Tuesday 12 June 2018

Colour infrared photos from Normandy

Despite Kodak discontinuing their colour infrared Ektachrome film several years ago, some photographer have found ways to continue shooting false colour infrared images on film. An enterprising photographer in Germany, Dean Bennici, has sourced, trimmed, and then sold stock of Aerochrome over the past few years. He has recently been offering a negative false colour film, known only as CIR. This is still (just) available and is a 120 roll film. The larger image size makes a serious difference for this kind of image as photographer like Richard Mosse and Ed Thompson have demonstrated.

I recently came across the work of Lynda Laird, who has used that CIR film to document what remains of the coastal bunkers that were part of the defences along the Normandy coast. You can find her photographs on her web site, and here is an example. As you can see, the film produces very nice results.

Where the film originated is a bit of a mystery. Dean tells me his source was in Russia, but there were no identifying markings on either the canisters or on the film itself. My personal feeling is that it is either Russian or, maybe, from the erstwhile East Germany. I have a document on Soviet Russian infrared technology and I must dig through it to see if there are any clues. After all, there was the extraordinary infrared movie, Soy Cuba, shot by Cubans and Russians using Soviet military-grade infrared B+W film in the 1960s.