Dundrennan Abbey | 720nm IR | PT.II | 35:Chronicle

black & white, infrared, photography, ruins, structures

900 Year-Old Details.


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V | Entrance Gate -720nm Infrared | 35mm.

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VI | Fraction – 720nm Infrared | 28mm.

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VII | Fraction [II] – 720nm Infrared | 21mm.

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VIII | Fraction [III] – 720nm Infrared | 28mm.

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[Dundrennan Abbey | 720nm Infrared – PT.I]
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Dundrennan Abbey | 720nm IR | PT.I | 35:Chronicle

black & white, infrared, photography, ruins, structures

On Days Like These.


I. | The Abbey – 720nm Infrared | 35mm.

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Okay, okay! I have a thing about old buildings and magnificent, ancient stonework. It could be worse. Instead of cameras, I could have a PS or an Xbox (whatever they are – but hear that they are also quite popular?) 

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II. | From an Outer Doorway – 720nm Infrared | 28mm.

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Over the last almost twenty years, I have visited and revisited Dundrennan Abbey on more occasions than I can remember. Mary, Queen of Scots spent her last night in Scotland, here, before being escorted across the Solway Firth by the English, to Carlisle Castle where she would spend the next nineteen years as a prisoner before being executed, in 1587. Whether for the scenery, the history, or both – I have never tired of shooting here. Two days ago, I visited again and, with my IR converted GR in hand – spent around an hour making a few more frames. The groundsman (Pete) was also on site, fixing the ol’ place up a bit, ready for the spring and summer onslaught of visitors, but mostly, I had perfect ‘alone’-time to wander round and grab a few angles that I had missed over previous visits. Here, I wanted to simply show a few frames of some of Dundrennan’s beautiful arches – in a tad more detail, with each shot.

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III. | Through an Interior Arch – 720nm Infrared | 28mm.

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Shooting in IR under ideal conditions (bright sunshine and few clouds) really does bring out the contrast and utter magnificence of places like this – and I have no doubt that there are more just like this, waiting for me to capture. As spring and summer progress, I know already that I am going to have a very busy season indeed, not just for having so many places to shoot, but in the first instance – being able to visit them and soak up so much atmosphere, history and enjoying too, a complete change of pace. On days like these, there’s truly nothing better. 

R.

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IV. | Zenith – 720nm Infrared | 21mm.

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Ricoh GR | You Can Call Me – ‘Jack’ | 35:Chronicle

black & white, close-up, colour, full-spectrum, Indoor, infrared, landscape, macro, nature, night / low-light, personal, photography, review, ruins, structures

Photographic ‘Mechano‘? | A Few More Nuts & Bolts.


Two very special cameras have made up the mainstay of my shooting arsenal over the past eight years; the Fujifilm X100 (the debut, the ‘S’ and, the ‘T’) and, the Ricoh GR (also, the GR II). The model numbers don’t really make much of a difference to me because it’s all about how they allow me to work when I’m making pictures. Furthermore, my joy of them has nothing to do with button layouts, menu-order, online reviews, or much else either. It’s really all about the ability to carry a portable, capable and an ever more familiar set-up that produces very workable digital negatives shot through focal-lengths that I prefer the most. Shooting with shorter focal lengths has been my passion for a good number of years now, ever since I made the decision to give up on larger systems and telephoto lenses. That decision itself came from a notion that being out of range didn’t make me a better photographer at all – it wasn’t brave and, I always felt like I was on the outside looking in, instead of immersed in the process. That’s why I ditched the longer lenses. Simple. I wanted to learn more about photography and could no longer find satisfaction from picking-off frames from a distance – no matter how attractive I found focal-plane-to-background separation. The change was swift and, sharp.

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I. | Sir Duncan Rice Library Building – University of Aberdeen.

