How to Shoot and Process Infrared

How to Shoot and Process Infra-red

I have been a big fan of infra-red for quite a while. It can be quite an acquired taste but the results can be breath-taking. Today I am going to explain what you need, how to take the images and what to do with them when you get home. There is a couple of ways you can take infra-red photos. One techniques involves converting your camera. This can be costly and will permanently change you camera for IR. The technique I will be discussing is using a filter.

The image I will be using as an example is “Spring Snow”.

Spring Snow

Spring Snow

Equipment

A camera that is capable of capturing Infra-red light – The camera used to take this image was a Panasonic FZ50 but now I use a canon 550d. Search online to see if yours is capable.

Lens – Make sure your lens doesn’t create “hot spots” (over exposed) areas. A good list of these can be found here http://www.kolarivision.com/lenshotspot.html

Tripod – This is a must, IR takes a long exposures to capture light.

Remote shutter – Not a must but you should be aware of camera shake when pressing the shutter. Maybe use 2sec counter if you don’t have a remote.

IR Filter – There are loads to choose from. As with any filter you get what you pay for. I can recommend a Hoya R72 Infra-red filter. They will cost about £30-£50 depending on your filter size. I have recently purchased a cheaper brand and I get some weird colour bleeding in the middle.

Things to be Aware Of

Wind – Infra-red works best with vegetation. Be aware to capture infra-red you will be using shutter speeds of 4+ seconds so if it is windy, vegetation will become blurry. Try and aim for days that are calm.

Sun – Infra-red works best when the sun is at its brightest. Clear summer days at midday will get you the best results but is not a necessity. Experiment and see what works for you.

Preparing

The first thing you will need to do is set the white balance of the camera. Screw on your filter and set the ISO to 800 – 1600 and the exposure time to a few seconds. (Notice you will not be able to see anything through the eyepiece or live view  I will discuss this later. ) Turn off auto focus, find a patch of grass that is in the sun and take a photo of it. You don’t need to focus, you just need to gain the colour that the grass gives you. The image you are looking for should be magenta/red grass (if you don’t get this, change your exposure times until you do). Set this image as your white balance and make sure you have your white balance set to custom!!! (Check your manual if you are unsure on how to set white balance).

As mentioned before you will likely not be able to see anything in your eyepiece or live view so you will need to remove the filter to compose your shot. I normally set the camera to AV or TV mode whilst doing this so manual mode will get the settings I have already entered.

  • Place you camera on the tripod and get everything framed.
  •  Turn on autofocus and focus as you would normally.
  • Screw the IR filter back onto your camera
  • THEN turn off autofocus, this will stop you turning the focus ring when
  • Turn your camera back to Manual mode (if you changed it to AV)
  • Have your settings at ISO800 – Aperture F/8 ish – Exposure 6 seconds (This is just a guide, it maybe different for your camera).
  • Check everything is in focus and in frame. You are aiming for an image that will look like below:

The colours maybe a little different depending on your white balance but you are aiming to get an image that is nicely exposed. My Panasonic camera used for this image was very sensitive to IR light so I didn’t need 8 second exposures, this is how I got the sheep in shot. If your images are over exposed with the settings I mentioned above, step the ISO etc down.

Hopefully now you have your first infra-red shot. Personally I would try all this in my back garden. As I have mentioned EVERY camera is different so it may take a while to see what works best.

Post Process!

Chances are that your infra-red image won’t be much to look at right now but a few tricks in Photoshop can help you out.

Before you start I would recommend running your image through some noise removal software like Noise Ninja or Neat Image. You can do this in Photoshop but chances are it won’t be as good.

There are loads of different ways to edit IR photos. This is the way I use a lot of the time but don’t forget to experiment!

  • Open the image in Photoshop
  • Go to Image > Adjustments > Levels
  • When the levels box opens select “Auto”. (you can play with the sliders manually if the results are not what you are after)
  • Click OK

This is how my image turned out:

Now lets make the magic happen!

  • Go to Image > Adjustments > Channel Mixer

  • Take the “Red” slider and move it to 0
  • Take the “Blue” slider and move it to 100
  • In the “Output Channel” drop down box choose “Blue”.
  • Move the “red” slider to 100
  • Move the “Blue” slider to 0

You will should have an image that is a bit more infra-red ish now. If required you can got to Image > Adjustments > Hue/Saturation. Here you can select different colour ranges like cyan for the sky and drag the hue slider to alter the colour. In my final image I completely desaturated the magenta that is in the grass. Again, have a play, there are no rules.

