Sunday, February 1, 2009

How About Them Infrared Sox, Huh?

OK, as far as I know, there isn't a baseball team called the Infrared Sox (not to be confused with the Red Sox).

But infrared (IR) photography has always been a sort of hobby for me. I used to shoot 35mm infrared film, which was a pain for a number of reasons:

- It has to be loaded in, and removed from, the camera in total darkness;

- I had to cover the pressure plate on the inside of the camera back with matt black paper; otherwise, IR would pass through the film and reflect off of the pressure plate which has rows and columns of indentations that focus the IR back to the film, resulting in dark spots across the picture area;

- 35mm IR film is always grainy. This can be used to good effect, but sometimes I wanted NONgrainy pictures;

-contrast and exposure were difficult to control.

So finding out digital cameras are naturally IR-sensitive wa a Godsend! (If you want to see for yourself, look at the LCD screen on your digital camera while someone points a TV remote at it). I bought a filter adaptor and an IR filter, and did some shooting today. The images appear a deep red until they are "Photoshopped" into black-and-white images. And voila!! IR photos without the hassle of darkrooms or fumbling in the dark.

If this technology had been available years ago, it's possible I might have pursured a career as an IR photographer rather than as a painter. But at this point, I don't want to start all over again.

So it's painting forever for me! But IR photography will remain as a fun hobby and -- maybe -- a secondary source of income someday.

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