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After a few years with the Fuji-X I wanted something a little smaller for my pocket, for those days we all hanker for at one time or another – when we can grab the shots without carrying the bag as well; not a replacement as such, but a complement to my existing camera(s). By that time, I was completely hooked on shorter focal-lengths, the immersive experience of making pictures with them and that was when I bit the proverbial bullet on a GR – a camera that has been in my bag or my pocket for almost six years, no matter what else I have been shooting alongside it. Now, you may think that this is going somewhere a little bit too romantic and, you might be right. You see, out of every piece of equipment I have ever shot with over the last twenty-plus years, Ricoh’s GXRs and GRs have been my absolute favourite to use. The GR however, (even for all of the APS-C variants of the GXR) – tops the lot. I have no issue with admitting that the GR is (digitally speaking) the best, most customisable, usable camera with which I have ever made pictures. But the oddity in all of this is that – it just got even better. I’m not talking of anything Ricoh has done to it or, for it. It’s simply that as well as my standard model, I now have another, converted to split-spectrum with an internal 450nm filter. This might not sound like a big deal (especially if you’re more a colour enthusiast or just not a fan of black and white photography) but bear with me, and you’ll see that it actually – is.

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II. | Kinclair Viaduct.

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My first foray into split-spectrum and true full-spectrum happened when I had received a converted A16 unit for my old GXR a few years ago and, with that one unit, I was able to reduce issues of low-light black and white photography and shoot any alternative wavelengths that I chose to – usually near-infrared around the 720nm mark. In truth, my main love for a split-spectrum converted camera lies in the ability for me to choose different IR wavelengths as my base, when shooting, though primarily, I stick to 720nm (give or take around 20-30nm) – as I have done for the last twelve or so years. But it’s lovely to have the latitude when it’s needed. If any of you browsed through my images of St.Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh, late last year, you will notice, if you look, the clear benefits of shooting indoors with a split or full-spectrum converted camera as, such a set-up effectively doubles the shutter speed because the amount of wavelengths and subsequently, available light, is also doubled. For this kind of photography, black and white is really the only option (unless you’re into really funky colours and peculiar white-balance) and if you’re happy with this, you’d be even happier at the reduced (or complete absence of) camera / motion blur in your shots, not to mention the huge amounts of extra detail in the blacks and shadows.

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III. | St. Gile’s Cathedral – Edinburgh [Full Spectrum – Handheld].

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Now, a small admission. Originally, when I started drafting this post, my intention was to write some kind or report or, review, about my newest acquisition in the 450nm GR. But as that camera is only half of my story, I have decided to be more – general and, as my title suggests, I do consider the GR to be the most customisable camera I have ever had the pleasure of getting my hands on. The mere fact that I now have two of them, both set-up in completely different ways, for alternative shooting requirements, will bear this out. The fact that I have most of the accessories available for them, is also a factor in their importance in much of my work because, by and large, I don’t go in for huge amounts of add-ons for my gear and, prefer to keep weight down instead. But as weight is not really an issue with a camera so compact, I allowed myself to indulge in order to make them as useful as possible, to me. As well as both cameras, one standard and one converted, I also have three GH-3 filter adapters. On one, I have the IR 720nm filter, on another – a C-PL and on the third, a +10 close-up filter for a little extra macro. Having each filter mounted on separate adapters allows me to very quickly swap-out filters between cameras with just a click & twist. Obviously, the R72 filter adapter only gets exchanged with the +10 if I’m going to choose close-up work in IR or split-spectrum, but the C-PL can be swapped out for either of the other two, because as I have discovered, the standard GR set-up is also receptive to IR wavelengths with no hot-spotting, giving the shooting process a natural ND sequence. So, for long exposure IR imagery, the standard GR handles infrared rather well indeed. (I will do my best to show this as artistically as I am able, during the summer). With the addition of the GW-3 wide lens (which is pretty special, I must say) I can add a 21mm repertoire to each set-up at will, with custom functions set for (35mm) crop-mode and conversion-lens use, on each camera; not to mention the ability to set each of the unit’s three custom modes, for different set-ups. The fact that I love the GR’s output is the reason I shoot with it in the first place but, coupled with its mechano-like, Swiss Army-Knife tendencies – I really don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything for wide shooting, or – much else, for that matter.

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IV. | Bluebell.

