Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Infrared (well not exactly)

Well, I am finally going to publish some infrared pictures.  We spent a long weekend over at Mohonk Mt house awhile back, and there are some great picture possibilities there.  With Infrared, it is nice to get some water and the sky in a single picture.  Well there is a nice quiet lake that fits that bill really nicely.  As I did not put the money into upgrading the rebel (I did not want it single purpose), I am taking these pictures with the SX210.  The noise from the SX210 is a concern as these are long exposures (I can not see any light through the filter, so takes awhile).  I have just purchased noise ninja plug in for photo shop to work around this.  It was not used for these pictures, but shows some real promise (you will see some of that soon).

Note, most of these are not true infrared, as a true infrared picture would have no color.  Most of these are false color images (basically I needed to do some swapping to get the blue sky etc).  I thikn the false color images look nicer so that is what I am working with (not true infrared).  Let me show you what I mean.  Both images below are of the Mohonk Mt House from across the lake.  You will also see a little hut on the rock, there are many of these little huts scattered around the lake.

The image above is a true infrared image as it has no color (note that is not exactly accurate either as some color does get through the filter, but it is a truer infrared image than what follows).   Notice how the water in the forground is black and the foliage is white.  These are characteristics of a true infrared image.  Notice how the infrared really gives this image an old "antiqued" type of look.  It really works for this picture.

This is the same image, but I kept some color information.  Notice that the sky still has some blue to it.  In the original image, the sky is red.  In order to get the sky blue, I needed to swap the red and blue colors.  So now we have a picture that is peculiar to the eye.  The sky is blue, so that looks right, the water is still black  and the leaves white (well I picked a little pinkish for these, you will see that I can target different tones).  Though the above image does have its charm (and in this example, I find both almost equally as pleasing, which is why I used this image).  In general,  I think the false color image holds a bit more interest.

This picture is more full on for the house (it is still much longer in both directions, it would be difficult to get the enitre house and still have reasonable detail).  I was able to make the sky a bit lighter blue here.  The reflections in the lake steal from the blackness of it a bit.  Though there is a bit more color, and the house is shown off nicely, I prefer the first image.  Everything was just more striking.

I posted this one to show some of the problems.  I really struggled with the coloring on this one.  Though I liked the little yellow in the trees, getting the red out of the rocks was tough.  The only way to do this right would have been to start singling out areas and specific colors.  I did not want to go there, as it takes longer, and really takes away from the fun.  I do not mind moving colors around, but I do it for the entire image, so the image is still as it was (just moving some sliders would put it back).  If I did too much, almost not worth starting with the infrared (could start with any image).  However, with those rules, this image just did not work out.

This one is taken from above the hill down onto the boat docks (you can rent (free for guests) row boats, canoes or peddle boats).  This worked out as the water really held its black.  Though the reflections are obvious, it looks like ebony.  You can see that the evergreen type trees are darker than the ones with full leaves.  This is natrual as the leaves really reflect the infrared light, and whiten up much more.  Adds some nice contrast (especially with the dock).  The lines in this one go every direction (tree line up to the right, dock down to the left etc - adds to the peculiarity of the infrared image, but do not pull the eye to an interesting subject). 

Portraits are a specailty of infrared photography.  It adds a nice glow to the skin, removes all the imperfections and really adds some nice affects.  This is really not a good portrait, as it is not a close up, and really captures the person in the surroundings more.  I could not quite get the colors right in this one either.  However, I found a nice attractive young lady willing to let me snap her picture, so I took the picture.  You can see a hint of what I was talking about with the skin in this picture.

The good news for infrared photography is time of day.  Most photos taken with the sun overhead do not look good.  They look too harsh.  Really want to snap most photos at dawn or dusk when colors are in the air, and the lighting and shadows are not that harsh.  Infrared is the opposite.  You really want a bright sun (so you can get some infrared light to shoot).  So if you decide to try, buy that filter.  Leave it off in the morning, put it back on during the middle of the day, and take it back off as the evening approaches.  It will keep you taking some nice nature photos all day long.

Though I liked the results, I am not ready to upgrade a DSLR and take the full plunge.  I want to play with infrared some more with my less expensive setup (just the 210 point and shoot and the Hoya R72 infrared filter (and a mount I got from Adorama to hold the filter in front of the camera)).  It is hard to make sure you get a good picture, but sometimes you get surprised.  You can see from above, not counting the portrait, the first picture is really nice and the one with the dock not bad, other than that a bit of a struggle to get something nice.  There are a handful of other so so pictures that I did not publish.  I want to see if I can get the average up a bit better and I also want to play with some better portraits.  So some more to come.

No comments:

Post a Comment