Digital Cameras

Gallery: The surreal and psychedelic art of infrared photography

Gallery: The surreal and psych...
Paolo Pettigiani's series Infrared NYC is a glorious examination of New York's Central Park that uses infrared filters to transform the greenery into a pink and red wonderland
Paolo Pettigiani's series Infrared NYC is a glorious examination of New York's Central Park that uses infrared filters to transform the greenery into a pink and red wonderland
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Paolo Pettigiani's series Infrared NYC is a glorious examination of New York's Central Park that uses infrared filters to transform the greenery into a pink and red wonderland
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Paolo Pettigiani's series Infrared NYC is a glorious examination of New York's Central Park that uses infrared filters to transform the greenery into a pink and red wonderland
Kate Ballis’ series Infra Realism is an  extreme and stylized take on the style, contrasting images of classic mid-century Palm Springs architecture with jarringly sharp and disorientating infrared purples and reds
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Kate Ballis’ series Infra Realism is an  extreme and stylized take on the style, contrasting images of classic mid-century Palm Springs architecture with jarringly sharp and disorientating infrared purples and reds
Richard Mosse's amazing series "Infra" depicts rebels in an African civil war using a discontinued military grade infrared film stock that adds surreal pink hues to a landscape devastated by violent conflict
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Richard Mosse's amazing series "Infra" depicts rebels in an African civil war using a discontinued military grade infrared film stock that adds surreal pink hues to a landscape devastated by violent conflict
Greg Westfall’s infrared photography, using a converted Canon EOS-1D Mark II, captures a 720 nm wavelength, whiting out all the greenery (Credit: Greg Westfall Flickr / CC BY 2.0)
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Greg Westfall’s infrared photography, using a converted Canon EOS-1D Mark II, captures a 720 nm wavelength, whiting out all the greenery (Credit: Greg Westfall Flickr / CC BY 2.0)
Greg Westfall’s infrared photography, using a converted Canon EOS-1D Mark II, captures a 720 nm wavelength, whiting out all the greenery (Credit: Greg Westfall Flickr / CC BY 2.0)
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Greg Westfall’s infrared photography, using a converted Canon EOS-1D Mark II, captures a 720 nm wavelength, whiting out all the greenery (Credit: Greg Westfall Flickr / CC BY 2.0)
In 2017, two Italian photographers, Andrea and Francesco Padovani, hiked through the Dolomites and took a series of infrared photographs with some reclaimed old Kodak Aerochrome film stock (Credit:  Andrea and Francesco Padovani / CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)
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In 2017, two Italian photographers, Andrea and Francesco Padovani, hiked through the Dolomites and took a series of infrared photographs with some reclaimed old Kodak Aerochrome film stock (Credit:  Andrea and Francesco Padovani / CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)
In 2017, two Italian photographers, Andrea and Francesco Padovani, hiked through the Dolomites and took a series of infrared photographs with some reclaimed old Kodak Aerochrome film stock (Credit:  Andrea and Francesco Padovani / CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)
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In 2017, two Italian photographers, Andrea and Francesco Padovani, hiked through the Dolomites and took a series of infrared photographs with some reclaimed old Kodak Aerochrome film stock (Credit:  Andrea and Francesco Padovani / CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)
In 2017, two Italian photographers, Andrea and Francesco Padovani, hiked through the Dolomites and took a series of infrared photographs with some reclaimed old Kodak Aerochrome film stock (Credit:  Andrea and Francesco Padovani / CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)
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In 2017, two Italian photographers, Andrea and Francesco Padovani, hiked through the Dolomites and took a series of infrared photographs with some reclaimed old Kodak Aerochrome film stock (Credit:  Andrea and Francesco Padovani / CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)
In 2017, two Italian photographers, Andrea and Francesco Padovani, hiked through the Dolomites and took a series of infrared photographs with some reclaimed old Kodak Aerochrome film stock (Credit:  Andrea and Francesco Padovani / CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)
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In 2017, two Italian photographers, Andrea and Francesco Padovani, hiked through the Dolomites and took a series of infrared photographs with some reclaimed old Kodak Aerochrome film stock (Credit:  Andrea and Francesco Padovani / CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)
Richard Mosse's amazing series "Infra" depicts rebels in an African civil war using a discontinued military grade infrared film stock that adds surreal pink hues to a landscape devastated by violent conflict
