Shooting in IR - tips for getting started.

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Shooting in IR - tips for getting started.

Postby JoePhoto » Nov Fri 23, 2007 9:44 pm

My starting out tips for those interested in shooting with an IR converted camera. Please feel free to add to this with your experiences and share your IR images!

Have your camera converted at Life Pixel

Shoot around f/8-f/11 for best results. Very important. Even with a calibrated lens, focusing in IR is still shifty depending on the amount of IR light. So stopping down will help give you sharp images.

It's not a low light thing, but rather a bright light thing, so keep your ISO as low as possible (while maintaining your f/8-f/11) because you will find that IR can yield lots and lots of stunning highlight data, so you want to maximize your dynamic range by using the lowest possible ISO.

The camera's light meter is still looking at visible light, so there are times when it may seem way off and other times when it's pretty accurate. This is normal, so don't be freaked out by it. I usually shoot in Aperture mode and adjust my EV comp then switch to Manual when I find a good setting. There are times when I need to over or underexpose (according to the meter) by close to 2 or 3 stops, so don't let that freak you out either.

Blown highlights are not white in Color IR but rather Cyan. So your histogram will not show you blown highlights like you're used to (unless of course you have the B&W IR filter). That being said you'll be chimping alot with IR because it's like getting a surprize each time you shoot. But you need to watch out for cyan blooming on important things like skin. I wrote a PS action that removes it if you're going to keep the image in color (let me know if you want it). The process is also described on Life Pixel's website in a step by step removal.

Color IR needs a custom white balance to work properly. You can set the custom WB from shooting grass in the sun (it's white!) If you shoot in RAW and want color IR, you'll need to use the camera's native RAW software because 3rd party conerters don't read custom WB accurately. Though personally I tend to prefer B&W IR, (so I generally shoot RAW process in Lightroom and make a B&W image via an image preset), but occasionally I do a mixture of RAW and JPG shooting. If using just JPG, bump the sharpness up a few extra notches and take a look at your picture styles/image settings - they have some neat effects on the IR image.

Finally, a good book to buy on IR for weddings and portraits is: Digital Infrared Photography: Professional Techniques and Images by Patrick Rice.
Joe H.
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~ BBS Photography ~ DeviantArt ~ Model Mayhem ~


"I don't suffer from insanity... I enjoy every minute of it"
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Postby JoePhoto » Nov Fri 23, 2007 10:05 pm

`~.::IR::IMAGES::.~`

Here's a mixture of B&W and Color IR. Some you may have seen, while others are new The Last three are my personal favorites.

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Joe H.
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"I don't suffer from insanity... I enjoy every minute of it"
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Postby marokero » Nov Fri 23, 2007 11:45 pm

Awesome tips Joe! And man... I can't wait to get my D200IR!!! :D My favorites are #2, #5 and #9. How is the grain on the images Joe? In the low and high ISOs?
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Postby WARP » Nov Thu 29, 2007 2:31 am

Well I don't have any particular tips and I must admit Being a bit intimidated posting shots from My E20 after Master Joe's great Examples.
But Here goes. I was just working on some IR that I thought I had lost on a drive gone bad. I thought I was going to have to pay big bucks to have the picz retrieved but when building my new pc I got a drive enclosure and before putting the drive I got it for into it I put the bad drive in and there the files were. Not really settled on any final edits yet but here is what they are now. The final one is an art piece a bit on the outside. I guess one thing I could mention is shooting in early spring when the trees are just beginning to bud out leaves can be a great time to shoot IR as the character of the trees shines thru.

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This is one of my favs. It printed very well.



Image


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Postby JoePhoto » Nov Thu 29, 2007 8:51 am

Thanks Alberto - grain to detail ratio is the same as the camera was before conversion because it's a sensor thing. Though you will swear there is more dynamic range! Since ideally one is exposing to the right of the histogram with IR, you will naturally have less grain in the images than having to pull up an underexposed image. But noise in general, even at higher ISO's is less obvious with IR. Almost like it belongs there. I add noise to nearly every IR print because of that. But you can treat it like any other image and use Neat Image or Define to reduce it.

Will - An E-20IR!? Are you using a filter and long exposure or did you have it converted? Very nice shots! I appreciate the tip about shooting in early spring to get some foliage while allowing the skeleton of the tree to still be visible. From your samples, I like #1 and #3 the best.
Joe H.
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~ BBS Photography ~ DeviantArt ~ Model Mayhem ~


"I don't suffer from insanity... I enjoy every minute of it"
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Postby WARP » Nov Thu 29, 2007 10:05 am

Thanks Joe. I use a Hoya Filter, I believe a R72 if I remember correctly (at work right now). Most I convert to B&W using channels in PS. I will sometimes use B/Works. The second pic I added a layer of extreme blur
at a low % to soften some. My results with the e20 are pretty noisy a lot of times but seem to print well. I just got neat image and am trying to learn how to use it effectively.

Will
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Postby marokero » Dec Sat 01, 2007 8:36 am

Nice shots Will! I used to do some IR with my E-10 and a Hoya R72, but the long exposures really put a hamper to more shots. One thing I'm going to try is take the D200IR to the New York Botanical Garden, where they have a fairly large greenhouse. There should be plenty of greenery in the greenhouse to test the camera :)
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