May 192016

Daily Inspiration #961. Digital Infrared with a NEX-5

By Javier

I’ve used almost any kind of camera available: from film to digital, from medium format to smartphones, from big teles to fixed primes, from Leicas and Lomos, and so.

A year ago, my main camera, a Sony NEX-5n, got a scratch in the sensor, impossible to repair. I decided to convert it to infrared as it was the only way to fix it. After playing a little with surreal landscapes and white trees, I stopped using it for a while, as that’s not my kind of photography.

Last summer I went to Bordeaux, France, and I tried using it for street photography. I loved it! Now it’s my main camera, despite having some others.

Digital infrared reminds me a lot to film and lomography: Results are imperfect, unpredictable, and sometimes weird. As I find myself unable to control the shot entirely, I feel more free to experiment, and I’m not obsessed at all with the perfection of the results. Also, skin tones are blended, and faces often turn unrecognizable (specially in B&W), so subjects stop being specific people and they become faceless ghosts, travelling though the frame.

I use the 16-50mm pancake zoom, mostly at its wider end. It’s distorted, corners are not sharp at all, and when shooting color I’ve got a purple patch in the middle of the shot, but I don’t really care about it. In fact, most shots are transferred to the phone, edited and published at the moment: With a 3 years old child always running around by my side, I have to be prepared to make the most of the few time I have to take photos.

Flickr gallery:

Javier Prieto



Jan 052015

All Rights Reserved

The Southwest in Infrared 

by Alexandra Shapiro

Last November I attended Steve Huff’s Southwest Workshop along with about two dozen other photographers from all over the world. We visited some beautiful places in Arizona and Utah, including Antelope Canyon, Rattlesnake Canyon, Horseshoe Bend, Zion National Park, and Sedona. These sites presented extraordinary opportunities for landscape photography. The workshop was also a great opportunity to meet some amazing photographers and do some hiking (Angel’s Landing at Zion was a particular highlight in terms of stunning scenery and a challenging ascent).

At some of the locations I used a specially converted digital camera that captures infrared light. A few years ago, I began experimenting with digital infrared photography, and found that it to be an interesting way to capture unusual and sometimes surreal images. My earlier user report can be seen HERE.  It provides some basic background on digital infrared technique and examples of infrared photographs that I took before the workshop.

On this trip, I used a converted Canon 5D, which has an “enhanced color” infrared filter, with a Canon 16-35 F4 L lens or a Canon 8-15 F4 L fisheye lens. Even though the 5D model is almost 10 year old, I have found it works extremely well for infrared work and can produce stunning images when paired with the right lens. (The main downsides are an out-of-date LCD and lack of live view, since manual focus is sometimes necessary for infrared work; personally, I don’t mind the 12 megapixel sensor and have even made some relatively large prints from images taken with this camera.) The 16-35 zoom, a relatively new offering from my Canon, is very sharp, and the image stabilization was particular useful in some spots, because the 5D is best shot at low ISOs and I prefer to shoot at f8 to f16 for infrared landscapes. The lens can also produce some amazing sunstars.

These are a few shots from the trip, taken at Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend, and Zion. All but one of the images was taken with the 16-35. I shot in raw and used Capture One for white balance and exposure adjustments, and then converted the images to tiffs. After that, I used photoshop to swap channels, and tweaked the colors and/or converted to black and white using plug-ins such as Nik’s Viveza 2, Alien Skin Exposure 7 or MacPhun’s Tonality Pro. The same image of horseshoe bend appears in both faux color and black and white, so you can see some of the different possibilities with color and black-and-white infrared technique. There are also a couple of examples with strong flare — some may not like this, but I think the flare that infrared photography sometimes produces can create interesting effects.

All Rights Reserved

All Rights Reserved

All Rights Reserved

All Rights Reserved

All Rights Reserved

Southwest ir (6 of 9)

All Rights Reserved

Southwest ir (8 of 9)

Southwest ir (9 of 9)

Some of my other infrared work can be found here:

This is my flickr account:

And here is another guest post I did for Steve:

Alexandra Shapiro

May 192014

Experimenting with Digital Infrared

By Alexandra Shapiro

A few years ago, I began experimenting with infrared, or IR, photography (mostly landscapes). I am still a beginner when it comes to IR photography, and am constantly amazed at some of the stunning IR images that others produce. Although many of your readers may already be experts, I hope some find these thoughts and experiences useful.

Infrared light is not visible to the human eye, but can be captured on certain types of film and digital cameras. With film, it is necessary to use an infrared filter that blocks most or all visible light while allowing infrared light to pass through. This generally requires the use of a tripod and long exposures, as well as special infrared film. Most digital cameras filter out infrared light, so they are not great tools for infrared photography. However, there are companies that will convert a digital camera so that it can be used for infrared photography; you can also buy a conversion kit and do the conversion yourself. This is not for the faint of heart, since you can ruin a camera if you are not careful; most people probably use conversion services instead.

