The infrared spectrum, just outside the lower end of visible light, has an amazingly unique way of rendering different tones in black and white. The greens of chlorophyll in plants reflect it profusely creative very light vegetation and the sky absorbing the deep red rays creating stark blacks. The landscape that infrared paints is surreal, dreamlike, and seductive.
One of my goals recently has been to shift myself to take more nature and landscape shots. Somehow the quiet calm and easy pacing of hiking and shooting with tripod has not appealed to me. Compounding this thirst or need of revival was the lack of digital work I've done lately. It is odd that I would prefer to shoot digital with a landscape shoot was in mind, the merits of film over digital in the context of landscape photography, such as quality, look, and pacing, are almost always enough to persuade me to grab my big Pentax and a roll of Fomapan (Arista .EDU). However the need for instant gratification and color prevailed. So I grabbed my Canon, took off the vertical grip, and put on my wide lens. In the process I grabbed a few filters and realized that I still have an infrared filter that would fit my lens.
The last time I shot anything infrared was over a year and half ago where I walked with a roll of Rollei IR 400 in my 35mm camera attempting to take handheld snapshots, made very difficult by the effective ISO of ~3 with the filter on. This lapse of use made the idea of shooting infrared, let alone with my digital Canon, very novel. I snagged the filter and headed out to my usual outdoor nature spot at school, Wasson Ravine. I left at 4 in the afternoon to get the light that was still bright (more infrared light) and made my way done the recently cleared trail.
Shooting infrared with my Canon 7D is tedious. With the 720nm filter my exposures were all around 30-60 seconds at f/5.6-8 with ISO 400 the highest I dared go (for the sake of noise). Focussing wasn't as much as an issue I surprisingly .The LiveView feature of the camera, with MagicLantern firmware, made it possible to focus through the filter.
Overall it was a much needed shoot that became more of a nostalgic trip than I had originally planned. Of the dozen or so frames I took I am happy with only one or two. Even with the relatively low "hit rate" I am very much happy that to give my nature, non portrait, photography some long needed practice.