photography

Interesting Infrared Process

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Olympus EM5 Infrared with processing in Exposure 7 and Nik Color Efex Pro
Olympus EM5 Infrared with processing in Exposure 7 and Nik Color Efex Pro

I have been experimenting with the image from my new Infrared camera and identified a rather interesting look that can be achieved in Nik Color Efex Pro.

You can see the finished image above and shown below is the starting image following RAW conversion and white balance correction in Lightroom.

 

Starting Image
Starting Image

The next image shows the conversion to infrared black and white using Alien Skin Exposure 7. This is one of my favourite tools for Infrared processing as it includes sliders that allow you to control the halation effect (bright glowing areas).

 

Processed in Alien Skin Exposure 7
Processed in Alien Skin Exposure 7

The conversion from this image to the finished image was achieved using a few contrast adjustments in Nik Color Efex but the toning was achieved using the Glamour Glow filter. You can see the filter settings below.

 

Filter settings in Color Efex
Filter settings in Color Efex

I really quite like this effect as the halation glow is further enhanced and the toning can be controlled quite precisely moving from warm to cool.

In case you’re wondering how I got rid of the sun flare, I moved the Cyan slider to 0 in the black and white conversion process.

Friday Image No.53

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EM5 Infrared camera, Olympus 12-40mm lens. 2 image stitch with post production processing in Photoshop, Alien Skin Exposure 7 and Nik Silver Efex.
EM5 Infrared camera, Olympus 12-40mm lens. 2 image stitch with post production processing in Photoshop, Alien Skin Exposure 7 and Nik Silver Efex.

As you may be able to tell, the new EM5 Infrared conversion I had done by ProTech has really taken hold of my enthusiasm. As the days start to draw out and the sun becomes harsher it’s perfect for Infrared. If your love is landscape photography and you find the summer months a frustration, one of the best investments you can make is to have a camera converted.

This is a ridge above Gordale Scar in Yorkshire, England. It’s a two image stitch and the EM5 has performed wonderfully.

Have a great weekend everyone.

An Infrared Day

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Olympus EM5 Converted to Infrared with processing with Lightroom and Alien Skin Exposure 7.
Olympus EM5 Converted to Infrared with processing with Lightroom and Alien Skin Exposure 7.

As planned (and mentioned in my Friday post) I visited Malham in Yorkshire at the weekend. The weather conditions were forecast to be sunny with broken cloud so the intention was to shoot Infrared. I actually intended to shoot mainly infrared film on the XPan using my new 30mm lens. In the end I found myself shooting more with the newly converted infrared EM5. By the end of the day I was convinced the EM5 conversion was a great idea but I still had some reservations about processing the RAW images.

When I returned from my previous trip and first outing of the EM5, I found problems in trying to process the RAW files. For some reason I couldn’t achieve a good white balance with the RAW files in Lightroom. As usual they all came out blood red. You can normally overcome this by creating a bespoke profile using the Adobe DNG editor but for some reason I still can’t explain, I couldn’t get this to work for me. I even started to wonder if I had made a mistake choosing a 665nm conversion.

This time on my return I tried again to create a new profile and it worked first time. I then tried processing the images. Channel swapping to produce false colours seems much easier with the 665nm converted camera, but that wasn’t my objective. Instead I was trying to create a nice Infrared look that was more akin to the traditional Kodak HIE films but retained better definition. I wanted to create something of a cross between Kodak HIE and Ilford SFX (at least in my vivid imagination).

In the end I came up with a custom preset in Alien Skin Exposure 7 which works pretty well with most of the RAW files once they have been white balanced. I hope you like the results.

Friday Image No.52

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Sony RX10, ISO80, f/5.6, 1/320"
Sony RX10, ISO80, f/5.6, 1/320″

This is another image shot last weekend at Gordale Scar near to Malham in the Yorkshire Dales. The image is of the side of the Scar before you get to the main scramble. The scar is actually a huge fault line and covered in limestone. If you have never been to this area it’s well worth a visit as the landscape is surreal. In fact I am off there again this weekend.

This image isn’t a pretty one but it does convey some of the harshness of the landscape in the area. It was taken around 11:00 in the morning as the fog was just clearing from the tops of the hillside.

Fingers crossed for some good weather tomorrow.

First XPan 30mm Images

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Gordale Scar, Yorkshire. Xpan 30mm with Kodak TMax400
Gordale Scar, Yorkshire. Xpan 30mm with Kodak TMax400

In addition to trying out my new EM5 Infrared conversion at the weekend I also had the opportunity to take the XPan 30mm lens for a spin. This is a lens that I had lusted after for most of the time I had owned an XPan but it had always seemed out of reach. The XPan went out of production in the early 2000’s and the kit obtained something of a cult following. Some elements, the 30mm lens being one began to sell for silly money. I remember seeing one kit (30mm lens, viewfinder, hood and centre filter) sell for almost £3,000.

