E.J.Wilkins

15 Jun 2007 974 views
 
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photoblog image infra red

infra red

First if all, I'm not around much at the moment, it's exam time and I'm being a taxi driver for our eldest and it (and the waiting) is taking a lot of each day.
.....

This is a bit of an experiment. Probably not a good thing to try in the middle of parental exam-nerves.

I bought an IR-72 filter because I wanted to try to get pictures that look like those taken by Dabi. Here's his archive. http://dabi.shutterchance.com/archive.php

Having wasted a lot of time, because I added the IR filter in front of the UV filter, I eventually took a number of pictures, half with the camera set to mono, the other half set to natural colour. I used Aperture Priority, and set the ISO at 100.

...
edited Friday morning
  ... and EV at +5, which is maximum
using 40-150mm 1:4-5.6 lens
Referred also to Andrzej Wrotniak's article here :-
http://www.wrotniak.net/photo/infrared/index.html
...

This is one of the better results, although not a particularly good picture in terms of composition.
I was in a public park, where it's getting increasingly awkward to take photographs, so I had to find somewhere where it was clear I wasn't , or couldn't possibly be, photographing children. The only place I could find to put the tripod and not be gawped at was under a tree on the edge of a small lake, where there are thick trees on the opposite bank, but even so I got some funny looks.

.....

I desaturated, messed with it a bit, but I'm far from happy with the result.

I find photoshop incredibly difficult to use, I've got PS7. I generally use a free programme called Photofiltre, which has been more than adequate up to now.

I'd be very grateful for some help with processing please.

.....

There's another picture in my archive, with similar quality issues.
http://www.ellie.shutterchance.com/photoblog/257a_IR/


my ref/258a IR

infra red

First if all, I'm not around much at the moment, it's exam time and I'm being a taxi driver for our eldest and it (and the waiting) is taking a lot of each day.
.....

This is a bit of an experiment. Probably not a good thing to try in the middle of parental exam-nerves.

I bought an IR-72 filter because I wanted to try to get pictures that look like those taken by Dabi. Here's his archive. http://dabi.shutterchance.com/archive.php

Having wasted a lot of time, because I added the IR filter in front of the UV filter, I eventually took a number of pictures, half with the camera set to mono, the other half set to natural colour. I used Aperture Priority, and set the ISO at 100.

...
edited Friday morning
  ... and EV at +5, which is maximum
using 40-150mm 1:4-5.6 lens
Referred also to Andrzej Wrotniak's article here :-
http://www.wrotniak.net/photo/infrared/index.html
...

This is one of the better results, although not a particularly good picture in terms of composition.
I was in a public park, where it's getting increasingly awkward to take photographs, so I had to find somewhere where it was clear I wasn't , or couldn't possibly be, photographing children. The only place I could find to put the tripod and not be gawped at was under a tree on the edge of a small lake, where there are thick trees on the opposite bank, but even so I got some funny looks.

.....

I desaturated, messed with it a bit, but I'm far from happy with the result.

I find photoshop incredibly difficult to use, I've got PS7. I generally use a free programme called Photofiltre, which has been more than adequate up to now.

I'd be very grateful for some help with processing please.

.....

There's another picture in my archive, with similar quality issues.
http://www.ellie.shutterchance.com/photoblog/257a_IR/


my ref/258a IR

comments (21)

  • Les Auld
  • Southport UK
  • 15 Jun 2007, 00:28
A Brave first attempt Ellie. This months Digital Photo magazine has a tuturial on how to shoot and process IR images, mine has just arrived in the post and has prompted me to look for an IR filter to try it out.

