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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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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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.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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In-Spired-Out | 35:Chronicle

black & white, infrared, photography, structures

We Are, Therefore, We Create.


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I | Scott Monument – Princes Street, Edinburgh | 28mm – 1/125th – f4.2 – ISO: 259.

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II | Spire of St. Theresa’s [II: VIS] – Dumfries | 35mm – 1/220th – f5.6 – ISO:200.

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III | Greyfriars [II] | 720nm IR | 24mm – 1/125th – f7.6 – ISO: 336.

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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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Something to Believe | Glasgow | 35:Chronicle

black & white, personal, photography, structures

Reflective Practise | A Personal Narrative.


During a wander along the Clyde towards Glasgow Green, just past the Jamaica Bridge, I came across these two buildings. I stopped, of course. While the traffic buzzed past me and people nudged against my arm as if to criticise me for standing still, for not going with the flow like everyone else, I stood. Still. As I looked left then right, taking in each structure, silly questions entered my head, such as, I wonder if the city’s planning department sanctioned the building of one to complement the other, in some perverse way? Coming from a conservation area myself, local councils would seldom allow the building of one that didn’t in some way fit-in with the buildings nearby and then I wondered, was the glass building perhaps some kind of reminder? An existential nudge to passers-by?

Religion is not a part of my life and never has been, at least not since my infant school told me that I was C of E – I wasn’t; only, the son of C of E parents for, at five years of age I knew nothing of the concept of religion. Still, I have grown up always wanting to be not only aware of my limitations but, also of my potential. Like the implied good, reflecting back at me. As a result, I began to wonder again, as if to confirm my thoughts that, no matter how well we think we’re doing, we can always be better. Reflect and, project.

Now that, is something in which I can definitely believe.

R.

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I.

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II.

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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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King’s College Chapel | Old Aberdeen | 35:Chronicle

28mm, black & white, night / low-light, photography, structures

Wide Open Spaces.


Walking around Old Aberdeen after sunset turned out to be a pure joy in many ways. In a previous post, I waxed a little about the stunningly picturesque Powis Gate Towers and, directly opposite them stands this beautiful building – King’s College. Although I was tripodless, I managed to snag a few frames by shooting wide open (at 2.5) handheld and, though a little soft, I am nonetheless very happy to share these few images. I hope you’ll enjoy them. 

R.

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I. [1/17th” f2.5 ISO:1600]

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II. [1/50th” f2.5 ISO:1600]

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III. [1/13th” f2.5 ISO:1600]

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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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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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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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Show Me a Sign | 35:Chronicle

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

The Crossing.


My fascination with old ruins and cemeteries has nothing at all to do with religion (take that any way you will) – but has in truth, everything to do with the fact that such subjects, in the right light, can make beautiful topics for black and white photographs and what’s more, 35 is perfect for this kind of caper. That’s why, on my way home from work on Sunday morning, I stopped at The Cross to photograph this ol’ church (upon which, the local council, as well as boarding-up most of the gorgeous arched windows (sigh!) has thoughtfully mounted a bold blue & white sign reporting that “This Building is in Ruin…”, (as though it were not obvious) and words to the effect that “All Ye Who Enter, Beware of Death!”  Nonetheless, it get’s them off the hook I s’ppose and, seeing as how everything has to be so obviously safety-netted in this age, largely I presume for the terminally unaware hence, and more importantly, local authority backsides well and truly covered, it’s no surprise that it’s there. But it is a shame that someone felt the need to point out the (bleedin’) obvious and in so doing deface this Gothic gem. Still, the sign is on the north side and the sun was already rising in an almost cloudless sky in the east – I could navigate around it. The graveyard itself has three Georgian burial enclosures where are interred both civilian deceased and many, even more sobering war-graves.  

