Friday 17 June 2011

Infrared: the eleventh dimension

A slightly whimsical post this time.

I've been thinking about the multi-dimensional nature of photography and how choosing the wavelengths in which to shoot is part of a photographer's wider set of choices when taking a photograph: the dimensions.

We have ...
  1. the three dimensions of space for our position
  2. the three dimensions of orientation for our direction of shooting (pitch, roll and yaw)
  3. the dimension of perspective and framing (choice of focal length)
  4. the dimension of time (when we press the shutter)
  5. the dimension of duration (how long is the exposure)
  6. the dimension of focus (and depth of field)
  7. the dimension of spectrum (what wavelengths we record)
By that reckoning choosing to look at the world in infrared is part of the eleventh dimension of photography. If that works then there is an eerie similarity with part of string theory which postulates that space-time has eleven dimensions, of which we only experience three.