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Is It Always Winter Where You Take Pictures?

No, of course not.  I had a buyer ask me just that question though, regarding a collection of black and white imagery, which included quite a few infrared images.  Light reflected off certain materials, when photographed with an infrared sensitive camera (or rather one that is sensitive mostly to infrared and not to most of the visual spectrum we normally see) will indeed appear white, a bit like snow.  This is an approach to photography that has a long storied tradition. Infrared film, made mostly by Kodak and Ilford was the tool of choice.  Kodak no longer makes their brand.  The film was very difficult to use, but still (though I never had the chance to use it myself, or rather was never forced to use it myself), the results were often worth it. Why?  In my view, the mood.  Infrared speaks to us of other worldliness, or being out of the ordinary.  It captures beauty, tinged with just a touch of anxiety, a feeling one might expect when in an unusual place.  Perhaps anxiety is also a part of the spiritual sense of some places.  I happened to hear today about a new video game based on the work of Thoreau, arguably one of the best writers of all time when it came to describing the experience, the mood of being in nature.  A video game? Interesting concept.  I wonder if the gamers will be able to capture that complex sense of being alone in a beautiful wild place?  This image is from today, spring 2012, Connor Pond in Harvard Forest.  (Click on the image for a better view.)

2 Comments Post a comment
  1. That’s a great title: “Is It Always Winter Where You Take Pictures?” As someone who once used infrared film extensively, I recognized your images immediately, but I understand why other people would be confused. I’ve though about having one of my digital camera bodies converted to infrared but haven’t taken the plunge, in part because I’ve become so enamored of color.

    Steve Schwartzman

    May 25, 2012
  2. Thanks for commenting Steve. Your wonderful flower work definitely demands color. Even with the new super color IR filters, you won’t get enough separation in many cases to make the images work, at least that’s my experience. Thanks for stopping by. I enjoy your blog immensely.

    May 26, 2012

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