Thursday, 28 February 2013

More I-R Experimenting and Comparing

Sony Mavica CD500 infrared photo at Barrie Ontario
Left, using R-72 filter - Right, naked lens of
Sony Mavica CD-500 - using a tripd

Still messing with the whole infrared 'thing'...  The image here shows a shrub in our back yard.  Obviously one half of the image is I-R and the other, not.  The falling snow doesn't appear in the I-R version due to shutter speed (2.0 sec vs 1/1,000 sec for the colour version).  Clarity seems to be an issue here to, though I thought I'd focused properly.  The Mavica uses a 'live viewfinder' only and it was bright out, so I just slapped the auto focus on - that may have been part of it.  In any case, this part of infrared photography is (pardon the pun) seeing some light.  I mean, look at the shrub.  The camera is obviously seeing some I-R light reflecting off the branches.
I also bought a Sima SL-201R IR 'night vision' light for video and photography.  The thing is supposed to light up to about 70 feet - I can't get it to light even one foot away!  I gave it the full three hour charge they ask for as you first open the package - and you can see the LEDs light up (even with the naked eye) if you look straight at it.  Aim the panel at a camera lens and you can plainly see them - though, they're not AS bright as the LED in my TV remote when I flash that at a camera lens.  Hmmm...
For an experiment, I took the filter off the camera and just held the filter in front of my eye.  Then aimed the Sima I-R light at the filter (and eye).  I could see the LEDs pretty well.  Next, I aimed the LEDs at my leg, white paper and other things - no light bounced back to the camera.  So, I removed the filter from the camera and repeated the experiment.  ...Same results.  Now I'm really confused!  How can it appear in the lens when aimed directly at the lens, but nothing else lights up?  Is it just a very weak (eg: faulty) light?  Still a lot to learn, I suppose...
Any hints out there?

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Infrared Experimentation

I have a Sony Mavica CD500 mirror-less DSLR (can I call it that?) in my collection and read a while back, this model doesn't have any I-R filtering built in, making it an ideal camera for messing with I-R photography.  So far the only drawback I've found is the maximum exposure time of eight seconds!

Sony Mavica CD-500, Rose, infrared photography
One of my first attempts at I-R photography.
This yellow rose was shot with flash,
1/100sec, f/3.2, 100 ISO, Sony Mavica CD500
After buying an R-72 filter, I started messing around in the studio with flowers and flash - even ambient room lighting (flash was obviously better, due to the heavy filtering of light).  Yes, I have shot out the window, but wasn't impressed (not a whole lot of 'greenery' at this time of year - and it's pretty grey out today anyway).  I also have an I-R light source on order, which should enhance the fun!  And although I've read my 50D and 5D mkii aren't supposed to be any good at this, I have ordered a filter for them.  Why??...  If you take a TV remote control (which uses near-infrared rays to transmit to the TV) and hold it in front of your camera/camcorder and press a button - you'll see it flickering.  That means the camera IS seeing I-R light.  However, how WELL it sees it - that could be a different story.  Using either Canon above, may mean very extended exposure times - which could in fact give even more creative results...  Who knows?

Looking around the web, it's easy to see the very creative/experimental offerings by many photographers.  However, it's also easy to see just how I'll have to 're-tool' the way I visualize a scene because when shooting I-R photo's, you're really taking pictures of the light you CAN'T see!  I-R takes place just above the light our eyes can interpret.  I should qualify this too - this type of I-R photography, is really called, 'near infrared' (taking place just above our natural visual range).  The real I-R stuff uses very specialized cameras, to the point of measuring heat radiation, etc.  In the case of what I'm talking about here, it's just the 'near' I-R rays that bounce back to the lens from a light source.

If you are also into near-infrared photography, please let me know - let's share ideas!


Tuesday, 19 February 2013

This Needed a Title - So I Gave it One...

Well, again I have waited far too long to make a blog entry.  With moving to Barrie and other things life threw at us this past year, I just haven't been producing as much as I'd like to have been.  That's about to change though!  I have already attended my first meeting of the Barrie Photo/Camera Club and look forward to more of those.
Toronto skyline at night, taken from the Poulson Pier
Toronto Waterfront
Interesting thought...  For a few years I was a member of the Beaches Photo Club in Toronto - a club who's name suggests waterfront.  The Barrie club actually meets ON the waterfront!  I mean you could easily toss a lens cap into the water from the meeting hall!
Don't get me wrong, I certainly miss the Toronto gang...  I'm just making a fun observation about the waterfront thing.
Thanks to my wife, Elizabeth, my interest is peaking again.  You see, she makes the silly mistake of giving me the Henry's flyer when she gets it.  I found a few items on sale - and HAD to have them!  So now there are new backdrops, light-modifiers and paper in our studio - and I just HAVE to experiment with them!  Hey, I'm not playing - it's all work!! *wink*

Humming bird, feeder.
Hummingbird at the feeder in the willow tree
 One of the paper samples I picked up this week was InkPress' Glossy Metallic ink jet paper.  Wow, is that stuff great!  You don't want to use it for everything, but certainly for things that would naturally have a 'shimmer' to them.  An example would be the little guy in the photo here.  The highlights on the feeder and feathers just jump off the page, as if etched in shiny metal.  The first time I saw an example of this type of paper was when a friend presented a sister with a photo/print of a blue butterfly.  The butterfly's wings normally have a shimmer to them, which the paper reproduced faithfully.  Finally, I have some of that kind of paper and have experimented a little this evening.  Other photo's that printed well with it were of the Toronto skyline at night and a sunset in Parry Sound.

So, if you're looking for something new to try, give metallic ink jet paper a whirl!  Just remember, it's not good for everything (eg: skin tones).
OK, I've made an entry... Now back to our regularly scheduled program...