Lately I’m on a huge Infrared Photography kick. Why you say?… Why not? Photographing light we can not see is a total blast! Also? When the morning light is gone and you’re waiting for that afternoon light to appear, this is the best time to Photograph Infrared!
So? Maybe think of this another way? We as Photographers and artists, have been “closed minded” a little. All along we’ve said mid day light is terrible. How wrong we have been! Our closed minded thinking has “not allowed us to see” this very cool light and medium of Photography!
Now I understand totally! All this time when I was thinking the light was crap, it was my closed minded thinking, that did not allow me to explore what I could not see! So guess what? I’ve opened my mind up a bunch and I’m learning to see what our eyes actually can not see outside the visible light spectrum of 400nm to 700nm.
Now technically Infrared light is between 700nm and 1mm. (nm = nanometers) However there are some very cool experimentations of light from between 590nm and about 800nm. Personally I’ve been playing with 590nm and 720nm. These two wavelengths have a LOT of flexibility in them to be super creative!
Do you need special gear to accomplish Infrared Photography? No not really. Your current camera can actually “see” a much broader spectrum of light and actually has a filter over the sensor that just allows visible light to be recorded to the sensor. You can buy a simple filter to go over your lens and easily convert the current wavelength to just say 720nm. Cost? About $85.00… but like everything else, you can get really expensive filters too.
I’ve personally converted one of my old Cameras, a Nikon D-800, to the 590nm super color spectrum. I can add a filter to this and easily go to the 720 nm spectrum.
There are some things that need to be done differently in the digital darkroom as well, but this is no big deal. Just like back in the day when I was learning to ski… It’s just another changing snow condition. The changes in editing infrared images are part of the journey.
Wanna learn more? Stay tuned! I’m not going to let this topic go idle. Every time someone joins me on one of my PhotoSafaris I will have my infrared camera with me. You are welcome to try it out! Simply bring an extra SD card! I’ll also assist you with learning to edit Infrared Images. More on that discussion while we are on PhotoSafari.
Tomorrow I’m heading out to Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge on PhotoSafari with some totally cool students. While there we will be looking for Bald Eagles, Osprey, and Northern Harriers which hang out here during the winter, along with several other wildlife. Also while on this PhotoSafari there are some awesome landscapes to capture, a beautiful lake, and up the road a piece some rock formations I really wish to play with in Infrared. The image below is a full color image of the location
On Sunday and Monday this week I’ll be heading to to Rhyolite to specifically photograph this area in Infrared, on another PhotoSafari with students. After all of my years in Photography, isn’t it totally awesome that I’ve actually not photographed everything? I think so! I hope I can inspire you into remembering there is always something to capture. Then is up to us to show that to you in some new interesting new art form.
To this date the image below is one of my favorite Infrared Images. To obtain this location at the right time, with the right light, has been a 50 year quest of mine. Yes, I’ve driven this section of road many, many times. But never, in all that time, did all the factors come together for this composition. And yes, I was also lucky enough to capture it in full color as well.
I hope you enjoyed this blog post. Yes it’s a bit long, so sorry. However this subject has much more to discuss. Open your mind to try Infrared Imagery if you haven’t already. It’s a lot of fun. Also? The added benifit of being able to shoot 24/7 no matter what light we have! Morning Light, Mid Day Infrared Light, Afternoon Golden Hour Light, and Night Photography! And guess what else? You can incorporate both Standard Photography And Infrared Photography at any time as well.
One thing is certain… there’s less opportunity for Photography and our art, setting on the couch. Thanks for reading…