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Infrared photography with the Lensbaby Composer

I’ve been testing the Lensbaby Composer. The other day I went out with my Canon 350D converted for infrared (internal Hoya R-72 filter equivalent) and the Composer with the twin element glass lens.

Here is one of the images:

Infrared photography with the Lensbaby Composer

You can see others over on Digital ImageMaker World.

Season’s Greetings

I’d like to wish you all the best for the season. Happy summer or winter solstice, Christmas or whatever festival this time of year means to you and yours. May you have a safe, happy and healthy season and my 2009 bring you health, joy, happiness and wealth.
Christmas

Computational Photography

If you examine Digital ImageMaker you will see that I have added a special section for computational photography, the area where you get so much more when you mix smart computer software and algorithms with digital cameras.

So far I have covered Photoshop CS4′s extended depth of field capability and I am working on articles on HDR, Helicon Focus and much more. It is busy but very interesting times at DIMi.

Nokia 6220 Cell/Mobile Phone Shooting

I’m shooting at the moment with the Nokia 6220 phone. This has a 5MPixel camera with a Carl Zeiss AF lens. As you would expect it does not cope well with low light because of the tiny sensor size in these phones. But in good light the pictures are surprisingly good.

Full testing will follow on DIMi.

Nokia 6220 photography review

Nokia 6220 photography review

Nokia 6220 photography review
And a 100% section from the image shows the high noise.

Nokia 6220 photography review

Nokia 6220 photography review
A 100% section from an outdoor image shows the quality the phone is capable of.

Nokia 6220 photography review

Nokia 6220 photography review

Nokia 6220 photography review
Another 100% section.

Nokia 6220 photography review
The phone copes quite well shooting straight into the sun.

It is impressive what a phone can do.

Hotspots on Infrared Images

Hotspots on IR images are central overexposed areas. They seem to occur more on unconverted cameras than converted ones and only with some lenses.

I’ve been working on a theory for some time that at least part of this issue is caused by light leaking through the viewfinder during the usually long exposures with unconverted cameras. I have found this when testing some cameras myself and it has been confirmed now by several other people that ensuring the viewfinder is covered solved the problem.

While I don’t believe it is the complete answer, I do believe it is a part answer, at least for some people.

I’ll be doing more testing on this and will report the results in full shortly.

Flower Photography Lit from Within

A day when I was feeling completely stuck and frustrated led me to doing something different.

DIMW Flower Photography Lighting Tutorial image
Continue reading Flower Photography Lit from Within

A Fisheye on Infrared(Fixed)

As part of my testing of the Sigma 4.5mm F2.8 EX DC CIRCULAR FISHEYE HSM lens I went out with my Canon 350D that has been converted for infrared shooting. I was curious to see how the lens would perform in IR.

But in the previous attempt at this article I got caught by my enthusiasm to get out and shoot with this lens as quickly as possible, and screwed up. Thanks to Alexandr Milewski for spotting it. The screw up was that the 4.5mm lens comes with two lenscaps, a normal one and then a lenshood-like cap that clears the protruding front element. I neglected to remove this. You can see the effect below and then the correct version below that.

Infrared photography with the Sigma 4.5mm fisheye

http://experimentaldigitalphotography.com/2008/04/09/a-fisheye-on-infrared/

The Sigma is designed to produce a circular image on an APS-C sized digital camera. The field of view is 180 degrees. A lens like this is not going to be everyone’s cup of tea, for sure. I don’t think I would spend the money myself to own one, but then I have only just started exploring this lens.

The shots below were taken with a variety of apertures and I found that the sharpest IR images were produced at f11 with this lens on my camera. The results are most unusual looking. Of course your real image size is much smaller than you may be used to since only the center of the image is used.

