(John Enman photo)

(John Enman photo)

Making pictures with John Enman

Cruising the neighbourhood

The rain finally gave way to a sunny day and I decided I’d take a late afternoon drive when the natural infrared light seems to be the strongest.

I charged the batteries and took the camera I had converted to infrared and headed on up the road looking for scenes and subjects that I thought would look good in IR. The light was getting low in the west (the same way I was heading).

The lens I like to use on that camera is a Sigma 20-40mm. It is sharp and works well with my converted camera. However, it flares easily so I always point it away from the sun, and I have discovered that my IR camera also makes better images with the sun on them instead of behind.

I was driving slow, so it wasn’t a problem to keep checking behind and even stopping to check the scene.

I know the price of fuel is crazy expensive, but I figure that expense is just the cost of my hobby. Anyway, it was only a few miles up the road and back, and my Honda gets pretty good mileage.

It is always fun shooting IR. I can get those colourfully “altered reality” scenes when the light is right. There are often unusually deep blue skies, and trees that are yellow or white instead of green, and I like the sometimes contrasty dark skies with white vegetation when I make a black and white infrared photograph. As I have written before, “They seem to have an otherworldly look.”

I enjoy photographing my neighbourhood at anytime and with any camera, even though there hasn’t been much change in the 40 plus years I have lived here. Gosh, I sure have used lots of different cameras as well, film and now digital. IR is just another way of getting creative with photography.

I once quoted photographer Nathan Wirth who said, “I wanted something different to experiment with, and I saw the potential to experiment with those infrared whites that come from the greens and the infrared blacks that come from the blues…and manipulate them until I found the stark contrasts that I was interested in.”

A fellow in Washington State did my first IR conversion. The IR camera I am now using came from an eBay seller. If one is handy, there are how-to IR conversion instructions on the Internet. One of the more popular companies, Lifepixel, not only does conversion, but also shows photographers how to do their own.

Spring is a perfect time to take pictures with any kind of camera: film, Digital, or IR (film and digital). Readers should be out testing that new macro, wide-angle, telephoto or whatever. Driving a car, riding a bike or walking. And as always, get creative and try something different.

Stay safe and be creative. These are my thoughts for this week.

Contact me at www.enmanscamera.com or emcam@telus.net.


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