?)

Onwards.

Back in February, I visited Morton Castle on a day which initially promised gorgeous blue skies inset with a clear and bright low winter sun – ideal for some IR shots of this utterly beautiful ruin. That was at around the time we had set orff! By the time we arrived, however, the clouds had moved in and the rain (known in Scotland as ‘smirry‘ – fine, light drizzle, really) began to descend and I ended up shooting the whole lot with my standard X100T. (See post I of III – here). There would be no infrared frippery on this particular day. No matter, but with that said, I wasn’t completely happy with the frames I came away with; compositionally I was very happy, but the ‘T’ buggers about with micro-contrast and smears finer details to the point where I just couldn’t live with it. A beautifully usable camera, fabulous lens but, it had to go. Either my software didn’t like its RAWs or, there was simply something about the ‘T’ that seemed to no longer agree with me. At all. Maybe I simply outgrew it, which may have been different if they’d kept the sensor from the very first X100. (Now that one was a peach!) I digress. 

Within just over two months of those initial shots at Morton, I found myself incapacitated, hospitalised, and then convalescing flat on my back for the following two and a half months with around eight or nine fractures to my spine, ribs and foot, a little internal bleeding and more pain than I could have comprehended possible at that time. What else was I to do to cheer myself up – other than to buy a new camera? Apart from the obvious things, photography was right up there on the list of things I was missing the most. Probably joint second, I’d say. I knew I wouldn’t be able to shoot it right away but I could spend weeks familiarising and reading up on it’s features so that when the day came where I could get out and play with it, I’d be more than ready; and so, that’s what I did. I bought the camera I have spent the past five years or so drooling over and, buggered the expense sideways. After all, I might not have even existed anymore – I jest not when I say that it really was that close, at the time of the incident. Hang it all. The Df arrived within a couple of days and the ‘T’ was history. I felt no remorse or pain. Not even a twinge. Move on. 

It’s not really G.A.S (gear acquisition syndrome) though – I guess that I have enough equipment to shoot pretty much any way I choose to. No, this was about something different entirely. I no longer wanted a camera that would mess about with the detail during shot processing, even in the RAWs – just a tool that would record what it sees and let me decide on output. Full-frame or not, I couldn’t care less (apart from the fact that this thing shoots clean even in the (photographically speaking) dark) – but I have been proved that I waited five years too long. What a plonker. But this isn’t a review (yawn!) – I only wish to post up my first frames from it, taken on a day that started out dismal, and pretty much remained that way, just last week. Low photographic expectations led me to something I didn’t expect – I love these frames, but not as much as being out there again. Despite the clouds, it was the finest of days. For life and, for loved ones.

I hope you’ll enjoy these.

R.

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I | Across Morton Loch.

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II | Brothers.

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III | [A Bit of] Morton Castle.

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This post is so gratefully dedicated to everyone who has been here for me in deed, word, or thought over the past couple of months – colleagues, friends, healthcare professionals, well-wishers and fellow bloggers and, most lovingly dedicated to my loved ones, whose patience, warmth and love know no conceivable bounds. Lucky isn’t the word.

To my Angie, to Corbs & to Flynn. X

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2018 Photographic Review | 35:Chronicle

28mm, 35mm, 50mm, black & white, boats, close-up, colour, faux-colour, Indoor, infrared, landscape, macro, nature, personal, photography, review, skies, spring, structures, trees, waterscape

One Hundred to One.


Seeing as how this post happens to be my one hundredth, it’s actually ninety-nine into one . Since I began this blog back in March, I have also enjoyed the works and posts of so many of you and, if there could be more hours in a day, there would be many more besides, too, providing me with no less enjoyable learning, entertainment or, food for thought. I have also, over the last ten months, hoped to provide some interest in the field of photography, my own takes from various genres of our art-form which I feel so passionate about. Without the love for it, the desire to (hopefully) create something a little different on occasion or, the discipline to stay true, it’s all for nothing. Insosaying, I hope with all the passion that I have for various genres of photography, that my sincerity is not only intact but also, perhaps more importantly, unmistakably evident.

As this year now tick-tocks on to draw its last, making way for the next, I would like not only to thank you most sincerely for your input, your comments, clicks, follows and conversations, but to wish every one of you a very happy New Year for 2019. Your presence here is just as important as my own works, because without a reader, a word or a picture – would be pointless. Therefore, if you will forgive my indulgence, I would like to share with you all just some of my favourite frames from this inaugural year on 35:Chronicle.  I truly hope that you will enjoy them.

Wishing you all wonderful celebrations and, much happiness from the coming year.

Warmest regards,

Rob. 

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Snowdrops | 35mm.

