A Mid-Week Photo Walk with a Difference

Last weekend I headed onto the local moors for a longer walk and some much-needed exercise. When you usual walk around 15-20km over sometimes quite steep ground, walking around the village for an hour doesn’t keep you fit. During the recent restrictions I’ve found my fitness suffering and I’ve noticed my asthma returning so it was time to act.

Whilst the weather was good, I decided to take a longer walk on the Pennine Way (which I can walk to from my house). To be honest, I hadn’t been up there since November and I was quite shocked. Usually, I don’t see many people all day but there were now lots of groups out walking and I would even say the area was busy. But that’s not what shocked me. It was the ordinarily empty tracks that were now filled with parked cars. In the end, I lost heart and didn’t shoot any images.

Then on Wednesday I decided to chance another walk and was again shocked. This time I headed up to Alderman, which is one of the local hills, and I found the area virtually deserted. I spent a few hours walking the moors and returned totally refreshed. But what shocked me this time was how much infrared light there was. Visibility was limited to a few hundred meters and whilst the infrared camera I was using cut through some of this the remaining haze created some interesting effects.

This first image shows the war memorial (Pots and Pans).

Path to Pots and Pans, Saddleworth
Path to Pots and Pans, Saddleworth. Fuji XT2 with infrared conversion. Fuji 18-135mm lens.

In this next shot we can see the view over to Dovestones and Saddleworth Moor from the summit of Alderman.

Dovestone and Saddleworth Moor from Alderman hill. Fuji XT2 with infrared conversion and Fuji 18-135mm

As you can see, even the infrared camera was struggling to cut through the atmospherics.

But this final image is my favourite and shows the war memorial in the centre distance. The group of rocks in the centre are called Shaw Rocks and is one of my favourite viewpoints.

Shaw Rocks, Saddleworth. Fuji XT2 with infrared conversion and Fuji 16mm f/1.4

All images were converted from RAW files using Capture One Pro. Not only does it produce wonderful image quality from the Fuji XT RAW files, but it’s also one of the few RAW converters to correctly handle white balance for infrared images. After that, the conversion to black and white was made using Exposure X6 and the Kodak HIE film simulation.

This Week’s YouTube Video

This week’s YouTube video (https://youtu.be/fANkAl0kP3E) has also just gone live and looks at the Undo Brush Tool in Affinity Photo. This can be an extremely useful tool for photo editing but is often overlooked. It’s not always intuitive to use but I do my best to demystify it in the video.

I hope you like the video and shots from my local area.

Have a great weekend.

12 thoughts on “A Mid-Week Photo Walk with a Difference

  1. Here in California what, they call Covid recreation has brought lots of grief to photographers and hikers. Lots of people everywhere outdoors any day of the week, some of which are not really acquainted with simple rules like take your trash w you. I like the way the infrared camera sees on these photos.

  2. I live on the south coast and at weekends you wouldn’t think we were in lockdown the number of groups there are down here. Just as well there is a fair bit of space to keep well away.
    I’ve been thinking about converting my XT-2 to infrared but wondered what Fuji lenses work well and which are to be avoided. I seem to remember reading somewhere that the XF18-55 doesn’t work well as it has hot spots. Any thoughts?

    1. Most of the Fuji lenses appear to have a faint hotspot in the centre of the frame but for some of my lenses, it’s quite noticeable and would ruin the shot. The 18-55 is very faint and I would be happy to use it with the same going for the 18-135. The Fuji 10-24 has a strong hotspot, especially at the wide end of the range. In terms of primes, my Fuji 16mm f/1.4 is fine as is the 23mm and my Zeiss 34mm. The Fuji 56mm shows a distinct hotspot. What I don’t know is if the IR filter used for the camera can affect the hotspot. The other thing to keep in mind is if you are shooting for false colour or black and white. When I do a channel swap to create a false colour with some of the images the hotspot becomes more noticeable because it shifts the colour.

      1. Thanks for that Robin. It is something I might get into once we are allowed out further afield. What IR filter did you have your camera converted to? Are you happy with that or would you suggest different strength?

      2. I’ve had a few converted cameras for IR photography. The first used a 720nm filter but I found the filter a little too strong for the “limited” sun strength in the UK. I later switched to a 665nm conversion which I find much better and have stuck with that for my latest camera. If I want to convert those cameras to 720nm or even 850nm I just add IR screw-in filters to the lens. Because the camera is already converted to shoot IR by removing the IR cut filter I can continue to shoot handheld.

  3. On initial sight the images captured my attention due to the ‘effect’. Im not a fan of infrared as it is often forced onto the image. This comes across a subtle, the last image does hold your attention a real keeper.

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