Infrared Creativity at Chavez Ranch Road with Bob Coates

Images and words by Bob Coates

Secret Slickrock Traihead was where I went to play with my newly converted infrared Lumix GH4 camera. I wanted to see the results of looking down on sycamore leaves that had turned brown. The trees follow the course of Oak Creek and I had an overview of the scene.

I did a little walkabout looking for foreground elements for the composition. This fallen soldier of a juniper tree filled the bill. A Sedona icon, Cathedral Rock, anchors the scene up in the right hand corner of the image.

To feature the juniper, the camera needed to be down low. The Platypod fit the bill to stabilize the camera! Having a flip screen on the camera makes it easy to work with the low camera angle.

I didn’t want to handhold the camera because I make a three bracket exposure, and I need images to be in registration should I decide to blend exposures in order to increase the dynamic range. This can be necessary because of the high contrast nature of infrared images made in full sun.

PS - Converting a camera to infrared can give it a new life. Many of us have cameras gathering dust on the shelf. A conversion to IR opens up a whole new time of shooting during midday. I have good results using LifePixel for Infrared conversion. Their website has lots of information on the process and choices you have when deciding to go IR.

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