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The truth is, the fact that I only live up the road from this Gothic ruin means that I have driven past it more times that I could possibly imagine and, have always meant to stop and capture it when the light’s been suitable – and when it has been, my cameras have been at home. That said, I have taken to leaving them in the car when I’m out and about, I mean, what’s the point leaving the things anywhere else? As I drove home, I pulled up outside and took a wander around it, absorbed the morning’s early sunshine and grabbed a few frames of the old place before continuing on my way home for some much needed shut-eye.

This church (built in 1817) has been in this ruined state since a fire rendered it roofless in 1975, when-abouts the alter was removed (presumably by the Church or maybe persons unknown?) the grass though, is still maintained around the war-graves and the air of the place, especially when wandering around alone on a beautiful early Sunday morning, is one of the most peaceful imaginable. I only hope that this comes across even just a little, in these frames. 

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II.

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III.

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IV.

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Photographing for Black & White or Colour | 35:Chronicle

35mm, black & white, boats, close-up, colour, infrared, landscape, nature, photography, spring, summer, waterscape

Discussing the Age-Old Debate.


Not wishing to make it sound like I’m imagining the two forms in a boxing ring, I use the word ‘or‘ instead of ‘versus‘. It’s not a win or lose decision, nor should it be a fight between the two so, I’ll get this said right off the bat – there’s absolutely no wrong answer. The simple reason for this is that both colour and monochrome have their place in photography and this has always been the case since the advent of colour photography back in 1861. We see in colour, for one thing, so that alone should give colour output the edge, right? Well, as it happens, no, not at all. What I’m hoping to achieve here is to pass on a collection of my own personal, simple thoughts on a subject that never seems to go away, and, which may help anyone considering this very question with the intent of applying such notions to their own work. Although it’s a question that I have considered during almost every shoot or processing session, I believe, for myself at least – that I have simplified the issue to a point that now, for me, it’s no longer a difficult decision. Perhaps this will help others too and, whilst I may not be considered an authority on the subject, well over twenty years behind the lens affords me a pretty full insight. Pinch of salt, an’ all that – but read on if you’re interested.

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In the Dog-House? | 720nm Infrared

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You may have gotten bored already and zipped down the page, noticing that I have only posted black and white images here. This is deliberate. No, I do not shun colour output, nor do I dislike it. I simply feel that if colour output is desired, the colours in the frame should be the sole reason I realised that I wanted to create it in the first place. Whilst I might produce an aesthetically pleasing BW from the colour RAW too, this would not discourage me from preferring the colour version. I’m getting a little ahead of myself at this point, so let me back-up a tad. What I should have said was that, I prefer black and white output, black and white prints, even previewing in black and white in camera. My brain just seems to think better in black and white. But it’s not for everyone and, learning to see light and dark colours as shades of grey came with time – but it’s how my brain interprets a scene more naturally than it does so at interpreting and processing colour, unless, the colours create something special. But black and white should not be (as it so often is) seen as the grail, in photography or, the best way to see an image. I can understand why many do, and yet, I also – can’t. It’s subjective, of course. Like colour, it’s a mode of expression, often over or under utilised. I know this to be true because I have been very guilty of this, too many times. 

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Horse-Chestnut or, Sticky Bud.

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For sure, the very first reason anyone should create either in colour or monochrome is – personal preference. However, I find colour distracting, largely unimportant and, mostly unnecessary; in the main. As one having way more than a passing interest in photography, my learned and experienced notions of light, composition, message and interpretation, contrast, texture, scene or frame interest – all of these things and more besides, reside in my brain and help me to make what I hope to be a successful image. Whether there is colour or not, doesn’t even become a consideration to me, unless, as I have mentioned, the colours have shouted at me already. Sometimes they do, mostly though, they don’t. If I make a shit frame – it’s my own fault and in no way is the presence or absence of colour responsible for it. 

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The Wellspring | Full-Spectrum.