Regards

Les Auld
EJWilkins: I got my filter from Ebay, it's a Hoya and was very much less expensive than in the shops. If you like I'll send you a link to the seller.
I'll have a look in our one and only newsagents tomorrow, see if they've got that magazine.
Thanks Les smile
  • Jimbo
  • Dublin, Ireland
  • 15 Jun 2007, 00:48
An interesting experiment indeed, Ellie. Good luck with your future efforts.
EJWilkins: Dare I admit that I felt like drowning the camera after I'd downloaded the pictures, but I will persevere ... just not tomorrow! Thanks Jimbo smile
I've never tried anything like this. Sounds like it's a bit challenging.
I have complete confidence that you'll master it.
EJWilkins: I think it depends a lot on the camera, the filters that are already in the camera and so on, there are pictures out there that come straight out of the camera, now if I could achieve that I'd be happy. All I need to do, I think, is get the right settings.
Hey Ellie,
The Olys are okay at it but remember all digital cameras have HEAVY UV protection in them. UV really causes trouble with the sensors in all cameras -- i hear it is especailly bad in CMOS based cameras. Anyway, I've seen it done with some of the older Olys with much success. You can see that the IR filter is working -- the leafs are very white. I'd try setting your camera to 'monochrome' mode (i'm guessing the 400 has it, the 310 did) and boosting the contrast in camera to full. See what your results are there. You'll also want to shoot at around 400ISO i'd say. Just some thoughts! smile
EJWilkins: Errm, you might have pointed out something I did completely wrong. Perhaps I should have let the camera choose the ISO instead of setting it myself, higher ISO = faster, so maybe it would work. I did try mono but they were unusable at the settings I used. I'll try again on another sunny day, thanks Iain.
P.S. I love it and i'm jelous, i've always wanted to try IR but i've never made that investment in the glass! I'm looking forward to seeing more.
EJWilkins: Believe me, the filter was not expensive even though it's a Hoya. If you like I can send you a link to the seller. smile
  • Steve
  • 15 Jun 2007, 07:56
Hi Ellie. First up: I don't have any experience of shooting infra red, although I've read up on it a few times. You doubtless already know that with a very few exceptions, DSLR's have an IR and UV (cut) filter in front of the sensor, so that it only captures visible light. That's intentional so that our photos come out the way we would expect to see them. If you stick an IR (pass) filter in front of your lens, you're cutting out the visible light, so the amount of light actually hitting your sensor will be very small. That's why you need long exposures such as this one.

As for this shot, I'd say it's at least a couple of stops underexposed. If your camera histogram says it was ok, or if you were shooting on automatic without having set any exposure compensation, I'd say that your metering system doesn't cope with IR light very well. If so, it just means you'll need to experiment by compensating your exposure.

As for mono/colour, I'd always suggest shooting colour and converting to mono in photoshop. You'll need to stretch out the contrast so that the light areas are nearly or maybe even actually white and the dark areas are near black.

I found a tutorial here: http://www.dimagemaker.com/article.php?articleID=18 which may be of some help.

As for photography in the park - if it's a public park, you're within your rights to take photos anywhere and of anything. However, it would be sensible not to shoot photos of kids without checking with their parents. It might be an idea to get some business cards printed up showing the details of this blog at least. Maybe the people looking at you were just wondering what you were taking pics of rather than thinking you were a nefarious character. Of course, you being a lady (can't use that word without thinking of Little Britain smile ) does mean that you're less dubious than a gentleman. The latest newsletter of the Southern Photographic Federation has an article about photography and the law here: http://www.southphotographicfed.org.uk/asp_pages1/200705_exp.asp. You'll find the article about a third of the way down.

As for the photoshop - I'm happy to help if I can.

