Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Fun with IR

Yesterday just as I was about to leave work, Chris Cox pulled out the Kodak DCS 760 with the IR filter removed that he has had sitting in a packed box in his office for months. Since he had no intention (or the time) to play around further with IR, I borrowed it to do some experimentation. Edward was also really curious as to how IR photography worked and we had some questions on the effectiveness of camera CCDs for IR.

I finally had the opportunity to set up the camera this afternoon. I borrowed an IR pass filter and started experimenting. The DCS 760 is a beast of a camera, heavy, kludgy, slow and not easy to use. In its defense however it is 5 years old. After fidgeting for about an hour with batteries and flash card adapters (the camera takes only PCMCIA cards), I finally got the thing working. I managed to do a couple of quick shots of people, then Edward and I went up to the 18th floor to shoot downtown San Jose.

Pictured above is the HP Pavilion on the left with the San Jose Airport in the distance to the right. I did a little bit of work in Photoshop for the colors. One of things thats not obvious with IR is what white balance to select. I left it at what the camera thought was best (around 4700K) but there's no reason you can't try other values. I also did some massaging with the colors until I got something that looked nice. IR images also look nice when converted to black and white; which is what I did for the image below.

Technical Specs: Kodak DCS 760, Nikkor 28-70 f/2.8 @ 34mm, f/2.8, 1/15s, ISO 80.


Michael said...

Wow, that's amazing! The composition suits the medium as well, with sky, buildings, trees, water, airport, and highway all together.

I think I like the colour version better. It's quite striking.

Anonymous said...

Very nice job on the pictures. I think there might be something to this IR thing... Now I want to try UV and compare it to IR - I hear there is a camera in Japan that does UV, IR, and visible. I hope we get one here soon!

Aravind Krishnaswamy said...

Thanks Mike. I agree the colour version is more striking on a computer monitor. However I printed both of them out (the colour on Glossy and the B&W on Ilford Pearl semi gloss paper) and when printed the B&W has a lot of life to it.

Aravind Krishnaswamy said...

Thanks Edward. After looking at the pictures from yesterday I am now convinced that the IR camera we saw at the SETI open house was capturing far IR. I'd like to find out which dSLR has the best IR response, but I'm not sure how to go about that (without removing the IR cut filters from a bunch of SLRs and trying them out). I'm really curious to see what UV photography is like.

The camera Edward is referring to is the FujiFilm S3 Pro UVIR.