From the minute I started playing with infrared film, I was hooked like a kid with his first taste of Pixie Stix. The ability to photograph the unseen, to capture new wavelengths that I didn’t previous have in my arsenal… that’s pretty strong, if you ask me.
And since I had a pack of Kodak HIE black-and-white infrared film… as well as a pack of the Film Photography Podcast’s rerolled color infrared film (branded as “FPP InfraChrome”), I figured a few shots in my infrared-designated camera, the Minolta x370s film shooter, would make for a fun day.
First off – the color infrared film. In order to make the colors pop on this film, I had to shoot with a yellow filter on the lens to bring out the dazzling and striking colors. Here’s some of my best shots from the roll.
I can definitely say this. The color infrared film has some nice artistic qualities to it. These first shots – including the shot of the barn – are truly unexpected, but are intriguing.
In fact, I’m liking that barn shot enough to put it in the short pile for Competition Season 2015.
The drawback? For some reason, this film has a purplish tint that I wasn’t planning to see. I don’t know if it’s part of the film itself or if I’m using the wrong filters. I may need to “fiddle” with the highlights on this film, but then again, this is my first time shooting with it. And it definitely does an amazing job of turning water into a smooth, glassy mirror. I can have some fun with this if I use it properly.
And now it’s time to shoot with my other infrared film, Kodak’s black-and-white HIE product. This package has an expiration date of 2001; I can only hope that the film stayed somewhat fresh for 14 years. If it hasn’t… I’ll at least discover what expired infrared film can look like.
Packed the film in the Minolta, and this time I employed the proper film for black-and-white infrared captures – a Hoya R72 filter that’s almost completely opaque.
Let’s do this. Let’s see what I can capture.
Um… okay… I’ve got the black skies and white clouds and white foliage and striking detail of infrared film. Yes. This will work.
As long as the film is fresh. You know what happens with expired film? Whether it’s infrared film or standard print B&W film, those grey spots in the clouds weren’t originally part of the shot. They weren’t add-ons from some PhotoShop filter. That’s age and deterioration from the film. It wasn’t stored properly and was allowed to age and degrade over the years. But there’s no way I could have known this; I had to rely on the person who sold me the film.
In other words, I have to make sure that if I purchase infrared film again, I only purchase it from sellers whose product I’ve purchased in the past. If that film is clean, then I’ll buy from that seller. If it’s not clean… then I’ll use the film, but it’s unlikely I’ll buy from that seller again.
Trust me. With the cost of infrared film these days, you’re spending a lot for quality. And you need that quality from start to finish.
Because, despite my previous work to the contrary, I might not always want purple shifts and chicken pox-like dots on my photographs.
But it’s all part of the experimentation process… right?