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Telford Woz ‘Ere! | 720nm Faux-Colour Infrared | 35mm.

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Double-Masted | 720nm Infrared | 35mm.

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Bluebell | 35mm.

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Broom | 35mm.

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Milkbank House Ruins | 760nm Infrared | 28mm.

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Talla Reservoir | 760nm Infrared | 28mm.

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Talla’s Monitoring Station | 720nm Infrared | 50mm.

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How the Other Half Live | 720nm Infrared | 35mm.

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Sir Duncan Rice Library | University of Aberdeen | 28mm.

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Moonrise | 720nm Infrared | 85mm.

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Grandeur | 35mm.

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Happy New Year 2019, to You All!

R.


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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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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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‘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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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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The Lambs | 715 & 760nm Infrared | 35:Chronicle

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

A Different Kind of Silence.


A week or so ago, I took a run up through Tweedsmuir with the express intent of immersing myself in some more IR shooting. The conditions for IR weren’t great, however, a few days ago, they were absolutely perfect – so I made another trip, early. As well as re-shooting a number of places I had already visited, (and, because I had allowed myself much more time) I drove just a little further north and stopped here, at the Crook Inn.

I have some fond memories of this place and stayed here for a couple of nights around twelve years ago, just to take in the atmosphere of the place. Though it is situated on the outskirts of a very small and quiet hamlet, it used to be a remarkable place to hang out. Especially in the winter when the wood-stove in the intimate, circular bar was roaring and, the beer was flowing. Aside from having an A-road right next to it, here, it’s about as beautifully rural as one could find anywhere. A great tinge of memory and sadness tainted my joy of walking around the old place again, as I made some photographs.

The Crook Inn has been closed for over ten years now but, the local community got together to raise funds in their efforts to buy the place, and collectively, refurbish and reinstate it.  I gather though, that seeing as how I was there shooting its first fund-raising event back in 2007 or thereabouts, and that not much work (if any) seems to have been carried out since then, the community plan has sadly fallen by the wayside. I could be wrong, but the visual evidence doesn’t suggest any movement in a positive direction. Sadly, these lambs will also continue to remain silent. 

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I | 28mm | 760nm Infrared.

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II | 50mm | 715nm Infrared.

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III | 28mm | 760nm Infrared.

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IV | 28mm | 760nm Infrared.

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Go for the Burn | 715nm IR | 35:Chronicle

50mm, black & white, faux-colour, infrared, photography

I Think I’m Developing a(nother) Habit.


When the weather is as gorgeous as it has been lately, my photo-brain goes into meltdown and, I get a very itchy shutter-finger. Mostly, for fine-weather infrared (because there’s no better time to shoot IR than under a blazing sun) but even so, even when the clouds roll in, I’m still tempted to see how far I can push the light. As the days shorten over the year and the sun gets lower in the sky, I know I will have to store my IR units away again for a good many months, however, for now, as the ol’ saying goes – you have to make hay while the sun shines.

These two frames are of the same little bridge but shot on two very different kinds of days. It takes me an hour or more to get to this spot and I seriously think I am getting a habit for quaint, old bridges – if only I could find more worth capturing. There are far worse vices, I suppose. 

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I | Push | 50mm | 715nm IR.

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II | Pushed | 50mm | 715nm Faux-Colour IR.

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Milkbank House | Infrared Collection | PT.III | 35:Chronicle

28mm, 50mm, infrared, photography, ruins, structures

A Last IR Look Around the Ruin, But First…


… a huge thank you. This is my 50th post here and whether that number should matter or not it seems a fitting juncture at which to covey my warmest thanks to every one of you who follow, don’t follow but occasionally check back every so often, or, those of you who stumble here by accident and decide to stay and read anyway – all of you. Not only this, but for the work that many of you publish, keeping the many circles of interest, thought and knowledge ever-turning for the rest of us. I’m grateful for it all. 

This IR post at the ol’ ruin is to be my last for now, though I do have some interesting frames grabbed with my standard-light set-up which I may post in time. In my first post of this series I alluded to the fact that I was unable to capture the rear elevation of the house as yet, however, in August, I aim to rectify this and, will update when I can. I hope you have enjoyed this little series of images, from this beautiful old derelict and perhaps – a little more too enough to make you want to stay a little while longer. 

To all of you – thank you for visiting my pages, for your clicks, for getting in touch, and, as I look forward to more of your works, I hope you’ll do the same and, return.

Thank you so much for reading…

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IX | Fireplace | 50mm – 715nm IR.

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X | Interactive Wallpaper | 28mm – 760nm IR.

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XI | Corner Pieces | 28mm – 760nm IR.

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XII | Farewell, Perhaps? | 28mm – 760nm IR.

