Train Into The Light

#SeeingRedSeries Alright, this was one of those WTF moments where I had absolutely zero idea what picture I took until I downloaded it. The scene was mediocre, light absolutely awful, and would have looked weak on a regular camera… it’s an OK composition, horrible backlighting, bunch of smoke coming from a nearby tavern making everything foggy, shooting straight against the sun. It would have taken some major post production work and probably turning the pic into monochrome to make it usable.

With IR? A completely different story! The contrast between lit areas and shadows is so overwhelming, even without any major post production work, with hazy radiance only underscoring the mood. I did not see the starburst reflections on the train car atop the bridge in camera’s viewfinder, or the detailed shining rivets, but IR saw it. Conversely, I did see the peeling paint on bridge trusses, yet IR shows them as smooth as silk. I did end up turning it into monochrome after all.

The original intent was to take a shot of a guy who was hauling a package on a dolly and sat down in the middle of the street median. He is barely visible and I instead ended up with a shot of a surreal steam punk scenery with a train arriving into city of crystal light. For you Bioshock fans out there.

That’s the surprise-filled fun of infrared photography. You shoot what you can’t see!

One thought on “Train Into The Light

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  1. This is a lovely frame. And IR cuts through the haze like a chef’s favourite knife! I’ve shot scenes with standard and IR one after the other and the contrast difference and overall feel can be staggering in the right light. As you say, you can’t see it, so, unless you’ve got live view, it’s impossible to know just what results you’re going to find on review. Again, that’s the beauty of IR, too. Lovely work, J!

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