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Richard Mosse's amazing series "Infra" depicts rebels in an African civil war using a discontinued military grade infrared film stock that adds surreal pink hues to a landscape devastated by violent conflict
Richard Mosse's amazing series "Infra" depicts rebels in an African civil war using a discontinued military grade infrared film stock that adds surreal pink hues to a landscape devastated by violent conflict
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Richard Mosse's amazing series "Infra" depicts rebels in an African civil war using a discontinued military grade infrared film stock that adds surreal pink hues to a landscape devastated by violent conflict
Richard Mosse's amazing series "Infra" depicts rebels in an African civil war using a discontinued military grade infrared film stock that adds surreal pink hues to a landscape devastated by violent conflict
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Richard Mosse's amazing series "Infra" depicts rebels in an African civil war using a discontinued military grade infrared film stock that adds surreal pink hues to a landscape devastated by violent conflict
Richard Mosse's amazing series "Infra" depicts rebels in an African civil war using a discontinued military grade infrared film stock that adds surreal pink hues to a landscape devastated by violent conflict
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Richard Mosse's amazing series "Infra" depicts rebels in an African civil war using a discontinued military grade infrared film stock that adds surreal pink hues to a landscape devastated by violent conflict
HDR IR images taken with an IR-converted Canon Rebel XTi. (Credit:David, brokentaco Flickr / CC BY-2.0)
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HDR IR images taken with an IR-converted Canon Rebel XTi. (Credit:David, brokentaco Flickr / CC BY-2.0)
HDR IR images taken with an IR-converted Canon Rebel XTi. (Credit:David, brokentaco Flickr / CC BY-2.0)
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HDR IR images taken with an IR-converted Canon Rebel XTi. (Credit:David, brokentaco Flickr / CC BY-2.0)
HDR IR images taken with an IR-converted Canon Rebel XTi. (Credit:David, brokentaco Flickr / CC BY-2.0)
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HDR IR images taken with an IR-converted Canon Rebel XTi. (Credit:David, brokentaco Flickr / CC BY-2.0)
InfraMunk vs Tracy Arm Fjord is a project from photographer Bradley G Munkowitz documenting a fjord in Alaska using a modified FujiFilm X-T1 in a variety of narrow infrared spectrums, resulting in a variety of stunningly unique images (Credit: Bradley G Munkowitz / CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)
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InfraMunk vs Tracy Arm Fjord is a project from photographer Bradley G Munkowitz documenting a fjord in Alaska using a modified FujiFilm X-T1 in a variety of narrow infrared spectrums, resulting in a variety of stunningly unique images (Credit: Bradley G Munkowitz / CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)
InfraMunk vs Tracy Arm Fjord is a project from photographer Bradley G Munkowitz documenting a fjord in Alaska using a modified FujiFilm X-T1 in a variety of narrow infrared spectrums, resulting in a variety of stunningly unique images (Credit: Bradley G Munkowitz / CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)
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InfraMunk vs Tracy Arm Fjord is a project from photographer Bradley G Munkowitz documenting a fjord in Alaska using a modified FujiFilm X-T1 in a variety of narrow infrared spectrums, resulting in a variety of stunningly unique images (Credit: Bradley G Munkowitz / CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)
InfraMunk vs Tracy Arm Fjord is a project from photographer Bradley G Munkowitz documenting a fjord in Alaska using a modified FujiFilm X-T1 in a variety of narrow infrared spectrums, resulting in a variety of stunningly unique images (Credit: Bradley G Munkowitz / CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)
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InfraMunk vs Tracy Arm Fjord is a project from photographer Bradley G Munkowitz documenting a fjord in Alaska using a modified FujiFilm X-T1 in a variety of narrow infrared spectrums, resulting in a variety of stunningly unique images (Credit: Bradley G Munkowitz / CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)
InfraMunk vs Tracy Arm Fjord is a project from photographer Bradley G Munkowitz documenting a fjord in Alaska using a modified FujiFilm X-T1 in a variety of narrow infrared spectrums, resulting in a variety of stunningly unique images (Credit: Bradley G Munkowitz / CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)
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InfraMunk vs Tracy Arm Fjord is a project from photographer Bradley G Munkowitz documenting a fjord in Alaska using a modified FujiFilm X-T1 in a variety of narrow infrared spectrums, resulting in a variety of stunningly unique images (Credit: Bradley G Munkowitz / CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)
