To soften or not to soften? That is the question

The Light of the Land

So the age old photography mantra is to capture sharp images. But since I have started taking infrared shots I have found myself experimenting with post processing like never before.

Some new effects which are gradually introducing themselves to my processing regime include boosting contrast to crazy levels, softness, graining and vignetting. (!) I know, I know… I said I would never post process to this extent, but I do love the way that infrared light challenges preconceptions about sharpness and detail. All of a sudden the detail almost does not matter – the light is the star of the picture, not the subject. And as long as I disclose how I post process, then surely there is no harm in a little creative experimentation?

That’s how I see my infrared photography… it’s more of an art form, a creative experiment, a play on expectations and the norm, it’s painting with monochrome – for grown ups :)Take for example the image to the left.  This is a very soft image, purposefully created in this way to accentuate the light and concentrate the focus on the bands of lights that help to illuminate the single tree. I have purposefully framed the shot so that the light and the tree top are the main focus, complemented by the foliage at the foot of the shot and the dark endless African sky above.

Compare this to a sharper version of the shot (right). I like both, but I feel that the detail in the image to the right somehow detracts from the beauty and rawness of the image. Sometimes all you need is light?

But I’d love to know which you prefer!

Other infrared shots from Taraji Blue are available in our online infrared gallery.

A lone African tree captured in monochrome

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