Over the next few weeks, I wanted to share a few of the images that I entered at this summer’s International Photographic Competition. I will try and provide a little background on the images, as well as talk about how they were created.
First up is an image called The Oasis.
I created this shot of Central Park while vacationing in New York. I’ve always enjoyed infrared (IR) photography and thought this would be an ideal setting for that type of photography. I also shot this scene in color, but didn’t feel that it had the same impact as the IR image.
Rather than using Infrared film (ahh.. those where the days), I photographed the scene with my IR-converted Nikon D70. The IR look gave the image a very timeless, yet surreal, look. I loved the contrast of how the giant man-made buildings towered over the idyllic, natural scene below. I guess that is what makes Central Park so cool in the first place. It is a quiet oasis in the middle of one of the busiest cities in the world.
Although I’ve tried using IR filters or even Photoshop filters, actually converting your camera to record infrared is really the closest you can get to the original IR film. Its also a heck of a lot easier to work with! If you are interested in learning more about IR photography, I put together a quick overview on my Lourcey Photography YouTube Channel.
After capture, the image was converted to black and white – then I toyed around with the levels to get the exact look I was wanting. I had to straighten the buildings a little, because it was shot with a very wide angle lens. Finally, I applied a little bit of Topaz Adjust to bring some snap to the image. That’s really about it- no huge Photoshop gymnastics on this one.
The print that I entered was presented essentially like it is here. The image was surrounded by a simple white mat that helped to frame the image without distracting. I’ve found that a fine art presentation is often the best bet with images like this.
The print received a merit from the Professional Photographers of America and will be on display at the national convention in January.
Have you given IR photography a try? If so, I’d love to hear any tips/tricks you can pass along!