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Using Infrared while wandering the coast in August with John Enman

The final act of photography during my adventure with my friend Jo and her family was to shoot with the camera I had converted to infrared.

The final act of photography during my adventure with my friend Jo and her family was to shoot with the camera I had converted to infrared.

In my first article about my trip to Anacortes Washington I wrote that I brought three cameras with me, a DSLR with two lenses for regular scenic photos, a small mirrorless to use during the festival and my infrared camera.

Over the years when I have visited the pacific coast I have discovered that the light moving across the ocean is perfect for infrared photography.

Infrared allows me to give viewers a completely different feeling of my subjects. Making an image with a modified camera is an exploration and a discovery that moves a photographer far from the usual. I like the sometimes-surprising tones that I can obtain when I convert the image to black and white. Like any form of photography, or art, it’s all a matter of taste.

For those that haven’t read my previous articles about IR photography: Reflected IR light produces an array of surreal effects when using a IR converted camera, vegetation sometimes appears white or near white, black surfaces can appear gray or almost white depending on the angle of reflected light, and if the sky (my favourite part of the infrared image) when photographed from the right direction can become black. The bluer the sky, the greater the likelihood of an unworldly effect and white surfaces can glow with an ethereal brightness.

An Infrared camera conversion depends on the type of filter that is placed in front of the camera’s sensor. Filters can produce extremely contrasted black and white images; soft medium black and white tones and some filters allow a limited amount of natural light that causes what is called “Faux colour”. (False colour)

My camera is the latter. I see the sometimes bluish or reddish original image as my beginning surface or tablet to creatively manipulate on my computer.

The same photograph might have a several different incarnations. Yellow trees, purple skies, green dirt paths or even different tones of Black and White and the final picture is up to my imagination.

Digital and infrared gets me involved in the complete process from picking up the camera, the fun of doing photography, to finally completing the image on the computer. I enjoy the creativity of the infrared process that includes the computer.

Infrared is a different way to visually discuss a subject, and a black & white photograph communicates in a subtle way. To me the combination of those two allows me to stretch my creativity and show the world is see in different terms.

“You don’t make a photograph just with a camera. You bring to the act of photography all the pictures you have seen, the books you have read, the music you have heard, the people you have loved.” Ansel Adams.

About the Author: Hettie Buck

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