The final step I like to do is resize it for web (say 800px high) then apply a smart sharpen at the following settings:

Hope this has been of some use. Remember experimentation is the best way to learn. Try different settings/ locations and weathers.

Let me know if you found this useful, if you have other ways of processing your images or you just want to show off some pictures. Just fill out the comments below!

Here are a few more of my IR shots to give you an idea of what is possible:

Calm Motion

Calm Motion

Bull

Bull

The Bridge in my Dreams

The Bridge in my Dreams

Dip

Dip

Between the Trees

Between the Trees

Never Trust Valet

Never Trust Valet

The Chapel

The Chapel

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Respecting your Peers V

I have been pretty slack with any blog entries. I have been pretty busy with a trip to Paris (photos to follow soon) and some other exciting news which I will reveal at a later date. But I am back with another Respecting your Peers!
Today I have a photographer who makes me nervous! Based on my home turf, I heard of him before I saw his work. He has grown quite a reputation in and around Eastbourne and seeing his work its understandable.
So, without further ado… This is Will Gudgeon.

Name? Will Gudgeon

Early morning pier

 

Where abouts do you live? Polegate, Sussex

What camera and equipment do you use?

Camera: Canon 7D,

Lenses: Samyang 8mm f/3.5 Fisheye, Sigma 10-20, Sigma 17-50 f2.8, Canon 50mm f1.8, Sigma 120-400,

Manfrotto tripod

Large selection of filters + a few extras

 

When did you start Photography? October 2009

Sovereign harbour fishing boats

Sovereign harbour fishing boats

 

What made you first start photography?

Always enjoyed and appreciated good photography and wanted  to be able to do it myself

 

Is photography your full time job?

No, I work in a garage full time polishing cars

 

Why do you love photography?

I love being out with the camera, love watching creation unfold and  to be able to capture is a privilege.

 

What photography styles/techniques do you prefer?

Landscapes

Beachy head in winter 2

Beachy head in winter 2

How do you stay inspired? Who inspires you?

Anyone who can take a photo inspires me, I love looking through images on, Google, Facebook, Flickr etc.

Also just seeing the change in creation itself throughout the year is inspiring, the colors changing, the way sun light hits areas to bring out the different textures, the cloud formations, it’s great to be able to be inspired by what your photographing.

 

Do you sell your work? Is it a business?

Yes i sell my work as prints, canvas prints, greeting cards etc

Will Gudgeon Photography is a registered company

The calm before the storm

The calm before the storm

How do you promote your work?

Facebook, Twitter, my website

 

Which is your favorite image and why?

My Hampden park sunrays image

Was one of them photos where I was just in the right place at the right time

morning sun rays

morning sun rays

 

What is your best memory from photography?

The local MP saw my work in a local shop and was so impressed he invited me to meet him, that was pretty cool.

 

What advice would you give to anyone thinking of starting out?

Do not try to please everyone, it will never happen.

Enjoy every moment and let your creativity develop its own unique style, that will help you stand out from the rest.

 
Also could you include any links to  your work…

www.willgudgeon.co.uk

www.Facebook.com/willgudgeon.co.uk

 

I’d like to thank Will for taking the time to answer the questions and I’m sure you will all join me in congratualting him on his new baby girl Evelynn.

 

If you would like to be featured let me know at wreck_photography@hotmail.co.uk or in the comments below

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Inspiration III – Timelapse

I have been pretty rubbish recently adding any new posts. I have been working hard on a the new wreck website and remastering over 180 of my photos… Exciting eh?

Today’s inspiration is timelapse video. It has been something I have always wanted to try but never got around to doing! There are hundreds of amazing timelapse video’s out there and if you know some I haven’t mentioned please show me! I would love to see them.

The Chapel by Patryk Kizny

 

Asylum by Drew Geraci

 

Landscapes Vol.1 by Dustin Farrell

 

Landscapes Vol.2 by Dustin Farrell

 

Spain by Ben

 

TimeScapes: Rapture by Tom Lowe

 

Rear Window Timelapse by Jeff Desom

 

Yosemite Range of Light by Shawn Reeder

 

Hope you enjoyed the selection… As I say if there are any that you know of that you think I would like let me know!

 

Thanks

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Planning your Shoot

Landscape photography is very much a game of chance. Many times I have planned a photo session, arrived at the location and been let down. There are so many factors to take into consideration it can get a bit stressful. In this section I will show you how and what I use to try and plan a shoot.

