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My First Attempt at IR Photography

Discussion in 'Scenic, Architecture, and Travel' started by dtchan, Apr 15, 2012.

  1. dtchan

    dtchan Mu-43 Veteran

    364
    Nov 24, 2010
    This is my first attempt at IR photography. I must say is pretty fun but I'm still not sure if I'm doing it right. I bought the Hoya R72 Infrared filter for my Olympus 9-18mm which can also be used on my Voigtlander 25mm which I enjoy to use more simply I can easily just set focus to infinity. Since I no longer have the GH2, this was shot on the GF1. Exposure I think is about 20 seconds. I post processed to my liking afterwards, but I had trouble getting more colors out of it compared to photos I see on the web. My Raw file is orange.

    6934566262_832e334e7f_b.
    Vancouver Cityscape by dtchan, on Flickr

    7080634643_629e04fcd7_b.
    Vancouver Cityscape by dtchan, on Flickr
     
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  2. pxpaulx

    pxpaulx Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 19, 2010
    Midwest
    Paul
    Did you do the channel swapping? That is how the false color shots you mostly see are achieved. I usually just convert to b+w. The exposure is probably a little long here as well - to minimize the flare you might try holding your hand in front of the sun (seriously!) as long as it doesn't get in the frame - otherwise shoot with the sun behind you. That is the one thing about IR, it is sort of counter-intuitive - the best time to shoot (mid-day) is the worst time for regular photography!

    Oh I meant to mention, you probably would get better results with the 25mm - when you are using a wide angle, due to the extra long exposures it can bring out flaring and hot spots and any minor imperfections in both the lens and the filter - I think due to the angle of light passing through the filter at the edges (passing through a thicker portion of the filter glass due to the angle of the light). Using a lens with a tighter focal length such as the 25mm might yield better results across the exposure. Good luck in any event, it is a fun area of photography to get into!
     
  3. ssgreenley

    ssgreenley Mu-43 Top Veteran

    509
    May 12, 2011
    Wait, is that all it takes for IR photography? Just the filter? I've never looked too much into it, but I thought you had to do crazy camera mods and what not. For what it's worth, I love the second one, flare and all...
     
  4. Crdome

    Crdome Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Sep 11, 2011
    West Central Indiana
    Chrome
  5. pxpaulx

    pxpaulx Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 19, 2010
    Midwest
    Paul
    yes but different cameras can be better or worse for it. you'll likely need a tripod as exposures are typically much longer than normal (though some earlier dslrs such as my pentax k100d or the ist series could have fast enough shutter speeds for handheld).

    chrome that is definitely not the case. having the camera modified only allows for handheld shots due to removing the ir block filter and replacing it with an ir filter with a wave length of the buyers choosing.
     
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  6. dtchan

    dtchan Mu-43 Veteran

    364
    Nov 24, 2010
    Anyone have success with the GF1 and the R72 filter? My files come in orange, and despite swapping the red and blue channels and adjusting the white balance, I'm still not getting the results I was hoping for.
     
  7. pxpaulx

    pxpaulx Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 19, 2010
    Midwest
    Paul
    Do you have a hoya r72? I have a non-branded one that I bought inexpensively when I first tried IR, and ended up finding out it was a deep red filter, not a true IR filter - you can tell for exactly that reason, I couldn't do the channel swap to do the false color IR images. It could be that the gf1 has too strong of an ir cut filter installed from the factory as well.
     
  8. Sammyboy

    Sammyboy m43 Pro

    Oct 26, 2010
    Steeler Country
    Here's some IR photo's from the past, these are very small files, so may not show-up so well.

    Nikon D200 + 24-50 AFD zoom + R72 IR filter

    Olympus E-P2 + 14-42 zoom + R72 IR filter

    Olympus E-P2 + 14-42 zoom + R72 IR filter (Tungsten Filament, 100W bulb)

    Olympus OM-1 + OM 50mm/1.4 + yellow filter + Kodak Ektachrome IR film

    Olympus OM-1 + OM 50mm/1.4 + Kodak Ektachrome IR film

    Olympus OM-1 + OM 50mm/1.4 + Kodak Ektachrome IR film
     
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  9. inkista

    inkista Mu-43 Veteran

    332
    Jan 13, 2012
    San Diego, CA
    Yup. IR is possible with a Hoya R72 and long exposure times with an unmodified camera. First thing I did when I got the G3 was to try it out and revel in the liveview for exposure and focusing. No IR hotspots in the 14-42 kit lens (unlike, say, the Canon EF-S 18-55).

    6769280961_19a7539b77_z.
    Panasonic DMC-G3, 14-42 kit lens. Hoya R72 filter. @14mm, iso 160, f/8, 10s. Tripod, timer. Shot RAW, white-balanced in post with Auto Curves, then blue/red channel-swapped.

