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Tim Rahto | profile | all galleries >> An Afternoon of Infrared tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

An Afternoon of Infrared

Santa came a day early when his little elf, driving a brown UPS truck, delivered my newly converted to full time infrared Canon 10D. I couldn't resist taking it out today and seeing what it could do.

For those of you who haven't tried shooting IR before, I have to tell you that it is usually a huge hassle. Expect to spend your day lugging around your tripod, messing with filters, and waiting around for your 30 second exposures to finish up. The effects can be amazing, but they are a pain in the ass. Plus you are limited in the lenses you can use as well. A lot of lenses have a coating in their barrels that interacts with the dark red filter you need, leaving a big blotch on your photo that is a huge pain to try and remove. Sort of like a bleach stain on your new shirt.

Now, I can leave my tripods and filters behind thanks to the folks at LifePixel. They performed the necessary surgery on a used 10D I picked up a while ago and turned it into a full time infrared camera. Now I can shoot infrared images by hand, with fast shutter speeds and a variety of lenses. You'll still get some hot spots here and there, but not as often as I did with the Hoya filters. I think a lens hood will do wonders for this issue though, so we will see.

One outing does not a great camera make, but so far I am pretty impressed. All the images are crisp, sharp, and have that unique quality that only infrared seems to deliver.

A couple of tips: when shooting in IR, set your white balance for Tungsten lighting. It will save you some post-processing issues later. Also, when doing the black and white conversion, use the channel mixer in photoshop, and switch over to the green channel for output before going to monochrome. You will be very happy with the results.
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