Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Featured IR Photographer Showcase - Desert Rat

Hello IR Lovers! Once again we travel half-way around the globe from our previous destination. This time to sunny Southern California. With the consistant sunny climate in the mild deserts where Los Angeles is located, it just has to be an IR Paradise. Well, as we will see, every place has it's admirers, and those who find other locals more suitable. Our Featured Photographer, shows us how IR-Friendly the sunny Southwestern part of the United States can be. Here's a photographer we can appreciate for his selection of tools to do the job. A shooter of high end Nikon DSLR models, he shows us how it's done with a modded Canon Powershot Pro 1. Proof positive that a DSLR is not a requirement when it comes to IR.

BIO: Hi. I live in Los Angeles, CA, a city that is a veritable concrete jungle. Since it is a metropolitan city made up of intertwining, sprawling suburban neighborhoods, it can be difficult to find good places for my favorite photography subjects—landscapes and wildlife. When I do venture out on a photographic adventure, I prefer places that offer the peace and solitude seldom found in and around LA. Currently, I have a Nikon D2X that I use as my workhorse camera, a Nikon D300 as a backup camera, and I converted the Canon POWERSHOT Pro 1 as my dedicated IR camera.

Photography has been my BIG hobby for most of my life. I grew up in Michigan where my father was a professional wedding photographer. I would often assist him on weekends and that’s when my appreciation for photography began. I followed my folks to Phoenix, AZ where I studied biology at Arizona State University. Afterward, I studied electron microscopy at Cal State University Fullerton in CA. I fell in love with the rich photographic possibilities I found in the American Southwest. The desert offers a plentitude of natural beauty everywhere you look, from wildflowers to monsoonal thunderstorms to candy-striped rock formations.

I shot mostly slide film for years, before taking up the digital photography banner. I was using the Nikon F5 while on a photography trip to Page, AZ with some friends in 2004. One friend had easily embraced the age of digital photography and enjoyed it so much that he brought two digital cameras with him on the trip and gave me his backup camera Nikon D70 to play with, I mean, test. I was instantly captivated with the way it handled. It was exciting to be able to quickly view recently shot photographs and make adjustments to the compositions immediately. I don’t have space for a darkroom, so it was always challenging to take pictures and wait several weeks until the processed slides returned before I knew whether my efforts were note-worthy. With digital photography, if the images were not what I had intended, I could delete them many times over without thinking twice about film or processing cost! Not something I could have done when I was shooting with film.

Outside of my affection for wide scenic landscapes, wildlife, macro and aviation photography, I was looking for new pictorial ideas. My girlfriend suggested looking into infrared photography. I found that I could use the Hoya R72 filter and adjustments to the white balance on a DSLR to convert an image to IR. All of a sudden, another new world of photography became fascinating. Simply the way grass blades and trees glow with that bright white yet soft light, the way lakes and ponds transform into stark black mirrors, the way the sky becomes this sharp, dark counterpoint to a landscape is to appreciate Mother Nature’s grandeur on a higher level. The overall composition goes from just a good color image to a magical, ethereal one—an entirely new photograph altogether! That sealed it. I bought a Canon P&S based on recommendations and had it converted to a dedicated IR camera, and the rest, as they say, is history!

I am honored to have been invited to share my photos on this website. I hope you enjoy my work, and can appreciate how fascinating this medium can be. I welcome all comments.

Here are a few of my Favorite IR Photographs from my Gallery.

Here's A Link to My IR Galleries

Copyright Statement: All images and materials displayed and showcased here, are copyrighted and are the exclusive property of the artist. Images and material may not be reproduced or used in any way without the written consent of the artist.

Please Comment Freely to this Post.

Let the Artist know how much you enjoy and appreciate his inpressive IR Photography!

-=- Jerry -=-


oVan said...

Once again, beautiful images! Congrats!

Bruce said...

Lovely online IR galleries, Mr. Rat. Thanks for sharing.

Gordon P. said...

Desert Rat, thanks for sharing your images on IR Buzz. You have an impressive online gallery.

Anonymous said...

Quite amazing. Nice shots.

Kort said...

Very dramatic work Desert Rat. It would be fun to go on a photo expeditin with you!

Anonymous said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.



dome said...

nice IR photos :)