Enough with the cabbage already

IR cabbage tree

I spent this weekend at a photography meetup, held at a seaside community about three hours drive away from home.  Without internet or even cell coverage there really was nothing to do except take photographs, or sit around talking about taking photographs with other photographers while eating delicious food.  I took, of course, far too much gear, but ended up mainly making use of the infrared-modified camera, my old Sony A580 which has had the filter over the sensor replaced with clear glass for a ‘full spectrum’ conversion.

I’ve never been much of a landscape photographer, but it was an interesting exercise to take the time to really consider compositions, and see how they changed when photographing at the infrared end of things.  For example, some things in a scene that looked dark to my eyes were bright in the near-infrared, and vice versa.  Cabbage trees, which I have always loved for their resemblance to Dr Seuss’ Truffula, are particularly inclined to glow, especially in slanted early morning light.  Clouds also look quite different, with much drama hidden in hardly-there wisps.

IR images all look a dull flat red out of the camera with all other shades of colour overwhelmed.  Processing is definitely part of the image making process, even more so than in most photography. These were mostly taken using a 720nm filter on a 20mm lens, and processed in Photoshop (this article by Bob Vishneski was verry helpful indeed).

A new 590nm filter was waiting for me when I got home, that will allow more light at the visible end of the spectrum to show, more ‘actual’ colour along with the infrared, and a UV-pass filter is on order too.  More landscape experiments are likely soon; expect cabbage trees.

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