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.
After moving to Texas I have been more drawn to trying to capture the magic of the sunset. The colors in the sky that are created during this time of the day are so vibrant and magnificent it is hard not to feel an appreciation for things beyond the control of man. I must admit I have not yet captured a Texas sunset I deem worthy of showing, but upon looking back on images I had taken I found this wondrous scene on the shore of Bear Lake on the Superior Hiking Trail (SHT). This section, the Twin Lakes Loop, is one of the most popular areas for many reasons. Foremost is it’s beauty, this section goes from rocky outcrops, through wooded marshes, scenic lakes, and more. It is also on the southernmost leg of the SHT; making it an easy weekend destination from the Twin Cities. Over the past several years I have found myself at this campsite countless times. This image is a perfect example of the serenity found at any given moment while sitting at this campsite. The subtle details in this image are overwhelming to anybody who has been to this location. The strips of birch bark along the shore are easily mistaken for litter, but are simply a sign of the beavers who have a den built at the southernmost tip of this lake on the stream that leads to Beaver Lake. Hidden in the water is the beaver swimming across the lake creating the ripples that are coming towards the shoreline from where the photograph is taken. The crystal clear water is all too inviting on the heated days of July and August after a sweaty hike through the ups and downs of the Sawtooth Mountains to get to this hidden oasis. This view accompanies every activity at the campsite from cooking breakfast over the propane stove, conversing over a campfire on a chilly eve in the north woods, lying in the afternoon sun to relax after a day hike, etc. Easily my favorite parts of the day while at this campsite are the sunrise and sunset. Even if you are not an early riser it is hard to not be awoken by the early morning sun heating up your tent on the shore. For these reasons and more this location is a place that in my heart has a feeling of home.
For my birthday this past December I received a state parks pass, so we decided to head over to the nearest Texas state park and check out Cedar Hill State Park. It was nice to be out in 70 degree January weather. The trails were quite nice and I can only imagine how wonderful it must look in the seasons where everything is green (will surely be back to check it out).