21. mai 2012

Infrared - Shooting what you can't see

The past two weeks, I've been fiddling around with infrared photography again.

I created a little slideshow from the result, for those out there more interested in the photos than the technical jabber.

Make sure to watch it in HD, enjoy ^^

Watch it on YouTube if maximise don't work

Last time I tried infrared photography (or more correctly, near infrared), was late autumn 2011 and my initial trials with EFKE IR820 in 35mm didn't go too well to be honest.

The negatives were vastly underexposed  and I could hardly get any good results from them, even after scanning.
- Too much noise and generally bad tonality, but at least I got my feet wet.

Generally, the first experience with IR-photography, can be summed up by this amusing and fitting meme by Copperrein over at APUG

Estimating exposure with IR is quite hard, because the light meter will only meter visible light.
The actual amount of invisible IR-light is unknown and will vary with the season, as well as the time of day and sun position.

A good rule of thumb though, is to measure normally, then calculate filter factors and then bracket from there. I use a Hoya R72 filter and calculate a 5-6 stop filter factor with it.

The EFKE IR 820 AURA (nominal 100 ISO without filter) was shot at EI ISO 1.5-3 and it worked ok. A little early in the day still (I like the sun to be lower), but I got good exposure and nice and quite normal'ish negatives.

The AURA version of the 820 IR film has a nice glow in the highlights. This is due to a missing antihalation layer on the film, which, in turn, let the film pass IR-light trough itself and then reflected back trough it.
This can create a nice moody halo effect, or misty effects around the highlights.

I also did two rolls of Rollei IR 400
These photos with Rollei IR400 were shot at EI ISO 12 and that proved to be just about perfect.

I just love the look from the Rollei, it's got plenty of wood effect and it seems to be a bit less contrasty and have pretty high tolerance to overexposure (albeit not fool proof if you're dorking around, like I do sometimes), definitely going to order more.
The Rollei has higher resolution and is less noisy than the EFKE -and the Rollei is a ISO 400 film unfiltered. (The EFKE is ISO100 but shows much more noise than the Rollei for some reason).

- I must stress that I more or less blew a whole roll with the Rollei the first day, I overexposed it grossly by shooting it at EI 1-3 (that's 2-3 stop overexposure, ouch!), more or less 100% like the above funny-meme. ^^

I only got one usable photo out of that roll, well, you live and learn.^^

I've decided to only use the AURA version of the EFKE, as I don't see a huge point using the regular version over Rollei's cool film.

So, the shots came out well.
Both films were processed in HC-110, dilution B for 8 minutes (EFKE) and 9 minutes (Rollei)

Still, one must take note that these shots were made -in May-, -at my latitude-, -at that time of day-, things can change rapidly trough the year.

Too bad Kodak decided to kill off the amazing color IR film a few years back, namely the Kodak EIR, the only option for color-ir now days, is to convert an old DSLR into infrared, effectively making it an IR-only camera.

Could be an idea to buy an old DSLR on the used marked and convert it, hmm....

I can't wait to get into the darkroom and print the negatives, they look really good and printable, scanning was a breeze.

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