Monday, 16 January 2017

Near infra red

In a previous post I talked before about using adapted cameras to take near infra red photographs . As I became more interested in what technology could be made to do I'd experimented with a couple of my cameras , for some reason I've always had better results with Fuji digital cameras ( they are what I use to photograph my work , my main camera for years was a Fuji finepix fd40 a great camera in low light , hardly ever used the flash ). Some of the photographs have fed back into my painting , for instance this and the photos I took that same day 

led to this - one of the few self portraits I have ever made.

If I embrace technology, and how could I not , there are always new ways of seeing , and during this time, 2011 - 2012, I was looking for a new of seeing . At first near Infrared seemed to bring that , and being a terrible one for taking things apart how could I resist , living in the country especially , the opportunity to photograph clouds and see everything frosted and darkened - why does black become white , or green for that matter ?

The friends farm I was living on at the time had always seemed an eerie and magical place ( up to the 1960's it still had its stone circle and the land was shaped by mounds and rings , the atmosphere at night and especially at full moon was indescribable , as if you had stepped across some hidden boundary into a mirror world ) and I think infrared shows this amazingly well.

And of course some of the landscape shots were eventually turned into paintings , the only landscape that has ever inspired me to paint is that of this farm.

 But how do you convert a camera to near Infrared ? Well here's a link , you can try for yourself 

first start with a webcam

Or you could try a compact digital camera , cheap ones are okay to start with but you might want something more decent if you get into it in a bigger way ( i ended up converting a very lovely finepix a200 ) this is a good guide - pay attention , watch out for the capacitor ( big black thing that stores the charge for the flash - either remove it or discharge it before working on the camera , they pack a nasty charge )
this is a good tutorial for compacts 

In the end these experiments turned into a series of portraits of friends , and one of my daughter . I had the idea that I could paint a series of portraits of everyone I'd ever known or loved , people who were important to me - but that idea waned in attractiveness as I started making more and more digital work .




 I wasn't looking for accuracy, since 2011 I'd been trying to find a looser way to paint , I wanted the impression of the person , their essence as I saw it , more expressionistic than I had painted before , as I said before I'd grown weary of the time some of the paintings were taking me , though Cezanne would spend a couple of years at least on his work ( and I can understand why ) I wanted things to be more instant and had grown frustrated and demoralized by pursuit of accuracy and near reality , some paintings were taking up to a month , and four in particular , what I call the box paintings, had taken over two years. I might talk about those in the next post.

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