Mark Davis talks through how and why he shot these amazing infrared images at this year's Coachella music and arts festival.
During the first week of Coachella we tend to cover stage acts as well as fashion stories. Our LA team works extremely hard to cover what's happening around the event and I'm very proud to be part of it.
When we move to the second week of Coachella we have a smaller team and out of that team a couple of us tend to shoot more specialized photography. This is my favorite week of Coachella as it presents us with a fresh canvas to tell the story of Coachella in a different way.
Our specialized photography typically includes panoramic, 360’s and time lapses. Infrared photography to the best of my knowledge was a first for Getty Images to try at Coachella.
One of the most interesting aspects of infrared photography is that light that would typically be unwanted in normal photography is actually preferred when doing infrared photography. Basically, the greater or more intense the light, the better the photos will come out.
For instance when green plants and trees photosynthesize, infrared light is reflected and this creates a beautiful white color when processed in Photoshop. I've never been so excited to shoot in harsh, high afternoon sun before!
For gear I used a modified Canon 5D Mark III camera. In short, this is a camera that has a modified sensor that unlike other cameras actually lets infrared light pass through. By using a modified sensor the photographer is still able to use autofocus, metering and live view. The other way of shooting infrared is to use a specialized filter over then lens and is much more obtrusive to the creative process.
One challenging aspect of infrared photography is the way human skin could react. I had several shots that where unusable as the infrared light would actually show veins and blood flow especially in the legs creating an unflattering look.
One of my favorite shots was when I was able to shoot from an elevated position. This allowed me to capture as many trees and greenery as possible.
This was a wonderful opportunity and I'm looking forward to the next event where Getty Images will continue to think outside the box or in this case outside the normal light spectrum!
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