Hope the exams are not too stressful for all involved!
EJWilkins: My reply isn't going to do justice to all this information. The link about 'Photographer's rights' is interesting, and perhaps it would be a good idea to get some sort of ID made up, even if it's only got a picture of me and this web address on it. I know, from what I've read elsewhere, that nobody has the right to take my camera as long as I'm standing where I have the right to be ... and so on ... but it's quite unnerving to have people muttering and whispering, and keeping hold of their children just because I'm using a camera. Not nice at all.
Exams ... yuk! But they'll soon be over, and then we have to wait for the results, which'll be very easy until it gets to the day they're published! wink
  • Steve
  • 15 Jun 2007, 07:56
You'll need to chop the full stop off that second link for it to work.
EJWilkins: It worked wink
  • Ginnie
  • Atlanta, GA, United States
  • 15 Jun 2007, 08:14
All I can say, Ellie, is that you are one brave woman to foray out into this area I know nothing about! I totally agree with Red Pen that in no time at all you'll have this conquered...and more power to you!

For someone who "complains" about not getting her hands around PS, you sure know how to go out on a limb elsewhere on the photographic tree!
EJWilkins: I thought I'd try to conquer it in secret and then wow you with the results, but it didn't work out that way. Looks like I'm going to have to brave photoshop though, which terrifies me because I don't really know how to do more than open it! sad
Keeping pushing on and you will reach your desired goal !!!!
EJWilkins: Keep saying it, please, and I'll believe you smile
  • nev
  • Australia
  • 15 Jun 2007, 08:24
Great link by Steve. Nice work Ellie. IR specialists will be able to give you more assistance than I. I think adjusting the bottom end in levels would help as would a curves adjustment. A lazy curves adjustment in PS is to use a curves adjustment Layer on the Layers window. (it is the black and white circle icon). click on the background layer and then on the black white icon and you will see all the adjustment layers. Adjustment layers are non destructive so they are not killing pixels.

Once you have selected Curves it brings up the curves box which you can just click ok. Change the layer properties from normal to multiply. This will be a bit overdone but you can adjust the opacity down from 100% to what you prefer. You lose a bit of control doing it this way but it sure is quick.
EJWilkins: Yes, it is a good link isn't it. There's a fair bit of technical stuff on Andrzej Wrotiak's site too, although most of it is way above my head.
I don't know where curves is, but I'm sure I'll find it if I look hard enough. I honestly and truly have never really done more than open photoshop and close it again, hurriedly, out of sheer terror at all the gizmos and buttons. (*insert embarrassed face*)
  • Chantal
  • Netherlands
  • 15 Jun 2007, 11:41
Beautiful... Have great weekend!
EJWilkins: Potentially even more beautiful. Thanks, and you have a great weekend too smile
The technical information has just whizzed straight over my head, but I love the photograph. I can see why you would want to emmulate Dabi`s style, too. Breathtaking stuff. (:o)
EJWilkins: It goes over my head too, but I don't like to admit it too much wink Isn't Dabi's stuff amazing!
Doesn't have that contrast that we usually see in an infrared shot
EJWilkins: You're right, that's the problem, trouble is I don't know how to fix it ... but with all the help I've had here I'm sure I'll get better and end up with a decent picture. smile
  • Louis
  • South Africa
  • 15 Jun 2007, 14:24
Funny looks for taking pictures of trees, probably smile

This effect is something I will have to get used to - so cannot comment, but love reading what you have done to get the effect - including braving the park people.
EJWilkins: Oh no, believe me, people were keeping very tight hold of their offspring and looking at me as if I was a really shady character, it was quite unnerving.
I used to play around with IR filters on a 35mm camera many years ago, but I only shot manmade structures with it. Using it on trees is a good idea, well worth exploring further!
EJWilkins: It was the trees in David Bird's pictures that made me want to try it, I think they look magical. I'm sure you'll get there way before I do, and I look forward to seeing the results smile
(Thanks for the email, I'll try to get my head round what you've written.)
  • Steve
  • 15 Jun 2007, 16:41
Just seen your update about the +5 compensation, Ellie. (You're lucky to get +5 - on Canons we're limited to +2). Anyway, you'll need to experiment to see if the camera consistently underexposes IR shots by what is effectively 7 stops (I checked out the histogram BTW, and I'd say it is 2 stops under, plus the 5 that you compensated makes 7). If it does, then you can leave your +5 compensation, but then, take a note of the exposure settings the camera is suggesting on automatic - in this case 13s/F10/ISO100; switch to manual mode, dial in the 13s/F10/ISO100 and then further adjust by 2 stops, e.g. 52s OR F5 OR ISO400 or a mixture of the three.

