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11-01-2007, 02:47 PM   #1
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IR help, please

i would like to learn more about taking infrared photos and the post processing.

my understanding is that the K100D and *ISTds are probably the better pentax digital cameras for IR?

I know i'll need a filter and that hoya is probably the best.

as far as post processing, i can find my way around in photoshop "some" but i know nothing about some of what i've read -- they say do this, but if one doesn't know how to "do this" and haven't been able to find out how............

so to my main question: is there a very simple, plan language, very descriptive site or book to go to to learn more? i've been googling and looking at a few sites, have found one that actually gives pictures of the boxes in photoshop so am going to read that one more.

my husband still has his *istD and a hoya filter (i sold my *istD in order to help fund the purchase of a backup K10D so if i seriously want to persue this i'll get either a K100D or *istds).

thanks, and yes, i've been at jens site but i want something starting at the beginning that i can understand and follow.

kasey

11-01-2007, 03:54 PM   #2
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What do you want to learn about IR photography? Have you tried taking some IR pictures yet? Which model are you using?

some IR sensitivity tables:
jr-worldwi.de: Photography: Technic

where I first found out about digital IR photography:
Infrared basics for digital photographers


My recommendation would be to shoot in RAW format, because you can alter the white balance later in post processiong. That said, make sure to do a custom white balance with the filter on. It will make a difference (for the better) when you are doing the post processing.

After that, it's really just processing with whatever RAW processor you use, I'm assuming Adobe Camera Raw since you mention photoshop, but there are many, many others. Pick your white balance and adjust your contrast some, you'll probably have to pump up the contrast quite a bit to get a good tonal range.

Then you can choose to go black and white or play with the colors some more if you wish - try really pumping up the saturation and vibrance sliders in ACR to get wild results, or go traditional and do a B&W conversion...

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Last edited by khardur; 01-29-2008 at 02:48 PM.
11-01-2007, 04:57 PM   #3
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thanks, dan

dan, you make it sound so much more simple than what i've read about all the stuff to do in photoshop! i have not tried it yet but my husband has and was pretty frustrated with it. i'll hope to try it this weekend, will be using his *istD and filter. if i am able to produce what i want to out of it i will probably pick up a K100D or *istDS body but don't want to put the $$ into it unless i am able to do it and you make me think i can, grin! thanks.

great shots by the way, i really like them both. i do tend to like many that i see with some color still in them.

kasey
11-01-2007, 05:05 PM   #4
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just make sure to use a tripod. I don't find it very complicated - but many people have different techniques, so it can get overwhelming quickly.

I adjust white balance and saturation - and if I'm playing with the colors I use some (freeware) photoshop plugins from Cybia - Digital Resource Studio

The most I work on them is maybe 5 or 10 minutes experimenting with changing some of the colors - but really that's it.

11-01-2007, 05:58 PM   #5
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dan

what camera and lens do you use?


kasey
11-01-2007, 06:39 PM   #6
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K110D, hoya R72 filter, and any lenses that filter will fit on (mostly the 18-55 kit lens, and my 40mm Limited)

my exposure times have been generally 8 sec. at f/16 in bright sun, your K10D will require much longer exposures (see the sensitivity table I linked to) - but the *ist DS should take much shorter exposure times.

I'm out for the weekend, I'll be back Tuesday, hope you have a chance to try the IR stuff, it's fun.
11-01-2007, 07:25 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by kasey Quote
as far as post processing, i can find my way around in photoshop "some" but i know nothing about some of what i've read -- they say do this, but if one doesn't know how to "do this" and haven't been able to find out how............

so to my main question: is there a very simple, plan language, very descriptive site or book to go to to learn more?
Jens' site makes more sense after you've done a couple on your own.

I ditto the other comments already made. Yes, the *ist DS and *ist D are much more sensitive to IR than the K10D.

It really is pretty straightforward:
  1. Shoot in RAW. (Jens explains why, but you can just take my word for it.)
  2. Set your custom white balance by pointing at grass, trees, cement, or something neutral. (Follow the instructions in the manual, but make sure you have the IR filter ON while setting WB! This is typically the hardest part, I find that only 1 in 10 tries are successful.)
  3. Dial in +1 Ev compensation.
  4. Set the camera to auto focus.
  5. Point.
  6. Shoot!
  7. Look at histogram, see if you need to adjust the Ev compensation.
    • (A typical middle of the afternoon exposure is ISO 400, f/4, and 1/20th second with my 31mm and *ist D.)
  8. Re-shoot!

Working with the RAW images:
  1. Open the RAW file in Adobe Camera Raw.
  2. Slide the temperature down to 2100 K.
  3. Slide the tint down to -50.
  4. Under the 'Calibrate' tab, play around with the colors. I start with -100 Green Saturation and +100 Blue Saturation and 0 for everything else. I usually end up adjusting them all, but not that much. (Except the Green doesn't play too big a part, so I usually de-saturate Green pretty far.)
  5. Adjust exposure as needed and contrast to taste.
  6. Open the image!


That's as easy as I can make it. Hopefully it makes sense to you, it really is fun to shoot.

Edit to add:

Pentax *ist D, Pentax-FA 31/1.8 Limited + Hoya R72, 1/15s, f/4.0, ISO 400

Last edited by carpents; 11-01-2007 at 07:31 PM.
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