So, I finally got around to doing more digital infrared tests! I took some pictures outside in front of my Mom’s house and on the street. The sunlight was absolutely PERFECT for infrared, so I went for it.
These photos actually turn out red in the camera, and I convert them to b&w in post-processing. I’m getting the hang of it. See what looks like snow on the grass? It isn’t snow. It’s the GRASS. B&W infrared turns everything with chlorophyll white, the sky dark like it’s night, and stuff glows. Human skin glows, too.
It’s really neat. I’ve loved it ever since I was taught in college.
(Stay tuned for actual b&w infrared on film. That is also a plan of mine!)
It’s taken me awhile to get the pictures transferred to my computer and post-processed. Post processing does not just involve converting to black and white as I once thought. There are a few steps. And, of course, this is my first time, and I imagine I ill get better at it as I go.
These were all post-processed in Adobe Photoshop. I am pretty geeked at how they turned out — they really do resemble black and white infrared pictures.
More to come soon. I have another batch to work on.
These are from our camping trip to Pontiac Lake campground this summer using a converted-to-infrared DSLR. I posted a few of the originals here.
I’ve mentioned this here and there in my check-ins and progress reports, but I thought I’d go into a bit more depth about this because I absolutely love it. In fact, it’s what got me off my ass to actively pursue photography again after a long hiatus.
So here’s the story. I learned b&w infrared while in college. And fell in love with it. If you’re not familiar with it, b&w infrared film gives photos a neat glow. Anything green turns white, and the sky, even if it’s broad daylight and blue, looks like night time. It is beautiful. And there are special procedures with infrared film, so it’s a bit tricky to use but SO worth it.
I’ve only tried it a second time since college and got mediocre results. The film is so expensive, so I kinda put that on hold until very recently. And then I discovered digital infrared. ZOMG. I couldn’t even believe it. But it exists!
A bit of an explanation: normally with a DSLR (digital SLR camera, the fancy kind) there’s a filter that blocks the infrared spectrum. But there are people out there who can remove that filter so the infrared spectrum isn’t blocked anymore, and you get an effect similar to b&w infrared. (You can also use a special filter on a regular DSLR but I wanted to go all in with this.) So I was able to find a converted-to-infrared DSLR for pretty cheap. In fact, it’s the predecessor to the insanely expensive one I bought in 2006.
Now my original DSLR has the option to shoot in b&w but the new one does not, so I’m getting color infrared which is pretty neat on its own. But I’ve decided to do it right and ditch the color in Photoshop. I am in love with the b&w infrared effect. But hey, color’s cool, too.
I’m a huge fan of experimental stuff with photography. In some ways, I’m more into that than anything. I am getting ready to re-open my darkroom. I need to shoot a test roll of b&w film because I have no idea if my chemicals are any good, and I don’t want to waste them or the money to buy new if they still work (and according to my research, some of them should still work). So that’s the plan.
I also purchased a camera body for my old automatic 35mm camera because my original one is borked. I happened to find a cheap one on eBay (really, really cheap!). The weird part is that it’s actually in better shape than my original one, and I took good care of it! Wild!
So that’s what this digital infrared thing is all about. I hope to share more soon!