All images taken by and used with permission from Benn Murhaaya.
We love the fact that Prague-based photographer Benn Murhaaya‘s portfolio, which includes documenting events and collaborating with performance artists, has evolved into the more bizarre and sometimes surreal photography, many of which (be warned!) may be NSFW, because he’s done a terrific job with them – somewhat turning regular cosplay and fetishes into storytelling photographs that are considerably darker and twisted. And we also love the fact that he has been helping with the film revival movement by focusing a lot of his energy on shooting 35mm and large format films.
But it’s his older digital work from 2008 that’s got our attention here at The Phoblographer. While we were browsing through his portfolio, we happened upon his cool digital infrared images of landscapes and industrial decay that he mostly shot with just his Fuji Finepix S9600 camera and a Hoya R72 filter. And we thought we’d share them with you.
Of this series, Murhaaya has this to say:
“With exception of photographs from Industrial Decay set (that was shot on Canon 5D Mark II), those were all shot using a Fuji Finepix S9600 compact camera. Back then, in 2008/2009 when these photographs were taken it was one of more high profile EVF cameras. Filter I used was classic choice Hoya R72 an almost opaque piece of glass. This allows through only very narrow part of visible spectrum and lets through the near infrared beyond 700-800 nm. Together with the rather weak IR blocking filter inside the camera, I was able to take pictures with exposure times around one second during the most sunny days. With ISO set to 100 and aperture on 2.8. Using a compact camera, every picture was a battle against the noise, that quickly started showing up even on such low ISO. On the plus side, the EVF came in very handy, because it allowed me to compose with the filter on. After a while I got used to the world in near IR where leaves are white and sky turns dark, almost complete reverse of the normal tonal values, so I was able to judge the framing without the need to look through the viewfinder.”
Infrared photography has not really quite caught on, despite its attractiveness and the fact that when used right it really does add a kind of surreal quality to the images; that’s probably because shooting IR is a longer trickier process or maybe because it might just be too unreal looking to most photographers. But we’re hoping that sharing Murhaaya’s IR work will inspire you to utilize IR for an awesome series of your own.
Check out Murhaaya’s cool-looking IR images after the jump.