Infrared

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by malis111, Feb 21, 2008.

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  1. malis111

    malis111 TPF Noob!

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    I'm pretty new to photography. I saw some awesome infrared pictures. They looked sick. I googled it and totally got lost. I don't really understand what it is.

    What exactly is it?
    Is there anyway I can set my Nikon D40 up for infrared. (Might be a dumb question but I'm pretty new.)
     
  2. brileyphotog

    brileyphotog TPF Noob!

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    It's easier than you might think. Get yourself an infrared filter from any camera shop, and a tripod (the exposures can take a while). The idea is, you filter out all visible light and expose the film, or sensor, to invisible light (infrared). Set up your shot and take a color one without the filter on. Put the filter on and take an identical shot. It's going to look crazy, dominated by one color (changes depending on your filter #) Don't worry. Go home, take the picture in photoshop, and desaturate it completely. For crazy effects, try layering it with the color picture you took (for starters). Hope this helps.
     
  3. Tasmaster

    Tasmaster TPF Noob!

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    Here are a few links that you can look at:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infrared_photography
    http://www.outdooreyes.com/photo94.php3
    http://maxmax.com/ir_techniques.htm
    http://dpfwiw.com/ir.htm

    However, since you probably don't want to read through pages of bewildering detail, here is the simple way to do it:

    - Buy a Hoya R72 filter or equivalent
    - Put it on your lens
    - Set mode to Auto (without flash)
    - Click

    That's all you need to get started.

    Unless you set your D40 to shoot b&w, you will get the familiar sort of red-orange-magenta photos (depending on your white balance), which can be turned into the great b&w or even false colour infrared pics that you see online. Black and white photos need minimal processing that you can do i guess with any free software.

    You don't need a tripod, you can shoot handheld just fine in bright light down to ISO 400 in some cases. It will help you compose and get better pictures, but you don't need one when you are starting. If you already have a tripod, by all means use it.

    One last thing, you won't be able to see anything through the viewfinder... don't worry, just zoom out all the way, aim and shoot! One trick that i do is to hold the camera and look through the viewfinder as normal, but keeping both eyes open; this way i can see the auto-focus indicators superimposed on what i am looking at, helping me compose the picture.

    Just get started and you will work out the details on the way.
     
  4. kidchill

    kidchill TPF Noob!

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    Ummm. It may be a little more in depth than that....The older D70 and lesser models could work easily with IR filters, but the new Nikon line has an enhanced IR/UV filter. I know this because I just sent my D80 to lifepixels to have it modified for IR. Research before you buy anything!! Some cameras will do well with the Hoya 72 and some will not. Just look into it before you spend your hard earned $!!
     
  5. Tasmaster

    Tasmaster TPF Noob!

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    He already has a D40, and my post was about that model. Yes, newer models have much stronger filters
     
  6. kidchill

    kidchill TPF Noob!

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    The D40 is a "newer" model...
     
  7. rmh159

    rmh159 TPF Noob!

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    I'll post my IR workflow ... so just to warn you now... this post might be painfully long.

    For IR shots I'd consider the "ideal" scene one with LOTS of sun but a few clouds in the scene, lots of foliage and preferably some still water.

    To shoot IR I use a Hoya R72 filter (around 40 beans) with my kit 18 - 55 lens (might be the same kit lens with your D40) RAW format and a tripod. I put the cam on the tripod without the filter and set up the shot.

    Stop the lens down to F8 - F11 or so because the IR light comes in differently and the camera has trouble focusing on it. So if you use a bigger DOF you don't have to be precisely focused on the subject.

    Once the shot is lined up I switch the camera to manual focus and leave the lens on auto focus. This keeps the lens motor engaged and won't let the focus ring turn while you screw on the IR filter. It also doesn't let the camera attempt to refocus the shot once the filter is on. I know the D40 doesn't have a focusing motor so this step might be irrelevant.