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Of late, I have found myself preferring 4:3 output straight from the camera and have noted a benefit to this also, in post. The GR’s lens has a certain amount of natural light fall-off (vignetting) in the corners (especially when shooting at its native 28mm with front-mounted filters) and shooting at 4:3 reduces this somewhat unappealing effect by cropping out the far-lateral sides of the sensor. Added to the fact that 35mm is my preferred focal-length, this internal crop-mode when utilised alongside the 4:3 option, reduces fall-off further, while still providing me with a fairly respectable 9mp RAW file for processing, minus the rather noticeable fall-off. Again, many quick functions are simple and quick to set-up and I also have a ratio option on my adjust lever as well as 28/35mm crop on the effects button at the side of the camera. There’s not really a whole lot more that I can say of the 450nm converted camera, per se – it is what it is and as long as it’s raison d’etre is realised and understood, it’s an extremely useful tool for low-light, indoor photography where crushed blacks aren’t desired but organic detail is. For me – it’s there for IR in the main. But that’s just me. I still need my bag, of course – but even so it weighs next to nothing and, my bases are all covered.

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V. | Church Ruin [720nm Infrared].

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The GR has mostly been heralded as the ideal street camera to have, and I will not argue this. But what has not been extolled, as far as I am able to discover for myself, is that it can do so much more than street-photography; decent macro (with or without external filter assistance), landscape, environmental, urban exploration, and even alternative wavelength, I don’t think there’s much this thing can’t do. I have probably harped on enough now about this camera but I so want anyone who is truly interested, to know just how much a little camera can do in hands attached to a mind that wants to truly explore photographic possibilities.

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VI. | Horse-Chestnut [Sticky] Bud.

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The GR III is soon to be released in the UK (note: this post was published in early March 2019) – and I know right now that I won’t be buying one at any time in the near future. The main reason that I keep my Fujis is because of their handling, their viewfinders and the lovely files that I get to make with them. Insosaying, (because its screen can be rather hard to see in sunlight) if the new GR had been designed and built with a finder (a la pop-up EFV on Sony’s RX100 MK3 and onwards) then I doubt that the X100/IR or the ‘T’ would get much handling. If the GR III is as good as it’s going to get, then I’m sorry Ricoh- you already got it bang-on with the first one – nuts, bolts, the lot. And I’m not moving. I mean, what would be the point?

R.
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In the Still of the Light | PT.IV | 720nm IR | 35:Chronicle

black & white, infrared, photography, ruins

The Ruin at the Cross | Finale.


Having had the pleasure of trying out my new GR conversion last week, I now have the pleasure of sharing with you the last two infrared frames, bagged during my saunter around the old church at the Cross, not far from my home. I have always enjoyed how the GR allows me to reproduce texture, contrast and visual detail (though, ironically perhaps, I care little for actual sharpness) especially as I shoot almost exclusively for black and white and, having this second GR in my bag (or occasionally, my pocket) really does extend potentials for  light-weight, no-fuss photography  – both for visible-light captures and for alternative wavelengths. 

I hope that these frames are as pleasing to your eye, as they are to mine. (Roll on, spring).

R.

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V.

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VI.

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(Both images photographed with a 450nm internally converted Ricoh GR, + front-mounted Hoya R72 IR filter.) 

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In the Still of the Light | PT.III | 720nm IR | 35:Chronicle

black & white, infrared, photography, ruins

The Ruin at the Cross | PT.II.


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III.

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IV.

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(Both images photographed with a 450nm internally converted Ricoh GR, + front-mounted Hoya R72 IR filter.) 


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In the Still of the Light | PT.II | 720nm Infrared | 35:Chronicle

black & white, infrared, photography, ruins, structures

The Ruin at the Cross | PT.I.


These two frames are a taster of perhaps a few more to come, from a nearby church ruin. The fact that this single-storey derelict has its windows boarded-up is a little bit of a mystery to me and, a slight disappointment as it does rather mean that I can’t use those wonderful apertures as any kind of focal-point in any of my pictures. On the other hand, I am forced to put in more effort in my search for pleasing angles and views, and on such a day, I couldn’t think of anything better to do, than just that. 