InfraMunk vs Tracy Arm Fjord is a project from photographer Bradley G Munkowitz documenting a fjord in Alaska using a modified FujiFilm X-T1 in a variety of narrow infrared spectrums, resulting in a variety of stunningly unique images (Credit: Bradley G Munkowitz / CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)
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InfraMunk vs Tracy Arm Fjord is a project from photographer Bradley G Munkowitz documenting a fjord in Alaska using a modified FujiFilm X-T1 in a variety of narrow infrared spectrums, resulting in a variety of stunningly unique images (Credit: Bradley G Munkowitz / CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)
Paolo Pettigiani's series Infrared NYC is a glorious examination of New York's Central Park that uses infrared filters to transform the greenery into a pink and red wonderland
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Paolo Pettigiani's series Infrared NYC is a glorious examination of New York's Central Park that uses infrared filters to transform the greenery into a pink and red wonderland
Paolo Pettigiani's series Infrared NYC is a glorious examination of New York's Central Park that uses infrared filters to transform the greenery into a pink and red wonderland
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Paolo Pettigiani's series Infrared NYC is a glorious examination of New York's Central Park that uses infrared filters to transform the greenery into a pink and red wonderland
Paolo Pettigiani's series Infrared NYC is a glorious examination of New York's Central Park that uses infrared filters to transform the greenery into a pink and red wonderland
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Paolo Pettigiani's series Infrared NYC is a glorious examination of New York's Central Park that uses infrared filters to transform the greenery into a pink and red wonderland
Paolo Pettigiani's series Infrared NYC is a glorious examination of New York's Central Park that uses infrared filters to transform the greenery into a pink and red wonderland
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Paolo Pettigiani's series Infrared NYC is a glorious examination of New York's Central Park that uses infrared filters to transform the greenery into a pink and red wonderland
Paolo Pettigiani's series Infrared NYC is a glorious examination of New York's Central Park that uses infrared filters to transform the greenery into a pink and red wonderland
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Paolo Pettigiani's series Infrared NYC is a glorious examination of New York's Central Park that uses infrared filters to transform the greenery into a pink and red wonderland
Paolo Pettigiani's series Infrared NYC is a glorious examination of New York's Central Park that uses infrared filters to transform the greenery into a pink and red wonderland
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Paolo Pettigiani's series Infrared NYC is a glorious examination of New York's Central Park that uses infrared filters to transform the greenery into a pink and red wonderland
Greg Westfall’s infrared photography, using a converted Canon EOS-1D Mark II, captures a 720 nm wavelength, whiting out all the greenery (Credit: Greg Westfall Flickr / CC BY 2.0)
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Greg Westfall’s infrared photography, using a converted Canon EOS-1D Mark II, captures a 720 nm wavelength, whiting out all the greenery (Credit: Greg Westfall Flickr / CC BY 2.0)
Greg Westfall’s infrared photography, using a converted Canon EOS-1D Mark II, captures a 720 nm wavelength, whiting out all the greenery (Credit: Greg Westfall Flickr / CC BY 2.0)
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Greg Westfall’s infrared photography, using a converted Canon EOS-1D Mark II, captures a 720 nm wavelength, whiting out all the greenery (Credit: Greg Westfall Flickr / CC BY 2.0)
Greg Westfall’s infrared photography, using a converted Canon EOS-1D Mark II, captures a 720 nm wavelength, whiting out all the greenery (Credit: Greg Westfall Flickr / CC BY 2.0)
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Greg Westfall’s infrared photography, using a converted Canon EOS-1D Mark II, captures a 720 nm wavelength, whiting out all the greenery (Credit: Greg Westfall Flickr / CC BY 2.0)
Greg Westfall’s infrared photography, using a converted Canon EOS-1D Mark II, captures a 720 nm wavelength, whiting out all the greenery (Credit: Greg Westfall Flickr / CC BY 2.0)
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Greg Westfall’s infrared photography, using a converted Canon EOS-1D Mark II, captures a 720 nm wavelength, whiting out all the greenery (Credit: Greg Westfall Flickr / CC BY 2.0)
Kate Ballis’ series Infra Realism is an  extreme, stylized take on the style contrasting images of classic mid-century Palm Springs architecture with jarringly sharp and disorientating infrared purples and reds
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Kate Ballis’ series Infra Realism is an  extreme, stylized take on the style contrasting images of classic mid-century Palm Springs architecture with jarringly sharp and disorientating infrared purples and reds
Kate Ballis’ series Infra Realism is an  extreme, stylized take on the style contrasting images of classic mid-century Palm Springs architecture with jarringly sharp and disorientating infrared purples and reds
