The disc of deep red glass has been lying on my desk, gathering dust for a while now. I took it out of the camera bag to have a play with it, to see if I could get it to work on my old trusty Canon G10 camera, which it did with limited success… and then I lost interest… until today.
I don’t know why but I picked it up and dusted it off and literally stuck it in front on the 5D and hey presto, it worked even better than it used to.
Has that got your curiosity going?
A long time ago I bought a Hoya near infra-red R72 filter so that I could explore the wonderful world of infra-red photography, this enigmatic little piece of glass allows one to see the world in a different light by cutting out most of the colours of the visible spectrum, allowing the reds of the far end of the spectrum into the camera and onto your screen.
My first experience was a disappointment, the lens that I bought it for had a flaw, which created ghostly internal reflections, so I had to fall back on Plan B, which was to buy the canon 50mm f 1.8 lens, which did work with near infra red filters. (It is nice to use this “Standard lens” for normal photography every now and then just like I used to do in the 35mm film days.)
However, the filter was a 72mm thread and the new lens had a 52mm thread, so some way had to be found of mounting the filter to the lens and I done it by the very novel way of mounting the filter on a piece of square black plastic and mounting this on a slide-in filter mount and it worked most of the time. This set up allowed me to compose the shot then all I needed to do was slip in the filter and make the exposure… but there was a small problem of the occasional ghostly bokeh, a hexagonal shaped patch of light could be seen on some images and in the end I was losing more shots than I kept and that R72 filter got forgotten about, until today.
Just what made me pick it up and simply stick it over the end of the camera I will never know but I did and it did work, without any of those annoying bokeh but that did not solve the problem of how to mount the filter to the lens. The answer came with the 52mm adaptor for the slide-in filter, I simply taped the filter to the adaptor and screwed the adaptor onto the 50mm lens and Bob’s my relative!
The image, that comes out of the camera looks like this.
The trick is in processing it to a monochrome, which produces an image like this
The first test shot, the white on the hill is not snow but grass and this is what makes nIR photography so enigmatic, organic materials absorb infra-red light while inorganic materials doesn’t
The same scene, this time precessed differently. A while ago I discovered that if I made a nIR photo of a white balance target and then used that white balance in-camera it produced different looking images to the standard red image from the filter
So it works, time for some fun.
Near Infra Red photography lends itself to a mixture or organic and inorganics, so the old Kinross burial Ground was the ideal place for some photo therapy. Lock Leven castle is lost in the background and the nIR image has been processed with a vignette for effect.
This was a channel swop, exchanging the blue and reds to produce what looks like a hand toned image. This tower was built to over look the graveyard to frustrate the efforts of the Resurrectionists, who dug up bodies for medical research, Burke and Here were real people and a real threat to the god fearing people of Kinross. The burial vault of the Bruce family can be seen in the background.
Eighteenth century headstones featured a clue to the past occupation of the deceased. I can’t quite work out this one, looks like a weighing device. This picture was toned and a vignette added.
The inscription is to the memory of a ships doctor, who lost his life in a fever outbreak on board a ship off Africa, the poor doctor was buried at sea. I will return to this another day but for now the channel swop and the regression of the three headstones was enough for my interest. Note the water in the background.
The Bruce family were the original and builders of Kinross House, the Montgomery family owned the house until quite recently. The Montomery’s are buried in a separate,private grave yard which adjoins this burial ground. This image was toned in a different way, the organic material picking up a blue tone.
A large post and I hope that this has also been an interesting one.
Finally a special hello the the best motor mechanic in Kinross