Architecture, Art, Introductions, Photography

Introductions – Infraredrobert

Robert , from infraredrobert  hasn’t been blogging for a long time, well, he has since March this year, but I thought today I would show you some of the work that I really admire that he does.  I have been following him for quite some time, and he does some unusual work, in that it is work that we don’t often see here on WordPress.

When you look at his infrared images it feels like you are being given glimpses of another world, though our world, just shown in a slightly different way.

willoby_0688_comboabflt_loThere is a wintery feel to them, which is perhaps why I like them so much, yet, you can also see that it isn’t winter.  Infrared gives such amazing results.  I did buy some infrared film a long time ago to try, I like to give anything photographic a try, but I couldn’t process it.  I remember that it had to be done in a special way, and so I never did it.  Now to do it properly, or with a digital camera you have to convert your camera just for it.  Which is an appealing idea, I do a spare camera now, but not really sure about that option just yet.

As always I asked Robert why he takes photos.

As much as I would like to be profound, the easy answer is because it is a habit. I have been shooting photographs for more than forty years and what began as a grade-school hobby has evolved into a passion for capturing the world as I see it. Luckily, I still get a large measure of satisfaction out of the entire photographic process – which provides the impetus for me to keep shooting.

seaviewhall_9627There is a kind of deadness to the images, the white trees, being like ghosts and the abandoned buildings left where they are.  I think the buildings are abandoned, which is another thing that Robert likes to photograph.

The next question was about inspiration.

Photography is magic and I am still fascinated by the process of compressing time and space into a two-dimensional image. I look at each scene as a puzzle – a problem of how to render the world and when everything works it is wonderful – which inspires me to keep shooting and refining both my craft and techniques.

eva_0001_flt_loAs I just said he photographs abandoned buildings as well.  I haven’t included many in this post, but you really should go and look at his blog, there are so many fantastic images of these buildings.  So haunting.  I have to admit, I just love the infrared work so much and wanted to really highlight here.

The third question was about how he worked.

With my digital work, I always capture RAW files and bring these into Adobe Photoshop v5. Sometimes images need very little processing – other times I have a stack of adjustment layers – the image usually lets me know what it needs.

Digital infrared always needs at least a channel swap and levels adjustment. In addition, most of my B&W shots have a subtle sepia photo filter applied.

With B&W film, I do a lot of testing to get the best ISO and development combination – I’m a big fan of using a 1% Kodak bath during development, which gives me a nice, long tonal range on the negative.

naugrr_coach_8832It was so hard not to put all of the images on here, I am having a hard time now working out which ones I like the most.  They are so different and there aren’t a lot of people shooting infrared, so it is wonderful to see some great examples of this work.

I also asked Robert about the gear he uses.

I am a long-time Nikon user – bodies and lenses. Currently I have a converted D100 for my infrared work and a D80 as my main digital.

When I’m in a film shooting mood, I have a Speed Graphic, Hasselblad 501c, Nikon N8008, Nikon FM and a Zero Image Pinhole at my disposal – in my darkroom I use a Zone VI cold light VC enlarger with Nikkor and Schneider optics.

Always good to find another Nikon user.

He does do other work, though the infrared and the abandoned buildings seem to be what he does the most, but you do find some landscapes, and some other things that are abandoned, I’ve included a couple for the gallery.  So please, I hope you go and take a look at Robert’s work on his blog infraredrobert and I would like to thank Robert for giving me permission to highlight some of his work.


  1. Wow! This really is incredible, unique work. Thanks for the introduction both to the photographer and this new way of seeing the world. I love it!

  2. These photos are absolutely amazing. I love it when photographers try to give us something “more”, when they take something out of an ordinary context and make it extraordinary. Thanks for sharing Leanne.

    • It is incredible isn’t it, infrared is not something we see a lot of, so I am so glad you find them amazing.

  3. mdearadh says

    Reblogged this on mdearadh and commented:
    really good article on the work of photographer Robert C. Marsala by
    Leanne Cole Photography

  4. lensaddiction says

    I enjoy the white fluffy snow look of foliage in IR as well, thanks for the recommendation, I have enjoyed several of these images a great deal :)

  5. wonderful work, it looks so stark, and wintry, and as though everything has been abandoned.

