header image: Grant Park
above: Ben Fuller Farmhouse – Oakbrook, Illinois
Recently when I came across an article on the web about Kodak’s long discontinued HIE infrared film, it reminded me of the few times that I used it many years ago. The grainy film was fun to experiment with, but to me it was also a beast you had to work hard to tame. Unless you worked with the film all the time, exposure was an educated guess. And if you were using a pinhole camera, the results were highly unpredictable.
First, you had to load the film in complete darkness. Then you had to put the totally opaque #87 filter on the lens for best results. And it was almost impossible to meter because there was no real film speed specified. So exposure was at best, an educated guess. It wasn’t the easiest film to deal with but the results could be astonishing for sure.
Although the header image of trees in Grant Park in Chicago looks a lot like infrared film, it’s just actually a normal color digital image that I converted to a simulated infrared look in Lightroom. The Ben Fuller Farmhouse image above however, was made on Kodak’s infrared film stock. The historic house is near the Graue Mill in Oakbrook, Illinois.
The Graue Mill is a water-powered grist mill that was originally erected in 1852. It was also a station on the Underground Railroad.