    With the shot composed and the filter on you can start shooting. I usually start with exposures around a 1/4 second and just watch the LCD for blown highlights. Adjust the SS as much as needed and once you think you have a good exposure bracket the bejesus out of it. I usually end up with 10 exposures.

    Throw those exposures into a RAW conversion program (I use RawShooter Essentials 2006) and adjust the WB based upon any foliage. At this point is should start to resemble a typical IR shot but it will likely be flat. Convert that to Tiff or Jpeg and load it into Photoshop.

    In Photoshop go to Image > Adjustments > Color Mixer. Grab Red from the pull down menu and make the blue adjustment 100% and the red 0%. Grab Blue from the pull down and make the red slider 100% and the blue 0%. Hit ok. Hit Auto Levels (or adjust them manually via a layer filter mask if you know how).

    I usually create a Hue / Saturation Layer Mask and desaturate any color that might be hanging around on the foliage (usually it has a slight cyan tint) until the foliage is gleaming white. If you want to adjust any other colors go to Select > Color Range and grab the color you want to change. Once selected create a Hue / Saturation Layer Mask and by hitting Colorize in the menu you can adjust the colors.

    That should be your final product though I find I can usually tweak the Levels / Curves / Colors a bit more after the automated processing is done and still get some more contrast.

    Hope that helps. Good luck and if you're still confused shoot me a private message and I'll help you through the best I can.

    *My disclaimer is that I'm at work and doing this off the top of my head so if some of the Photoshop menu names aren't exact... that's why.

    Here's a link to some of my IR shots http://www.wheresmymind.net/photopages/index.php?gallery=./Infrared Shots
    They're definitely not the best shots in the world but should give you some idea as far what the final product could look like.
     
  8. Tasmaster

    Tasmaster TPF Noob!

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    While i don't know for sure, i bet the sensor inside is the exact same as the D70. I am not aware of a strict official division between generations, where do you get your info from?

    Last but not least, do you feel the need to disagree with established facts? The D40 takes good IR pictures, as the D70 does. I really don't see what you are trying to argue there, that it doesnt?
     
  9. kidchill

    kidchill TPF Noob!

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    I'm not arguing anything, it's not about the "sensor" it's about the IR/UV filter. The FILTER that blocks these elements from the sensor. I wasn't saying it's not possible to do with the Hoya R72, I was stating to research it first before he spends the money. Some cameras work better than others. And yes, you can take IR with just about any camera with the HoyaR72 filter, but the exposure and focusing is horrible. And yes, D70's are known to work well without conversion, but I don't specifically know about the D40's, which is why I said to research it first.
     
  10. Tasmaster

    Tasmaster TPF Noob!

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    "Sensor" as in "sensor package", happy now? As if it wasn't obvious enough when the whole conversation is about the filter.

    I can't for the love of god understand why you insist trying to prove wrong someone who has a D40 and has tried all that.

    a) The OP has already spent the money since he is talking about "his D40".

    b) I have already researched the D40's IR ability and i am trying to help him.

    c) Just because YOU specifically don't know how does that make ME wrong or misinformed?

    In short, what is your problem dude???
     
  11. Arch

    Arch Damn You! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    calm down.... there is no need to get worked up here.

    Some camera DO have a problem with IR filters, it is always wise to advise the OP that they should check that out before making a purchase, rather than just have one persons opinion... this is a forum after all.
     
  12. Dominic

    Dominic TPF Noob!

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    Alienskin's Exposure 2 software has some nice IR plugins that can be used with Elements (5.0 or higher) or CS.

    I shot (exclusively) Kodak HIE for the last three years I used a film camera. Not only does the plugin provide this very film setting, but you don't have to buy the filters. You can shoot as usual and have your photos in color, B+W, or infrared. Whatever you chose. Kind of like having your cake and eating it too.

    You can download a free trial of the plugin by visiting Alienskin's website.

    Best of luck.
     
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