Top 52 Invisible Spectrum Images of 2012
Posted 11 January 2013 - 10:04
In the day-to-day life it is easy to lose the overlook and never be able to tell if there has been a development, for the better or worse, in one's photographic endeavours. Espesially in the "Invisible Light" domain, where methodology and technical applications so frequently prevail. We might even fail to keep in mind that basically any photography, even the most specialised, is just a vehicle to communicate in a visually pleasing and meaningful manner. Also, were the potential unleashed and did your personal signature become more poignant and well-honed? Nothing like a parade of the best images to help answer that question.
For me, 2012 was a remarkable year in that nearly one-half of the archived images were of the "invisible" kind either UV or IR, with a few UVIFL (UV-induced fluorescence) thrown into the mix for a good measure. Whilst most of the UV images had a purely scientific, not artistic, reason for being acquired, the same did not apply to the IR. Nearly all of these were the results of forays to explore what I could gain by going invisible as it were. Also, one might say, showing there is another IR world out there in which trees being IR-"snow white" is only collateral damage and not a raison d'être in itself.
I extracted about 100 candidate images and painfully pruned them down to 52. Here is an overview.
I'll try to post each one in batches 4-5 at a time over the next days. Since IR predominates the selection, I have chosen this board for publishing them.
Posted 11 January 2013 - 10:15
Posted 11 January 2013 - 10:51
I'll post pictures inbetween other duties so they will appear at random times. But here are a few for starters.
1. Andrea and I were racing out of Tucson, Arizona so we could reach the location (and time) for capturing the perfect western cliché "Saguaros at sunset". Or rather, she was putting the pedal to the metal in a desperate move to get our docile Ford Escape van go faster, and the setting sun made the landscape awash with its golden light. All of a sudden the song "Two Suns in the Sunset" ('Final Cut'; Pink Floyd) permeated my mind and to Andrea's horror I immediately commenced making my thoughts into an image, meaning taking the most contorted positions inside or even partially outside the car. Shot with the 16 mm f/3.5 Fisheye on my D200.
1. Two Suns in the Sunset
2. Andrea and I were sitting at a Starbucks in Palm Springs, California. I was as shocked by the appalling coffee quality as with the environmental clash between lush green affluent Palm Springs and the dry desert foothills surrounding the city. So began playing with the 28-300 Nikkor on my D200 to come up with this image.
2. Palm Springs
3. An entire different world geographically and otherwise, shot in a winter landscape near my girl friend's place shortly before I left for the US and the Desert Trip. Lots of hoar frost on the trees and a dusting of fresh snow to make the landscape come forward in its eerie beauty. D200 with the AF 35-105 Nikkor. (The people here are cross-country skiing in the traditional the Nordic style. Following a road saves energy.)
3. Winter Day
Posted 11 January 2013 - 11:48
4. The small spruce plants sprouting on a forest cutting field manage to penetrate the snow pack after a midwinter thaw. Fuji S3 with the 17-55 Nikkor.
5. I'm waiting outside the Post Office to see if the queues inside diminsh and meanwhile I'm just idly looking around. When this rear view appeared I immediately captured it with the D200 and the 24/2 Nikkor.
5. Rear View
6. I had put up some Norwegian flags outside my house to celebrate our National Day (17th May) and when I returned later, wind gusts had pulled them off their stands so they were lieing scattered in the front yard. Since they had inserted themselves between the dandelions and said flowers being amongst my favourite motifs, I snapped a few pictures.
Done in UV so the dandelion mops as expected came out black and yellow. Neither was I surprised by the flagstones and the flag fabric being rendered in neutral hues. However, the beatiful blue of the flower scapes was indeed unexpected. Since then, I've found more microspecies of the section Ruderalia featuring either leaves or scapes with similar blue colours, but apparently this feature is not widespread..
Panasonic GH-2 with Coastal APO 60 mm f/4 lens and the Baader U 2" filter.
6. Dandelions and National Flag
Posted 11 January 2013 - 12:36
"Regrowth" looks like a Scanning Electron Microscope image...or perhaps it's Picea about to fertilise a snow shell.
Edited by stenrasmussen, 11 January 2013 - 12:40 .
Posted 11 January 2013 - 14:29
7. Standing precisely at the Time zone divide of the Hoover Dam on Colorado River, one really needs a wide lens to capture the entire view. My fisheye was left behind in the car park so I had to make do with a few stitched images by the AFS 28-300 instead. D200 put to good use again.
7. Lake Mead
8. One of the many challenges presented to the participants on the UK Nikongear Workshop was using a single lens on a single camera within a restricted area. I opted for my D200 with the 43-86 "Dog" zoom just to prove you need ideas not gear in order to make photos.
