I hadn’t picked up my infrared camera since spring, and it was a last minute addition when I was loading the car for my trip to the Washington coast.
Now as I sort through the pictures I took on my short four-day junket I am glad I did.
The low, late afternoon coastal light is great for infrared. The trees become an iridescent white, the sky a deep black and anything painted a light colour glows.
I suppose most of the pictures one takes on vacation are little more than documents of the places visited and end up filed away in hopes that future generations will eventually find the volumes of unmarked computer files and excitedly relive the experience.
Somehow I doubt that actually happens very much.
Just as the closet full of boxed slides from the film generation will likely be discarded when age forces them to downsize, I expect the terabytes of image files stored on memory cards, cell phones and the illusive cloud will follow a similar fate.
I don’t have an answer to that, I guess what will be will be. However, modern digital technology at least allows us to be a bit more creative with the images that come out of our cameras. I don’t know if the memories they retain will last any longer than I will when I am just dusty ashes in some old jar, but what the heck, if anyone does take the time to look through the volumes of photographs I leave I am sure they won’t be bored because very few of my vacation photos fit easily under the heading, “document”.
My vacations, for many years have centered around my interest in photography. My wife used to call them “photo vacations” because everywhere we visited and everything we did when traveling revolved around taking the time to get creative with our cameras.
Now with modern digital technology that creative photography is not only “during the excursion” but goes on for many enjoyable hours at the computer when all the gear has been put away at home and the trip is only memories.
Infrared files are waiting to be manipulated. In my opinion the need to preserve or enhance the beauty of what was experienced on one’s latest adventure doesn’t apply. Infrared is a different light and different statement about the world we experience.
Infrared creates a completely different feeling for me. When I discussed my infrared photos last May I wrote that when I see a black and white photograph it makes me think about how a subject looks in a particular light and the mood it creates.
Infrared makes me think about the light first and then includes the subject.
The pictures one makes with an IR camera are always an exploration, a discovery, and are very different from the usual vacation photos.