Tag Archives: infrared

My Descent into Infrared, Part 2: Choosing a Conversion Type

Afternoon clouds near Cañon City, Colorado. Super-color infrared image converted to monochrome using Silver Efex Pro 2.
Afternoon clouds near Cañon City, Colorado. Super-color infrared image converted to monochrome using Silver Efex Pro 2. If you have the right tools, a Super-Color infrared conversion is probably the most versatile choice for the creative photographer.

In my previous post, I mentioned that I selected a “Super Color” conversion for my Nikon 1 V1 camera. Today, I’ll dive a little deeper into my rationale for this conversion and provide some examples for why I think it was a good choice for what I do. Considering that most infrared conversions cost between $250-$325, you want to be sure you’re making a choice that you’ll be happy with. Your choice of conversion will determine what look or looks you’ll be able to get with your camera.

I based my rationale for choosing a “super color” conversion, which allows some visible light to reach the sensor, on two key points. First, I like the creative options afforded to me by having some color information. Second, I own Photoshop and Silver Efex Pro 2, and I’m fairly proficient with those products. Had I not owned those two programs, I may have chosen a different conversion style (likely standard IR). Continue reading My Descent into Infrared, Part 2: Choosing a Conversion Type

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Photo of the Day: Beauty

Neighborhood sunflower. Captured with an infrared-converted Nikon 1 V1 camera and 6.7-13mm 1-Nikkor zoom lens. Click to enlarge.
Neighborhood sunflower. Captured with an infrared-converted Nikon 1 V1 camera and 6.7-13mm 1-Nikkor zoom lens. Click to enlarge.

I’m still learning the ins and outs of digital infrared with my recently converted Nikon 1 V1 camera. With the right processing, you can get some nice results (at least I think so).

Image processed in Silver Efex Pro 2 and Color Efex Pro 4 (sunlight).

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Infrared Photography with the Nikon 1 System: Wide-angle lens testing

"Standing Tall" Nikon 1 V1 converted to infrared, 10-30mm 1-Nikkor zoom at 13.1mm.
“Standing Tall”
Nikon 1 V1 converted to infrared, 10-30mm 1-Nikkor zoom at 13.1mm. Image processed in Silver Efex Pro 2 and Color Efex Pro 4.

I recently converted my Nikon 1 V1 mirrorless camera to “super-color” infrared. I’ve been having fun with the camera, but I did notice that wider shots seemed very soft in the corners. According to the team at Life Pixel, wide-angle lenses are notoriously problematic with infrared cameras. Lens distortions tend to be exaggerated and softness is common. The primary culprit, it seems, is the fancy optical coatings on your lenses, which help reduce distortion and aberrations. The coatings are optimized for visible light, not IR wavelengths.

As much as I hate taking pictures of brick walls, I also want to understand the limitations of my gear. I decided to test three of my 1-Nikkor lenses to see how well they performed with infrared. Continue reading Infrared Photography with the Nikon 1 System: Wide-angle lens testing

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Setting White Balance on Infrared Images with Lightroom (with video)

Color infrared image captured with a Nikon D700 and processed in Lightroom 5 and Adobe Photoshop CS6.
Color infrared image captured with a Nikon D700 and processed in Lightroom 5 and Adobe Photoshop CS6.

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom does not handle RAW images captured with an infrared (IR) converted camera well by default. The problem lies in the white balance settings, which can be a real challenge to get right. However, you can work around this problem by creating a custom camera calibration profile using Adobe’s DNG Profile Editor software. The custom profile will let you have the necessary latitude to correct the WB setting in your IR images for further processing.

Here’s the whole process explained in a brief video that I put together:

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Continue reading Setting White Balance on Infrared Images with Lightroom (with video)

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Get Out of Your Rut: Tips for Creative Photography

Photography is a combination of technical and artistic techniques. The more techniques you master, the more opportunities you’ll have to create your vision.

Photography combines technical and artistic elements and allows me to express my creativity. Today, just about anyone with a cell phone has a camera on-hand. So how do you go beyond just taking pictures of your food and your cat?

As with all things, you should have a grasp of the basic fundamentals of exposure. Sure, you can put your camera into Program Auto or “Scene” mode, but doing so can sometimes restrict your creativity. Program Auto mode is great when you’re just looking to get snapshots, and it is well-suited for those just starting out to allow the user to concentrate on composition. But at some point, all your photos will start to look the same, and you’ll probably want to expand your horizons. Here are some techniques you can experiment with once you have the basics down. Continue reading Get Out of Your Rut: Tips for Creative Photography

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