I was trying out something just a wee bit different the other day and believe I found a kind of cool learning tool. A friend was passing through town with her IR camera just converted, and she was having the time of her life. She kept wishing she could see in IR all the time saying, “I wish I could have this camera mounted on my head.” Trying as well as she could while realizing that it might not work out so well as it cuts down on your peripheral vision quite a bit leading to some tripping on rocks and bumping tree branches.
I’m a fan of infrared myself. The excitement was rekindled when I had my Lumix G6 converted to infrared by LifePixel. I used to shoot IR back in film days but got away from it due to all the hassles of the film becoming fogged very easily not to mention trying to focus through a filter that took away almost all visible light.
I tried out some infrared time lapse photography and saw that it could be a way to study how the sunlight reacts with different subjects when on and off and somewhere in between. FYI the camera is set to capture black & white images. I normally would shoot in RAW plus jpeg but time-lapse sequences take a lot of images so I shot in jpeg only.
The camera was set to capture an image once every second. I choose this setting because the wind was high and the clouds were moving through the scene very quickly leaving their trails of light and shadow as streaks. These images were then processed into a video set to 15 frames per second. Quite often the processing is 24 or 30 frames per second but I felt that was too fast to show the differences of the light passage. A great feature of the Lumix cameras is the ability to process your time-lapse videos right in-camera. Choose quality, frame rate, size, etc. Play it back. If you don’t like what you see, you can process again very quickly with different parameters.
Go to full screen to see the best detail. Note the difference between highlights on leaves and rocks as the sun races through the image.
Jpeg image straight out of camera (SOOC)
Here’s the image processed using multiple jpegs layered together selecting highlights and shadows as I would like. Then the image is taken into NIK Color FX Pro 4 for the addition of some filters to brighten the highlights and finish off the IR look. Tonal Contrast, Glamour Glow, and Film Grain were all added.
Here’s the same image processed for a different look. The same filter pack from NIK Color FX Pro 4 was used as described above with a bit more Glamor Glow.
Using this process you can mix and match your post-processing to get the exact look you would like. For Example, you could take this glow and use it on the image above. Choices are endless.
Yours in Creative Photography, Bob
Bob Coates says
Best thought I can offer you is to let the camera start to pick the exposure and bracket. Study the images and you will soon know what exposure will work for you. If you are working with a camera that has live view as the Lumix cameras do you’ll be that much ahead of the game.
Julius jaffe says
Shooting night images inIR. What f stop and exposure times?