It is my last week of having mostly free days; next week I start working full time day hours instead of my night shift. I figured I would put up the images I captured during my last week of being able to go out and shoot everyday. I has been a lot of fun getting out in the afternoons and exploring Ellis County with my camera bag, a tripod, and a map of the county sitting on the passenger seat as I search for scenes to capture with my infrared Nikon D200.
Yesterday I went downtown in Waxahachie and shot some infrared images of the beautiful old architecture of the area. Though I was dripping sweat in the Texas summer heat I got some wonderful images that are great representations of Waxahachie. Thought I would share!
I have been out using my infrared converted Nikon D200 for another week and here are some more results. The infrared spectrum definitely gives the world a more dream-like look with the different color spectrum it provides. It intrigues me that with such technologies (infrared cameras, x-ray machines, ultraviolet cameras) we are able to view the world in ways our eyes are unable to perceive. Just because we don’t see our surroundings in these ways does not make them any less of a reality. All deep thought aside, here are some more images.
So this past Tuesday my color infrared converted Nikon D200 arrived in the mail from KEH. I couldn’t wait to get out and use it, and I shot every day last week with it. Today sadly is a dreary, grey, rainy afternoon in North Texas so I sit here trying to figure out how to better post process these images. Shooting and processing infrared images is a unique challenge. Also had to face a few 100 degree weather, pop up showers, a scraped ankle, and poison ivy to capture these photographs.
Here are what I deem to be the best images from my days out photographing and exploring Ellis County in Texas last week and best represent “Texas” to me.
For the past week I have been exploring the backroads of Ellis County in North Texas in my little Toyota Yaris with a tripod and my Nikon D70. I have been using a Neewer 760nm infrared filter to create uniquely beautiful images of the Texas countryside. Those of you who know me know my strong dislike for overly Photoshopped images; this being my disclaimer that these images are as shot. During my time at Anoka-Ramsey Community College I began to explore the world of infrared photography with film. Though I still have a few rolls of infrared film in my possession I don’t have a darkroom to process it, hence my use of the digital spectrum of photography to create infrared images. The past week has been a lot of learning and experimenting to figure out how to get the best image and learning the nuances of infrared with digital technology. Here are the best shots of the past week, and of course there will be more to come.
The biggest learning curve has been working with color infrared images. The skies in these look so dramatic with the blue looking eery being the only color in the image as the rest remains black and white. Even in these seven images you can see the growth and the final result looks better (the first images are at the bottom and the newest the top).
Coming from the world of infrared film photography I will always have a soft spot for the black and white images. They look so dreamy and unique with the white foliage and dark, ominous skies. These were some I created this past week also. The first is a creek bed I found along a road and it had fortunately rained that morning so there was water slowly trickling along the stone creek bed. The others are abandoned houses I found in my exploration. I find it fascinating the amount of structures that just get left to rot in this region. It is quite common to come across a dilapidated building on any drive in this area.
I went out today with my D70 and an infrared filter and decided to play around a bit more with digital infrared photography. Infrared photography is always a finicky and tricky thing to do (especially well), whether it be film or digital. Most people find it hard to believe that this is how the images come straight out of the camera; no editing is needed to create these surreal images. The filter used for infrared photography simply blocks normal daylight (uv light) and only allows infrared light to pass through the camera’s lens and reach the digital sensor or film. Infrared filters are impossible to see through and make shooting a challenge as any framing has to be done before the filter can be put on the lens. The other challenge is that the focus plane of infrared photography is different than that of any other type of shooting. Most lenses have an extra dot, but it is still not precise and often needs adjusted to reach any kind of sharp focus. As with any digital shooting it is always much cheaper to experiment and try new things. I do still have some 35mm infrared film packed away to use at some point, but for now I am enjoying the ease of doing it on a digital camera. These are by no means exemplary, yet turned out better than expected. Infrared photographs create a dreamlike reality within the everyday world with the whites created from grass, leaves, and other plants. It makes an ordinary summer day seem like a world away in a place you only see in the deepest sleep. These photos are all taken in Maypearl, TX on a driving adventure I took today after the rain cleared and the sun came out (you really need bright sunlight to have effective infrared photos.
A little over a month ago I took a vacation to Texas Hill Country (south and central Texas) with my wife and dog. This was our first venture out of the DFW metroplex, and we were in shock at the beauty of this region of a state we had come to view as a brown scar of cattle land. We drove through winding hills and dense forest vegetation to get to Colorado Bend State Park in Bend, TX. The drive into the park was slow and rugged on a minimum maintenance dirt road (I would call it a car trail) in our Toyota Yaris. After what seemed a long drive, though it was only 6 miles at low speeds, we came to a paved road that rapidly descended into the Colorado River valley. The camping area was itself a wonder of wildlife and beauty. Our tent sat within throwing distance of the Colorado River and we watched deer walk through our site in the evening hours. We took a walk along the river on our first night in the park and were amazed at the abundant wildlife. We saw deer, big horn sheep, cardinals, vultures, and our first armadillo sighting since moving to Texas. During the first full day at the park I took a side hike out to Gorman Falls; the main attraction of the park. I hiked a mile and a half through terrain that would have looked right at home in an old Western movie with horses and cowboys riding across it. As I came to my destination it was a sharp downward hike on limestone to the base of Gorman Falls. Once I reached the bottom of the hill I was taken aback at the beauty that lie in front of me. The array of colors within the moving water were well worth the hike to get there. Calcium deposits built up over thousands of years to create the 60 ft. waterfall that looked like a shimmering rainbow as the water mist over the the deposits. Even though the park was in a six year drought there was still plenty of water flowing along the rock face from Gorman Creek.