2 Mar 2010


So while I was in Berlin I went for a little "excursion" with others in the group to Leipzig, and spent some time with Erasmus Schröter - a German photographer based in Leipzig and who was active during the time before the Berlin wall, and further divisions in Germany had fallen.

To cut a looonng story short, his work is very fucking interesting and I wrote so much during those few hours I had blisters on my fingers - and I also discovered a new technique I wanted to try out, infrared photography. Some of his infrared work can be seen here and more can be seen in his recent publication, "Im Mondschein" (In the Moonlight) in the section titled "Tafeln II".

Although I am a photography student, having studied for 2 years prior to starting university - and have been interested in photography for quite some time, i don't think I have come across infrared portraits before. I have, since seeing works in Leipzig, researched the field and have become increasingly interested in trying it out myself.

I have recently purchased several infrared filters and films online (ebay, oh how I adore you) - and some old slide film which, apparently, when processed without being exposed can be used as an effective filter for flash guns - basically converting the "visible light" gun to an "invisible light" gun, invisible to the human eye - flash photography without warning aye? love it. Erasmus explained that while he was taking photos, even though it is clear that a flash was used - his "victims" didn't have any idea they were being photographed other than the usual "click" of the camera in the darkness, which could have been anything. Infrared light is on a different wavelength to what humans can detect, so it's the perfect way for shy photographers to capture the human form without feeling like they're gona get the shit beaten out of them... anyone elses mind thinks of WeeGee's image of the couple in the cinema having a good old snog? yup, imagine that scene with a standard flash.

"Wartende en einer Haltestelle in der Neujahrsnacht, Leipzig 1981"

"Tätowierter vor Karussells, Leipzig 1981"

Anyways, I figured i'd update my blog with my new found interest... I shall be using my Canon AV-1 35mm SLR, a flash gun i've just bought off ebay which is nowt special (no bounce/moving head).. and the films and filters, specs when they arrive. I can't wait to get back to using film, and black and white to that matter - even if the effects will be different to what I have been used to up until now, yay for capturing some night owls. I like the "milky" texture skin appears to have, and how dark and sullen the eyes become - i've read of some images being described as "dreamlike" - I think "eerie" and "illusory" are more distinct descriptions of the effect.

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