Saturday, August 27, 2016

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Infrared with a modified Fujifilm X-E2

Gallery (30 images): Infrared modified Fujifilm X-E2

Over the years I've had several digital cameras dedicated to IR photography, first starting back in 2000 (if memory serves) with a Nikon Coolpix 800, then followed by an Olympus C4040 and then a Nikon Coolpix 5400. With those cameras, I used deep IR filters on otherwise stock cameras and shutter speeds were long enough in full sunlight, that I often had to use a tripod. I never used those cameras for colour photography since I felt that their image quality wasn't good enough, however with the IR grain and glow added in post, they seemed to mostly suffice for my B&W IR ambitions. Back then, I was shooting medium format transparency film with a Pentax 67II, my main camera at the time.

Then, after buying a Canon EOS-30D in 2006, I decided to have my very first digital SLR that I had bought in 2004, an EOS-20D, converted to a dedicated IR camera, letting LifePixel do the modification with a standard 720nm bandpass IR filter. I had that camera for many years, finally selling it when I started to use Panasonic Micro-4/3 bodies. In 2012, when I was shooting with a GH2, I decided to buy a Panasonic GF2 body and immediately had it converted to shoot IR (720nm as well), and used LifePixel once again. With a standard DSLR, one has to worry that IR light doesn't focus in the same plane as visible light, leading to focus errors when the visible light is used either by the DSLR's AF sensor, or by you if manually focusing via the camera's focusing screen. This is why many older lenses had an IR offset dot on their focusing scale, so you could manually shift the focus to compensate. Well, with a mirrorless camera like the GF2, the main image sensor is being used to focus, and since the IR filter is, of course, in front of the image sensor, you get perfectly accurate AF, as well as being able to see the IR effect through the EVF or back LCD screen. Overall, this made shooting IR much more pleasant and accurate compared to a modified DLSR!

Saturday, August 6, 2016

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Southwest 2016: Lime ruins, Danger Pt. and Succor Creek

Lime, OR - Abandoned Cement Plant Ruins (click for full gallery)

In mid-June, I was off on another road-trip to the US Southwest, as detailed in my previous blog post, where I talk about shooting with my new Fujifilm X-Pro2 and compared raw conversions from PhotoNinja with Lightroom.

The gallery above has images from the first two days of shooting, starting with the graffiti encrusted ruins of an abandoned concrete plant in Lime, Oregon. As with other recent trip galleries, there are GPS links on the thumbnails of each image (the globe icon at the top left of each slide), so you can see where the shot was taken, give or take a few dozen meters usually. On the first day of shooting, I accidentally had left my camera in JPEG only (was testing how many JPEG-only shots per card for a customer at work, just before I left) and didn't notice until the download to my laptop that evening... D'oh! Luckily the overcast shots generally presented only minimal dynamic range challenges so the JPEGs are fine. Quickly switched back to RAW+JPEG that evening after I noticed though!

The next day, a few hours were spent hiking around the fascinating rock formations near the Danger Point cliffs, south of Westfall, Oregon. Then it was off to find a camp site at the Succor Creek State Natural Area in southeast Oregon. These BLM lands are filled with some amazing rock formations, cliffs, canyons and even "painted desert" areas.

Click to see all the blog postings from my 2016 June Southwest Trip...