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Keeneland in another light

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One of the things I enjoy most is showing people things they don’t normally get to see. The infrared camera is another way to do that.

We all know what horses look like, and most of us in Central Kentucky have a good idea what Keeneland race track looks like. But I’m pretty sure none of us have ever thought about what Keeneland might look like in the infrared light spectrum.

About a year ago, I converted an old Canon 10D digital SLR so that it shoot only infrared photos. Infrared film used to be the only way to do this and it was always so finicky and expensive. But with a camera dedicated only for infrared, I’m able to check what I’m doing on the spot and I can use any of my lenses.

I spent $100 on a filter that had to be installed in the inner guts of a camera I didn’t use much. I decided to try the installation myself, using instructions provided by the company that makes the filter. When completed, the camera only records infrared light, which is at the end of the visible light spectrum.

And now for the fun part! Shooting infrared photos has the most impact outdoors where there is plenty of foliage and partly cloudy skies. Infrared light reflects off of leaves and grass and such intensity that it makes them appear white. And blue skies turn dark and the contrast between the clouds and sky is enhanced. This gives images a very dreamy, other-world look.

The photos above show what the paddock looks like in the normal light spectrum and in infrared.

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9 Responses to “Keeneland in another light”
  1. Jodi says:

    GREAT photos! I especially love the sycamore. What an interesting and unique look at Keeneland, especially for someone like me who has lived here most of my life and has seen Keeneland many times. Awesome work, David (as usual).

  2. WOW!! I knew this photo was yours as soon as I saw it.

  3. Thank you for including me in your photo.
    I often paint in the walking ring from beneath the maple tree with that magnificent sycamore as a focal point.

  4. patrick murphy says:

    Very sexy!

  5. BMoore says:

    Very powerful photos – using this technique captures the beauty of Keeneland and brings it up another notch. Great job!

  6. David C. says:

    How absolutely wonderful to see infrared imaging used by someone with your superb skills. Thank you for sharing your creativity in this rather unusual, but extraordinary media.


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