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Introductions – Infraredrobert

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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.

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110 Comments Post a comment
  1. Good tip!
    Thanks

    November 11, 2013
  2. This is beautiful work! Thanks for introducing it, Leanne.

    November 11, 2013
    • I know, it is just stunning, glad you like it.

      November 11, 2013
  3. Beautiful photos ….thanks for sharing : ) trees

    November 11, 2013
  4. Haunting images, and so beautiful. Wow.

    November 11, 2013
    • I think the word haunting describes these perfectly.

      November 11, 2013
      • Yes… I certainly thought so.

        November 11, 2013
  5. Ben #

    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!

    November 11, 2013
    • It is both of those Ben, I am really happy that you like that work, and Robert’s way of seeing the world.

      November 11, 2013
  6. 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.

    November 11, 2013
    • It is incredible isn’t it, infrared is not something we see a lot of, so I am so glad you find them amazing.

      November 11, 2013
  7. mdearadh #

    brilliant images and really great article!

    November 11, 2013
  8. zelezele #

    Reblogged this on the Sleepless Writer and commented:
    love these!

    November 11, 2013
  9. mdearadh #

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

    November 11, 2013
  10. lensaddiction #

    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 :)

    November 11, 2013
    • That is fantastic to hear, I love the effect of the IR on foliage, so wonderful, so otherworldly.

      November 11, 2013
  11. These are awesome!!!

    November 11, 2013
    • I really have to agree, I love looking at them.

      November 11, 2013
  12. Beautiful pictures indeed! Thank you for sharing!
    Robert-Gills

    November 11, 2013
  13. terence98799 #

    these are really beautiful photos, great job

    November 11, 2013
  14. Simply amazing!
    http://www.cleodinephotography.com

    November 11, 2013
  15. Z train is Kewl :) very kewl :) remind me to get my infrared film fer winter thanks :) Q…..

    November 11, 2013
  16. wonderful work, it looks so stark, and wintry, and as though everything has been abandoned.

    November 11, 2013
    • I agree, I love the effect infrared has on the environment, it is quite spooky.

      November 11, 2013
  17. This astounds me! I absolutely love the processing! Not to mention the composition of the photos. Thank you for sharing.

    November 11, 2013
    • It astounds me too Laura, it is so amazing. Glad you like it.

      November 11, 2013
  18. 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

    November 11, 2013
    • Wow Christine, fantastic response, I am sure Robert will love hearing that.

      November 11, 2013
  19. such beautifully stark images!

    November 11, 2013
  20. Fascinating photos.

    November 11, 2013
    • I think so too Rusha, I love looking at them.

      November 11, 2013
  21. I haven’t seen his work, and it’s interesting, and very good! Thanks!

    November 11, 2013
    • It is interesting, glad you like it, it is certainly something quite different as well.

      November 11, 2013
  22. 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.

    Regards,
    Adarsh

    November 11, 2013
    • 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.

      November 11, 2013
    • 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!

      November 11, 2013
      • 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.

        Regards,
        Adarsh

        November 12, 2013
      • Glad to be able to clear this up for you. Thanks agin for having a look.

        November 12, 2013
  23. I really like his work, & will visit his blog. How lovely of you to introduce him Leanne x

    November 11, 2013
    • I am so glad you love his work Amanda, I think it is quite special myself.

      November 11, 2013
  24. 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.

    November 11, 2013
    • 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.

      November 11, 2013
  25. kilted1 #

    fantastic series :0)

    November 11, 2013
  26. She #

    Stunning photos! X

    November 11, 2013
  27. 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 http://www.simonmarsden.co.uk/intro.htm

    November 11, 2013
    • 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.

      November 11, 2013
      • 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.

        November 11, 2013
  28. Stunning. Love it!

    November 11, 2013
  29. illegaltender #

    Very atmospheric and haunting. Great Photos!

    November 11, 2013
    • Glad you like them, I love the word haunting to describe them.

      November 12, 2013
  30. 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?

    November 11, 2013
    • I believe he is Marie, that is so tempting, I wish we had them around here.

