5 September 2021

'Psychedelic photography' captures Canberra in unusual pink light

| Damien Larkins
Infrared photography of National Arboretum

Infrared photos show Canberra icons like you’ve never seen them before. Photo: Tom Gane.

See Canberra as you’ve never seen it before through the lens of a local infrared photographer.

Observing the bush capital in the infrared spectrum is like stepping into an alien world, or a child’s fairy-floss dream.

It’s called ‘false colour’ photography and it’s an interest that’s captured the imagination of local snapper Tom Gane.

“I love how images look quite similar to what we see except with slightly different colours,” he says.

“As if it’s a world in an alternate universe.”

Typically, the spectrum of colours humans can see is in the 380 to 700 nanometre wavelength.

But infrared photography reveals colours not able to be seen by the naked eye – above 700 nanometres in wavelength.

It’s an underexposed artform that shows Canberra in a whole new light.

“I like this kind of photography because of the alien landscapes that come out of the camera,” says Tom.

“Scenes that you can see with your eye look completely different, and most of the time they’re better.”

Infrared photography of Canberra creek and tree

The familiar yet alien images of Canberra are like stepping into an alternate universe. Photo: Tom Gane.

Tom got into photography after he graduated from school around two years ago.

Soon he was dabbling in astrophotography – capturing the beauty of the night sky, the stars and the Milky Way.

About eight months ago he saw a fellow Canberra photographer using infrared and he was hooked.

“The higher the number, the more different the world looks through the lens,” says Tom.

“I’d describe it to someone as ‘psychedelic photography’.”

Tom’s photos have attracted widespread praise on social media.

“People seem to really enjoy the images,” he says. “I mainly share my infrared images on Reddit and Facebook, where they’ve received quite a bit of attention.

“I think I can confidently say the general public enjoy it.”

Tom hopes when people see the images they will share his feeling of viewing the world a little differently.

“I love that these images entertain the possibility of another universe quite similar to the one we live in,” he says.

Infrared photography of brick services building

Everyday Canberra sights take on a new dimension in infrared. Photo: Tom Gane.

Tom has lived in Canberra his whole life and knows the spots that look good in normal photos.

His photography hobby is helping him pass the time during COVID-19 lockdown.

“Photography is honestly what keeps me going – astrophotography and infrared,” says Tom.

“At the moment, I’ll keep going out [if lockdown permits] and doing what I love.”

You can see more of Tom Gane’s out-of-this-world work on Instagram.

Original Article published by Damien Larkins on The RiotACT.

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