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Infrared Photographs

I have always been fascinated by infrared and other non-visible spectrum photography. At one point I bought an expensive IR filter, but the dSLR (as most cameras) has a low-pass filter over the sensor, which cuts out IR. That led to 30 second exposures and the kit lens I had also made a huge hotspot in the center. One smaller pocket camera had no low-pass filter and I could hold the IR filter in front and shoot in "real time." All that got filed away for a few years.

Then a few places (Spencer's, Kolari) started offering camera conversions. I did a lot of reading and found the most flexible at that time was the "yellow 590nm" option. I was considering sending in one of my old dSLR bodies, but it was going to be more sensible to buy an already converted camera, shipping only one way. I picked a Canon G12 - which was 'affordable' with the conversion added, and a bunch extra for shipping to NZ.

It duly arrived in country, Customs took over a month to process it, plus they whacked me several hundred bucks, even including the shipping cost in their total to charge on! The bastards. Not like some place locally offered any IR converted camera. Anyway, it really stung and this G12 cost me over NZ$1200 in the end.

I use it sparingly. Its normal, unconverted sibling G11 died long ago, the G12 keeps going. Below are a few of the images. But first a small section on the post-processing.

My choice with the 590nm gave me options to post-process to the "gold" look, or full 840nm IR, and of course other combinations. The art of channel mixing was researched, I picked up enough Script-fu (and some example code) to write my own add-in for GiMP, and the journey could proceed. Script-fu is an implementation of Scheme, a LISP derivative. That means lots of ((())) and reverse-notation - fun stuff.

Here is a set of images - from the original as from the camera, and all the combinations I have in my GiMP script. It is literally one click, wait a few seconds, and save the four new layers as four new images. Done.

Not every scene works for IR; often what you think won't work does, and the other way around. Here are some of the images that did work out.