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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Infrared Versus B&W



Modified Camera Rebel XSi, Canon 24-105 at 45mm, f9, 1/80sec. ISO200

 First IR capture, using a external filter, Canon 5D Markii, 24-105 at 75mm, f4, 30sec under full sun, ISO 200
  • At the firs t glance, a monochrome picture taken in infrared may look similar to just another black and white photograph. And then you start seeing differences: objects which are bright in visible light (like sky) look dark here, while some of those which are "normally" dark (green foliage) acquire a bright glow. An unusual and eerie feeling.

  • To answer the question briefly: photographs in infrared show quite unusual tonality, different than that to which we are used, and this may make them esthetically pleasing, at least in many cases. Which, of course, is a matter of taste.

Modified Camera Rebel XSi, Canon 50mm prime lens, f1.4, 1/30sec, ISO 200
  • The most dramatic difference between the visible and infrared spectrum is in case of foliage: it does, indeed, become very bright in infrared; very much like you can see in my photographs shown here

Auto Portrait, using 2 images blend together in Photoshop,  Modified Camera Rebel XSi, Canon 24-105 at 24mm, f5.6, 1/125sec. ISO200

Modified Camera Rebel XSi, Canon 24-105 at 24mm, f4.5, 1/30sec. ISO100, Using my Soft IR preset in Photoshop

  • One of the main reason I am using IR,  it because it offered a different creative option, we are always looking ways to make our imagery special and creative, this is one way to achieve it.
  • When I started I was using a IR filter attached to my lenses, not cheap, around $300.00, and not user friendly at all. The IR filters are very dark, it means you need to put your camera on a tripod,  manual setting, focus on the subject, turn off the auto focus, add the filter and gestimate your manual setting, a lot of  trial and error, some shots took me up to 15 minutes. 
Modified Camera Rebel XSi, Canon 16-35 at 20mm, f7.1, 1/160sec. ISO100
  • After a lot of trial and error, I was getting not bad in my gestimate, but I wanted something a bit more accurate, that's when I decided to send my old Rebel XSi to LIFE Pixel for a digital infrared conversion, around the same cost of the filter, I opted for the regular 720nm filter. When I received my camera from Life Pixel, I couldn't believe how easy IR was with a converted camera, same as shooting with a regular sensor, no more gestimate, maybe a bit of trial and error, but so little, you can bracket your shots to get the perfect exposure, I am keeping the filter for travel when I cannot bring all my gears.
Modified Camera Rebel XSi, Canon 24-105 at 24mm, f4, 1/100sec. ISO100

  •    I am using photoshop to work on my IR raw files, I always shoot in both setting raw and Jpeg, IR is a different beast and it takes a bit of experimentation in the darkroom, I find that sometimes the Jpeg files are easier to alter. 
Dandelion, Modified Camera Rebel XSi, Canon 24-105 at 105mm, f9, 1/80sec. ISO100, Corel Painter 12 Digital Painting
  • When I open the file in Photoshop Raw, I add a bit of contrast, and clarity, and open the file in Photoshop.
    Modified Camera Rebel XSi, Canon16-35 at 17mm, f18, .6sec. ISO200
  •   My  first step in Photoshop is to open the Channel Mixer, were I added 1 preset, that I called IR soft,    select Image – Adjustments – Channel Mixer.

  •  With the channel mixer open select Red as the output channel and drag the Red channel slider until 0% is displayed. Then drag the Blue channel slider until +127 is displayed.  
  •  Now select Blue as the output channel and drag the blue channel slider until -9 is displayed the green until +3. Then drag the Red channel slider until +95 is displayed.
  • Now select the Green as the out put channel and drag the Red channel slider until -9 is displayed. Then drag the Blue channel slider until +45 and the green to +81 is displayed.  
    Modified Camera Rebel XSi, Canon 100-400 at 400mm, f5.6, 1/125sec. ISO400
  • You can play with it and develop your own presets, there is many tutorial on the web and on Life Pixel website.

  •  My second step when I am happy with the result of the Channel Mixer I select Image – Adjustments Level to add contrast, open shadows, whatever my image needs, same with curve, when I am happy with the result is now time to decide if I want a color kind of image or a black and white.

 Modified Camera Rebel XSi, Canon 24-105 at 24mm, f8, 1/40sec. ISO100

Like anything new, trying IR will be a lot of experimentation, you'll develop your own taste and way to transform your files, following your own creativity.
 Modified Camera Rebel XSi, Canon 24-105 at 43mm, f4, 1/125sec. ISO100

 To get more info about Life Pixel please follow this link below.



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