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.
Before moving to Texas I always envisioned the wide open desert and cattle lands. Part of this image is the roads and trails that led to the American West.
Once you are off the major highways and interstates in Texas you suddenly find yourself on small rural roads. This quickly amazed me. You are almost instantly surrounded by fields and ranch land. In Minnesota there seems to always be many main roads off of the highways. Texas seems to forego these “extra” roads and build everything directly on the highways using frontage roads.
On some of my afternoon drives I find myself enjoying the sunlight beating down on the seemingly endless roads through rural North Texas. The roads are all lined with fences and trees, yet are all unique. The obvious history of the railroad is also omnipresent. The rails cross roads everywhere showing a link to the past and how people, livestock, and product moved through the vast expanse of the American West through the mid 1800’s until the demise of mass rail transit in the mid 1900’s.
These afternoon drives in the midday Texas sun are not only great to relax, but are also photo scouting for locations for night photographs (such as the Forreston bank building: Abandoned and Forgotten Remnants of the Past on the Roads of Small Town Texas). These winding, forgotten roads hold many pieces of the past that have often been left to the elements and now hold a beauty in their rugged state.