Last weekend we headed to the Yorkshire Dales and had a lovely weekend experimenting with infrared photography. Thankfully it snowed heavily on the Friday night, so after the tractor had rescued our car from the field (!) we headed out for a hike to Aysgarth Falls with the wee ‘yellow camera’ in tow.
The freshly fallen snow bathed the Dales in a sparkling, uninterrupted and pristine white blanket. It took us ages to walk the couple of miles to the falls because we kept stopping every few minutes to take pictures.
The light was strong and I struggled to see my camera screen to understand if any of my shots were delivering any results. I almost gave up, but decided to persevere regardless and instead gave up trying to evaluate my photos in the field. It’s the best decision I made…just to carry on regardless and have the attitude that no matter what the results are – I will learn something from the day that will make me a better infrared photographer. It wasn’t until 4 hours later, when we retreated into a local pub, that I could see the results of my labour. I was thrilled. Again – they are not award winners, but I do love learning about the detail the camera picks up when shooting in infrared, and I especially love the way it captures and frames the light.
Take, for example, the image above. This is just a ‘normal’ farmer’s field in Yorkshire – you’ll pass hundreds of them and will rarely will stop to take pictures. However, never before had I tried to photograph animals in infrared, and these sheep seemed so obliging – barely moving. I stood by the farm gate long enough for one lone sheep to become curious enough to come a little closer… this was the shot I wanted. I waited until the sheep was framed in the sunlight looking at the camera, with its shadow extended towards the right hand side of the frame and took the shot. I love the lack of sharpness to the image. The softness created by the long exposure and infrared lens creates an almost painting-like effect which requires very little post processing, other than a conversion to black and white and a tweak to blacks and contrast. By comparison, the image below is how it looks straight out of the camera.
I think I might just have found a new obsession 🙂
The rest of my infrared shots to date are stored in my online gallery.