Infrared photography a toy or serious pursuit?

infrared, black and white, black & white, landscape, mountains, Jasper, Alberta, dan jurak, landscape,

I had a fun day yesterday driving to Jasper National Park with my two university student daughters.

My girls are at the age where they have their own lives with school, work and friends. On our drive back to Edmonton I was thinking about how these remaining days with them are so precious. Soon they will have their boyfriends/new families/children and these trips will be only pleasant memories.

Even though the girls are adults when they are together for a day one thing never changes… the back and forth teasing and arguing where dad has to mediate. LOL

The weather was great for us, that is to say it was horrible. It poured buckets of rain before we reached Hinton. For those of you not familiar with Alberta, Hinton is a small resource town only minutes outside Jasper National Park.

I was worried that the heavy rain would keep us inside the Rav but I was wrong. Once inside the park the clouds were heavy, there was the occasional sprinkle but otherwise wonderful for black and white photos.

I have developed a love/hate relationship with long exposure photography. I hate it because I can’t accurately predict the results and also that it takes so darned long to take one picture. Five minutes on average. When I am shooting color I am like a machine gun. In fifteen minutes if the light is right it’s easy to bring home a half a dozen good and different looking photos.

I took about a dozen different long exposure images that I am still trying to figure out how to process. Shooting the scene is only the beginning for me with black and white. The final image seldom resembles the RAW when it comes out of the camera.

One of my daughters, Brooke, a tall, lovely girl who oddly enough had an iPhone full of Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, etc. to play on the stereo driving home had it in her mind to visit Horseshoe Lake. The lake is popular for cliff diving in the summer as part of it are extremely deep and on a hot summer day young people frequent the place to splash in the mountain cool water.

On the way to the Columbia Icefields we stopped in at the parking lot for Horseshoe but there was a school bus full of young teens. The lake is often visited by schools on year end field trips as my daughters had done when they were in high school. Seeing the bus we pulled back on the highway and high tailed it to the icefields.

On the way back the Horseshoe Lake parking lot was empty so we made out way to the lake through a forest sprinkled with the bright yellow of wildflowers and bear scat. LOL

Ahh the bears. They are down in the valleys this time of year. The grizzly bears are frequenting where the cow elk are right now. The young elk of the year are vulnerable and make an easier than normal meal. It’s also when this years bear cubs are out and mom can be unpredictable. So, making lots of noise we made our way to the lake.

The light was awful for photos so we lounged on the rocks for a while, talking and taking in the scenery. On a whim I pulled out my other camera body converted for infrared and without really giving it a second thought photographed whatever looked interesting. A minute later I put the camera away and forgot about what I had photographed.

Early this morning while editing in camera a couple of images caught my eye if only because they looked so different from what I normally take.

Infrared looks like it has a lot of potential. The results are so other worldly. On a summer day pine needles look like they are covered in snow rather than being dull green. Clouds pop against blue skies.

Maybe it’s time to give the infrared more consideration when shooting landscapes?

Happy shooting,



~ by Dan Jurak on June 5, 2015.

5 Responses to “Infrared photography a toy or serious pursuit?”

  1. Just so full of texture and contrast
    – love the blackness of the water
    (Free lunch ?)

  2. Ray, the results are always surprising. Free lunch? Nope. You know dads always take care of their kids. I paid. LOL

  3. if you didn’t I was going to ask you your secret – lol
    Really looking forward to seeing where this IR leads you – they are incredible B&W’s

  4. Great pics, I normally see IR pics doing panoramas (with the token lonely tree in the foreground) but these are more interesting. The viewer is immersed in the scene.

  5. Normal. I try so hard not to do normal. Maybe it’s the teenager in me that needs to be a step apart from the rest?
    The photo was taken with a 12mm Rokinon fisheye that I purchased for night photos. Incredible depth of field that allows for great near/far relationships.

    Thank you for visiting and commenting,

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