After bumping up the exposure by a couple of stops, you're still left with a fairly flat looking image, so it does need quite a boost in contrast. If you're daunted by curves in Photoshop, try doing boosting the contrast by about +40 (image -> adjustments -> brightness/contrast). Although that's a destructive adjustment, using an adjustment layer would be better (layer -> new adjustment layer -> brightness/contrast)
EJWilkins: OK, I've read all this and I'll understand it some time tomorrow, when I've worked it all out. I'm thinking I might be a good idea to try with my other lens, which is 14-42mm 1:3.55-5.6, so a bit faster and see what happens. I just need some sunshine and some time!

I haven't a clue about photoshop, I really haven't. Don't know how to do curves or anything like that. (*insert embarrassed face*), and I haven't ever yet used the manual settings. I know it won't break the camera if I do, so I might as well fiddle around and see what happens.
I think the Oly's are quite forgiving, wonder if the new models might be even more so because they have a different sensor. Hadn't realised +/-5 was unusual though, it goes up in 0.3 ... I'm sure that means more to you than it currently does to me. (Scurries off to read a book!)
Great ! I wish I could do the same !! I love the effect... could have more lightened maybe but, reading you, it seems to not easy to do !
EJWilkins: And I wish I could do this as well as other people. It does need lightening, so it looks as if I'm going to have to brave Photoshop, which terrifies me. sad
Good start Ellie, keep experimenting.
EJWilkins: Thanks Chris, I plan to, when I've got a bit more time and some sunshine. Darned clouds, they keep leaking!
Bit of a departure from your normal style. Keep it up. Push those boundaries!! All the best, Dave
EJWilkins: Ah, just when you thought it was safe to look at my picture I go and do something different! I'm *going* to get this right, one day, and for at least one picture, then I'll be happy. Thanks Dave. smile
Hi Ellie. I have never used an IR filter over my digital camera so cannot help you there. But I can agree with with the other comments and say that you have an intersting image and you have made the hardest step - starting.

Dont let ps daunt you, but it can be very time consuming. Save a copy of your original file as a different name and play with that so anything that might go wrong doesn't spoil the original. Then use the PS tools making notes so that you remember how you goet a paricular effect. A lot of sound advice above - work in layers so that you can turn them on and off and see the effect on the image by clicking on the eye logo next to the layer. "Correct" approach is to correct the levels first in one adjustment layer (this sets the darkest and lightest point) and then add a second adjustment layer to change the mid tones - this is usually done with curves. if you have the preview on you can see how bending the curve changes the balance of the mid tones. Don't want to tell you what you already know, but if you are unsure happy to take you through step by step in detail.

Best policy is just to experiment and see what happens - its probably how most of use learnt enough to then be able to follow what the specialists are saying. There is a book called "the digital darkroom" which I remember being useful for me converting from wet processing to digital but I am sure there are others. My wife gets the Ag magazine which usually has an article on advanced digital processing in each issue - good photos too. Good luck Mike.
EJWilkins: You're so kind Mike, thanks. I must admit that I've opened Photoshop and then closed it again, out of sheer terror. It looks as if the time has come to try to fight the demons and open it again, and probably get a new pair of glasses too, for the tiny little buttons! I haven't the faintest idea how to do either curves or layers, don't even know what they mean .. I don't normally need to do much more than fiddle with a bit of contrast and resize, which is dead easy with the programme I normally use. I Must get myself into the 21st century grin
What can I say more than : I like it !!

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camera E-400
exposure mode aperture priority
shutterspeed 13s
aperture f/10.0
sensitivity ISO100
focal length 53.0mm
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