Elizabeth Holmes – hand painted Infrared photographer

Eiizabeth J Holmes Photography

“I am always searching for visual references to the past and images that evoke a strong memory and define a sense of place.” Elizabeth Holmes

“Photographing with infrared film and then hand coloring on matte surface prints with oils and pencils, Holmes creates images that appear both dreamy and timeless. The hand-coloring process makes each photograph one-of-kind.” (Alternative Photography).

Light is actually the full range of wavelengths on the electromagnetic spectrum. The human eye can only perceive a portion of these different light waves. Infrared radiation is the longer wavelengths in contrast to ultraviolent radiation which are the shorter wavelengths. The human eye can see only part of the electromagnetic spectrum starting with blue at 400nn extending to red at 700nn. A nanometer is one billionth of a meter. (Merriam-Webster). Infrared film is sensitive to infrared radiation, as well as both ultraviolet radiation and visible light. Infrared radiation is reflected light from any subject that is captured by infrared film. Objects with higher levels of infrared radiation appear lighter in photographs while other aspects show up darker. (Alternative Photography).

“With infrared film, you are seeing in a new light that creates luminous highlights and enhances texture, contrast, and depth.” (Alternative Photography).

Three types of infrared film are covered here: Kodak Infrared HIE, Konica 750, and Ilford SFX. Infrared is situated outside the visible spectrum at its red end —radiation having a wavelength between about 700 nanometers and 1 millimeter. (Merriam-Webster).

Kodak High Speed Infrared HIE is a moderately high contrast film and the most sensitive to infrared radiation with a range of 250nm (ultraviolet) to 900nm (infrared). It is the only infrared film lacking an anti-halation backing in its emulsion, allowing light to bounce back through the negative. This explains the halo effect around bright objects and why this film has more sensitivity to light than other infrareds. (Alternative Photography).

Konica 750 film is a fine grain infrared film with sensitivity to violet and blue from 400-500nm and sensitivity to infrared between 640-820nm, peaking at 750nm. Without filtration, Konica 750 is similar to panchromatic film, which records the full range of visible light. In the 120 format, this film produces fine grain photographs with excellent sharpness and tonality. (Alternative Photography).

Ilford SFX 200 has consistent sensitivity from ultraviolet to red and reaches out to 740nm in the infrared range, peaking at 720nm. SFX 200 is a medium speed film with moderate contrast and full panchromatic sensitivity without a filter. (Alternative Photography).

Elizabeth Holmes

The infrared process



Kodak & APS

APS logo

In February 1996, the Advanced Photo System (APS) was introduced as a joint project with Kodak, Fuji, Canon, Nikon, and Minolta. The IX240 film cartridges are optimized for fully automatic film loading, enclosing the 24mm wide film completely when not in use. (Camerapedia).

Some of the features provided by the Advanced Photo System include:

  • Magnetic information exchange (IX): A virtually transparent magnetic layer coated across the filmstrip that can be used by cameras and other writing devices to record scene related information that, in turn, can be retrieved by photofinishing and post-processing equipment to provide higher quality pictures and other features.
  • Drop-in film cartridge loading.
  • Three different picture formats (Classic, HDTV, and Panoramic aspect ratios). (Wayback Machine).

Most APS format cameras support 3 exposure formats:

  • C for “classic” (25.1 x 16.7 mm; aspect ratio 3:2; 4×6″ print or 10×15 cm print)
  • H for “HDTV” (30.2 x 16.7 mm; aspect ratio 16:9; 4×7″ print or 10×18 cm print)
  • P for “panoramic” (30.2 x 9.5 mm; aspect ratio 3:1; 4×12″ print or 10×24 cm print)

The exposure data is used for corrections of underexposure or overexposure by the photo lab.  It’s also used for removing a film from a camera for putting it back into it later. Thus a photographer can switch between color film and black and white film until both films are full. The additional mechanical marker in the film cartridge shows when a film is full. This marker shows whether the film is empty, in use, full, or developed. (Camerapedia).

APS IX240 cartridge diagram

The Visual Exposure Indicator is a series of four icons located on one end of the film cartridge which provide the following information regarding the exposure status of the filmstrip:

Visual Exposure Indicator

The “partially exposed” indicator is designed for photographers who have cameras designed for mid-roll film changing. Cameras with this feature provide the flexibility to change film types and speeds, at any time, at the user’s discretion. (Wayback Machine).

APS IX240 cartridge

“Despite the new film’s features, its size hindered its adoption by professional photographers, having only 80% of the frame size (diagonal) of 35mm film and 56% of the area (at best, with HDTV format; panorama format has only 30% area). It was planned to give this sort of film a higher resolution to give APS users a clear advantage. But soon, 35mm films were sold with the same resolution.” (Camerapedia). The APS film advantages were overshadow within five years by higher resolution 35mm films and by cheaper digital cameras. To compound the problem fresh APS film was last manufactured in 2011 with Kodak being the only company to issue black & white film.

APS cameras and film group photo

Outdated film that was not stored properly does not develop well. Despite that you get film with weird characteristics that can be exploited by digital editing. Posted here are two APS film images I took with one being color and the other black & white. You see the before and after photos can be quite dramatic. The color film was reasonably fresh thus it developed quite well. By contrast the black & white film was not fresh and you see how it came out. This image was edited to bring out the highlights of the scene and it came out in a way you could not Photoshop it. Photoshop does not have a feature where you can turn an original image into an outdated ‘stale’ image than reedit it to look funky.

APS film test BW 15APS film test BW 20APS film test color 25APS film test color 30

Advantix is Kodak’s brand name used for its APS cameras and film, including some disposable cameras. For the above photos I used the Olympus Centurion. “The Centurion was Olympus’s SLR for the Advanced Photo System (APS). It was called a “bridge camera” or a “ZLR” (Zoom Lens Reflex) since it was a real single lens reflex camera, but with built-in lens. It was more compact than other SLRs for the APS film system.” (Camerapedia). When you buy outdated film there is no way to tell if it has been stored properly until you have it developed. You can take a chance and just digitally edit it for maximum effect.

Olympus Centurion frontOlympus Centurion back


About the Advanced Photo System


Kodak 1964 World’s Fair

Kodak Pavilion 1964 - WP - FinalKodak Instamatic 50126 filmKodak Pavilion 02a - icon 021964 New York World’s Fair Kodak Pavilion architectural model

Kodak at the Fair brochureKodak at the Fair brochure 03

1964 Ad, Kodak Instamatic Camera, with Pretty Woman 03

1964 Ad, Kodak Instamatic Camera, with Pretty Woman


1964 Kodak Instamatic Vintage Ad, 1960’s Camera, Retro Camera, 1960’s Housewife, New .Kodak Instamatic Camera NY Worlds Fair Page LIFE June 26 1964

Kodak Instamatic Camera NY Worlds Fair 03

Kodak Instamatic Camera NY Worlds Fair Page LIFE June 26 1964

World's Fair Kodak Ad - 04

World’s Fair Kodak Ad – Advertising for 1964 NY World Fair, Instamatic, Electric 8, Escort 8, Chevron 8 Projector, Carousel Slide Model


Kodak Instamatic - 1964 Worlds Fair 50

Photography/ Camera Ads of the 1960s

Kodak Pavilion