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Kate Ballis’ series Infra Realism is an  extreme, stylized take on the style contrasting images of classic mid-century Palm Springs architecture with jarringly sharp and disorientating infrared purples and reds
Kate Ballis’ series Infra Realism is an  extreme, stylized take on the style contrasting images of classic mid-century Palm Springs architecture with jarringly sharp and disorientating infrared purples and reds
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Kate Ballis’ series Infra Realism is an  extreme, stylized take on the style contrasting images of classic mid-century Palm Springs architecture with jarringly sharp and disorientating infrared purples and reds
Kate Ballis’ series Infra Realism is an  extreme, stylized take on the style contrasting images of classic mid-century Palm Springs architecture with jarringly sharp and disorientating infrared purples and reds
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Kate Ballis’ series Infra Realism is an  extreme, stylized take on the style contrasting images of classic mid-century Palm Springs architecture with jarringly sharp and disorientating infrared purples and reds
Kate Ballis’ series Infra Realism is an  extreme, stylized take on the style contrasting images of classic mid-century Palm Springs architecture with jarringly sharp and disorientating infrared purples and reds
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Kate Ballis’ series Infra Realism is an  extreme, stylized take on the style contrasting images of classic mid-century Palm Springs architecture with jarringly sharp and disorientating infrared purples and reds
Kate Ballis’ series Infra Realism is an  extreme, stylized take on the style contrasting images of classic mid-century Palm Springs architecture with jarringly sharp and disorientating infrared purples and reds
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Kate Ballis’ series Infra Realism is an  extreme, stylized take on the style contrasting images of classic mid-century Palm Springs architecture with jarringly sharp and disorientating infrared purples and reds
Kate Ballis’ series Infra Realism is an  extreme, stylized take on the style contrasting images of classic mid-century Palm Springs architecture with jarringly sharp and disorientating infrared purples and reds
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Kate Ballis’ series Infra Realism is an  extreme, stylized take on the style contrasting images of classic mid-century Palm Springs architecture with jarringly sharp and disorientating infrared purples and reds
Kate Ballis’ series Infra Realism is an  extreme, stylized take on the style contrasting images of classic mid-century Palm Springs architecture with jarringly sharp and disorientating infrared purples and reds
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Kate Ballis’ series Infra Realism is an  extreme, stylized take on the style contrasting images of classic mid-century Palm Springs architecture with jarringly sharp and disorientating infrared purples and reds
Kate Ballis’ series Infra Realism is an  extreme, stylized take on the style contrasting images of classic mid-century Palm Springs architecture with jarringly sharp and disorientating infrared purples and reds
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Kate Ballis’ series Infra Realism is an  extreme, stylized take on the style contrasting images of classic mid-century Palm Springs architecture with jarringly sharp and disorientating infrared purples and reds
Kate Ballis’ series Infra Realism is an  extreme, stylized take on the style contrasting images of classic mid-century Palm Springs architecture with jarringly sharp and disorientating infrared purples and reds
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Kate Ballis’ series Infra Realism is an  extreme, stylized take on the style contrasting images of classic mid-century Palm Springs architecture with jarringly sharp and disorientating infrared purples and reds
Paolo Pettigiani's series I R documents his early experiments with infrared photography playing with pink plants against a snowy landscape
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Paolo Pettigiani's series I R documents his early experiments with infrared photography playing with pink plants against a snowy landscape
Paolo Pettigiani's series I R documents his early experiments with infrared photography playing with pink plants against a snowy landscape
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Paolo Pettigiani's series I R documents his early experiments with infrared photography playing with pink plants against a snowy landscape
Paolo Pettigiani's series I R documents his early experiments with infrared photography playing with pink plants against a snowy landscape
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Paolo Pettigiani's series I R documents his early experiments with infrared photography playing with pink plants against a snowy landscape
Paolo Pettigiani's series I R documents his early experiments with infrared photography playing with pink plants against a snowy landscape
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Paolo Pettigiani's series I R documents his early experiments with infrared photography playing with pink plants against a snowy landscape
