Tuesday 25 August 2015

Infrared Photography in Cuba

Cuba is a fascinating place for photography, with its blend of Spanish colonial architecture, old vehicles and picturesque scenery. It has an infrared legacy as well, if you recall the movie Soy Cuba. I took a roll of infrared film on my trip, almost 20 years ago, although the only place I used it was in Varadero, which is not necessarily the place to go to experience the real Cuba. The shot at the top of the page is from Varadero ... in the older part of town away from the tourists on the beach.

So, if you are based in the USA and fancy an infrared photographic trip before Cuba changes (which I hope it doesn't) then you could do worse that go in the company of Laurie Klein.

Camera Voyages have organised the logistics, flying from Tampa, Florida and visiting Havana, Cienfuegos and Trinidad between December 3rd and December 10th. Take plenty of dollar bills (the locals may ask you for some!), or pens or soap.

This isn't just an infrared trip, Bruce Byers will be exercising a Phase One digital back as well. Basically, as the trip promotion says ...
Laurie will help you find unique ways to capture the feelings, sights and sounds of a culture different then ours at home, through method acting, taping into your inner creative voice and having fun.

Bruce will help you capture the streets and the motion with in the frame. The culture is all around. He will help you tell the Cuban story with your camera.

[September 5th: Only one place left ...]

Monday 10 August 2015

Concerning a visit to Bath

A recent visit to Bath included the Herschel Museum of Astronomy, which occupies a house where William Herschel and his sister Caroline lived and is also home to the William Herschel Society. This isn't the location of his famous discovery of infrared radiation (by then he had moved to Slough) but it is from where he first observed the planet Uranus in March 1781. If you're in Bath I recommend a visit. It should give you some measure of the man and his times and will also remind you of how important a scientist his sister Caroline was as well.

While there I discussed the infrared discovery with the staff and was shown a section of the Herschel Chronicles book (originally published in 1933 and now available in facsimile) which includes correspondence between Herschel and his patron Sir Joseph Banks. The Chronicle's author notes that Herschel, as was common at the time, thought radiant heat was fundamentally different to light. We now know that the two are different only in their wavelength.

Banks is encouraging Herschel to use the term 'Radiant Heat' rather than Caloric, which Banks linked to the 'French system of Chemistry'. Time has proved Banks correct and Herschel was glad to take his advice, saying he was 'very ready to change the word Caloric for Radiant Heat, which expresses my meaning extremely well'.