March 09, 2003

Infrared Photography

So last night at the show I had yet another brilliant idea that, it turns out, has already been done. Numerous people were taking photos during the show and the flashes were annoying me (and, no doubt, the performers as well). Considering how sensitive digital cameras are to infrared light, I wondered why nobody makes infrared flashes, or at least IR-passing filters for normal flashes. With an IR flash you could snap away without bothering everyone and still get decent photos. I'm not a big fan of flash photography myself, but last night the stage lights were too dark for even the great T-Max 3200 and my f/1.4 50mm lens.

A simpler (and cheaper) solution would be an infrared light that you leave on -- this wouldn't require flash synchronization (something my digital camera lacks) and you can make it out of inexpensive IR LEDs. I've done a little research on the web and those that have tried Sony's Nightshot IR lamps have found that they don't work very well with still cameras for some reason. Still, I plan to order a few LEDs from Newark this week for some testing.

So the flash/lamp idea is still in the works, but in the meantime I've learned that a couple layers of unexposed but developed E6 film makes a decent IR-pass filter (passes infrared light but blocks visible light). Last summer I got a roll of E6 developed that I apparently never used -- they returned the developed film but didn't mount any of the frames. Good thing I'm a pack rat.

Below are two photos, one without and one with this filter.

Original photo, +0 exposure, no filters, desaturated in PhotoShop and auto contrasted:

Two strips of unexposed but developed E6 film, +2 exposure, daylight white balance, desaturated in PhotoShop and auto contrasted:

Posted at March 9, 2003 05:24 PM, Categories: Beardcore
Recent Entries
Road trip time (Apr 16)
The "Golden Eye" delivery system (Apr 9)
Aerial sightseeing (Apr 8)
RAW image workflow... (Apr 3)
Lebowski Fest (Mar 26)
April 2005
March 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
July 2004
June 2004
May 2004
April 2004
March 2004
February 2004
January 2004
December 2003
November 2003
October 2003
September 2003
August 2003
July 2003
June 2003
May 2003
April 2003
March 2003
February 2003

RSS 1.0 feed