Paolo Pettigiani's series I R documents his early experiments with infrared photography playing with pink plants against a snowy landscape
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Paolo Pettigiani's series I R documents his early experiments with infrared photography playing with pink plants against a snowy landscape
This and the following image offer a side-by-side look at the different ways a single image can be photographed. One image is the regular visible light spectrum and the other is a infrared image (Credit: Neal Wellons Flickr / CC BY 2.0)
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This and the following image offer a side-by-side look at the different ways a single image can be photographed. One image is the regular visible light spectrum and the other is a infrared image (Credit: Neal Wellons Flickr / CC BY 2.0)
This and the preceding image offer a side-by-side look at the different ways a single image can be photographed. One image is the regular visible light spectrum and the other is a infrared image (Credit: Neal Wellons Flickr / CC BY 2.0)
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This and the preceding image offer a side-by-side look at the different ways a single image can be photographed. One image is the regular visible light spectrum and the other is a infrared image (Credit: Neal Wellons Flickr / CC BY 2.0)
A rich black-and-white image in infrared (Credit: Neal Wellons Flickr / CC BY 2.0)
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A rich black-and-white image in infrared (Credit: Neal Wellons Flickr / CC BY 2.0)
From Miguel Sala, this piece is titled "Dreamed Garden" (Credit: Miguel Sala Flickr / CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)
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From Miguel Sala, this piece is titled "Dreamed Garden" (Credit: Miguel Sala Flickr / CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)
Victor Sassen's infrared photography sits very closely against the visible light spectrum, delivering images that only just tip into infrared wavelengths (Credit: Victor Sassen Flickr / CC BY 2.0)
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Victor Sassen's infrared photography sits very closely against the visible light spectrum, delivering images that only just tip into infrared wavelengths (Credit: Victor Sassen Flickr / CC BY 2.0)
Victor Sassen's infrared photography sits very closely against the visible light spectrum, delivering images that only just tip into infrared wavelengths (Credit: Victor Sassen Flickr / CC BY 2.0)
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Victor Sassen's infrared photography sits very closely against the visible light spectrum, delivering images that only just tip into infrared wavelengths (Credit: Victor Sassen Flickr / CC BY 2.0)
Victor Sassen's infrared photography sits very closely against the visible light spectrum, delivering images that only just tip into infrared wavelengths (Credit: Victor Sassen Flickr / CC BY 2.0)
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Victor Sassen's infrared photography sits very closely against the visible light spectrum, delivering images that only just tip into infrared wavelengths (Credit: Victor Sassen Flickr / CC BY 2.0)
Another project from Kate Ballis, this time she traveled into the Atacama desert to capture a series of infrared images that feel entirely alien
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Another project from Kate Ballis, this time she traveled into the Atacama desert to capture a series of infrared images that feel entirely alien
Another project from Kate Ballis, this time she traveled into the Atacama desert to capture a series of infrared images that feel entirely alien
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Another project from Kate Ballis, this time she traveled into the Atacama desert to capture a series of infrared images that feel entirely alien
Another project from Kate Ballis, this time she traveled into the Atacama desert to capture a series of infrared images that feel entirely alien
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Another project from Kate Ballis, this time she traveled into the Atacama desert to capture a series of infrared images that feel entirely alien
Another project from Kate Ballis, this time she traveled into the Atacama desert to capture a series of infrared images that feel entirely alien
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Another project from Kate Ballis, this time she traveled into the Atacama desert to capture a series of infrared images that feel entirely alien
Another project from Kate Ballis, this time she traveled into the Atacama desert to capture a series of infrared images that feel entirely alien
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Another project from Kate Ballis, this time she traveled into the Atacama desert to capture a series of infrared images that feel entirely alien
Another project from Kate Ballis, this time she traveled into the Atacama desert to capture a series of infrared images that feel entirely alien
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Another project from Kate Ballis, this time she traveled into the Atacama desert to capture a series of infrared images that feel entirely alien

