PhotographerZak van Biljon
PrizeHonorable Mention
City/CountryZurich, Switzerland
Photo Date2016
Technical InfoColour Infrared
Entry Description

CPT2016 is panoramic view of the residential are of Cape Town. Nature vs habitation The technique, developed for military surveillance and crop surveys, captures near-infrared light: wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation that fall between what we see as red and the longer wavelengths used for thermal imaging. The pigment in plant leaves, chlorophyll, strongly absorbs visible light which they use as a source of energy in the process of photosynthesis. The cell structure of the leaves, on the other hand, strongly reflects near-infrared light. The human eye is unable to perceive infrared light. A strong absorption at these wavelengths would only result in overheating the plant and possibly damaging the tissues. This reflected energy reacts with infrared-sensitive material to create electric pinks and vibrant reds.

About Photographer

Red turf is the homeland of Zak van Biljon. The South African photographer, born 1981, spent his childhood and teenage years in both Johannesburg and Cape Town. 2003 he graduated as best student at the National College of Photography. With a study of black & white printing – ironically, for someone who grew up under the colourful impressions of the Rainbow Nation. In 2004 he left the country and emigrated to Europe. It was in Rome, where he discovered another sunlight and in London, where he scored himself on top of booking lists for prestigious underground labels. He continued his career as a part-time commercial photographer in Zurich, Switzerland, exerting his mastery to his fine art projects. His work range from digital to analog with skills in contemporary advertising and modern art photography. His main focus is the directorial handling of light – as shown in his recent art work, capture the world in infrared. The world seen in red and pink colours provides a new and impressive insight to reality as we know it.