IR Sunday
First attempt at digital IR photography.

My Nikon CP5000 appears to be quite sensitive to infrared light (unlike my D80, which seems to have a very efficient IR filter over the sensor, so is not an option) so I got a Hoya R72 filter for it to see what sorts of effects I could get. I waited for a bright day and went out on my bike looking for urban decay to document.

Overall, I am pleased with how these turned out. But I have learned a few things:

1. The IR filter adds a lot of internal flare. You can see the IR hot spot right in the centre of most of these photos. It changes with aperture, and to a lesser extent with focal length. Running wide-open helps. But since the problem might be related to the coating on the filter and how the light bounces off the shiny sensor coating, there probably isn't a lot I can do about it. Those long exposures can't help, either. A different lens or camera might be the only real solution. I can get my CP5000 hacked by pros to make it more IR friendly, as well.

2. Even on very bright days you need a tripod, or very steady hand. Typical shutter speeds wide-open are 1/25th sec. and slower. I might get a monopod to assist next time, because carrying around a full tripod is annoying.

3. My camera shows a fair number of bad pixels and is quite noisy at these low-light conditions. The noise I can live with as part of the overall DIY IR zeitgeist, but the stuck pixels require some work. The Bayer filter means that a stuck pixel is bright point of red, green or blue, which can be very obvious. Lightroom makes it easy to spot out pixels in a selection of photos. I think I missed one, though.

4. The boring white and colour balance can probably be improved. I sort of like the sepia effect I get right out of the camera.

Otherwise, I think these have a nice presence to them, and the contrast right out of the camera on the sharper images is fantastic. For shots I really want all the details for, like an HDR, I might switch to raw. The CP5000 is nearly useless for shooting raw, but it does work if you wait long enough.

I just have to try and artistically blend the IR hotspot into the HDR landscapes I intend to capture.

(19 photos in total)

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