Saturday, 17 November 2012

Wrap Around Kitchen

One of conditions of buying Balintore Castle was that I had to present a photographic survey of the building at time of purchase to Angus Council. On the principle that it should be possible to do any task oneself to reduce cost, I set off on my £32 Tesco bike to the castle, armed with my Dad's old tripod and a cheap hi-def second-hand camera off eBay. 

I took around 2000 shots altogether and blew a DVD ROM with a website of archive images. Hopefully this satisfies the requirements for an historic archive. The Council requested a new copy of the DVD recently, so it was an interesting opportunity to revisit. Hence this blog entry!

The castle at that stage was extremely dark inside, being all boarded up, so all shots had to be taken with  long exposure on a tripod. The in-built flash would only reach a certain distance, so I wiggled my cycle lights in the dark recesses during the long exposures. Believe it or not, this technique worked.

Balintore Castle Kitchen Panorama 2007

For every tripod set-up, I rotated around and took a panorama of images.At some stage in the future these could be stitched together. I only stitched a few panoramas together at the time - including this one of the castle kitchen which I hope you enjoy! Ironically, nowadays the iPhone5 can do real-time panorama in-situ.

The panorama here is actually extremely misleading - it was almost totally dark in the the naked eye and there was a blizzard blowing outside! The cycle trip between my B&B and the castle for the four days the survey took was always during a blizzard. At one stage I stopped cycling as an experiment, and the wind started blowing my bike and me backwards UP a hill. 

Throughout the shoot, my hands were in continual pain due to the extreme cold. My technique was to stick them under my armpits for 30 minutes or so until some semblance of circulation restarted, On the last evening at the B&B,  my fingers swelled up alarmingly and turned bight red. I suspect it was first stage frost bite!

In case anyone wonders why I cycled rather than drove, as would have been sensible in the wintry weather, it was because I had flown up to Dundee for a job interview, courtesy of the company! After the interview, I bought the bike, and cycled to the B&B. This only took 6 hours - and it was the first and last time I cycled from Dundee to Balintore. It looked feasible on the map, but I hadn't factored in the ultra-challenging and lung-busting topology.