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):
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.
The Flatirons, just west of Boulder, Colorado. But seen in infrared, and with some color tweaks in post-processing.
I love the Flatirons, but they’re one of those subjects that is exhaustively photographed here in Colorado. So, how to make a shot of them that doesn’t look like a million others? Oh, and I went hiking on kind of a “blah” sort of morning — light overcast, some snow on the ground (but not enough to really set off the rock). My regular color photos taken with a regular digital camera were… underwhelming.
Fortunately, I also took along my E-PM2 camera body (which I’d had converted to full spectrum imaging), and a 720 nm infrared filter. Do a little color channel swapping, fiddle a bit with levels to separate the rock from the trees, and presto — you’re on a distant world.
Olympus E-PM2 camera (full spectrum conversion), M.Zuiko 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 EZ lens, 720nm filter
ISO 200, 19mm, f/8.0, 1/250 sec
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.