The following images are part of the Kolari infrared photography competition and show my other submissions besides the photo essays. Since the photo essays only count in their entirety, there is some redundancy with these single submissions.
The old observatory of the Universitätssternwarte München in Bogenhausen, Germany, used to be one of the most modern of its time. However, more than a century has passed and it is now under monument protection. It provides a very nice background for our new office building!
The first color infrared photo I ever took with an ancient Sony F717 in night mode, showing boats docked at the Isar river close to the city of Landshut.
After a week-long observing run in Texas, having collected data in sufficient amounts to keep ourselves busy until next year, we enjoyed the scenic route back to the airport, the road leading up into the magnificient mountain pass below the clouds.
One of my passions is infrared photography of churches in Europe, gothic churches in particular. The Ulmer Münster has the highest church tower in the world and infrared gives it a rather menacing feeling.
Sometimes, strange things occur in astronomy and this was one of those nights. While observing in Texas, we realized that our instruments recorded almost no light but the sky was cloud-free. I therefore went outside to take infrared images which is when we finally realized what was going on. Seen here, the pink glow in the sky were created by ash particles from a recent forest fire that were now spread evenly across almost the whole sky. The full moon provides illumination for the ground while the sky appeared utterly dark in the visible.
The Alta Via Merano, located in South Tyrol, is one of the most beautiful hiking trails in Europe. We were particularly lucky since the clouds were about to lift just when we started. This photo shows the last seconds right before that, while to our eyes it was still intransparent. People often ask me how my infrared photos would have looked like in the visible and my answer here is: complete fog and nothing else.
Lago di garda, or lake Garda, is very popular with tourists, particularly from Germany. It is a beautiful lake in the Italian alps. This, however, is just a puddle of water with the actual lake hidden. I like the difference in perspective between how it actually looked to how the camera captured it only a few centimeters above the surface.
This is the only time I saw a full thunderstorm with partially clear skies and full moon. Taken from my balcony at home, I simply enjoyed the show and let the camera do the work in time lapse mode.
With autumn approaching, the stormy season has begun on Mt. Wendelstein where I work as an astrophysicist. Infrared is able to show the structure of the incoming rainclouds with almost no haze, making it look all the more threatening.
While solar eclipses are a class of their own, lunar eclipses are exciting events as well. During last summer, Europe witnessed the longest lunar eclipse of the century and we observed it on Mt. Wendelstein. Right after the main event ended, I used infrared to decrease the contrast between the bright and dark regions and furthermore increase the sharpness of the photo, since atmospheric distortions are less pronounced with longer wavelengths.
Full moon is a good time to attempt night-time infrared photography. This night, while working on Mt. Wendelstein, I was still covered in clouds with only very short moments of clear sight. While I couldn't observe due to the high humidity, taking photos that night was rewarding enough.
While being on an astronomical observing run in Texas, we got treated by a beautiful, sky-spanning rainbow. Infrared is a very useful tool to improve the detail of such an event since it shows a smaller wavelength range. Here, one can see the secondary rainbow, Alexander's dark band to the right of the primary rainbow, and supernumaries (more on that in the following picture).
After a long and productive night observing on Mt. Wendelstein, one of my highlights is watching the sunrise in the morning which announces the end of my shift. Since there is nobody here besides the observer, I put on classical music from Bruckner and sit outside for half an hour while liquid nitrogen is refilled in the telescope. Nearby Ammersee is sometimes illuminated by the rising sun and this was the case here.