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Coachella Music and Arts Festival: Stunning Psychedelic Infrared Photos

By Allie Goolrick
Published: April 27, 2014

If you ever spent any time boogying your way through sun-soaked summer music festivals in those wanton days of youth, your memories might look something like Mark Davis’ psychedelic images of this year’s Coachella Music and Arts Festival. And though Coachella 2014 just ended last week, let’s face it: between the broiling sun, 90-degree temperatures and dancing into the wee hours, recent Coachella revelers may be a little hazy on the details as well.

(PHOTOS: Psychedelic Landscapes of El Tatio)

Luckily for them, Getty photographer Mark Davis managed to capture the hip California fest in a unique way that no standard Instagram filter could have. Davis shot the spectacle on an infrared camera (IR), and the results are stunning and offbeat: Deep purple skies are streaked with clouds, palm trees are white-hot and the desert landscape takes on a deep red hue. All together, the images look downright otherworldly.

That’s because IR cameras photograph something our eyes can’t see. Infrared light lies just beyond the visible spectrum of light, which is what our eyes are used to. The world in infrared light looks very different: colors, textures, plants, even human skin reflect infrared light very differently, according to photographylife.com. In Davis’ images of Coachella, the palm trees and cloud-streaked sky take on an especially alien-like appearance.

Though Coachella was mostly sunny, gorgeous weather isn’t essential for IR photography. On an overcast day, an IR camera can reveal amazing textures and gradations in cloudy, rainy landscapes as well.

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