The Internet & Apps


The internet is undoubtedly the best tool for photographers (that and the invention of digital). There are tons of useful tools and sites across the net that can help you out. Here is a quick list of ones I use most… (I would be here forever if I listed them all).

Google Images – I know, half the time you search for stuff in Google images and it comes up with completely irrelevant images but don’t let that put you off, this can be a great way to find new spots. Also if you’re bored you can search for 241543903.

Flickr – Flickr is great way to gain inspiration, as well as show your pictures off. Search for areas nearby you, see what other people have photographed. If you like a photo, make sure you check out the rest of the photographers images. They may just have a little gem of a location you were never aware of. Also search for and join groups, they are a fantastic way to find locations and other photographers near you.

Google Maps – I imagine a lot of people using reading this already use Google Maps. It’s amazing. Spend some time just scrolling over your local area. I have used it a few times to locate lone trees in the middle of fields. Make sure you have the “Photos” layer ticked in the top right to see where people have taken their shots. Street view is also a neat little trick, especially if you are planning on photographing buildings.

Google Earth – A downloadable version of Google Maps with a few awesome little extras thrown in. It allows you to see terrain and in some locations 3D cities. Its defiantly worth having (as its free). Also available as a free smartphone App!

Bing Maps - Stupid name and can be a touch sketchy, Bing does offer something that Google Maps doesn’t… A perspective view. This can be quite useful and I have used it for finding entry points when Urbain Exploring.

BBC Weather (UK) – One of the sites I use for my weather forecasts. The weather is given in 3 hour chunks but more useful is the interactive cloud cover map, sunrise/sunset times, visibility and wind speeds. I believe the BBC get their weather from the Met so its fairly reliable.

Accuweather – Accuweather used to be my favourite but has recently had a design change and I’m not as keen. But that aside they give pretty accurate weather predictions and up to 15 days ahead! (BBC only go 5).

The Photographers Emphemeris – Hands down the best idea EVER. All it requires is a quick free download and it gives you access to Google maps but with Sunrise/Sunset/Moonrise/Moonset directions as a line over the map. Just put a marker where you are planning to shoot and see exactly what direction the sun is coming and going. A must have! Also available on iOS and Android, though these versions cost a couple of quid (Still worth it!).

Google Sky Map App – If you ever do night photography this is a essential. Using augmented reality you can point your phone in the direction of stars and it will tell you what they are. Very useful for finding polaris. Best of all… its free! (I believe there is a version for the iOS called “Star Walk” that does the same).

Preparation


Batteries – Make sure they are charged, the more the merrier. Also a little hint is to keep them warm, cold weather depletes the battery!.

Memory cards – Make sure they are empty and take lots!

Check your camera – A few times I have got home or halfway through a shoot and realised I haven’t set the ISO correctly or locked the white balance on a panoramic. Take a minute to make sure everything is how you want it.

Watch the Skies – Out of the way superman, I’m talking about clouds! Watch which way they are moving and what is likely coming your way. When shooting sunsets the best is when you get cloud above but a small gap where the sun is setting, this will give you that amazing red sky.

If you were going to go, GO! - I’m sure I am not alone in this but I often sit at home, in the warm, and talk myself out of going to take photos. DON’T! The worst is when you are sat at home and the sky lights up with colours that you dream of. Make the effort, if you don’t get any photos at least you got some exercise.

Leave early for work – Sunsets are always a treat but one of the hardest to motivate yourself for. Rather than missing your Sunday lie in, set your alarm half hour earlier on a work day and stop off on the way.

Drive or walk a different route – If you make the same journey day after day then take a different route. You never know what you might find.

Look behind you – If there is one thing I have learned from pantomimes, it’s to look behind you. It’s very easy to get caught up in what the sunset is doing and forget the rest of your surroundings.

Get there early – I’m terrible for this and often end up prancing around like a drunk Bambi. Get there early and get some shots lined up in your head. Even if you know the location like the back of your hand!.

Don’t leave as the curtain sets – We’ve all been there, the sun has set and you pack up all your gear and skip off home. WAIT! Sunsets love an encore and you are often blessed with some amazing views quite a while after the sun has gone.

Im sure a lot of people already know most of the points I have raised here but it is very easy to get caught up in the moment and forget. If you have any tips or advice let me know and I will add them to the list.

