Vermont views in Infrared

My yearly pilgrimage to rowing camp in rural Vermont was a great opportunity to bring loads of film and look for some new and interesting views! Join me for a wander around the Green Mountain State (in this case shades of red!)

Easily my favourite week of the year, when my twin brother and I travel all the way to the middle of nowhere in deepest darkest Vermont to go visit Craftsbury Sculling Camp. I also did quite an extensive photo session last year as part of my 52 rolls of film project, you can see that post here. In fact, looking back on that post it seems we had much better and britgher weather last year. Mind you, with this post being about infrared film I was expecting some funky results anyways. 

That being said, the traditional black-and-white Rollei infrared film shots are not my best, a big gloop of white clouds and white vegetation makes for an unremarkable image in my opinion. Infrared works best in the middle of the day with a cloudless sky, however I still put up those shots for fun. 

First we can start with the colour infrared shots. This is the same wonderful IR film I used on a recent post going around the Bavarian and Austrian Alps, it really excels in good weather. Interestingly the shots I got in Vermont were completely different from an overall infrared effect. 

All shots (both colour and normal infrared film) were taken with my trustworthy Hasselblad 501c setup. In terms of a theme I was not looking for anything in particular, just scenes that may have some strong IR effect. The weather was not particularly cooperative for IR photography, although for rowing it was quite nice as otherwise it gets too hot. I also had to skip the mandatory afternoon nap post lunch to go out and get these shots, now that is some dedication! 

By the way the main shot above was taken along the I-93. If you haven't yet seen the film Super Troopers, you really need to! An empty Vermont highway photo will make total sense.

Pity I got this slightly out of focus, but there is something really eerie about this shot. Cool!
Back of the Great Hosmer Pond, where we spend a whole week rowing as part of our sculling camp.
Looks more like a painting than a photograph, pity I did not get more of a closeup shot of the main subjects though.
My favourite shot of the roll. Looks the same every year we drive by here, I guess things don't change that much around here. 
The main church of Craftsbury Common (pop. 1,136). This place has been around for a while (by US standards), it was founded in 1871. I really like the composition of this shot with the fluorescent tree!
The cat moved just before I took this shot and totally ruined my planned symmetry.
These are sculling boat oars cleverly built into a wooded area just on the shores of the Great Hosmer Pond where we row. You can see what these scene really looks like in my next post, which will contain "normal" photographs.
The end of a sculling session, everything (and everyone) seems to be too bright!
I think this film (and normal IR film) really excels with bright blue skies at about midday. This shot came out really nicely, even if a tad overexposed.
People always take this shot from inside the boathouse, but I can be pretty sure I am the only one that has done it with infrared film!
I didn't have that much luck with the Rollei classic infrared film, and these are the best out of the 12 from the roll. My "keep rate" is usually much higher. Some good IR effect below in the vegetation but it kind of gets lost with the really bright clouds. That being said you do sometimes get really good definitions of clouds, but it is better (composition wise) if mixed with empty spaces.
The little Hosmer pond, didn't come out as I liked but decided to add it in.
One of my favourite shots, I really like how solitary this barn looks.
Another shot of the little Hosmer pond.
The Activity center at Craftsbury Outdoor centre. 
Did not quite get the IR effect I was looking for and a cloudless sky would have been more dramatic.
A cabin overlooking the Great Hosmer Pond. One thing I do like about IR photography is how it makes an otherwise boring shot into something quite interesting and intriguing.
I think this is my favourite shot of the Rollei film, I remember taking ages to compose the shot whilst being annoyed I had forgotten to put mosquito spray on and suffering because of it!  There is something magical and eerie at the same time about this shot. Funny that in real life it is an extremely green looking scene!

Overall observations

I always enjoy the challenge of shooting infrared film, even when I take a gamble like I did this time on the weather. I think the best time to shoot is right at noon on a cloudless or near cloudless sky with bright sun.

There is probably a lot of research around where are the best latitudes on Earth for higher infrared activity, or particular times of year, however, sometimes the best idea is to simply pick up a camera and go for a walk...everything that comes as a result is just a bonus!

And with that in mind I will keep this post short and sweet, I will have a longer post coming soon about our experiences at Craftsbury Outdoor Center.  For now I hope you enjoyed these shots as much as I did planning and taking them. 

Thanks for stopping by!

Neil