Fun with infrared light and modern architecture

Over the past few years, I’ve dabbled here and there with infrared (IR) photography, but didn’t take it very seriously until I recently took an online course in the subject from Derrick Story (a.k.a. The Nimble Photographer). If you’re at all interested in IR photography, I can highly recommend the seminar — you’ll learn a lot from the instruction, and quite a bit as well from your fellow students.

In particular, one of my fellow students recommended taking IR photos in office parks with mature vegetation. You can, he said, get some nice results with the architecture, windows, and greenery.

So as my first example of this subject matter, here’s the Pacific Western Bank building in the Denver Tech Center (Denver, Colorado):

PWB iPhone

The above is a quick reference photo I took with my iPhone — it’s poorly framed but still a good comparison for the images below.

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Sugar Skull

A while back, I bought a used Olympus E-PM2 off eBay and had it converted to full-spectrum usage (i.e., I had the anti-IR filter removed from its sensor).  Add an IR filter to its lens, and you can get some interesting effects with the setup — so I took it up to the mountains to the Breckenridge International Snow Sculpture Championships:

Sugar Skull

After split-toned processing, this is an infrared image of the “Dia de Muertos” snow sculpture, created by a team from Wisconsin.  This sculpture won the “Artists’ Choice” award this year, well-deserved if you ask me.  The level of detail that the sculptors could achieve with packed snow is impressive.