Shooting The Light Fantastic

An infrared (IR) landscape image offers us a view into another world—a dreamlike vista full of radiant light and glowing imagery. Sunlit green foliage becomes nearly white as though radiating light from within. Blue skies and tree branches darken supernaturally, creating a dynamic tonal counterpoint to the bright foliage. The magical qualities expressed in IR photographs have drawn me to increasingly use this medium. Nothing conveys the amazing essence of spring in monochrome photography better than IR capture. It’s able to express the joy felt, the visceral, into a visual equivalent. Judging by comments and results we receive in the gallery, IR prints are among the most compelling and collected images we show.

About the Photographs Shown Here
Over the last few springs I wandered among the coastal hills near my home searching for newly-leafing, iconic trees to photograph in IR. I wanted to capture the glow of life emerging and reveal the beauty of creation. Shown here are some of the best compositions I was fortunate to create. Each is linked to a catalog page where you can order prints of varying sizes. You can also see a larger group at my Infrared Trees Collection.

What is Infrared Light?

Infrared is an electromagnetic frequency. It is light, but light just beyond what we humans can see. Visible light lies between ultraviolet (UV) and IR light at each end. Although some animals and insects can see into the UV or IR spectrum. we do not. Imagine that we have filters on our vision that block the IR light at one end and UV light at the other, leaving us able to see only light in the visible light spectrum. In fact that is exactly what the digital sensors in our cameras do!

Digital Sensors and Camera Conversions

Digital sensors, when manufactured, are capable of recording beyond the visible into both the UV and IR spectrum. The sensors are modified via an overlaying filter that blocks off the UV and IR light so they only record visible light. However, by removing and replacing that filter with one that blocks UV and most visible light the camera is modified to photograph primarily IR light! That change is done inside the camera by skilled technicians. I have had three different cameras changed out in this manner and have used each to successfully make my IR photographs.

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