East Frisian Island Infrared Vibes

I managed to get my hands on a few more rolls of colour infrared, so come join me for some unpredictable results as we go for a walk on an East Frisian island off Germany's North Sea coast.

"CIR 320" is the official name of this colour infrared film, however it is not Kodak Aerochome (thankfully I also have a roll of that to use). Both films were procured from the "infrared guru" himself, Dean Bennici. Luckily, Dean also lives in Munich so I caught up with him recently to chat about all things film, prints, and of course, infrared. If you haven't tried his infrared film (only available in 120mm film), then you really must give it a go - you won't find anything else like it! 

About the shots

I was back on the island of Langeoog (I did a travel related blog post here) for a few days and what better place to take the colour infrared film for a spin. I was intrigued by how this film would fair in a landscape made up of wide open North Sea views and rolling sand dunes with plenty of different types of vegetation.

I went for a long cycle (remember this is a car free island!) with 2 rolls of film and my Rolleiflex. At the advice of Dean I used an orange filter on one roll and a yellow on the other, although I wasn't very diligent in noting down which shots had which filter! But there are definitely marked differences in the shots below. All shots were exposed at ISO 320, with appropriate exposure compensation for the relevant filter.

I didn't ask them to walk in a line, honest. Some very cool infrared views here, I like the different tones.
I really like how contrasty this shot is and the infrared effect is not too overpowering (it is in some other shots). It is really hit and miss with infrared as we don't know how strong the effect will be, which makes sense given we can't actually see infrared light!
Quite hard to compose this shot, so I cropped the final shot. I quite like how it turned out with the varying degrees of infrared effect across the different types of vegetation. The main town of the island and the water tower is in the distance.
The famous German 'Strandkorb' (Beach huts), with the North Sea in the background.
LangeoogCIR6.jpg
The famous colourful island train, travelling c.2k from the harbour to the main town. Interesting to see how the carriage colours change in infrared.
Airplanes at the small airport. I like this shot but find the red infrared effect overwhelms the composition a bit.
The harbour. Not sure why this shot came out so contrasty, but I still like it. I do enjoy how unpredictable this film can be.
Infrared on steroids!!
I like how subtle the reds come out here, matched with a extremely dark blue sky, really unusual!
I like how the train track seemingly continues on to infinity.
Looking towards the mainland, where a wind farm dominates the view. 
I was amazed by how patient these guys waited for me to compose and take my shot! Actually I think they thought I had food for them.
One of the many small planes that land on Langeoog. 
A shot of the train from the other side, interesting how different the light reacts to the previous train shot.
Solitary figure.
Shot directly into the sunset without a lens hood, just to see what would happen! I actually quite like the shot, both for the infrared colours but also the lens flare from the sunset. A very "warm" photo indeed!
One of my favourite shots, the island's water tower. Really strong blues and reds in this shot.
Yep they fly really, really low when coming in to land!
Slightly less IR effect here, but I quite like the composition.
Another sunset and very warm shot!
Although this is a very "busy" shot I really like it and may print it out.

Overall observations

I am always amazed by how different this film reacts under different conditions. This is the same film that I took with me to the Alps, and the colours look very different. It was really interesting to try both an orange and yellow filter. I prefer stronger, deeper colours, so I might continue using the orange filter. Even though all these shots were taking over a 2-3 hour period it looks like they were taken on different days, I guess infrared lights varies a lot by different weather conditions. And of course this being a small island, the weather changes very quickly. 

I was really surprised by the photo take in the small forested area that turned out bright pink, compared to the more traditional red vegetation and dark blue skies. The great thing about this film is that you really don't know what you're going to get until you see the final negatives. I also think the shots in the Alps taken with my Hasselblad 501c were sharper overall than these taken with the Rolleiflex. 

I hope you enjoyed the short tour around the wonderful island that is Langeoog.  And if you have a medium format camera, then go buy some colour infrared film, I promise it is unlike anything else you have shot!

Thanks for stopping by and see you next time,

Neil