New Toys, part 1

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So I’ve recently had “need” to add some new “tools” to the toolbox.

The first of my new toys, and today’s subject, is an infra-red camera. It’s a camera, Canon Rebel XT, that’s been altered only to see in the near IR portion of the spectrum. It doesn’t record body heat or any other such trickery, it just sees a scene different than what humans are used to.

For example trees and grass are white, skies are darker to occasionally black, skins are smoother and more glowing, hair colors sometimes change, dramatically. Oh, and when I say color, I’m taking some liberty here, as the camera only records in B&W.

The only B&W item is, in my world, not a negative but a positive feature. B&W forces photographers to be more mindful of their composition, and moments. It provides a feel that color loses. With color images, the color can become a crutch, it can become a central theme and element that takes away from the photo. B&W forces photographers to create a stronger image from the get go, to think more about the final image. I like this, I miss it.

So what is the “point” of this camera? What will it be used for? I don’t know. I’m really just not sure…yet. And that “I don’t know” is why I like it. “I don’t know” is my favorite answer to many questions in the world. It’s often the most honest, usually we, humanity, don’t know. And that’s okay, in fact, wonderful. It’s in answering the question that the interesting ideas will be revealed. I hope. So far, and so far it’s been largely “testing”, it’s been fun.

I know I probably won’t mostly use the camera for what most people use IR cameras for, pretty outdoor scenes. So far I’ve done some of that, not much, but a smattering to try it. I have tried the camera in a dimly lit (think near to a black hole) wine bar. The lovely, and intoxicating voice of Leslie Beukelman was kind enough to agree to be my victim. She also happens to always be in the darkest location in Chicago which means that I can really put the camera through it’s paces. Come to think of it, maybe Leslie carries a black hole in her purse?

Anyhow, back to reality, in infra-red. These photos aren’t totally successful, as I would expect when dealing with a new camera, but they’re a start. Hopefully, you’ll see some strange, yet alluring, photos in the upcoming months. I don’t know what strange photos, but it’s going to be a joyous ride finding out.


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