One of the things I like about the exciting medium of photography is how easy it is to change the tools with which we use to create photographs.
I suppose painters can change their brush to a different size, or use a pallet knife to apply paint on their canvas. They can step away from a canvas surface altogether and apply paint to any number of other materials. I guess photographers aren’t alone in the ability to change tools in pursuit of making an interesting picture.
However, photographers have the option to creatively challenge themselves by selecting different lenses, choosing black and white images, electing to use highly manipulative post-production techniques, etc., or any combination just to mention a few.
For myself, I’ll add one more item to that list: using a camera converted to only capture images of the world around me in infrared.
I have mentioned before the old Nikon that I had converted to infrared many years ago. I enjoyed using that old 6 mega pixel camera, it served me well. I purchased it in 2001 and it was my first DSLR, however, when the time came to move to a camera with a newer and better sensor, instead of selling it off like I have with many cameras since, I opted to have it converted to a dedicated infrared camera.
Infrared cameras like blue cloudless sky, and I think many of my most successful images have been late in the afternoon on sunny days. Nevertheless, this week I decided to wander the roads near my rural home in hope of getting some dramatic skies on the heavily clouded afternoon.
My experience on cloudy days has been that one has to pick subjects carefully. There are some objects that, in spite of a sensor that only sees infrared, look pretty much the same as they would if photographed with a roll of black and white film. Instead of taking on a light coloured, or white glow, trees might go black and meadows look normal.
With that in mind, my goal, as I drove along the snowy dirt roads was to find a camera angle that would do the most for the vegetation and still give me lots of dramatic sky.
Life Pixel, http://www.lifepixel.com/ writes on their website, “Are you tired of shooting the same stuff everyone else is shooting? Then be different & shoot infrared instead!”
I don’t think I care whether I’m shooting the same subjects as photographers, but I sure do like to change how other photographers see the stuff I do shoot, and infrared works perfectly for that.
The infrared camera allows me to change my tools and way of visualizing and capturing the world around me. It makes me think about my photographs in a different and challenging way.