I never managed to stray much outside the car park at Cannock Chase, Yorkshire and that caused no problems as the number of subjects increased exponentially with the time spent there. I did a long series of the surrounding forest reflecting off the bonnet of a shiny BMW ('Beamer'). Here is one out of the many shots captured. D200, Zoom-Nikkor 43-86.
8. Beamer reflections
9. The leading Norwegian photo magazine ('Natur & foto') ran a long portfolio article on my work this summer. The journalist interviewing me was female and very pregnant at the time of the interview, so I felt it only natural I'd shot a few of her too when the interview draw to a close. Here she is set against an ancient church ruin (about 1200 AD) just outside Oslo and as it happens pretty close to my home. Taken with D200 and 14-24 Nikkor.
10. On the way to my physiotherapist a lovely autumn morning, I availed myself of a lime tree with a spray of foliage in various stages of decoloration to get this classic autumn foliage shot. Fuji S3 with the Noct-Nikkor 58/1.2 lens.
10. Autumn Reds
Posted 11 January 2013 - 15:21
Posted 11 January 2013 - 16:29
Oh well, numbers need to climb. Still a long way to go before we reach 52.
11. Gusts of wind in combination with desert dust and tyre tracks made pretty 'desert rabbit' patterns on the tarmac at Borrego Springs, California. In fact, they might be preoccupied with the pet activity of these creatures, namely, making more rabbits. D200 with AFS 28-300.
11. Desert Rabbits
12. We devoted one day of the Death Valley, California stay to explore Titus Canyon. Well worth a visit even if the going was rough. Here Andrea is peeking into the wonderland ahead of us. D200, AFS 28-300.
12. Entering Titus Canyon
13. On our approach to Western Norway to join the NG workshop at Herdla, Western Norway in early May, Erik [Lund] and I followed a criss-crossing route so he could get a better feeling of the lie of the land and its details. This is the high season for spring flowers in this region and we were greeted by flowers in abundance everywhere. Usually most of my "invisible" work with flowers the last years have been pretty austere in artistic terms, since scientific documentation has been the main driving force for this kind of photography. However, since no rule should be without its exceptions, I spent some time shooting with unusual lenses also for UV. Her I am capturing a meadow of Lesser Celandine (Ranunculus ficaria) at their peak. Nikon D40X with 16 mm f/3.5 Fisheye.
13. Spring Meadow
14. Our first meeting with the Joshua Trees was electrifying and enjoyable. Mohave National Preserve, California. D200 with AFS 28-300.
14. Electric Joshua Tree
15. On a scouting trip to plan for a more in-depth exploration of an inland area of southern Norway, I came across a recent effort by the local arsonist. Even though first snow had arrived, the dandelions thrived after the fire. Fuji S3 with 16 mm f/3.5 Fisheye.
15. In the Wake of Fire
16. Returning from the Herdla NG workshop in early May, I decided to cross the mountain range in a different location so as to be able to visit an area I wasn't familiar with. Always refreshing to the encounter new locations even though that by itself never is a prerequisite for getting the shots. Here I spent a few hours along the shorelines of a mountain lake first regulated for hydropower production almost a century ago. Water levels were still low because spring run-off hadn't commenced and the interplay of water and ice sheets made interesting subjects for me to play with. Fuji S3 and the 35-135 Nikkor (very underrated lens but superb for this kind of work, and you can still get them for next to nothing).
16. Hydropower to the people
Posted 11 January 2013 - 18:32
Two Suns in Tucson. (The 'c' is not pronounced.)
As we hurtled along I was busy thinking up a good explanation for the Tucson cops as to how a man could fall out of a car window while photographing. Fortunately none was needed.
Posted 11 January 2013 - 18:36
Posted 11 January 2013 - 19:25
this is a fabulous collection.
Your photographs seem to follow no rules, yet they work on a level
most could only dream of achieving.
Quite how you do this is a mystery, it's as if you're able to dismiss totally any outside influences,
originality is not something many photographers can claim, in all honesty I've never seen
an image from you which is not totally original.
The gear you use absolutely makes a difference!
Posted 11 January 2013 - 20:33
Posted 12 January 2013 - 13:58
17. My brother and I share a common interest of trains since early childhood. He went on to make railways the foundation of his professional career (now as a Managing Director of the Norwegian State Railway Authority), I confined myself to photographing them. I admit being deeply fascinated by the massive trains running through some of the US deserts Andrea and I visited. The sheer size of them and the rumble of the powerful diesel engines made it in fact quite difficult to do meaningful photography when these immensely long freight trains passed by, since the impressions were into different dimensions than the purely visual one. I'm pretty satisified with this capture though. Taken near Kelso in the Mohave area and portrays the magnitude of the train and the desert surrounding well enough for me. Especially the colour scale came out pretty well. I have more 'artistic' variations but none does the job of showing the train itself better. D200 with the 28-300 Nikkor.
