Angie – Through Open Eyes | PT.I | 35:Chronicle

black & white, close-up, people, personal, photography, portraits

A Gift – for a Gift.


It’s not often that I get overly personal through my pages but constant reflection urges me to do so right now. As a passionate photographer, I love to capture, to record in the best way I know how – life; or rather, important scenes and snippets in time (from it). That’s what we do. Our reasons for doing so may change over time or may simply be dependant on the occasion or our subject matter however,  but in truth – when I want to give something back, so to speak, a photograph is the probably the most indelible, lasting gift that I can give, outside of my own self. Insosaying, my time isn’t only spent wandering around old ruins, though by many of my recent posts you would be forgiven for believing so.

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I | Lost for Words.

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Most of my past four months, in fact, have been spent recuperating (something which I am still doing, and happily I can say – with great improvement) and spending wonderful, quality time with my loved ones. It is fair to say that (especially) lately, in a multitude of ways my life has taken an huge amount of positive turns because of many yet mostly, unforgettably, because of the one most special person in my life – and, a great majority of those turns have been made possible and almost certainly could not have been so without her. It’s her face that I want to see whenever I walk into a room, whenever I pick up a camera, if only to capture her and to remind her to really look, and to see what I see. But she seldom does. 

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II | It’s All Fun & Games (Until the Bobbin Runs Out!)

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One day, I hope that she will see her importance to me and to many through her guises as a mother, a best friend, a lover, a sister, a daughter and granddaughter, a seamstress, an inspiration, a rock, no – my rock; and, my comfort. (As it turns out, contrary to her gentle demeanour – she’s a painfully merciless backgammon player too!) 

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III | Late Evening (or – From Where Evil Plots are Hatched!)

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From thin air, through open eyes and, straight to my heart.

R.

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Apollo 11: For Michael Collins [and Neil & Buzz] | 35:Chronicle

history, people, photography, skies

Snoopy [& Other Underdogs].


Oddly, though I had this post planned for a week or more, after an impromptu visit to McD’s today – I found the perfect way to commemorate all underdogs everywhere, as well as this marvellous anniversary. Celebrating a young boy’s birthday I found one of my childhood heroes staring back at me from, of all places, the inside of a Happy Meal. Not one child at the table could tell me who he was or the name of his scruffy little companion – but Peanuts-styled memories came flooding back. I bought two more to make the set – of three wind-up, moon-walking NASA Snoopys; repleat with Pumpkin Suits and backpacks. My smile was huge.

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Three of a Perfect Pair.

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Snoopy Woz ‘Ere?

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Tomorrow, on 16th July 2019 – it will have been fifty years to the day since the Apollo 11 mission was launched, which would land the first man on the moon, on 20th July 1969. That was the year during which I was born, too, almost four months later. In the grounds of Drumlanrig House, (near the Scottish town of Thornhill) – not far from me, where Neil Armstrong once stayed is a forty-seven year old Red Oak, planted in the March of ’72 by the man himself.

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The Growth of History.

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It’s an incredible part of human history but like many (I am supposing, here) it’s always been my opinion that Michael Collins didn’t get enough love or glory for his unforgettable contribution to those future-shaping events of 1969. Waiting in the moon’s orbit for Buzz and Apollo 11’s commander, Neil Armstrong to complete their short mission on the surface must have felt sickening and lonely; standing at the open doors to the greatest show on earth, looking in, hearing the fun that everyone else is having but, having to wait outside and endure it. Plenty of documentaries and publications can give us a huge amount of information about almost any detail of that mission, but how much did Michael Collins not tell about how he felt during those eight days? I have to wonder. Though an integral part of that incredible mission, hardly anyone I have asked can name all three crew-members; and Michael’s is the name most forgotten. I’m not here to set any record straight, but I’m sending out my own equal recognition for him as well. Like Neil & Buzz, I’m pretty sure he’s earned it.

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Michael Collins, Neil Armstrong & Buzz Aldrin [Left to Right]

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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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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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I.

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II.

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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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Takes on: ‘Up’ | Edinburgh | 35:Chronicle

35mm, black & white, people, photography

On the Ground & in the Air.


If you read my previous post, you’ll know that I spent a day in Edinburgh, enjoying the pre-Christmas festivities there, along Princes Street, St. Andrew’s Square and, along the Royal Mile. It’s a change for me to photograph people on the streets, though I do enjoy it when I can pull a frame or two off, but largely, I tend to stick to static scenes and structures. However, with so much going on, I was more like the proverbial child in a sweet-shop and I was very happy to snag these few captures of people doing what we do around this time of year. 

A small point on photometry: in frames one and four I spot-metered on the stone of the Scott Monument in order that it should not remain in silhouette and, rather pleasingly to me, the cables attaching the cars to the ride all but exposed out. This was intentional and not a mistake and gave me the option of titling the fourth frame “Look – No Strings!” – but clearly, I was able to resist! With the blanket of pure light grey above, I was able to seriously enjoy the contrast and details and, I sincerely hope that you will also. 

I hope that, however you’ve been celebrating, you’ve had at least as much fun, will also have a fabulous weekend and, I shall very much look forward to being back with you on Sunday.

R.

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I | Going Up.

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II | Looking Up.

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III | Slicing Up.

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IV | Very… Up!

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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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