Church of St. Michael Infrared Wedding Photograph

Church of St. Michael infrared wedding photograph was taken at the beautiful wedding of Kenton & Samantha in Stillwater, MN.

I wanted to share this image right away because I think it’s kind of cool and I wanted to give Kenton & Samantha a little teaser image from their awesome wedding yesterday at the Church of St. Michael in Stillwater, MN.

Color infrared wedding photograph of a bride & groom at Church of St. Michael in Stillwater, MN.

Color infrared wedding photo Kenton & Samantha at the Church of St. Michael.

This unique infrared wedding photograph falls under the category of “something old is new again”.

Years ago when we used film at weddings (call me if you don’t know what that is), we had a special camera loaded with 36 exposures of KODAK High-Speed Infrared Film. We used this special film and camera combination to create both pretty and pretty unusual B&W wedding photographs at weddings.

Handling, exposing and developing this film was very tricky for a number of reasons.

First, you had to load and unload the film in total darkness and the camera body had to be “light tight.” That sounds pretty obvious, but since infrared light is invisible to you and me, it could “sneak in” many camera bodies without you even knowing it until you found out the film was ruined later on.

Infrared Light Is Invisible To The Naked Eye

Second, because there is no way of “measuring” the amount of infrared light in a scene, so you had to guess on the exposure in the camera. In doing so I would “bracket exposures” by as much as six f-stops. So you would use six of the 36 exposures on the roll of film just to get one pose that (hopefully) gave you a nice negative to print!

Third, since infrared light focuses at a different wavelength than visible light, so you had to adjust the focus of the image so it was actually out of focus to your eye! It took lots of practice, but I got pretty good at getting images that were in focus.

Oh, and I almost forgot the most challenging part of all. Once you had it in focus (you hoped), you put a dark red filter on the lens to block out all visible light (I used a KODAK WRATTEN Gelatin Filter No. 25 red), so that only the infrared light (actually called near infrared) got to the film. When you did this, this viewfinder was completely useless as this dark red filter was basically opaque.

It was very weird and challenging, but you got very cool stuff if you did everything right!

Fast forward to 2015 and this Church of St. Michael infrared wedding photo.

Well in the past few months, we’ve been updating some of our camera bodies and that left me with a decision to make; what to do with the “retired” ones? They’re still in working order and still take very nice images so you don’t just throw them away! So I had our Canon 5D camera permanently converted to shoot infrared photographs. Not just any infrared conversion either, but Super Color Infrared!

The camera arrived back on Thursday and I couldn’t wait to give it a try at Kenton & Samantha’s wedding yesterday! Infrared photography is at it’s best when it’s sunny outside (the complete opposite of what we photographers really want) and of course, it was mostly overcast yesterday. But I like what we’ve got as you’ll see later on this week after the final wedding editing is complete.

There are still some things you need to do before exposure, including refocusing for the near-infrared wavelength, but instead of B&W only as in the “film days,” we can do unusual colors with the camera conversion. I choose the pink tones for this Church of St. Michael infrared wedding photograph to compliment the pink flowers that Samantha choose for her wedding day.

Black & white infrared wedding photograph of a bride & groom at Church of St. Michael in Stillwater, MN.

B&W infrared wedding photo Kenton & Samantha at the Church of St. Michael.

What I like about the digital camera conversion method is that I can choose color or black & white (or both) as my image’s final style.

I hope you enjoyed this unusual Church of St. Michael infrared wedding photograph. I look forward to showing you the rest of Kenton and Samantha’s wedding day highlights later in the week. There may be another infrared image or two mixed in there too!

Have a great Sunday! – M&J

“Church of St. Michael Infrared Wedding Photograph” – ©2015 Michael Anderson Photography.

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