Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Infra Red Photography

So, here's a link to a web page I created for some of my infra red photos about a year ago. Instead of utilizing the visible colors that our eyes can see, infra red photography is beyond the red end of the light frequency spectrum. I just like the effect. The pictures end up looking black and white, but leaves are white, the sky is black, and water is black.

IR Gallery

People have been doing IR photography for years, mainly using SLR file cameras with special infra red film. Lucky for me, digital cameras can also be sensitive to IR light and I purchased one of the best cameras available for taking this style of photo, a Sony F828. Okay, there are better cameras, but the F828 has a special mode that makes it better for IR photos.

Sony's infamous 'night shot' mode mechanically removes an IR blocking filter from in front of the image sensor. In this state, the image sensor is extremely sensitive to IR light, which is how these Sonys can see in the dark (plus, they cheat and use an IR illuminator). Anyhow, I place my camera in Night Shot mode and then I place a filter on the front of my camera to block all visible light. In fact, the camera is so sensitive to the IR still coming into it, I have to further knock down the light with an ND4 and an ND8 filter. If you take these three filters and hold them up to the bright sun, you only see a dim purple circle, like welding goggles. But through the camera's image sensor, you see your shot. I have to do some minimal post-processing on the files to remove a greenish hue, but I try not to do much.

So that's IR photography. There will be more on it. Thanks to John Buonasera for turning me onto it, and Mike Hicks as well. John uses a Nikon D70, but he has to take longer exposure photos to get a similar shot. The only problem with that is movement. Tripods are a must.

Sony stopped putting Night Shot in their digital cameras. They should really keep the feature and make it a proper IR mode, not something that still needs to be kluged together. There is a demand for it and if Sony changed the software (minimally) in their F828, you could just press a button and BAM you're taking IR photos. I don't think Sony is going to get with that program.

Luckily, Fuji has gotten with that program. They have a special DSLR camera for forensics use that is sensitive from IR through the UV spectrum. It's billed as a scientific camera, but IR is IR. I haven't had a chance to read up on it, but I think I may have to check it out when I'm better. Good news for John Buonasera as the Fuji camera uses Nikon lenses.


So I had to reference my other PC for a link to th Fuji, and my other PC rebooted and crashed. Seems Creative changed some driver so my sound card now kills Windows XP Professional. I don't have time to mess with it now, but Windows sucks! For this Bill Gates is the richest man in the world?

One more link. Funny, I tried to post my MRIs on my homepage last week, and although Frontpage said it uploaded them to my homepage, it never updated. See Windows reference above. Anyhow, I did find that a previous site that I created for a local photographer in my neighborhood is still being hosted there. Don Naumann takes spectacular photos of lightning, using a Hasselblad film camera. Check out my old site for him. I think he has a better one now, but I'll give this old one some visibility. My favorite photo is August Midnight. This was the first website I created.

My Don Naumann Site (Old, but good)

Don Naumann's Current Site


Blogger LisaK said...

Mark, Your pictures are gorgeous! I love them! You know that I am really wanting to learn more about photography and have taken a couple of online classes. What program are you using for your photos? I can't wait to see more pictures! :) I'm sorry you didnt' rest well last night, but hopefully you might get some Z's in today! Take care!

9/20/2006 8:16 AM  

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