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Respecting your Peers IV

Hello,
I have been quite quiet for a few days, things have been pretty busy but I am back with another “Respecting your Peers”. Today’s photographer is a very talented chap called John Mundy. I met John through twitter and his work is stunning. His vast, atmospheric golf course shots are a treat for the eyes. Though his skills don’t finish there! Be sure to check him out!

Flickr

Wix

http://www.golfphotostore.co.uk

http://www.johnmundyarchitecturalphotography.co.uk

Twitter

 

Name? John Mundy. ‘Golfphotostore’ on the web.

Where abouts do you live? Windlesham, Surrey. (A 5 minute walk through the woods to Sunningdale golf course.)

2nd new course sunningdale

What camera and equipment do you use? A very simple lightweight Nikon D50 (due to upgrade soon) , standard 18-55mm zoom lens, old 35-210mm zoom lens , cheap tripod, cheap remote, expensive software.

Lone Beach Hut

Lone Beach Hut

When did you start Photography? When I was about 12.

What made you first start photography? My mum bought me  an Halina 35X (£7.19s.6d or thereabouts). I suppose I started to take it all a bit more seriously when I won a local photo competition with it at the age 14.

6th New Course, Sunningdale

6th New Course, Sunningdale

Is photography your full time job? No, unfortunately. I’m also a freelance advertising art director/designer.

10th Camberley Heath

10th Camberley Heath

Why do you love photography? Getting up in the dark, tramping across a golf course and finding that shot at dawn, then getting back to the warmth of my car (with a thermos of coffee and a fag), driving home and uploading the files onto my mac….what could be better?

Newham Road, Truro, UK

Newham Road, Truro, UK

What photography styles/techniques do you prefer? I mainly shoot landscapes, so I really like creating wide panoramics. And I love putting my images through Photoshop, giving them just enough retouch to still stay natural.

16th Sutton Green

16th Sutton Green

How do you stay inspired? Who inspires you? There are some great photographers on Flickr- amateurs and pros. They are the people who daily inspire me.

IQ, Farnborough

IQ, Farnborough

Do you sell your work? Is it a business? Yes.  4 years ago I built my website selling framed prints of my golf course panos. Then a site aimed specifically at golf club management, and another promoting my architectural photography, aimed at architects and property management businesses.

How do you promote your work? I promote my sites via twitter and occasionally google ads. But you can’t beat phone calls…even if they can be demoralizing at times.

Strange2

Strange2

Which is your favourite image and why? I shoot landscapes, normally without any people in them. I never shot people! But ironically I love the snap of the two guys I shot in the smoking zone at an international dentistry exhibition in Cologne (don’t ask). I really like the composition and the  diagonals created by the railings and the panelling on the wall. Plus the two guys bodyshapes are fantastic, not to mention their dress sense. And, for some reason it all looks a bit surreal.

Lake House - Winter

Lake House – Winter

What is your best memory from photography? I’m not going talk about anything aesthetic here- my best memory is of the day I got my first call from a golf club asking me to shoot their course…wow, someone wants to pay me! I’m now a professional photographer!

Lake House - Summer

Lake House – Summer

What advice would you give to anyone thinking of starting out? Go for it. Shoot anything and everything. Develop your own style. Get your pics up on the web. Promote yourself.

5th New Course, Sunningdale

5th New Course, Sunningdale

Also could you include any links people could use eg. website/twitter/facebook etc. Get onto twitter, follow photographers and visit the links they put up. There are so many great blogs out there. And start loading up you pictures on flickr.
Hope you enjoyed the interview! A big than you to John for taking the time to fill out the questions! Make sure to give him a follow on twitter and to check out the rest of his work!
Remember if you would like to be feature or know someone who is worth a feature let me know!

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Respecting your Peers III

I am so excited! For today’s “Respecting your Peers” I have got one of my all time favorite photographers – Brice Challamel.

 

So why am I so excited? Well, I have been following his work for a while now on Deviant Art and I can honestly say he has been one of my biggest inspirations. His work is outstanding down to the smallest detail and with 20+ hours going into post process on some of his images, it’s easy to understand how his work is so stunning!

 

But Brice’s greatness doesn’t just finish at his work. He is also such a nice guy, leaving helpful and constructive comments on peoples work and also being happy to share the process behind his photography.

 

So lets get on with the interview… and don’t forget to show him some love!

Arthuan

Arthuan

Name?
Brice Challamel

Where abouts do you live?
Paris, but really Earth.

