Photography Project: Infrared flamingos at the zoo


Flamingo couple

Flamingo couple

As Peter knows, I have these weird infatuations…..and one of them happens to be flamingos.  There is something about them that will captivate me for hours (if Peter would let me stay that long).  I used to be really frustrated photographing them, until I discovered the power of infrared at the zoo.  Now, I don’t shoot with any other type of camera at the zoo.

My favorite photos capture the curves of their necks and legs, and the interplay between them.  The series below I call “Flirtation”.  There are three main challenges (if you don’t include the overwhelming odor):

1)  Their bright feathers are susceptible to overexposure and blowout highlights.  Intentionally underexpose, and then you can adjust in post.

2)  They hang out in groups.  Just when you can get one or two isolated, another one moves into the background…..and stops.

3)  The backgrounds are messy.  I tend to try to throw these out of focus, and then darken them down in post.

All of the photos were taken with a super-color infrared camera.  I de-saturated most of the color but left some of the blue.  I’m planning my next trip, just need to work on Peter a little more he’s usually only game for the zoo once a year……


Flamingo Couple

Flamingo Couple

Flamingo Couple

Flamingo Couple

Flamingo couple

Flamingo couple


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