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Down the Rabbit Hole | by Don Komarechka
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Down the Rabbit Hole

I believe this image perfectly represents my photographic style, and the most unique "selfie" I've ever taken. In fact, I highly doubt an image like this has ever been made before. You're looking at a fisheye infrared image with a reflection in a "hot mirror" filter showing the man behind the camera. Say what?

 

Circular fisheye lenses have very limited use. They're goofy and fun, but it's rare that I actually get a valuable image out of one. The distorted 180 degree field of view can be manageable, bit the circular image truly limits the appeal in most cases. Then you're going for an oddball image, why not push even further and make it in infrared?

 

One of the reasons I converted a camera for exclusive infrared work was because I wanted to use extremely wide angle lenses that could not accommodate a filter. The infrared world continues to fascinate me, with a surreal glimpse into landscapes with glowing trees, but it's much more than that. It's an invisible world where light behaves differently. For those curious, I'm not a vampire - despite the look of my eyes in this frame. The iris becomes darker in IR images and can create a creepy look in your eyes. Skin also becomes smoother and softer, taking a few years away from your complexion in an eerie manner. (I call this the vampire look)

 

The real fun with this image is the use of a little known filter called a "hot mirror". This filter is transparent in the visible spectrum, but acts like a mirror in infrared light. I purchased this filter to block wayward IR light from interfering with another specialty camera dedicated to ultraviolet photography, but the mirror behaviour is fun to play with. There aren't many uses for such a filter (and they're quite expensive), but I'm finding interesting experiments that use it.

 

This image embodies much my photographic vision: quirky, scientific, unique and there's a story to share. I challenge you to find another circular fisheye infrared hot mirror selfie picture in the world. :)

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Taken on June 27, 2014