The Delights of Walking the Less Traveled Trails
Summer is here. I am retired. Banff and Jasper National Parks are only a three or four hour drive from where I live and yet I choose to stay close to home. Oh sure, I will make it out there but more for a change of scenery than to take photos.
It is easy to see the obvious. Too easy. Stand at the viewpoint at Peyto Lake in Banff and you can’t help but be impressed. A turquoise lake nestled against a tall mountain range. Wow. I’ve taken that photo as have millions of others. It is a photo not to be missed. Add it to your trophy wall of world class landscape locations.
After a time the obvious starts to become old. If you haven’t photographed it before you no doubt have seen hundreds of others like it. It is time to start looking. Really looking around yourself and seeing what you have been ignoring all these years.
The world of infrared is kind of like that. There is a whole world unseen and to be discovered in the infrared.
Summer is probably the best time of year in Alberta to do infrared photography. Even though it has been dry here there is so much green and green goes white when shot with a camera modified for that kind of photography.
On the same afternoon that I photographed the church in the previous post I was aimlessly driving side roads looking for anything that would catch my eye. As I dipped into a small river valley and came out on the opposite side I saw a small road leading through poplar trees into a cattle pasture. To the eye it looked unremarkable. To my mind it had possibilities. All that green foliage which was in shade might go white. The blue sky would become black. The clouds up in that sky would jump out against the darkness.
So I stopped the Rav, grabbed the infrared Nikon and did a bunch of grab shots. No tripod. No thinking about what I was doing just look through the viewfinder, frame what was interesting and snap away.
When doing this kind of photography the display on the camera back is almost useless. The image is a dark pink. I can’t tell accurately how it will convert so my main concern is to get the composition right. That I can do through the viewfinder.
I have a preset in my RAW converter that I made up so that I can one click the RAW and get an accurate idea how the final might look. It is then I do most of my editing. I edit a lot because I bracket these photos heavily. Metered light is not the same as infrared light. What the meter might indicate one day could be over or under exposed so for every scene I take five identically bracketed shots weeding out the too dark and too light ones.
If you haven’t thought of infrared you really should. It shows the world in a whole different light. Literally.