Birdsong Park beyond Visible Light

February 05, 2024  •  Leave a Comment

Yashica LM TLR, Twin Lens Reflex, 120 Medium Format 6x6 CameraYashica LM TLRTwin Lens Reflex I really enjoy photographing around Orchard Park, NY, where I live. I like both natural and urban photography. I definitely still prefer running away from people and spending time in the nature, hidden from everyone in the woods, just me, the trees, and an occasional animal. And maybe I should not say "still" but rather more and more.

When frequently revisiting the same locations over and over it's good when something changes so that my photos don't repeat. Sometimes, I can find new subject matter, other times I love photographing the same scene. Different seasons help, different weather helps, different cameras and lenses make a difference too. And when photographing on film, the choice of film matters too. Of course the obvious difference is color versus black and white. But even different color films make each scene look slightly differently, and so do different black and white films. They each feature different contrast levels, different grain, simply a different look. However, there is one type of black and white film that changes things around a lot and that is infrared film.

The so called visible spectrum ranges from about 380nm to about 700nm wave lengths and can vary significantly by person. Beyond 700nm is where infrared light starts and if we could see it the world around us would look quite different. One way to visualize this invisible world is via infrared photography, whether digital or analog. Unfortunately, color infrared films are no longer available today, only some leftover expired rolls. Fortunately, there are several black and white infrared films still made.

Birdsong Tunnel Path on Infrared, Orchard Park, NYBirdsong Tunnel Path on InfraredOrchard Park, NY

Birdsong Tunnel Path on Infrared, Orchard Park, NY
Photographed with a medium format Yashica LM TLR on Rollei IR 400 black and white infrared film

I used one such film for the photos shared in today's blog post. It's the Rollei Infrared 400. The spectral sensitivity (data sheet) of this film is from 350nm (dipping into ultraviolet) to 780nm (and into infrared). When used without a special filter, the images might not be recognizably different from other black and white films. However, when used with filters like the popular Hoya R72, which does not transmit wave lengths below 720nm, only the infrared light reached the film and bingo, familiar things no longer look the same.

Birdsong Tree Phalanx on Infrared, Orchard Park, NYBirdsong Tree Phalanx on InfraredOrchard Park, NY

Birdsong Tree Phalanx on Infrared, Orchard Park, NY
Photographed with a medium format Yashica LM TLR on Rollei IR 400 black and white infrared film

Specifically, blues turn black and greens turn white. The photographs you are looking at here are summer time photos, not snowy winter scenes. Isn't this quite magical? I love the infrared transformation and usually have to hold myself back so that I do not overuse this technique. But you know what? I think I have done too much holding back and need to let lose. While I photographed several rolls of infrared film in both 35mm and in 120 medium format, I have not posted many.

Birdsong Boardwalk Troll on Infrared, Orchard Park, NYBirdsong Boardwalk Troll on InfraredOrchard Park, NY

Birdsong Boardwalk Troll on Infrared, Orchard Park, NY
Photographed with a medium format Yashica LM TLR on Rollei IR 400 black and white infrared film

What about the location? If you're following my blog I am sure you have seen this wonderful small local park here before. Yes, we are in Birdsong Park, Orchard Park, New York. I have gone there for many photographic expeditions and the park always rewards me. Just being there is wonderful and if I end up with a few new keeps images even better.

Leaning over the Creek in Birdsong on Infrared, Orchard Park, NYLeaning over the Creek in Birdsong on InfraredOrchard Park, NY

Leaning over the Creek in Birdsong on Infrared, Orchard Park, NY
Photographed with a medium format Yashica LM TLR on Rollei IR 400 black and white infrared film

The closing scene is one of my most popular in the park and I love pointing a camera at it over and over again. Today, I'm happy to share the infrared rendition of it. What do you think? Do you like infrared photographs or do you feel it's too much of a trickery?

Enjoy The Beauty That Surrounds You! #etbtsy

Do you enjoy reading my photography blog? Would you like to see more photographs from Buffalo and Western New York? Visit my Buffalo Cityscapes and Buffalo & Western New York Landscapes photo galleries and enjoy! For more black and white photography, I have a dedicated collection World without Color.

Snowy Birdsong Gate in Winter with a Reflection in the Creek, Birdsong Park, Orchard Park, New York (NY)Birdsong Gate in WinterOrchard Park, NY Through the Winter Landscape, Creek in Birdsong Park, Orchard Park, New York (NY)Through the Winter LandscapeOrchard Park, NY Phalanx of Trees Standing Guard by Trail, Birdsong, Orchard Park, New York (NY).PhalanxOrchard Park, NY


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