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Infrared Film

This is one of my favorite photographs that I took in college in 1997.


Back then, I used a 4x5 camera and black and white 4x5 inch infrared film.

The film itself was actually 4 inches by 5 inches, and so was the exposure plane of the camera. It produced a huge, highly detailed negative.


Working with a 4x5 camera taught me the importance of straightening architectural lines in a photo. In order to do this, I had to make sure the front of the camera and the back were both perfectly vertical in order to avoid perspective distortion. A lot of times, straightening the horizon, trees, or architecture in a photograph makes a world of difference between a snapshot and a professional-looking photograph.


Working with infrared film was a bit difficult, because it’s actually sensitive to heat. You have to keep infrared film cold, and carefully load it into the film holder in complete darkness without leaving fingerprints on it from heat.

It was worth playing with because on a sunny day, it can provide very unique, artistic effects in a photograph, such as a dark sky, and glowing skin and trees, like the tree in this image.


Of course, now you can get this effect digitally instead of using film, either by converting a camera or simulating the effect in Adobe Photoshop.



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