(Both images photographed with a 450nm internally converted Ricoh GR, + front-mounted Hoya R72 IR filter at 28mm.) 

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II.

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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.

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

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

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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.

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

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

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

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

For E.J. Dexter, et al.


Merely a name – painstakingly, thoughtfully carved into a door that is certainly nowhere near as old as the ruins themselves, still, looking at every carving – it is eery to almost feel the presence of so many visitors (perhaps even occupants) from the past. Morton Castle dates back to the 12th Century and, has been deconstructed, burned down, rebuilt and, has changed hands (and purpose) a good number of times in its long history. Much of that may have been well documented, however, there remains much mystery still about the place.

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I. |  Scores on the Doors | 35mm.

Morton Castle, Nr.Thornhill

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It will be all too apparent that I love old, ancient, historical buildings. Mostly though (in my laziness I suppose) it’s mainly a structural interest, a personal fascination owed to the immense ingenuity and graft (and time) that has been used or spent to create such unbelievable places, observing their spaces and  surroundings – even feeling their purpose. Yes, Morton has true presence. On arrival, the weather was probably of the worst kind for making photographs – I would not be capturing in infrared today. The sky, a heavy grey, the drizzle constant and, the clouds were getting lower over the nearby hills; but, my word – what an atmosphere. Like a child in a proverbial sweet-shop, I flipped constantly between excitement and fascination as I tried to take it all in. My brain couldn’t absorb it quickly enough; and the rain, though with small pockets of respite, was getting a tad heavier. 

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II. | Morton, from the Dam | 35mm.

Morton Castle, Nr.Thornhill

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On the east side of the ruin, at the base of the mound upon which it sits, is situated a dam that was built around the early 19th century, to purposely flood what was then marshland, in order that Morton Loch could be created and, it surrounds the site on three of its sides. Thus, in its elevated position, surrounded by some of the most spectacular scenery and calm waters, even the dullness of the day could not spoil a single part of it. The only sounds to be heard were those of gentle breezes, the occasional oyster-catcher in the distance and, regular footfalls in the thick, sodden grasses. The fact that my camera was catching water from the persistent light rain did not deter me either. I honestly think that I would have sacrificed it just to get the shots that I did. With not another soul within miles, the isolation felt truly breath-taking and, on a finer day – I will (happily) spend many, many hours here. Nonetheless, the moodiness of the day lent its artistic hand to Morton’s space, a new beat in my chest that instils passions renewed and, a fierce anticipation of returning.

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III. | East-Nor-East | 35mm.

Morton Castle, Nr.Thornhill

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Perfectly ‘Scotland’? On a day such as this – yes, most certainly!

I do hope that you enjoy this, my first instalment of Morton Castle – it’s a very special place to which I am sure very few photographs can possibly do justice. (For more images in this series, simple click on the ‘morton castle’ tag.)

R. 

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Stone, Cold, Hazy | 35:Chronicle

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

Sweetheart Abbey.


The ruins of Sweetheart Abbey stand on the edge of the village of New Abbey, not even a ten minute drive from Dumfries along the Solway coast-road. On this particular day, temperatures were freezing and, the fog was thick, still I made my way in the hope that I might make some frames of this lovely structure in the mists. As I suspected, there were no other visitors on this day which would have made composition and exclusion a lot simpler however,  sadly, on arrival, I discovered that around 40% of the site was clad high in scaffolding and, almost half of the grounds were cordoned-off with temporary fences covered with CCTV warnings and police signage. Bit of a mood-killer, to say the least. With a little careful framing, however, I was able to grab a few frames of this gorgeous structure – not quite what I intended when I set out, but – almost close. 

I hope you’ll enjoy these few, only slightly misty captures.

R.

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III.

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Milkbank House | PT.IV | The VIS Collection | 35:Chronicle

black & white, Indoor, photography, ruins, structures

Everywhere, is Someone’s Happy Place.


