2022 Retrospective: Infrared Art and Architecture #10

February 4, 2023  |  West Salem, Wisconsin

Bandstand in Village Park in West Salem, Wisconsin. August 2022

Category: Infrared Art and Architecture

The bandstand at the Village Park in West Salem has been the scene of warm weather concerts and other village events for 99 years...
Village Park Bandstand

The Subject

The bandstand at the Village Park in West Salem has been the scene of warm weather concerts and other village events for 99 years. Built in 1924 at a cost of $4000.00, it is a well-preserved example of a type of historic structure found in dozens of communities all across Wisconsin.

The Composition

My initial plan was to get some captures of the bandstand with large trees near the structure providing a backdrop. That plan was not working, as there was not enough visual separation between the bright leaves (in infrared) and the white structure. I noticed some interesting patterns in the mostly overcast sky, and moved to a lower angle in order to bring more of the clouds into the scene.

Placing the camera on the ground added a simple foreground element which directs the eye up the stairway and into the bandstand. The trees now anchor the structure in its environment. The clouds make me think of the music which has flowed out of this bandstand for almost 100 years.

Creating the Image

In order to capture as much of the dynamic range in this scene as possible, I shot a series of exposure bracketed shots and combined one set of three captures (see above) into one HDR (high dynamic range) image in Lightroom. This image was then processed for noise reduction and selective sharpening using Topaz AI tools. I find that this step is often necessary for infrared images due to the way that infrared light is handled by different lenses at various zoom levels and apertures, and for the way that camera logic processes what the sensor detects. Power lines were removed in Photoshop. Conversion to black and white, basic adjustments and some masking were done in Lightroom.

Infrared Image Capture and Processing

Each journal entry in this series will have a short piece on equipment and processing choices for infrared photography.