While traveling back home I picked up a few cameras at a camera show. One, as I mentioned before, was a Polaroid SX-70. You can check out my last photo “Areum in an Instant” to see what that one can do.
This photo, “Borders in Infrared,” was shot with the other new ( well, new to me at least ) camera – a Rolleiflex Automat A with a 3.5f Tessar lens. It’s a beauty. This twin lens reflex camera was made circa 1951 in Germany, and its engineering and quality are superb. Everything works perfectly on her, and I feel very fortunate to have her in my care.
This particular photo is of a sculpture exhibit called ‘Borders’ by Steinunn Thorarinsdottir, an Icelandic Artist who visited Dallas, Texas to install her work. Check out http://www.steinunnth.com/ to see more of Steinunn’s art.
I was nervous while shooting this roll, for focusing was a challenge. I wasn’t the slightest bit confident that the photos would turn out well. When shooting infrared film, we’re not focusing on the object that’s visible to our eyes. In fact, we’re focusing on the infrared light that is bouncing off of everything. You may have seen little red dots or lines on old SLR lenses. Those marks are for focusing in infrared. Basically, you line up your shot as normal and then shift the focus over to that red dot. Visibly, the photo will look blurry in your viewfinder- yet the shot in infrared will be crystal clear. Well, my Rolleiflex doesn’t come with any red dots or lines. I made sure to shoot at f16 – a small aperture helps everything to be in focus. From experience, I knew that I’d needed to adjust the focus to be a little closer to me – so slightly in front of the object being shot. Again, this is because we’re capturing the infrared light bouncing off of the object – not the visible object itself. I’m pleased and relieved to write that the whole roll came out well, perfectly in focus. I’m sure I’ll be sharing plenty more from this roll and camera in the near future.
Shot with a Rolleiflex Automat A on slightly expired Efke IR 820 infrared film, Hoya R72 filtered. Personally developed in the darkroom with D-76. © Patrick Bresnahan