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Rather than wax-on, paragraph by paragraph (the last thing I wish to induce is reader-fatigue, or even worse, your waking up to find your keyboard imprinted on your forehead!) – I shall instead, bullet the main points which I believe are most conducive to each output. Please remember, these are simply elements which work for me and, I speak for or against no-one else’s opinion. Hopefully, some of this will explain itself. 


Considerations for Colour Output:

  • Personal preference (either for screen viewing or, for actual prints).
  • When more accurate or  representational reproduction is required.
  • When presenting colours and shades create a desired contrast by their very existence (in other words, the colours are the actual reason you make the frame).
  • When the distraction of colour does not overpower the message of the image.
  • When a potentially lesser contrasty or less punchy image is desired – where heavier contrast would interfere with colour intensity, textures or overall / general dynamics.
  • Lower ISO usage where higher ISOs would increase colour noise (though with good APS-C and FF sensors, this is way less of an issue than it once was).
  • When shooting longer wavelength IR.

Considerations for Black & White Output:

  • Personal preference (either for screen viewing or actual prints).
  • When a more ‘artistic’ look and/or feel is required. No, colour is not unartistic per-se, but the brain processes in colour and therefore, any black and white image causes it to reinterpret in, for want of a better description, a more artistic way. 
  • When the removal of colour allows for greater appreciation and, undestracted absorption of the content.
  • When greater contrast may be utilised to increase the punch of an image.
  • When shooting at higher film speeds where otherwise shooting on colour would not necessarily be conducive to higher noise values.
  • When the content of the image speaks for itself and does not require the use of colour to emphasise itself.
  • To remove the illusion or potential appearance of an era or time-frame; this is dependent on content, of course.
  • When WB cannot be pre-set accurately or, is unlikely to be achieved in post.
  • When content, light, contrast and texture are the image key there is often little requirement for colour.
  • When shooting infrared: longer wavelengths can yield pleasant faux-colour results with knowledge and experience, shorter wavelengths, less so, once you head north of 720nm.

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Telford Woz ‘ere… | 720nm Infrared.

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Many of these elements are of course, by our own nature and preferences, completely subjective and your views or interpretations may differ; though not all of these principles can work for every subject, I have found them to be extremely useful for me as starting points when I make the choice to reproduce in either colour or monochrome. For posts containing glorious colour please take a look at any of these posts: Travelling Light, Closer Still(s) PT.IIPT.IIIPT.IV or, click the colour tag on any of my entries and, feel free to have a mooch. If you got this far – thanks for bearing with me (and, I’m sure that those little square imprints in your forehead will disappear shortly!)

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Infrared Lucidity | 35:Chronicle

35mm, black & white, infrared, landscape, nature, photography, spring, summer, trees, waterscape

Monochrome Waterscaping | 720nm Infrared.


I. From a Bridge:

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II. To a Bridge:

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A Little Seasoning | 35:Chronicle

35mm, autumn / fall, black & white, infrared, nature, photography, spring, summer, winter

Not Exactly Vivaldi.


This is a good thing. Whilst I enjoy music in many forms, Vivaldi’s ‘Four Seasons’ (most of it anyway, and, to my ears) sounds like perpetual motion for the sheer sake of it; long-winded and rather too repetitive for my liking. But still, this post has nothing to do with Vivaldi’s most popular pieces and I dare say, photographically, my present offerings will never even touch the sides of the adulation which he would have enjoyed from his own interpretations. Nonetheless, my offerings are short, (hopefully) sweet and, won’t annoy anyone’s eardrums, either. So, it’s all good, no? (Unless you’re a particular fan of the Big ‘V’ – in which case you’re probably reading somebody else’s pages already and this scribble is all rather redundant.) Still, as the first warm days of spring arrive to lighten the heart and stir the spirit, here is my little take on each of the seasons, with a doff of my cap, a wry smile and an anticipation of the changes to come.

My lens will be ready.


Spring Daffodils | 720nm Infrared

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Summer Shade | 720nm Infrared

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Autumn Mist

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Winter Closure

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