Ever since the first infrared photographs appeared over a century ago, the aesthetic has fascinated viewers with its otherworldly images. Making regular landscapes seem psychedelic and alien, the style is currently undergoing a resurgence in popularity as digital cameras have allowed a new generation to experiment with capturing different infrared wavelengths.

Our eyes can only see a quite narrow wavelength of light. Often referred to as the "visible light" spectrum, this usually spans the wavelengths between 380 and 700 nanometers. Above 700 nanometers is a spectrum referred to as infrared, and most infrared photography is concerned with capturing the narrow band of wavelengths between 700 and 1,000 nanometers – usually dubbed "near-infrared", so as to separate it from the longer infrared wavelengths more associated with thermal imaging.

Kate Ballis’ series Infra Realism is an  extreme and stylized take on the style, contrasting images of classic mid-century Palm Springs architecture with jarringly sharp and disorientating infrared purples and reds
Kate Ballis’ series Infra Realism is an  extreme and stylized take on the style, contrasting images of classic mid-century Palm Springs architecture with jarringly sharp and disorientating infrared purples and reds

One of the most iconic infrared film stocks of the 20th century was Kodak Ektachrome Infrared EIR (or the iteration developed for military uses called Aerochrome). Kodak discontinued production of the film in 2007 making it a highly sought-after commodity. Artist Richard Mosse famously utilized this discontinued Aerochrome film in a 2011 series called "Infra". Mosse traveled deep into the jungles of the Congo to photograph fighters in the local civil war and the bizarre yet beautiful pinks of the images contrast with the disturbing reality of the conflict.

Richard Mosse's amazing series "Infra" depicts rebels in an African civil war using a discontinued military grade infrared film stock that adds surreal pink hues to a landscape devastated by violent conflict
Richard Mosse's amazing series "Infra" depicts rebels in an African civil war using a discontinued military grade infrared film stock that adds surreal pink hues to a landscape devastated by violent conflict

The advent of digital photography has birthed a whole new generation of infrared photographers, despite modern DSLR cameras generally containing built-in infrared blockers that keep out infrared wavelengths. The easiest way around this is to use an infrared filter, but more dedicated photographers tend to actively convert cameras to solely pick up the infrared spectrum by removing this blocker and replacing it with a similar device that blocks the visible light spectrum.

Many modern digital infrared photographers are still toying with the classic pink/red hues reminiscent of older Kodak film. Paolo Pettigiani's series capturing New York's Central Park is an especially wonderful example of a modern digital infrared style. Kate Ballis' series Infra Realism is an even more extreme and stylized take on the style, contrasting images of classic mid-century Palm Springs architecture with jarringly sharp and disorientating infrared purples and reds.

Paolo Pettigiani's series Infrared NYC is a glorious examination of New York's Central Park that uses infrared filters to transform the greenery into a pink and red wonderland
Paolo Pettigiani's series Infrared NYC is a glorious examination of New York's Central Park that uses infrared filters to transform the greenery into a pink and red wonderland

More recently, a vast array of digital photographers have experimented with different types of infrared images, some more subtle than others, but all highlighting the fascinating visions that can be captured by imaging the wavelengths of light that our eyes cannot naturally see.

Take a look through the gallery for a trip through the world of infrared photography.

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