Olive Trees in Infrared

Olive Trees in Infrared by Mike Jackobo

A photograph of olive trees in infrared. I made the photo with the sun In the frame. The backlight creates a strong gradient between light and shadows on the trees. The only problem with the location of the sun is that the sky is a very light blue, instead of the more impressive dark blue of false-colour infrared.

I began exploring photography as a means of artistic expression in 2008. A couple of years later, I discovered the magical world of infrared photography. I did my first attempts in infrared with the Panasonic DMC LX3. I wasn’t converted to an infrared camera but it could record light in the infrared spectrum with a proper filter. It wasn’t the perfect solution but it could produce good enough images. It certainly allowed me to explore the possibilities of this style of photography before moving to more specialized tools.

At that time I made an infrared photo in this olive field. I didn’t really knew what I was doing; I just went there and began snapping what I thought would be good images. In one of those photos, everything aligned to perfection. As it is easy to imagine, it helped to boost my confidence and make me try even harder to surpass this first achievement. That olive field has been the subject of a few of the photos I presented over the years; either in infrared or regular photography. I always went for a different style of shot though.

Old and New

Although the general idea behind both photos is the same, I made everything in the new one the opposite of the old. In the old photo, I was standing at the middle of the space between the rows of trees. In this one, I stand to the side, next to a tree. My aim was to create this diagonal line from left to right. Also in the old photo I had the sun behind me. Here, the sun is in the frame but hidden by the leaves of the olives. As I mentioned earlier, this creates a gradient between the light and the shadow on the leaves of the trees. A strong backlight also assists in separating the various layers of the composition. This makes each tree stand out more and gives more depth to the photo.

The only thing I find annoying is the colour of the sky. The sun makes the blue in the sky appesr washed out. It is a compromise though, since I wanted to go for the sun in the frame.

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