Back in July this year, I posted the last of my three posts of Milkbank House, shot in 715 and 760nm infrared. In conjunction with the IR frames, I also made a good number of visible light shots during the same visit for black and white output and, intended to post these an awful lot sooner than this. These shots have been sat waiting for me in my ‘To Post” folder ever since I finished processing them. I hope, during the past three months, that they haven’t lost their relevance. 

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I | Milkbank House – Front & Side Elevation.

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II |  Milkbank House Entrance Porch.

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III |  Milkbank House.

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IV |  Milkbank House – Receiving Room.

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v | Milkbank House – Stone Fireplace from the Side.

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In the Still of the Light | 35:Chronicle

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

An IR Trilogy.


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

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

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III. | 28mm [760nm IR].

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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]


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 for visiting & if you would like updates, please click Follow. All images are resized for publishing.
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Milkbank House | Infrared Collection | PT.II | 35:Chronicle

28mm, infrared, photography, ruins

A Peek Inside.


V | To the Rear from the Dining-Room | 28mm | 760nm Infrared.

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VI | The Dining-Room Skylight | 28mm | 760nm Infrared.

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VII | The Main Living-Room | 28mm | 760nm Infrared.

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VIII | Front & Side Elevation | 28mm | 760nm Infrared.

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


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

28mm, infrared, photography, ruins

Nature’s Way.


Over two years ago, I visited Milkbank House and the adjoining kennels and photographed it using standard visible-light camera equipment. A fixed 28mm prime did the job just fine and ever since I captured them, I have always taken pleasure from the images that I was able to make back then. Fast-forward to present-day, however, I now have a few more tools at my disposal which enable me to further indulge my strong passions for IR photography and, other alternative wavelength photography, too. As soon as I received my IR conversions a couple of weeks ago from The Doctor, I quickly got to thinking about nearby locations and subjects with which I might immerse myself, and, Milkbank was the very first that came to mind. 

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I | Milkbank House (2018) | 28mm | Front & Side Exterior | 760nm Infrared.

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When I visited again, (this time with my IR set-ups), just a few days ago, the weather was even, though humid, however, thick, unattractive cloud-cover and direct-sun were at constant odds with each other which for the most part, made things a little tricky but as I was in no rush to leave, I simply mooched around for a couple of hours and captured what I could. It’s not somewhere that I would simply stop-by all that often and while suitable light permitted, I made sure that I had plenty of time to wander about the place and capture the ruin from angles that I had previously not considered. I’m very glad that I did. (Sadly, I was not able to photograph the rear elevation due to the density of nature’s reclamation and I will return to rectify this, making sure that I’m better prepared next time. Nonetheless, I thoroughly enjoyed my afternoon here, despite the annoyingly opportunistic horse-flies and the wasps). 

It is understood that the house itself was built around 1895 next to the pre-existing kennels and, has been derelict since around 1960. There are interesting links between Milkbank and Jardine Skinner & Co. of Calcutta, the Presidency of the Bank of Bengal and, a local Justice of the Peace.

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II | Milkbank House (2018) | 28mm | Corner Exterior | 760nm Infrared.

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Even in little over two years, from my own images taken back then it is clear to see the acceleration of nature in its unstoppable reclaiming of the space – only so because no-one has yet intervened. In a way, I find this a pity – to leave such a place to the mercy of time but then, if anybody had already, I would never have been able to capture any of these frames.

Because I have no wish to make any of my posts too image-heavy, it’s my intention to share a few images at a time over the course of four or maybe five smaller collections. If you have an interest in either black and white, or infrared photography, or simply in old derelicts, it’d be good to have your company for a while.  I truly am passionate about this and find more joy in the entire process, the longer I (selfishy, perhaps) indulge. 

Thank you so much for reading and, I do hope you enjoy this first instalment. 

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III | Milkbank House (2018) | 28mm | Front Entrance – Exterior | 760nm Infrared.

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IV | Milkbank House (2018) | 28mm | 760nm Infrared.

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

(By the way, if you’re interested, here is where you can see what the house looked like in 1960 or thereabouts.)


As always, thank you for visiting & if you would like updates, please click Follow. All images are resized for publishing.
HOME
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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.