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!


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