Cody Cobb is an American landscape photographer who just can’t settle with traditional landscape photographs. His goal would always be to capture a totally different perspective of an ordinary landscape. ‘Spectral’ is one of his outstanding ongoing projects which carries his vision. He makes dreamlike landscape photographs of the American West with his special lighting trick.
His special trick to be exact is using UV light, to create a Sci-fi atmosphere for landscape photographs. UV light can reveal an invisible (to visible light) spectrum of colours of living and non-living objects, especially bacteria. He projects UV light onto desert flora, ravines, rocks, water streams, etc. and captures their otherwise hidden colours with his camera, in the evenings and at night times.
The process is not very easy but very challenging. It is not just the UV light, the photographer has to use LED lights and take long exposure shots to create these extraordinary photographs.
In an interview with PetaPixel Cobb says, “My biggest challenge was to find a way to capture this strange phenomenon in my own voice. Combining long exposures of visible light using LED tube lights with a high-powered UV flashlight started allowing me to give shape to this alternate world I was experiencing late at night in the middle of nowhere.”
Not every object will illuminate in UV light. The photographer should have an idea of where to project UV light beforehand. In the interview with PetaPixel, Cobb mentions “Roaming these wild places with a UV light and learning what fluoresces and what doesn’t have given me a new way of observing my surroundings. I feel like I’m able to reach out and provoke some sort of response from the rocks and vegetation around me.”
“Over the years, I’ve become more and more of a nocturnal photographer who uses artificial light as a way of controlling the scenes I’m trying to create. Working in darkness has given me the ability to experiment more and experience an even deeper sense of isolation in remote places,” he further adds.
Spectral is not his only unique project. Visit his website to see more extraordinary landscape photographs. Enjoy the rest of the photographs below. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.