Color Infrared Portrait – Oyindamola

Color Infrared Portrait - Oyindamola

I finally got the chance to put a roll of Kodak Aerochrome color infrared film through my Rolleiflex Automat A. Prior to this roll, I’d mainly shot color infrared film with a Holga. I’ve found that focusing a Holga is a bit easier compared to my Rolleiflex when it comes to infrared photography. Typically, I’d shoot my Holga on infinity / f11 aperture and most everything is crisp ( at least the center of the frame – Holga’s are known for their soft, blurred edges ).

The Rolleiflex has a fixed focal length, meaning it doesn’t have a zoom lens. So this camera and its Tessar lens allows the photographer to capture the subject crisply, with blurred foregrounds and backgrounds. The bokeh that this camera gives gives is lovely. However, focusing for infrared isn’t exactly easy. As I mentioned in a previous post, the photographer isn’t actually capturing the subject as we see it with this film. Instead,  one is capturing the infrared light that is reflecting off of his or her subject. So, infrared focusing marks on lens barrels come into play. These marks allow us to adjust our focus and properly capture the subject crisply in the infrared light spectrum. However, my Rolleiflex doesn’t have such marks. With traditional color or black and white film, this isn’t an issue. Focusing the camera is very smooth and simple. Yet for infrared film, I basically have to take an estimated guess, and focus slightly in front of my subject. In my viewfinder, the image will appear blurry. However, if done properly, the shot will be clear in infrared light.

I typically shoot IR film on clear days. If it’s bright and sunny, I can shoot at f/16 and get nearly everything in focus. However, I shot Oyindamola on a cloudy, rainy day. Since the skies were darker, I had to open up the aperture a bit. A larger aperture plus my  estimation being a bit off lead to a slightly blurry Oyindamola. I’m still proud and pleased with the shot, and Oyindamola, although not a model by profession, was very easy and natural to photograph.

In general, portraits are a bit tougher for me. If I’m shooting a landscape, I can be patient, set up my shot, wait for the lighting to be perfect, and snap away. I’ve had some success with portraits by using the same formula. With Jina, I waited until her friend off camera made a quip and had her laugh, thereby exposing her character.  I speedily snapped the shot right as this happened. That particular photo was easier to get in focus since I shot it in 35mm using a lens that had infrared focusing marks.

Regardless, I love shooting color infrared film with my Rolleiflex. I have some beautiful photographs from this roll to be sharing soon. I hope you all enjoy my art and passion! This shot was captured with a Rolleiflex Automat A on Kodak Aerochrome color infrared film, Tiffen Yellow #12 filtered and E6 processed. © Patrick Bresnahan


15 thoughts on “Color Infrared Portrait – Oyindamola

  1. Oh, and in case anyone is wondering, Oyindamola was wearing blue jeans and a red shirt. I’m guessing her nails were painted red, too. It’s strange how they turned yellow in infrared lighting.

      • Yeah, I was glad that I’d had another photo of her taken on regular color film. I’d forgotten what color clothes she was wearing. Anyhow, I’m glad you like it. Thanks for commenting ^^

  2. Pingback: Color Infrared Portrait – Murad and Ammar | pj brez photography

  3. Great Picture! Where did you get this Film, cause this film is normaly not avaliable since years ?
    On some of the Pro-Glasses there are little marks for focusing infrared, so on my 100mm Zeiss Planar for my Hasselblad.
    Lucky Boy to get your hands on stuff like that, WOW!
    Have fun !
    Greethings from Vienna!

    • Hey, sorry for the late reply! Yes, Kodak Aerochrome / EIR is incredibly rare. It hasn’t been widely sold since 2007, I believe. I was able to get some film through an online auction.

      Yes, several of my lenses have dots or marks for focusing in infrared. I typically don’t have a problem. Yet, my Rolleiflex is quite old. It was made in 1951 and is a more basic model – no light meter, batteries, etc. It’s simple and I absolutely love shooting it. The only downside is that it doesn’t have those marks for focusing in IR. For the most part, I haven’t had a problem. I normally shoot on bright, sunny days so I can use a small aperture and make most everything in focus : ) If you have time, check out my other IR photos here. There are plenty : )

  4. First of all, cheers for shooting film. I did that some time ago as well, and I sincerely hope to get back to that one day. But you’re making it into something different man. No prob, with an ambassador like you, celluloid ain’t gonna dissapear any time soon. It is more than safe for now, keep it up…

    • Hahah, why thank you! I truly cherish shooting film and I hope it doesn’t disappear anytime soon. I’m always saddened when I find out a certain film has been discontinued. Let’s hope others also find joy in shooting film so that it lives long!

      I appreciate your comment. I’m trying my best to produce quality images. I usually only post once or twice a week because I want to marinate on my photos so to speak. I want to look at them again and again and decide which ones stick out, which ones are worthy of being shared. I also want to show all the benefits of shooting film – from large grain, to cross processing, pinhole photos, infrared, etc. There’s so much experimentation that can be done with something as real and tangible as film. I’d rather produce an image and be happy with how I captured it rather than tweaking it in photoshop and editing it until I’m satisfied. Anyhow, thanks again for your comment. And go ahead, put a roll of film in your camera and give it a go!

      • I’ll let you know when I dust of my old friends again, to stuff them with old school film. But for the time being, I’ll just keep it in the back of my head, by passing by once in a while. Seeya

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