Sunday was my first opportunity to try out the lens and I am delighted. It did feel very odd shooting film again (Kodak TMax 400 to be precise). I processed the film on Monday and have just scanned the first image. This is Gordale Scar in Yorkshire and merits some further exploration in film. I need to spend a little more time perfecting my film processing but I do like the look when printed.

The Sun is Out

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Olympus EM5 Infrared conversion, 9-18mm Olympus lens. Post processing in Photoshop and Nik Silver Efex.
Olympus EM5 Infrared conversion, 9-18mm Olympus lens. Post processing in Photoshop and Nik Silver Efex.

The sun is out at last which means it’s no good for Landscape Photography. But it is good for Infrared Landscape Photography. Yesterday I went up to the Yorkshire Dales in order to try out my new Olympus EM5 which I had converted to Infrared.

The conversion was completed by ProTech in the UK and used a 665nm filter. My other camera is a Panasonic GX1 with a 720nm filter and was converted by ACS. If you are wondering why I didn’t use ACS again, it’s not because they did a bad job it just it took them a couple of months. A friend had used ProTech and was very pleased with the service. So too am I.

The results from the EM5 are just as good as I hoped. Whilst I am still finding my way with the 665nm filter in terms of post processing, it does look quite promising. Here is a first image from the top of Malham Cove. I hope you like it.

Friday Image No. 51

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Ulswater, Cumbria. Olympus EM5 + 9-18 Olympus lens. f/9.0, 1.3" at ISO200.
Ulswater, Cumbria. Olympus EM5 + 9-18 Olympus lens. f/9.0, 1.3″ at ISO200.

I don’t mind admitting that I struggled to find a Friday image to post today. In the end I had to go back to the end of December when I visited the Lakes. The weather seems to have been terrible of late and it’s getting pretty depressing. It’s made all the worse knowing that I have a newly Infrared converted EM5 and also 12 new rolls of Infrared film for the XPan. I need some sun.

Anyway, I hope you like the image and have a great weekend.

My Infrared Conversion Arrives

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Wastwater in the Lake Distric. 4 images on a GX1 Infrared camera.
Wastwater in the Lake Distric. 4 image stitch on a GX1 Infrared camera.

A couple of weeks back I posted a blog about how I wanted to buy a second EM5 and get it converted to Infrared. Whilst the Infrared GX1 is nice I felt that a second converted EM5 body would fit better with my kit. That way there are less spare batteries and chargers to carry. It’s also easier to remember the menu settings.

Well the conversion is now back with me. ProTech who carried this out had a great service. They spoke to me about the conversion and turned it round in 2 weeks. Although initially I was going to convert to a 720nm filter, I woke up the morning after posting the camera convinced that this was the wrong decision and I switch to a 665nm filter. I don’t know why I changed my mind but it felt right.

All I need now is for it to stop raining and for the sun to come out. Infrared just doesn’t work well without the sun.

I will report back on the performance of the new camera when the weather picks up.

Perfect Prints Every Time – New Book

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Perfect Prints Every Time
Perfect Prints Every Time

I receive a lot of mail from photographers struggling to print their photographs on inkjet printers. It’s usually things such as there’s a colour cast or the print doesn’t look like the image on screen. Sometimes it’s a little more serious with complaints such as the colours and blacks are completely off.

Many people who contact me seem to be ready to throw in the towel and send their images to someone else to be printed. Sometimes they have even done this and the results have been disappointing.

I have written and posted articles on my Lenscraft website from time to time in an effort to help but people still experience problems. It’s for this reason that I decided to put pen to paper (so to speak) and develop a new book. It’s called Perfect Prints Every Time and it helps you do pretty much what the title suggests.

You can find out more on Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com. It’s also available on all other Amazon websites but there are too many for me to list. For £2.00 or $2.99 it’s less than the price of a magazine and should save you much more in wasted time, ink and paper.

Friday Image No. 050

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This is North Wales. Nikon D800. Processing in Lightroom and Topaz Detail.
This is North Wales. Nikon D800. Processing in Lightroom and Topaz Detail.

Regular readers of this blog may well remember my experiment with the Nikon D800 which I eventually sold. At the time I had a number of outings where I struggled to get the best out of the camera. Isn’t it interesting how time and distance from an event help change your perception.

Don’t worry, I am not about to reverse my decision but some of the images that I shot now appeal to me. I did post an image very similar to this one when I was trying to compare the D800 to the EM5. At the time I didn’t spend a great deal of time looking through the images but now I have almost 6 months distance to the shoot, I managed to see this one. The D800 RAW file is pretty dull and lifeless but when you start processing it the image comes to life.

I really like this shot now and think it has a rather painterly feel to it.

Hmm! Did I act too quickly?