The Light Beyond explores my 21 years of work with infrared photography. The magic of infrared photography is rooted in how different it can make the familiar appear; it can create images that are dreamlike, if not outright surreal. Although it is over a century old, infrared photography still remains a relatively obscure corner of the photographic world.

My attraction to infrared photography stretches back almost thirty years: in my youth, I loved Simon Marsden’s Visions of Poe, a book of haunting infrared photographs of gothic castles, graveyards and churches. I didn’t know until much later that it was Marsden’s photography that inspired Anton Corbijn’s wonderful infrared image on the cover of U2’s 1984 album The Unforgettable Fire (and the later cover for The Joshua Tree) - an album I bought in duplicate to be able to pin a copy of the cover on the wall of my bedroom. Even before I understood what I was looking at, I responded to the rich contrast and elegant drama of infrared photography.

 

From my early experiments in 1991, to my work with infrared film between 1998 and 2003, when it became a cornerstones of my creative process, to my current work with digital infrared, there have been few directions that my work has taken that have not been explored by the surreal beauty of infrared photography.

The magic of infrared photography is how different it makes things appear in comparison to conventional images: skies go inky black, skin and trees are pale, almost luminous, and water of any kind changes dramatically. All these elements combine to create images that are dreamlike, if not outright surreal. Part of the wonder of working with infrared light is that often the familiar becomes magical, and this is no small part of my attraction - the sheer joy of photographing something just to see how it looks!

 

The 17 page exhibition booklet is available for download.

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© 1986-2019 by Eric Boutilier-Brown Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada