Take a drive from the desert into Las Vegas at night and the city bursts out of nowhere like a gigantic, kaleidoscopic light bulb. This mass electrification in the middle of nowhere makes the city, more so than any others, a real visual oddity, one uniquely 'Vegas.
Filmmaker Philip Bloom has another way of viewing Sin City—a surreal cinematic study through infrared. Using a hardware modified Sony RX100 IV camera (hacked by Life Pixel) with the infrared blocking filter removed, Bloom shot Las Vegas at 250 frames-per-second (fps) in two-second burst mode with a 665 nm (infrared) filter. The visuals are mostly in-camera, but Bloom also did some color work with Film Convert.
“I picked up the camera in Las Vegas a week before… [t]here was no plan, I had just got the camera and with any new toy you get excited and use it a lot,” Bloom explains in a blog post on Las Vegas in Infrared. “Whilst shooting it though I realized just how well it worked there with the palm trees and lawns and deep blue skies. The results, especially in slow motion, made Vegas look somewhat sinister and with a post-apocalyptic vibe.”
“That was seven weeks ago almost and I am still using it almost every day,” he adds. “Every now and then I get asked Why? or What’s the point? Well, there isn’t ‘a point’ as such. These are my experimentations and I find infrared fascinating.”
Though Bloom sees this slowed-down, infrared Las Vegas as post-apocalyptic, it really looks quite a bit more alien. The familiar scenery has somehow become completely unfamiliar—a looking glass version of the ultimate unreal city.
Click here to see more work by Philip Bloom.