I was putting together some images to share with a client so that he could understand the processing difference between 720nm and 830nm infrared images and why I am such a fan girl of the 720nm for 90% of my shots.

[Critical commentary: The above image was taken with the 830nm camera body. Note the high contrast between the sunlit trees at the horizon and the deep shadows of the grove of evergreens. If I pushed the sliders in processing a tad too much, the highlights were blown out. Opening up the shadows left the image muddy and took away from the earmark of IR: vegetation highlights.]

Back to my task — I started trolling my external hard drives for a location where I shot with both cameras. For me, that is a hard thing to do. Choosing which camera body I use depends on the light — actually, the lack of direct light. In foggy conditions, I reach for the 830nm to give me more contrast.

When we arrived at this location on the Oregon Coast (Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area between Florence and Bandon), the marine layer had reached to the parking lot (more than a mile from the shoreline). I walked down the path not knowing what I would encounter but started out with the 720nm body in my hands. Truthfully, it was not good due to the fog. The light as I learned by observing this fog — taking the time not to shoot but to watch — moves quickly and opens up random pockets of sunlight.

After working in the dunes for awhile and not “feeling it,” I climbed to the top of a very large dune to see this scene unfold beneath me. This was not easy with gear on my back as my fear of “turtling” looms large. Fortunately Howard was at the top already shooting and claims to know how to flip turtles over. I waited and waited and quickly the foreground cleared and the fast-moving clouds were over the ocean.

I tend to let my images simmer from location trips. I went on this trip in August 2016 and I have not even begun to look at the results of that 3-week trip up/down the California, Oregon, and Washington coastline.

With time and distance, I am less emotionally attached to them. Most of the time when I review images as I offload each evening, I feel as though I didn’t “get anything.” But upon further review, much later, I find there is always something I overlooked, underestimated, or, with newfound processing skills, can now bring to life.