  6. This astounds me! I absolutely love the processing! Not to mention the composition of the photos. Thank you for sharing.

  7. Thank you for sharing the work, all the photos take each my mind to such extraordinary places and feelings. Sometimes it’s easy to underestimate how photography can impact you, until you realize you’re scrolling through a page barely breathing with your mouth open, just absorbing. Haha, again, what a treat, thanks! I love seeing what inspires others as well. -Christine

  8. Lovely photographs. Do you know if they are post-processed in any way? I’d expected trees/buildings etc to be black not white, I mean the cool stuff to be darker and the warmer stuff to be whiter.


    • I beleive they are post-processed some, but the actual infrared effect is done in camera. Green foliage goes white with infrared. It has more to do with moisture I think, I could be wrong, but lovely green leaves will go white, but dead browns ones won’t.

      Maybe Robert could answer this, I don’t really know, sorry. Help Robert.

    • Adarsh, Yes I do a bit of post processing, because the actual RAW files from the camera are very red and flat – virtually unusable. Leanne is correct in that near IR capture is REFLECTED radiation, not EMITTED, so it depends on how reflective a surface is as to how it is rendered as a tone. My most basic processing is R/B channel swap, levels, B&W conversion – but other times I may have 10+ adjustment layers to tweak the final image – it just depends on the scene and (of course) me!

      • Hi Robert,

        Thanks for the reply! Now that you mention it, it sounds obvious. I was thinking about emitted, instead of reflected. No wonder your photographs have this surreal beauty.


  9. Here is someone who is talented and dedicated to the craft. What stunning work.
    Thanks Leanne for showcasing these. I’m off to check more of his work.

    • I totally agree Trevor, he is very talented and I know he is dedicated to his craft. I do enjoy it when people like the people I showcase.

  10. Great images. I did a lot of B&W infra red photography back in the 1980s on Kodak 35mm Infra Red film (can you still get it?), which I used as part of my final degree project. Very atmospheric, quite complicated and difficult to use, but very rewarding. Shot on tripod a lot at slow speeds. Loaded into and out of camera in dark bag as otherwise the film gets fogged, again into developing tank and processed in the dark. Trial and error a lot and you end up with your own methods of developing and printing. Must sort them for blog at some point, currently only on negatives and print. Simon Marsden is a great exponent of the genre too

    • I toyed with the idea, but I remember how complicated it would be. I knew I wouldn’t be able to do it. Didn’t you also have to use a red filter, I seem to remember something about that?
      I don’t think I would have had the patience. I have considered converting one of my older cameras, but not really sure.
      Thanks for the link, will go and check it out.

      • Man of letters is correct – film based IR is a very involved process with a lot of guesswork in the exposure (bracket like crazy) – plus you had to set the focus to a non-visual point on the lens. The IR pass filter was a Wratten 87 – which was totally opaque to the eye – making tripod shooting essential.

  11. Fabulous find, there! And, he’s from Around Here…where we have tons of abandoned industrial sites :)
    Question for Robert, if he’s reading: Is the Westfield train station in Mass, or Connecticut?

    • I believe he is Marie, that is so tempting, I wish we had them around here.

      I will let Robert answer that. Robert?

    • Thanks for the look…Westfield is actually in Western New York State – about 60 miles south of Buffalo, NY It is where Welch’s Grape Juice began – there are still a lot of concord grape farms in the area and the air has a distinct aroma of grape juice during the fall harvest.

  12. Dani of Henry Arthur Photography says

    Wow, these are some beautiful images! I love the “wintery” feel; makes me think of our winters here in Canada. I admire his composition; his landscapes are what really impress me!

  13. Wow! Robert has done some great work. Thanks for sharing and letting us know of his blog. Just a pity about finding another Nikon user. Just joking! Some of my best friends also use Nikons.

    • Haha, just as well you are joking, I love my Nikon. Robert has done some amazing work here, great that you think so too.

  14. Such a still frozen beauty in these almost stark images Leanne … I shall hop over and see some more of Roberts work .
    Thanks for highlighting some wonderful photographers and their work each week !

  15. Nice to be reminded of the effects IR film can achieve. I’ve read some material on how to mimic this with digital filters. I’ll have to look into it. Thanks for sharing. :)

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