Can you look at a scene
and envision how it will look in color? Sure.
In B&W? Probably.
In infrared? Rarely.
This is a skill you should develop.
You don’t shoot IR? You’re missing a treat.
Reflections – in IR
Forget that it’s trees & grasses alongside a pond
Enjoy the stark graphic patterns, textures & shapes
IR converted D300
Tripod, Circular Polarizer, RAW
ISO 400 to add a little noise as in film IR
Capture NX2 RAW conversion
Tonal contrast adjustments in Silver Efex Pro 2
Images captured in color, B&W and infrared
look drastically different from one another
If you expect your image captures to be any good
you must be able to envision the differences
You must know how colors look
when converted to grayscale and
how (drastically) different they are in IR
Wow! White trees and black sky in infrared.
What’s that all about?
Complete tonality shifts
Histogram – sky & hillside swap places
Almost like a negative
So – what brought this on?
After getting my D800E, I had one of my D300’s converted to infrared (to replace my converted D70)
(The 2nd is a D800E backup)
I got the conversion back from Life Pixel yesterday
Out today like a kid with a Christmas present for an hour walk around the neighborhood
An aside – if you’re a true outdoor photographer then you know that midday shooting on a sunny day is usually the pits.
Get into IR and you’ll finally appreciate a day like today – when I otherwise would have stayed indoors
A few samples. Click to enlarge to a full screen slide show.
(Note the two images with signs.
Those signs (in color) are green (just as foliage is green).
You’ll see that in IR the signs are nearly black and the foliage nearly white.
I included these to illustrate that, contrary to the belief of some, it’s not the color green that’s responsible for the white foliage.
Foliage is light because it reflects IR
Sky is dark because it absorbs IR
Signs & other man-made objects take on gray tone similar to what they would in B&W photography
Unless – you use software to “fake” the IR
There green is green and it all turns white
To make dramatic IR images you need to envision the ethereal effect of white glowing foliage contrasted against dark backgrounds.
Today my eye was seeing green and blue through the viewfinder, but
My mind was seeing stark white against black
In IR, it’s the “mind’s eye” that counts. Teach it to see.
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