Documenting places that people do not see, by using light that we cannot see.
For my capstone project, I am focusing on abandoned locations in the southwest captured only using infrared light. Infrared light generally falls in the range of wavelengths between 700 nanometers to one millimeter, while the human eye can only see wavelengths from around 380 to 700 nanometers. By using an infrared filter and exposing the photo for at least 30 seconds in broad daylight, a camera can see what the eye isn’t able to. These images have been post-processed to reflect the look of traditional infrared film with a touch of my own aesthetic choices.
These buildings have always had such a mysterious aura surrounding them, leaving me with an endless sum of questions. Why was this building left to rot? What forced them out so quickly to leave their family photos and clothing behind? Were they able to find a better life?
Finding these locations has been one of my favorite pastimes since I was younger. Years of my time as a teenager were spent hunting these areas down with my friends, and permanently documenting their presence had been a growing desire of mine. Year after year, we saw a majority of our favorite places demolished due to safety concerns, leaving an empty lot or a new-and-improved building taking over the land where they once stood. This left us with nothing but fond memories and photographs to remind us of the time spent there. This project has taken me across nearly 2,000 miles of the southwestern United States and has brought me comfort and solace in a time where it was immensely needed.