Infrared photography with the Sigma 4.5mm fisheye

Infrared photography with the Sigma 4.5mm fisheye

Infrared photography with the Sigma 4.5mm fisheye

Infrared photography with the Sigma 4.5mm fisheye

Infrared photography with the Sigma 4.5mm fisheye

Infrared photography with the Sigma 4.5mm fisheye

Infrared photography with the Sigma 4.5mm fisheye

Infrared photography with the Sigma 4.5mm fisheye

Infrared photography with the Sigma 4.5mm fisheye

Infrared photography with the Sigma 4.5mm fisheye

The resulting images are most interesting and I will do more work with this lens/camera combination before I return the lens, aside from my general testing of course.
If you are in the US you can buy the Sigma at B&H Photo.

Lens specifications can be found in the lens announcement on DIMi.

A Fisheye on Infrared

You can see the corrected version of this article here. But I’ve left it so you can see the images.
As part of my testing of the Sigma 4.5mm F2.8 EX DC CIRCULAR FISHEYE HSM lens I went out with my Canon 350D that has been converted for infrared shooting. I was curious to see how the lens would perform in IR.

Infrared photography with the Sigma 4.5mm fisheye
The Sigma is designed to produce a circular image on an APS-C sized digital camera. The field of view is 180 degrees. A lens like this is not going to be everyone’s cup of tea, for sure. I don’t think I would spend the money myself to own one, but then I have only just started exploring this lens.
The shots below were taken with a variety of apertures and I found that the sharpest IR images were produced at f11 with this lens on my camera. The results are most unusual looking. Of course your real image size is much smaller than you may be used to since only the center of the image is used.

Infrared photography with the Sigma 4.5mm fisheye
The resulting images are most interesting and I will do more work with this lens/camera combination before I return the lens, aside from my general testing of course.
Infrared photography with the Sigma 4.5mm fisheye

Infrared photography with the Sigma 4.5mm fisheye

Here I have added a black circular mask to cover the internal reflections.

Infrared photography with the Sigma 4.5mm fisheye

Center of the image at f11

Infrared photography with the Sigma 4.5mm fisheye

Center of the image at f2.8

If you are in the US you can buy the Sigma at B&H Photo.

Lens specifications can be found in the lens announcement on DIMi.

The Importance of the Eyepiece Shutter

Lately I have been doing a lot of long exposure photography, both digital infrared and visible light.
In the process of doing this work I have had shots that have been spoilt by flares, fogging and other artifacts. It turns out that these effects were cause because I did not have my eye blocking the viewfinder and had not used the eyepiece blind that most cameras offer.
In the shot below I was using a Nikon D3 with a Hoya R72 filter to shoot digital infrared. With a 15 second exposure there was plenty of time for moving objects, in this case water and clouds, to produce movement. With the eyepiece shutter activated (the Nikon D3 has a lever next to the viewfinder that activates a proper blind), the result in a smooth image that can be converted to monochrome using one of the channels (in this case green).

With

With monochrome

With the eyepiece blind open the result is very different. Light has leaked in and fogged not only across the center of the image but also down one side. You can see this even more clearly when you examine the three channels individually and see the strong fogging in the blue (the difference in exposure is typical of unmodified digital cameras when shooting in infrared).

Without

Without Red

Without green

Without blue
All cameras can be affected. Below my Canon 400D had the artifact on the right of the image when the klutzy eyepiece shield on the camera strap was not used.

Canon 400D image
On some cameras I have seen no image artifacts but rather the exposure has been way off. So get in the habit.

Some cameras make closing off the eyepiece hard and others make it easy. Some will have a proper eyepiece blind. Others, like the Canon Rebel (350D, 400D and 450D) will have a small plastic or rubber blind on the neckstrap that can be slipped over the eyepiece when the rubber surround is removed. Some may have no provision and you will need to make something up. But on every camera it is important to do this when taking longer exposures.

US

Taking My Time

Lately I’ve been experimenting again with the use of time as a core tool in crafting the image I want.

Long exposure photography has a variety of lovely effects. I have not only been exploring these but also the technical aspects of the process. These results will be reported soon on The Digital ImageMaker.

This is a normal shot:

Short exposure photograph

This is a two second exposure:

Long exposure photograph

You can see that, in this case at least, the benefits of the much longer exposure are obvious.

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