Look. See. Imagine. Create: Salton Sea in Infrared

Wash near Red Mountain
Mary’s photo of a wash near Red Hill #1

Mary and I were very excited to go to the Salton Sea after seeing many interesting and weird photographs on the WEB.  We missed out on a lot of the junk, but found some interesting and arresting landscapes.  Here’s one we really liked:


We knew the sky would be bald and that we would be shooting most of the day with bright sunshine.  It was also going to be a long day driving from Palm Springs to the southern end of the Salton Sea and back.  We both chose to use our infrared cameras for the day.

Here was a bit of the scene from near Red Mountain
Here was a bit of the scene from near Red Hill


We drove past these three trees stuck in the middle of a muddy wash on our way to the Red Hill marina.  We knew they would be a good subject and stopped on the way out.  We got a bonus when we saw an black egret in the branches.  The “wash” was muddy like quick sand, so we decided to stay on the road and shoot with telephotos.

Here is one of my original infrared RAW files
Here is one of my original infrared RAW files


It was easy here to imagine the final image in black and white as the colors were pretty washed out, anyway.  I tried several compositions – tree on the right; on the left; and centered in a portrait orientation.

Near Red Hill
1310_PSA_Salton Sea Infrared_009-Edit


Mary used Alien Skin Exposure 5, black white, with a light blue tone (cover image).  The other black and white images were processed in Lightroom 5 and then in Nik SilverEffects Pro 2.  I used green and blue filters to make the sky darker and adjusted exposure to make the trees brighter.  The infrared file already had a bit of a silhouette and I accentuated it even more in post processing.

1310_PSA_Salton Sea Infrared_007-Edit
This one is my favorite #4

Which one do you like best?

To see more of our photographs, please go to www.pamphotography.com.

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