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Infrared: Embracing the Surreal

Infrared: Embracing the Surreal

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As a professional landscape photographer, capturing the world in a unique and captivating way is always at the forefront of my mind. While traditional landscape photography has its undeniable charm, venturing into infrared (IR) photography opens up a realm of possibilities that transform ordinary scenes into otherworldly masterpieces. 

The Allure of Infrared Photography

Infrared photography captures light that is invisible to the human eye, specifically wavelengths just beyond the visible spectrum. This results in images that reveal a hidden world, where foliage glows with ethereal brightness, skies turn dramatically dark, and scenes take on a surreal, dreamlike quality. Here's why infrared photography is an exciting choice for landscape photographers:

Unique Visual Appeal

Infrared images have a distinct aesthetic that can't be replicated with conventional photography. Where green leaves and grass reflect a large amount of IR light and appear white or light-toned, is particularly striking. This unique look adds a magical, otherworldly quality to your landscapes.

Convenient Shooting Times

One of the greatest advantages of infrared photography is its flexibility with shooting times. Traditional landscape photography often demands early morning or late afternoon shoots to capture the golden hours. In contrast, infrared photography thrives in the bright, midday sun. This means you can avoid those pre-dawn starts and still create stunning images during the height of the day.

Perfect for Summer!

Summer provides ideal conditions for infrared photography. The abundance of sunlight ensures that there is plenty of IR light for your camera to capture, enhancing the surreal qualities of your images. Clear, sunny days are no longer a challenge but an opportunity to create striking photographs.

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More infrared images can be found on my Projects Page here >>.

The Charm of Black and White Infrared Photography

While infrared photography can produce interesting color images with techniques like channel swapping, my preference lies in black and white. Here’s why black and white IR photography is particularly compelling:

Enhanced Contrast and Detail

Black and white IR photography emphasises contrast and detail, creating images with striking visual impact. The bright whites of vegetation against the dark skies and water create a dramatic interplay of tones, turning even simple scenes into powerful compositions.

Timeless and Classic

Black and white photography has an inherent timeless quality. When combined with the surreal nature of infrared, it creates images that are both modern and classic, offering a fresh perspective on familiar landscapes.

Like to learn more?

If you're fascinated with infrared photography or you've recently purchased an IR camera but not sure where to start, why not join me on one of my residential infrared photography workshops? You don't even need your own IR camera as I will loan one to you for the duration of the workshop. During these workshops, we visit many great locations specifically suited to infrared photography. Here, I demonstrate how IR techniques differ from traditional landscape photography as well as offer key advice including when to capture that critical moment.

During the workshop we also cover the very important role of post-processing to ensure you gleen the very best out of each image - leaving with an exquisite portfolio of gallery standard images. Please take a look at my workshops page here for infrared photography workshops currently on offer.