The Blog of Patrick C. Cook

The photography blog of Patrick C. Cook.

Beyond the Frame

Digital infrared photography doesn't prevent me from utilizing several digital processing methods, such as HDR (High Dynamic Range), panorama, focus stacking and other digital processing methods that extend the possibilities of digital imaging beyond the single image frame. The possibilities are nearly endless for which there is not enough time in a lifetime to fully explore. When these additional processes are added to the challenge of digital infrared photography itself the number of successful quality images further decreases. A simple digital infrared image could take much longer to prepare than a color image, let along adding HDR processing, for instance. It is not uncommon to have considerable time invested in a single digital infrared image that makes the grade.

Over countless years there have been many wonderful images that were created purely from the imagination of the artist. Straight from the artist's mind to the digital or pigment canvas. Our world has been enriched beyond measure by such artists, from the unknown to the most famous. While referring to digital infrared photography as a form of art could be endlessly debated, what I appreciate is that it is actually creating an image from radiation energy that actually exists. That gives an infrared-based image a foundation that is rooted in the real. From a physics viewpoint, an infrared image is a recording of an instant in time of countless photons that were created 150,000 years ago in the core of our sun that have traveled 8 million miles to interact with our physical environment. That alone is remarkable! With my camera I can record these photons, map them to the color spectrum we humans understand, play with color tones and prepare an image that, while firmly based on reality, has room for a little artistic flavoring. The unimaginable violent creation of photons so far away becomes my photography playground that provides endless possibilities for discovery and artistic expression, while staying firmly rooted in the real. ~Pat