What camera and equipment do you use?
I just moved from Canon 5D Mark II to 5D Mark III, but really everything counts and not only the camera! So here are a few other things very useful to me… 14mm, 50mm and 16-35mm lenses (and a few others which I use less), X-Pro filter system and lee ND + grad ND + polarizing filters, Nodal Ninja 5 Panohead, Markins head and clamping system, Gitzo carbon tripod and two very useful iPhone apps: PhotoBuddy (for all settings, tables, etc.) and Triggertrap (which turns the iPhone into the most amazing remote control you can imagine).

Underworld

Underworld

When did you start Photography?
Really… I can’t remember. My childhood bedroom was also my dad’s photo lab! I worked as an intern for Kodak during one year when I was in my early 20′s which was a huge boost because I had free access to film and processing. And then I’m a late digital photographer as I started using digital cameras in 2008. But I’d used Photoshop ever since it was launched…

What made you first start photography?
A girl! Well, a woman… Ok women actually! The first one was a date and she was a professional photographer. The second was a wonderful model and is now my beloved wife!

One Knight Stands

One Knight Stands

Is photography your full time job?
No, but my full time job is connected in many ways as I’m an innovation consultant. I love to explore and create in many different fields and that includes photography.

Why do you love photography?
It helps me connect to the beauty of the world, opens my eyes and makes me realize how amazing people and places around me can be. Also it’s a great feeling of “here and now”: when I’m shooting something that captured my attention, it’s as if nothing before had ever mattered and everything after is quite secondary. It opens a secret room in the continuum of reality where I can rest my mind in contemplation.

What photography styles/techniques do you prefer?
I’m very eclectic. I love to try everything, and each time I hear of something new and exciting I really have to try it. For me it’s a completely open field of discovery and wonder.

Secret Garden

Secret Garden

How do you stay inspired? Who inspires you?
To be honest, it has changed. I used to be inspired by every little thing, then by special people or places. Now I tend more and more to be inspired by other photographers.

Do you sell your work? Is it a business?
I sell it… Or make it available for free in some occasions. I like the principle to sell art because it makes it precious to the person who purchased it, even if the amount is small it’s a symbol. But as it’s not my main occupation, I can easily turn from copyright to copyleft… ;)

Calligraphy

Calligraphy

How do you promote your work?
I don’t! I’m always amazed that people hear about it, like you have. I post it on some websites, essentially Deviant Art, 1X and 500PX because it helps open the dialogue with other artists. And then it finds its way to people who will enjoy it… Or not. I’m more into making the photographs than promoting them, even though I think sometimes that it’s a shame and promise myself to cover that also. Some day in a distant and uncertain future!

Which is your favourite image and why?
Feel Me. It’s the first photo I took of my wife and she’s reaching for me, in real life, real love and on the photograph. It’s one of the most important moments of my life and it happened during that shooting…

Feel me

Feel me

What is your best memory from photography?
The shooting of Catwalk. My wife and I had just fallen in love, we were climbing the rooftops of Paris, kissing under the daylight and the moonlight. It was very romantic and I could make that shot at the very precise moment when the conditions were perfect because we were up there for hours together and time had actually just stopped for us!

Catwalk

Catwalk

What advice would you give to anyone thinking of starting out?
Explore, be curious, don’t criticize work you don’t like but keep it for later when you will, find friends in real life and over the Internet with whom to share your interest and let it take you. Don’t spend too much time worrying about the technical side of things. Mistakes are very often the way to great discoveries. And in any case, mountains are not climbed by stepping on stones but elevating towards the sky…

A Midwinter's Night Dream

A Midwinter’s Night Dream

Also could you include any links people could use eg. website/twitter/facebook etc.
Deviant Art, 1X and 500PX seem to be good starts for inspiration. On the technical side Lynda.com is a great eLearning solution if you can afford it. Light It magazine for the iPad is truly wonderful to learn about studio and lighting settings. Well… There are so many amazing photographers also to discover on the Internet. Keep track of their sites and publications, one thing will lead to another.

I meant the last question to give him chance to promote his own websites but being the friendly guy he is, he gave us advice on what sites we should use! Legend!

So here are the links to his work! Check them out! You won’t be disappointed!

1x

DeviantArt

500px

 

Daydreamer

Daydreamer

 

Calle del Sol

Calle del Sol

 

If you know anyone who would be worth a feature or would like featuring yourself please let me know. Either leave a note below or email me at wreck_photography@hotmail.co.uk

 

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