A Photography Blog

/rachel hulin

Editorial, Fine Art

Richard Mosse’s Infra

I’m incredibly taken with Richard Mosse‘s project Infra, which I’ve just seen for the first time. He has used a special film to create an otherworldy pink effect to offset the very intense political temperature of the Congo. It feels to me like an incredible way to envision and encapsulate this experience, and is beyond groundbreaking. Not to mention simply beautiful.

Does anyone else love this as much as I do?

Whitney Johnson wrote recently about the project in The New Yorker:

“His work from Eastern Congo, a part of the world largely overlooked by mainstream media, is no exception. Mosse used Aerochrome, an obsolete technology, to create an alternative image of the complex social and political dynamics of the country. The film, designed in connection with the United States military during the Cold War, reveals a spectrum of light beyond what the human eye can perceive. He aims “to shock the viewer with this surprising bubblegum palette, and provoke questions about how we tend to see, and don’t see, this conflict.”

UPDATE:  there’s much more on Richard Mosse from the swell dudes over at DVA foto. Here and here.


  1. Zalph - December 6, 2010 5:57 pm

    Hi Rachel,
    Thank you (again!) for sharing your interesting photo-discoveries!

    Two tragedies are displayed here : the state of war lingering in that region for more than 15 years and the ecological disaster of the deforestation: It should be reminded that those tree-less landscapes are in the middle of what was a few decades ago the hearth of the tropical forest!. If you don’t beleive it, just wander a few minutes in that eastern part of Congo in Google Eath or Map.

    As for the film used, it is an infra-red aerial film used for not only military purpose(camouflage detection), but also in forestry (sensitive to chlorofil which gives the typical fushia red color) and environmental studies(humid and water show as highly contrasted dark to black color (when used with the Wratten yellow filter).

    Since water shows up as bluish rather than black, it seems that Richard Mosse may have used it without the Wratten yellow filter.

    Great pictures!


  2. Zalph - December 6, 2010 6:01 pm

    Oh yeah, it is “chlorophyll” not “chlorofil”!!

  3. Pingback: Shared items on December 8, 2010

  4. Tom - March 31, 2011 11:32 pm

    It will be interesting to see the infrared cinematography work that Richard Mosse and Trevor Tweeten are doing in March 2011.
    We wish them all the best in their efforts to bring these unique images of the East Congo Region to public attention. Tom

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