Seeing Red

I enjoy utilising many different techniques for my photography. One particularly interesting avenue is infra-red exposures. The picture below was taken using Ilford SFX film on a Pentax SuperME camera:

Afon Llefenni

SFX was a B&W film that was specifically sensitised to far red & infra-red wavelengths. The effect, when photographing landscapes in bright sunlight, was for foliage to glow brightly whilst other objects show an enhanced contrast. To me the complete effect is too endow images with a sensual & romantic atmosphere.

This type of output can be recreated digitally in Photoshop, but I’ve never been totally satisfied with these electronic imitations. Yes I still have my Pentax & providing film is available can still use it; but what about my Canon DSLR cameras?

Well, I could have the infra-red filters removed from the CMOS but then I’d have to use filters for normal photography. Yes the conversion would make it great for astrophotography too but there are risks, not to mention budgetary constraints. So in the search for options I’ve tried mounting a Wratten 89b filter to the lens front. The 89b’s main transmission begins at 720nm, thereby blocking most sub deep red wavelenghts. This causes exposure time to rocket, since the camera’s internal filter is trying to filter out the wavelenths above deep red! However with a tripod & patience it is possible:

Its not quite there but I am moving in the correct direction. I just need some more bright sunshine, but this summer isn’t exactly helping me there.

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One comment on “Seeing Red

  1. Pingback: AnnMarie’s Blog » Infra-Red Photography

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