17. Desert Train
18. I waited patiently for a suitable truck at the Hidden Palm Canyon ( Pines to Palms, California) to set it against the desert canyon landscape. Road surface was rough and added an intrigueing echo of the surrounding landscape. D200 with the 28-300.
18. Arteries of Modern Societies
19. I pass by this beautiful example of '30s Art Deco architecture (in Oslo) on a regular basis and over the years have photographed the frontage in many ways, in fact, most frequently in b/w IR. This time I did the shooting with the Noct-Nikkor on my Fuji S3 and wound up with an IE-emulated false-colour interpretation. Shot wide open, by the way, so add some deliberate softness inside the frame.
19. Glass Architecture
20. This image resulted from the combination of chasing down subjects for a series on Man vs Nature, a new car with glass roof, and persistent rain when the weather forecast had promised clear skies and I foolishly enough had put the 14-24 on my D200. So shooting inside the car itself became a natural necessity. The oaks in the background are very old, now protected by Law, and named the King's Oaks as they were described in the old Sagas. The King convened his court there.
21. When I encounter a motif like this I go into a state of overdrive endlessly circling and exploring it. There is no question of what but of how. Usually, but not necessarily, I end up with a picture showing my initial solution to the subject. In the case of the fallen saguaro, I captured a long sequence of alternative shots before settling on this one, which happened - again - to be the first one in the series. D200 with AFS 28-300 Nikkor
21. Fallen Hero
22. A picture included not because it is unconventional, on the contrary, this is as main-stream as I can make it. It does, however, show the pecularities of digital IR as opposed to the preconceived notions of "IR" as well as the society in which I found "Vacancy" combined with a dilapidated "Famous Hotel" sign. The traffic on the road was light so I had to wait patiently in order to get a car into the frame at my preset point. Death Valley Junction, California. D200 with the 28-300 again.
22. Famous Hotel Vacancy
Posted 12 January 2013 - 14:31
No. 17."Desert Trains": The Norwegian railway (NSB) has a diesel locomotive Di-3 that looks very American, and was built on licence from General Electric.
On a side note the Norwegian railway system, particularly the tracks, is old and poorly maintained, and offers an unreliable service and sometimes you are left wondering about safety as well, with ever recurring signal and electrical failures.
Posted 12 January 2013 - 14:33
Posted 12 January 2013 - 15:01
23. I stumbled out into the winter forest early in the morning after a too intensive New Year's celebration party and needed my head to clear from the hang-over and associated ills. At this time of the year, even the fast Noct-Nikkor set wide open leaves you with perilously long exposures for a hand-held camera. Branches with fresh snow was the only subject I could detect in my present state, so they had to do for the shooting. D200, 58/1.2 Noct.
23. Winter Forest
24. Ultraviolet photography is usually, and for good reasons, associated with boring pictures of equally boring subjects only a scientist might love.Sometimes, however, it so happens the only camera at hand is a setup for UV, and then you have to make do with it. In this case the situation was exacerbated by the fact I was only carrying the camera and not a tripod (I was walking across Furnace Creek of Death Valley to get to the car some distance away). Still, managed to snap this picture of a dual message with the D40X and the UV-Nikkor 105 lens hand-held at 1.3 sec exposure. Maybe there is a dual concealed message in that fact as well?
24. Dual Message
25. These endemic Ocotillo (Fouquieria splendens) bushes of the deep desert were beautiful with their bright red flowers and spiny stems dotted with tiny fresh green leaves. After doing the usual documentary depiction of them (in visible light), I commenced playing around with the subject in infrared instead. Not the easy task I had envisioned though, partly because the spiny and stinging nature of the plant, partly because they, frankly, weren't very photogenic in IR. So it became a real challenge to make something out of them nonetheless. D200 with my 28-300 IR workhorse.
25. Red Desert
26. On our Desert Trip to western US, Andrea had with her long checklists of everything, routes, accommodation, lenses, batteries, flashes, and so on. What she did forget, however, was the A/C adapter for her Mac and thus we had to make a detour to Palm Springs to find the nearest Apple store to help her out of the predicament. Said Apple store being far too posh for me, I rather explored the nearby back alley with its cacti while Andrea conducted her business inside. D200, 28-300.
26. Back Alley Cacti
Posted 12 January 2013 - 16:46
Right away you have to LET GO of how things are "supposed" to look. "-)
The amazingly fun thing about shooting with Bjørn is that he sees foto subjects that most of us would never notice and has compositional ideas about those subjects that engage them in new and interesting ways.
truck on a road = artery
reflection in rear-view mirror = entrapment
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