Russell Hart Photography: Fine art black-and-white infrared landscapes

Fine art black-and-white landscape photographs by Russell Hart, Executive Editor of American Photo magazine, with his resume and notes on infrared photography. The images show human artifacts, and often human and animal figures, interacting with natural and manmade settings and structures. Sometimes the elements of the scene are hard to identify. The landscape itself is usually stark and strange. The objects in the photographs are often deteriorated and/or abandoned, making the presence of human and animal figures more curious. Those objects, if natural, have often been altered for human purposes. They sometimes seem to float, disembodied, in the picture space. The visual treatment of the subject is highly formal and sometimes also surreal in its abstraction. Normal tonal relationships are often reversed or disturbed. The sky is often dark or black, the land areas light. Bright highlights glow due to halation on the film surface. The 35mm photographs have a crystalline, grainy quality; the 4x5 photographs have a smooth tonality. Foreground elements are often aligned with the background in ways that hide or confound the cues to depth that we expect in a photograph. Strong shadows are often used to deliberately hide detail, adding mystery to the image. The artist makes every effort to simplify the subject not just for a highly graphic, eye-catching effect but also to focus the viewer's attention on the ways in which people alter the landscape to suit the purposes of habitation, recreation, and general utility. Humans occupy all of these scenes, whether in person or by implication.

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