Spooky Infrared in Central Park

I don’t know, maybe this ghostly kid wasn’t really there.  No, he was there alright.  It was just one of the pleasures with infrared film that you never knew exactly what you were going to get.  Eyes, straight on, were usually dark and alien-looking.  Skin tones could give you a Johnny Winter look.  You know, that albino feeling.

With buildings, same thing.  You were really exposing film to a part of the spectrum that you couldn’t see.  You could guess about how much infrared light was being reflected and passing through the IR filter you had on the lens.  But it wasn’t until you got home and developed the stuff that you knew what you had.  I didn’t know that the willows were emitting so much IR.  Or that water was generally black.

The thing that was fascinating about Kodak HIE (originally developed for aerial reconnaissance, if memory serves) was that other “normal” films, it didn’t have an anti-halation backing.  I don’t know why.  But light came in, hit the black back of the (in this case focal plane) and some of the highlights, i.e. the brightest spots bounced back through the film again, giving this great glow effect.

I’ll try to pick out a few images where that takes place, but I didn’t know what I was going to write about until I picked the image of the kid.

Infrared Child

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