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[Click on ‘milkbank’ tag for all posts in this series]


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Karma? | 715nm Infrared | 35:Chronicle

50mm, close-up, faux-colour, infrared, macro, nature, photography

Sometimes, We All Need a Helping-Hand.


This little guy was crawling very lethargically around my garden a few days ago. While I know little to nothing about bees, I figured he(?) could use a lift. I picked him up and placed him on one of my flowering shrubs and instantly, he began to gather. For a few minutes I just watched it – half grateful, the other half of me just happy to see it perk up. Then, it occurred to me that I might be able to grab a few frames and, the one close-up capable camera I had almost instantly to hand was my 715nm IR converted GXR 50/Macro. For around five minutes more he frequented the flowers on my shrub before he had gathered enough strength to buzz-off again. Still, though my discipline was far from perfect and I was shooting handheld, I was rewarded with a few shots that, whilst a little tricky to process in faux-colour, were worth it. Karma at work? I’m not sure. But, it’s possible. 

With more time and a less urgent / opportunistic approach, I’d have set-up for this kind of work properly, but as is – these are just a few excited (excitable) grab-shots. (The high-key is intentional and, a result of my habit of spot-metering when I macro.) I hope you’ll enjoy them.

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I. | 50mm | 715nm IR.

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II. | 50mm | 715nm IR.

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III. | 50mm | 715nm IR.

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Closer Still(s) | PT.X | Infrared 715nm | 35:Chronicle

50mm, close-up, faux-colour, infrared, macro, photography

One Red Poppy.


There is such a pleasure in photographing in infrared, (in fact, I can say the same of making images utilising any alternative-wavelengths) though I can’t even begin to describe it. Something about the added uncertainty of the quality of the light we can’t see – and wondering how to control it and, capture it. It definitely keeps me thinking; sometimes head-scratching. Yet so often, surprise and delight are revealed in such density that one cannot help going back for more, and more

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I | Poppy | 50mm 1/125th @f8 | ISO:271 | 715nm IR

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Since having received my IR converted A12 50mm for my GXR it occurred to me that I’ve not really given it a fair outing, yet. It’s not like it will care, or anything like that; it has no feelings and minds not if it’s being used or, if it spends its time just rattling around in compartment three, in my bag. But – though I love what I’ve managed to capture with my 28mm IR unit, the 50 is a rather different kettle o’ fish. For landscapes and closer, wide-angle stuff, the 28 is supreme and, at 760nm,  has a perfect base-wavelength for those tasks, but the 50 has a whole other genre as its niche. Whilst I haven’t taken it out for more natural FoV shooting as yet, I did, this morning, mooch around the garden trying out some close-up and macro subjects while the sun was out. Being as this is the UK – that latter consideration should remind you that unless the forecast states temperatures of 25 Celsius or higher for the entire day, the sun largely makes its own mind up as to whether it’s going to shine or hide behind the nearest cloud, and, there’s usually at least one large bugger waiting  for that job. That said, I had around a half-hour for a play before the inevitable happened.

It was enough.

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II | Poppy | 50mm 1/220th @f5.6 | ISO:200 | 715nm IR

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I’ve broken with a couple of traditions for these frames. The first is more of a sacred rule than a tradition, I suppose: I shot these handheld because I was just too lazy to set up on my tripod.  (There. I said it.) Secondly, I so seldom process infrared in false-colour because, well – it just never looks natural to me (even after setting the correct WB). If I can’t believe what I’m looking at, then I’m certainly not going to expect anyone else to believe it either and, if that should be the case then, what is the point? Still something about these frames made me want to have a go at FC-IR again. Therefore, after processing the entire batch in black and white (my ‘safety-net’ batch), I went back to the beginning and re-processed the whole lot for the second batch in faux-colour; and, you know what? I actually prefer them. I enjoy the subtlety that 715nm has afforded to the colours – and, I have done extremely little to these files  in order to complete them. Still, complete, they are and I am very happy to share a few of them. One single bright-red poppy, dishevelled by short bursts of heavy rain and a fortnight of regular stiff breezes, yet, still every bit as photogenic as when it first came to flower. 

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III | Poppy | 50mm 1/180th @f8 | ISO:200 | 715nm IR

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IV | Working Lunch | 50mm 1/125th @f8 | ISO:238 | 715nm IR

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

50mm, close-up, colour, macro, nature, photography

Cherry Blossom.


I.

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II.

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Land-Escapery | PT.II | 35:Chronicle

28mm, 50mm, black & white, infrared, landscape, nature, photography, skies

To Contrast.


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I | 715nm Infrared @ 50mm.

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II | VIS @ 28mm.

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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
Thank you.