Thursday, June 25, 2009

And Now For Something Completely Different

Infrared images have been intriguing me for a while, I like the surreal sky and white hues of the vegetation, it's definitely "a look" but it's a look that I quite like and when done well the images can be beautiful. It's not something you can easily dive in to though, the need for a WrattenIR filter and the subsequent long exposure times had put me off in the past.

However, I recently acquired a broken Canon D60, without a shutter replacement it was destined for the bin. So I figured it was an ideal candidate for a one-way IR conversion and ordered the replacement filter from and had Sendean Cameras fit it while they had the camera apart to replace the shutter.

A few test shots in the garden showed that once you to get used to the controls of the D60 then yes, you can indeed meter and compose as normal. I guess with experience you even get better at reading the all red/pink image that shows on the view finder but for the moment that's all part of the learning curve.

The images do need post production work, and, surprisinlgy, Lightroom can't cut it! To get rid of the red hue you need to set the white balance, but it has to be set very low to get rid of all that red. Lightroom doesn't go that low. Luckily RawShooter does. (setting a customWB before shooting is clearly an option for next time out) So, it's RawShooter -> Photoshop -> Lightroom to get the images looking "right."

I'm not used to so much necessary post-processing work with digital images, this is closer to working in a darkroom to get the image to emerge from it's original form. I kind of like it, and it certainely makes you scrutinise you images before commiting to starting work on them.
These images (and the rest on Flickr) are from Thursley Pond a few nights ago, the first cloud free evening there's been this year as far as I can remember. For a first time out shooting infrared I'm quite happy with them. It does take getting used to though and with hindsight maybe some clouds wouldn't've been bad thing in that sky. And, maybe the contrast's a bit heavy. But the graphic, contrasty images give a whole new outlook on blue skies and green trees. I wonder what mountain biking looks like in infrared...

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