Infrared Photography

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by twocolor, Nov 15, 2009.

  1. twocolor

    twocolor No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I was hired to take a shot for a local art center's annual art contest. They will use the shot on all advertising for the contest.

    It's a themed art contest, and my photo will need to match the theme. The theme is "Up a Tree". I want my shot to scream WOW!

    So, as I've dug around and brainstormed ideas, I decided to go infrared. I researched different infrared films and the effects you will get with each one. I ordered two rolls of film and payed extra to have them rushed to me in order to meet my deadline.

    Here's my question. Can I send a roll of infrared film to any developer, or do I need to look for a company that will have special equipment to do the job for me?

    I called the local camera shop/developer and they didn't even know what infrared film was. (GASP). I'm getting a little nervous, I'm not sure if I'm going to be able to find someone who can develop these for me and do it relatively quick.
     
  2. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    OK, I'm not even going to get into developing (though I suspect that anyone who does traditional B&W can do IR as well)...

    Do you have everything else you'll need? Even with film, you'll still need an IR filter, won't you?

    Also your camera - some cameras don't work good with IR. Some cameras have IR lights inside them to count perforations on the film - this will fog IR film.

    Also, I think date backs usually have problems with IR...


    EDIT
    Have you considered doing this digitally?

    All you would need is a filter. Shutter times would be rather long though, so it may not be a good option for portraits...
     
  3. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Correct me if I am wrong, but - digitally speaking - I thought one had to have the camera sensor modified to do decent IR work - since there is a filter in part of the sensor construction which filters out IR light - so even with the filter on the front of the lens your results would be poor because the light itself would be filtered out from what hits the sensor.
    The modification is also a one way ticket - once done its done and your camera is modded (ergo why it tends to be done to backup and spare camera bodies)
     
  4. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    You can still get good IR photos from an unmodified digital camera - your exposure times will just be much longer than those from a modified camera.

    I use a 350D, and my IR exposure times are around 10 seconds.
     
  5. icassell

    icassell TPF Noob!

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    With the right filter in front of the lens, several digital cameras can do IR work right-out-of-the-box. Unfortunately, however, there is also a filter built-in over the sensor which restricts the IR sensitivity. For this reason, some digital cams do a better job than others and, as far as I know, none do equivalent to film unmodified because exposure times must be very long. This makes it only practical for landscapes/stationary objects. With film (or a modified digital camera) you can have short exposure times just as you would normally. Modification is generally permanent and entails removing the IR restrictive filter off the sensor (and often replacing it with clear glass).
     
  6. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    IR film needs special precautions. Firstly none of the IR films I have seen use C41 process. This automatically would rule out about 85% of the labs in my city, all the mom and pop labs, and all the places dedicated only to developing your latest roll of generic fujifilm. You need to find a lab that dedicates itself to the task a bit more.

    Any lab that caters to black and white films of which there are a lot should be equipped to process IR film. You just need to discuss the special precautions that need to be taken with this film, namely that the film canister can not be exposed to any light, and that the film can't be exposed to IR light. Some labs use IR goggles to help them when winding B&W film onto their film spools which would instantly kill IR film obviously.

    I had this problem before I started developing myself. I negotiated with a professional black and white lab to develop my photos. They gave me a few options of developers and I did a bit of research and ended up asking if they can develop with a diluted Kodak TMax solution. They said they could, and they charged me a $15 handling fee for a complicated development because of the precautions they needed to take during spooling.

    So call around the pro labs, you'll find one sure.

    Also remember if you haven't shot yet, bracket widely. IR is often unpredictable at times. I have gotten perfect shots every time when I bracket at +/-2EV (over 3 frames), because something that is within an EV of the right place can easily be pulled or pushed one stop during printing / scanning.

    Definitely not! You can get acceptable IR shots from an unmodified digital camera. But they will never compare to IR film or a modified camera. The sensitivity is just not there which costs you a lot of contrast in the IR region and kills a lot of the possible IR effect.
    Here's an example:
    This photo was photoshopped to heck, especially the sky darkened a LOT to get this effect. Overall the image is still underexposed, and I had to considerably raise the brightness of the trees in post processing http://www.flickr.com/photos/10090242@N03/3356388240/
    This photo is straight from the camera, look at the skys and trees:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/10090242@N03/3383998132/

    I wish I had an unedited version of the top image to show you so you could really appreciate how much work was done promoting it's IR look.
     
  7. twocolor

    twocolor No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I do plan on bracketing my shots. I also plan on taking my digital to shoot for composition first, then I'll pull out the SLR. I know that the metering and focus are different when shooting IR, but I've researched the heck out of how to adjust for those.

    In my research, I read that the red filter helps the look of IR, but you can still get a good shot without it. Is it worth risking it. I don't have one, could probably get one if I searched hard enough.

    I plan on going out tomorow, and I really appreciate the comments. I'm a little nervous, its a bit of pressure to shoot something that will be the sponsor artwork for an art contest.

    I'll post results once I find a developer!
     
  8. twocolor

    twocolor No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I had thought about doing it digitally for about 20 seconds. To get the quality I'm hoping to get I would have to convert one of my digitals, and I'm not willing to do that just yet.

    I think the filter isn't a HAVE to have, but I do think that it's VERY beneficial to have. I've been looking around, but the small town I live in doesn't even have a photodeveloping place besides walmart. I'm hoping to head into a larger town tomorow before shooting and see what they have in stock.
     
  9. twocolor

    twocolor No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    which is EXACTLY why I'm not willing to sacrifice one of my cameras. I've only got three camera bodies, and I'm a portrait photographer, often shooting weddings. It is a MUST have to have at least one backup camera.
     
  10. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Wait you don't have a red or IR filter? That's not good.

    Typical IR film is sensitive to the full range of the visible spectrum, plus a bit IR. If you shoot without a filter you will not get much of an IR effect at all.

    For example check out the following, Every IR shot I take on a roll of film has one without a filter on it so I know if I stuffed up compositionally (the visible+ir picture should come out) or fouled up the developing (then neither visible+ir nor ir alone will come out). In any case:

    Efke IR820, Hoya R72 720nm filter, metered from visible, 5 stop insertion loss for the IR compared to visible.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  11. twocolor

    twocolor No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Yeah, didn't have one but was looking for one. FOUND one, bought it! Now I'm good to go! Right????
     
  12. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Right! :)
     

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