    6768841157_798acbc51f_z.
    G3, 14-42, R72 filter, @14mm, iso 1600, f/9, 6s, tripod, timer. Shot RAW, white-balanced with eyedropper in post, then blue/red channel swapped. Mostly. Might've nudged the values around a bit to taste.

    @dtchan, the reddish color cast is normal with the unedited IR image, you just need to do some custom white-balancing to eliminate most of it before the channel swap, otherwise, you'll get a single-color cast. You can do the white balance in camera or in post, depending on your preferences, but you won't get the false color look you typically see around the web straight out of camera. Try Auto Curves or white-balancing with the eyedropper before messing with the RGB channels. Foliage is often a good choice to white balance off. And, obviously, shoot RAW to give yourself as much latitude as possible for the crazy color shifts you're going to be doing.
     
  10. Hikari

    Hikari Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 26, 2010
    I do IR photography with an unmodified E-P1 and Pentax 645D. I have also done this with Nikon DSLRs. All you need is a filter.
     
  11. dtchan

    dtchan Mu-43 Veteran

    364
    Nov 24, 2010
    I must be doing something wrong... Here is two more I took but I don't seem to get the false colors.

    6941340498_e4d9beb7f8_b.
    Winter Wonder Land by dtchan, on Flickr

    7092539703_3331dfdd95_b.
    Untitled by dtchan, on Flickr

    I did everything.... adjust the white balance, swap the red and blue channels, then try to play with the color a bit more but can't get any false colors. It seems my photos are all one tone. I can send my raw file if anyone want to try. I'm just not sure if it is my post process problem or my camera lens problem or I'm taking the photo incorrectly.
     
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  12. Hikari

    Hikari Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 26, 2010
    IR is monochromatic. You need to take a white light exposure and then combine the color information of the white light exposure with the luminance information of the IR exposure. I do this in Photoshop by converting the files into the Lab color space and copying and pasting the luminance channel of the IR image into the luminance channel of the white light image.
     
  13. Lawrence A.

    Lawrence A. Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 14, 2012
    New Mexico
    Larry
    NIce, though; they look like old fashioned cyanotypes.
     
  14. inkista

    inkista Mu-43 Veteran

    332
    Jan 13, 2012
    San Diego, CA
    How did you white balance? In-camera? Or in post?

    I struggled with this issue for a while (and continue to do so), but most of my issues were solved by white-balancing in post. I found that white-balancing in-camera didn't work as well as I wanted.

    I'd take an IR image with the filter:

    3296477671_4b8613e39d_z.

    Then use it as the custom white balance basis, to get another shot:

    3296479261_72e876d64d_z.

    And then channel swap:

    3293485829_a098f2a94b_z.

    But because the image was still mostly red, I'd just end up with mostly blue images when I did that.

    BTW, the suggestion an earlier poster made about combining with a visible light shot is also a good one, but it is not the only way to get false color out of an IR shot.

    3297286186_3a52819a8f_z.
     
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  15. dtchan

    dtchan Mu-43 Veteran

    364
    Nov 24, 2010
    inkista:

    I struggled with this issue for a while (and continue to do so), but most of my issues were solved by white-balancing in post. I found that white-balancing in-camera didn't work as well as I wanted.


    Ok, so my raw does look kind of like yours - orangy...
    I have uploaded it in dng format here if anyone can help - 120420_RockyPoint_003 - Minus

    I tried adjusting the WB in Lightroom, photoshop, and Nik Software (White Neutralizer). This one in lightroom. I usually use the eye dropper and select either the tree or the sky or the clouds.

    120420_RockyPoint_004.


    After channel swap becomes like this
    120420_RockyPoint_004-Edit-Edit.

    As you can see I don't see any false colors.

    Is combining visible light shot mean take a normal shot and mix with the IR shot?
     
  16. Hikari

    Hikari Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 26, 2010
    Yup. You are taking the luminance information from the IR and combining it with the color information in the normal shot.
     
  17. Hikari

    Hikari Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 26, 2010
    inkista, thanks for the tips. I thought I was seeing different colors in my IR. It makes sense as the Bayer filters would probably not turn transparent to IR consistently. I just played with an IR shot by first paying with WB in the RAW converter. Then once in Photoshop, manipulating color was a blast.
     
  18. inkista

    inkista Mu-43 Veteran

    332
    Jan 13, 2012
    San Diego, CA
    You're welcome!

    Try doing Auto Curves instead (i.e., go into Curves, then hit the "Auto" button). I've attached JPEGs from the DNG file you had, with Auto Curves and then simple Red/Blue channel swapping applied. Auto Levels might work, too.
     

    Attached Files:

  19. jonathanscv

    jonathanscv Mu-43 Rookie

    After so many attempt, I finally can get the false color out of my unconverted GF1 + Hoya R72.... I use the 2 shots method, 1 with filter 1 without.... By joining the Red channel from the shot with filter with Blue, Green channel from the shot without filter.... then convert to RGB color.... Swap colors in channel mixer and then play with saturations....[​IMG]