An infrared photograph taken in a fall garden.                                John Enman photo:                                Infrared photo by John Enman:

An infrared photograph taken in a fall garden. John Enman photo: Infrared photo by John Enman:

Making Pictures With Professional Photographer John Enman

My October garden with infrared

This week I’ve heard more than one new celebrity declare, “I can’t believe it’s October.”

I wonder where those people have been all year. Maybe they stay inside and don’t have much time to go outside. I enjoyed the sunny summer days of June and July. Then the slow entry into September got me used to turning on the lights when I got up in the morning and wearing a jacket in the evening. So I knew October was coming.

I photographed people enjoying a warm June day at the carnival, then in the late sun of July I took pictures on the western seacoast and on a cool August morning I bundled up to photograph waterfalls. October didn’t creep up on me and the cold damp mornings haven’t been a surprise.

Maybe that is because I spend much of my time watching the world through the lens of a camera and that exciting medium makes most of us photographers very aware of the changing seasons.

I was getting ready to leave to photograph the streets and city lights of Vancouver next weekend. And as I packed my ND filters I decided it was time to walk around the yard with my infrared converted camera.

There will be plenty of time to capture the brilliant fall colours in the sun, rain and eventually snow. So I thought some fun with B&W will be a good way to begin photographing my autumn garden.

The colours of the leaves are slowly changing, although there still is some green ground cover and a few of the flowers will hang on till first frost I think (I always look forward to photographing the frost on the plants).

But for now it’s black and white. I like black and white. There are so many subtle tones in a black and white photograph.

My first few exposures with my camera were over exposed, but they shouldn’t have been. I think my old camera may be near the end. Sometimes it doesn’t focus, and it is beginning to load slowly, some pictures that I know I pushed the shutter on aren’t there, and now the sensor doesn’t seem to be all that consistent when it comes to exposures.

I bought that Nikon D100 in early 2001, and used it to photograph weddings (and everything else that came my way till I purchased a D2hs in 2006. Soon after that I had the D100 converted to infrared. There are newer cameras and better IR filter conversions that I have been thinking about, but for now I’ll put up with that well used old camera. It’s not that I am emotional and will miss it. I don’t feel that way about the tools I use to make pictures; I’m just not ready for a new camera.

The weather has been cool, and as I am writing this it is raining hard. I am glad I took the time yesterday when the sun was high and the sky was clear blue to photograph a few plants. As I have written before, I like the change infrared offers me.

When I read some photographer’s pages there are always “Photographic Challenges”. Those aren’t the words I would use as I move from subject to subject with my camera. I like the creativity and the experimenting better.

Digital and infrared are the whole that gets me involved in the whole process from picking up the camera, to my garden wander, to completing the image on the computer. I enjoy the creativity of the infrared process (that includes the computer) however; no matter if one uses a converted DSLR camera or that one that always delivers brilliant colour. A walk around any garden this time of year is darned fun. Get creative, experiment, and yes, challenge yourself to produce images that are more than just documentary.

These are my thoughts for this week. Contact me at www.enmanscamera.com or emcam@telus.net. Stop by Enman’s Camera at 423 Tranquille Road in Kamloops. I sell an interesting selection of used photographic equipment. Don’t hesitate to call me at 250-371-3069.