Crystal Maiden, on top of Mt Vic

No snow or ice today, just bright sunshine and a very chilly wind.  There was an organised ‘cosplay photoshoot’ on top of a nearby hill today as part of Comicon, so I took the IR camera. Only the one model (vs fifteen or so photographers), and good on her for being prepared to stand in the cold at 9am.     I suspect she may have wished her costume cloak had been fully functional, rather than mostly nylon, with just a strip of faux fur on the edge . . .

Interesting with these two different filters (nm 680 on the top, 590 on the bottom) picked out entirely different levels of detail in the fabric.

Comicon ice maiden

Comicon ice maiden


Sunday zoo amble

With the infrared camera (a modified Sony A6000), and using a 590nm filter, so this is at the near-visible end of the light spectrum.  Some are processed to black and white, others left with the ‘natural’ false colours.  Learning of the day: fur is very variable!

Pensive baboon, yawning sun bear

This week’s mild obsession continues; playing with the IR modified camera.   I know they’re more typically used for landscape-over-water shots, but there’s something intriguing me about the shifted colour, the slight wrongness to the light and dark on other sorts of images.   Something about the way that until you process the image in Photoshop it’s just a dull blah, which makes it more ‘mine’ that a standard camera capture?  The sensation that film-era photographers felt when they took negatives out of the developer perhaps.


IR Baboon

225mm, 1/2000 sec, f/5.6, iso 200


135mm, 1/2000 sec, f/5, iso 200


Lyall Bay beach, on a day with weather warnings of up 100km winds for Wellington – normally there’s a metre or so gap under the end of this little pier.  Sand rushed along the be beach in visually fascinating but incredibly scouring swirls, so you may be sure that I kept my back to the wind and took good care that my camera stayed inside my jacket.  Photo with the IR-modified camera, using a UV filter, so this is visible + IR light.


Lyall Bay sand

Sony A580 20mm f9 ISO 200 1/800 sec

Or, if you prefer, a prettier, closer view processed with a slightly different colour mix for a quite different effect.

Lyall Bay IR sand

Sand storm at the beach


A familar place made strange

I took the IR converted camera with me on an early morning walk, and this afternoon, with much help from the Internets, figured out how to process the RAW files to much better effect (the key trick is creating a camera profile using a separate Adobe product).  So, yay.

IR trees

Trees glowing whitely






Shags waking up

Shags waking up

IR with Cheetahs

Update some days later!

After an “ah hah” moment with photo processing for images from the IR camera today, I revisited my Cheetah.  Much better result.

Revised processing

Revised processing using a camera profile and colour channel mixing

Processed using my previous ‘play with the sliders in ARC’ method :

For my daily amble today I took my old Sony A580 to the zoo.   I had the filter which normally sits in front of the sensor removed a few months ago and replaced with a clear one, aka a full-spectrum conversion.  Sensor filters normally keep out most of the infra-red and UV light which is outside the human eyesight range, so that photographs look ‘right’ in terms of colour.  This camera doesn’t have that any more.  Focusing is a bit of a challenge (or at least it was with the Tamron 70-300mm lens I was using today), but the results can be interesting when not utterly rubbish.   These are the straight-out-of-camera colour, and lightly processed b&w versions.

IR cheetah

Crisper fur, but not looking at the camera

Cheetah IR

And, trying a macro lens back in m’garden.  This Sony 35mm lens seems much sharper than the Tamron one, and the colours are quite different.

IR monarch

I really need to remember to take this camera next time I go on a road trip – IR is absorbed quite differently to visible light by vegetation, and I’d love to try take some of those spooky landscape pictures which inspired me to get my retired camera converted in the first place.

Infrared zoo

I’ve finally had the chance to do some experimenting with my old dslr today.  It’s a Sony A580, which I sent it off to have the inbuilt filters in front of the sensor removed.  So, now it records more of the light spectrum.  Not infrared at the “see heat in the dark” end of things, but definitely more than our eyes can see.  I’ll play with filters to control the light more (it’s a “full spectrum” conversion, meaning it has UV through to IR), but today I just wanted to try it out, and see how well I could focus.   It proved very much a matter of taking a photo, chimping, and changing the settings, what I see through the viewfinder is no longer at all accurate in terms of exposure and what is recorded.  These photos were all at shutter speeds five times or so faster than I would expect to use in this light.  Which makes sense, because there is much more light being let in.  Someone, somewhere probably has some kind of fancy calculation rules for working this out, but for now I’ll just spin dials until it looks right.