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On the steep end of the learning curve with IR photography - C&C please!
Posted By: Mandi, 10-10-2007, 11:35 PM

Hi all you IR experts out there... I have at last had a slooooowwwww school holiday afternoon with tiiiiimmmmme to stand staring into space holding a remote button down, and have taken a few shots of my pool deck and rabbit hutch - odd subject to choose, perhaps, but it seemed to have the strongest afternoon light and in fact the reflections on the pool turned out quite nicely. The composition would probably be better if I got rid of the bunnies!! (Will YOU tell my daughter? )

This was shot with the K10D, 16-45mm kit lens, with the Hoya R72, at f5.6 and 66 seconds. I shot RAW and then fiddled completely randomly with the RAW conversion buttons (not being an expert on camera RAW either... is there no END to my lack of expertise!??) and I'm not unhappy with the way it turned out after previous attempts which just looked as if they were shot in a box at midnight.

I would greatly appreciate any tips, pointers, criticism, suggestions, whatever...! Thanks!

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10-11-2007, 10:29 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Sydney, Australia
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Original Poster
Next attempt

Having read what various IR experts are doing, I waited for a very bright break in the clouds (which I am NOT complaining about - we desperately need the rain, but why oh why while I'm trying to play with IR??) and then photographed some bright orange nasturtiums - figuring that if they were bright orange in visible light, they probably have a fair bit of IR as well, for the bees to look at.

Because I was outside and it's a funny unsettled day, there was a fair bit of wind and so there's a good bit of movement on the petals. Not ideal but at this stage I'm not too fussed about that sort of thing.

This was shot with the K10D, Pentax 16-45mm kit lens at 45m, ISO 200, f/4.5, 24 seconds, RAW and then processed through Adobe Photoshop as follows:

1. Using a curves adjustment layer and the threshhold, I adjusted the levels to get a black black (not so much of a problem) and a properly white white - needed a much bigger boost.

2. Another curves adjustment layer to put a bit of an S curve on it.

3. Third adjustment layer to do the B&W conversion, pulling green up as far as it would go, red and yellow up a bit too, magenta down, and added quite a strong sepia tint.

If the truth be told I actually did the B&W first and then the curves adjustments, but that's the way they're stacked in the file.

The end result is starting to look as if it might actually be possible to do some work with this type of image. I think this is part of the fascination - it's become so easy just to point even a phone at anything and get an acceptable image that suddenly having to really WORK for your image is a real challenge. It gives one a sense of what it must have been like in the old days - the seriously old ones. Even I can remember having to use a light meter and I still use a manual flash. (For my sins!)


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