      I will let Robert answer that. Robert?

      November 12, 2013
    • 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.

      November 12, 2013
  31. Looking good :-)

    November 11, 2013
  32. Very intriguing–a whole new way to look at photography

    November 11, 2013
    • It certainly is, very different, I really like it, but I feel it might be too technical for me. Robert does a great job with it.

      November 12, 2013
      • Yes, he does seem like the expert in this area. I remember playing around with infrared film (when we were still using film cameras) in the 80s, while in high school and really liked it. But to me, it is sort of like #D movies. You do not want to overdo it and have to use it the “right” way, like Robert does.

        November 12, 2013
      • I think you are right there, it is an interesting process.

        November 12, 2013
      • More of a gimmick when I was playing around with it. Today, I would take it much more seriously.

        November 13, 2013
      • Sounds like it is something you want to do. I think these days all you need is an digital camera that you can convert, maybe you could try.

        November 14, 2013
      • Good point. I will look into it…..

        November 14, 2013
      • :)

        November 14, 2013
  33. WOW! I wanted a winter! ))

    November 12, 2013
    • If you do infrared like Robert, you can create your own. :)

      November 12, 2013
  34. Interesting work – he has a great blog too.

    November 12, 2013
    • That’s great to hear Richard, thanks for checking out his blog.

      November 12, 2013
  35. Wonderful article and I love this work too!

    November 12, 2013
    • That is fantastic, Robert’s work is so good and also quite different from that of others too.

      November 12, 2013
  36. YCone #

    Amazing work!

    November 12, 2013
  37. These are amazing! I didnt know infared create such a difference..

    November 12, 2013
    • Infrared is incredible Mekala, though very hard to do, I think you have to be very dedicated. I’m not, haha.

      November 12, 2013
    • Hello Bits & Pieces,
      Digital IR requires a lot less dedication than film IR – which was a very involved process. Thanks for your comment.

      November 13, 2013
  38. Dani of Henry Arthur Photography #

    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!

    November 12, 2013
    • I am sure Robert is going to love hearing this. I agree with what you said about the feel of them.

      November 12, 2013
  39. paul #

    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.

    November 12, 2013
    • Haha, just as well you are joking, I love my Nikon. Robert has done some amazing work here, great that you think so too.

      November 12, 2013
  40. 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 !

    November 12, 2013
    • That is great way of describing his work Poppytump.
      You don’t need to thank me for this, I love doing it.

      November 13, 2013
  41. This is awesome. Thank you!

    November 13, 2013
  42. 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. :)

    November 14, 2013
    • I love the effects of IR as well. If you find any and try them, please let me know. Thank you.

      November 14, 2013
    • R.C.
      If you boost the contrast, then copy the base layer and do a heavy gaussian blur – add some noise and you can get a faufilmil x IR effect

      November 14, 2013
      • That’s a faux IR film effect – my browser locked up on me!

        November 14, 2013
  43. Lovely post, and interesting photographs. Thanks for sharing them.

    November 20, 2013
  44. Thanks for the introduction to infraredrobert. Very interesting stuff.

    Thanks you for liking my post Guardian of the Dead at http://fstopfantasy.wordpress.com/
    I’ve since uploaded Skeletal Remains. Please drop by.

    December 6, 2013
  45. The stillness and quietude of the photos gives them an almost museum appearance. I like the pics.

    December 10, 2013
    • He has some great images and I like the way you have described them.

      December 10, 2013
  46. What??? These are amazing!! These are some of my favorite pictures of yours! Really beautiful Leanne :D

    December 12, 2013
    • Oh Amanda, I do love you, but these aren’t my images, they belong to Robert, I did a post on his work, and I have to agree, the images are really amazing.

      December 12, 2013
      • Oh goodness hahaha! I’m so sorry! I didn’t get a chance to read it, lol, so embarrassing!! Well he’s very good! Lol!

        December 12, 2013
      • No apologies necessary, it happens a lot and you’re right he is very good. LOL

        December 12, 2013

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