All photos by Apo Genc. Used with Creative Commons permission.
Imagination is undoubtedly a big part of creative photography, In fact, it’s the very fuel that drive photographers like Apo Genc to see things differently and reimagine entire cities altogether. Case in point is today’s featured series, wherein the self-taught photographer used the surreal aesthetic of infrared photography to re-imagine and portray Hamburg as a utopian city. We often see infrared photography work nicely for landscape photography, so if you’ve ever been curious how it works with urbanscapes, this series will give you some ideas.
Aptly titled Utopia, the series features a bunch of infrared pictures Genc shot with a Hoya R72 filter glass from 2017 to 2019. For the inspiration behind the series, he cited a beautiful quote from Carl Sagan: “Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere.” Indeed, it was imagination that guided his ideas for this series, and it’s imagination that allows viewers to appreciate the vision itself.
The landmark of infrared photography, as we’ve seen in the previous series, is it changes how foliage looks. This set is no exception. The foliage in pink creates an eye-catching contrast against the monochromatic buildings and architectural structures, with both elements effectively highlighting each other. Since this series presents the idea of a utopian city, we can take a look at it as a totally different version of Hamburg — foliage and all. It almost feels like we’re looking at an alternate universe: one born out of a colorful imagination.
The series is a testament to infrared photography’s unique ability to portray a world hidden to us. Because it captures scenes in a spectrum of light invisible to the human eye, this special type of photography proves effective for exploring the idea of alternate worlds.