After doing a fair amount of research on various conversion companies, I decided to convert an older model camera using lifepixel ( There are lots of potential pitfalls with the conversions, and not all cameras or lenses work well. There are a number of conversion companies that repeatedly get negative reviews, with users reporting that their conversions were botched, but Lifepixel consistently gets excellent reviews. They will convert a fairly wide range of cameras, and their website has detailed information on any unique traits of particular camera models that they convert. Panasonic, Olympus, and Sony mirrorless cameras apparently work very well, as do many Canon and Nikon DSLRs.

In addition, Lifepixel (like other conversion services) has several different types of infrared filters to choose from. The filters are installed inside the camera, after the filter that the camera came with to prevent IR light from passing through is removed. You can choose an IR filter that produces only black and white images, or a color filter. You can also choose a “full spectrum filter” that lets visible light as well as infrared light pass through to the sensor. This gives you more flexibility, but you will probably need to use IR filters on the lens to get IR effects.

During the conversion process, the camera is also adjusted to ensure that metering and auto-focus are adjusted for infrared light. Unless you send a lens for calibration, the camera’s auto-focus is adjusted based on a standard lens used for that manufacturer’s cameras. For example, Canon DSLRs are adjusted using a Canon 50 1.8 II lens unless you opt for the custom calibration service and send in the lens you prefer to have the camera calibrated with. Of course, fixed-lens cameras are calibrated using the built-in lens.

I like the look of black and white infrared, but prefer using a color IR filter to have the added flexibility, since obviously color images can be converted to black and white. I started with a small Canon DSLR, because I already had several good Canon lenses. I found a good deal on a refurbished Rebel T2i, a model that had been discontinued, and sent it to Lifepixel for conversion with their “supercolor” filter. I recently decided to upgrade to full frame and found a deal on eBay for a used Canon 5D (original version) that had already been converted by Lifepixel with an “enhanced color” filter. The IQ with the 5D is noticeably better than with the T2i, but there is a downside: the 5D does not have a live view function, which can be very useful with IR photography. Also since it is an older camera the LCD is small and the menu system and ergonomics generally are not as nice as on newer Canon models.

In order to get proper white balance, and have the most flexibility with the images, it is best to shoot raw. On many converted cameras, you can set a custom white balance that will allow you to use your LCD to check whether the white balance is correct. However, on some models (for example, certain recent Nikon DSLRs) that is not possible; the image will look quite reddish on the LCD, and you will need to use conversion software to fix the white balance in post. IR photography requires a fair amount of post-processing in any case. Most websites say that to fix the white balance (or to have your raw conversion software recognize the custom white balance you set in the camera) you have to use the camera maker’s raw converter. However, I recently learned you can create a preset for Lightroom’s “camera calibration” setting that allows you to convert your images from raw in Lightroom instead. This link has instructions for how to do this ( I now do all my raw conversions in Lightroom instead of using Canon’s raw conversion software.

My workflow is generally as follows: I import my raw images into Lightroom and use the camera calibration preset I created so I can see them with the custom white balance set in-camera. Then I perform adjustments to white balance, sharpening, and exposure in Lightroom, and export to Photoshop CS6 to make further edits after the raw conversion. The first step in Photoshop for me is usually channel-swapping, which is useful for getting the “deep blue sky” effect that many interesting IR images have. This involves changing the red channel to 0% red and 100% blue, and changing the blue channel to 0% blue and 100% red. Then if I want to keep the image in color I play around with levels and other adjustments to get whatever effects seem most interesting. For black and white, I generally convert using plug-in filters from Alien Skin Exposure 5 or Perfect B&W 8.

When I first started, I noticed that sometimes the images seemed very soft, or did not have the dramatic contrasts or deep blue skies or white foliage I was hoping for. I found that I could get sharper images when shooting in bright sunlight (the harsh sunlight in the middle of the day is great for producing dramatic IR landscapes); using small apertures (I prefer F8 to F16). Sometimes the AF is off, but if you have a camera with live view or an EVF it is easy to correct that with manual focus.

I shot the first eight images below during Steve’s Valley of Fire workshop this past February. That was the first time I used the 5D; the lens is Canon’s 24-105 L. The remaining images were taken with the T2i and various lenses; those were shot in Austerlitz, New York and Big Sky, Montana.

More of my photos can be found on this flickr page https:[email protected]/

Valley of Fire Canon 5D 1

Valley of Fire Canon 5D 2

Valley of Fire Canon 5D 3

Valley of Fire Canon 5D 4

Valley of Fire Canon 5D 5

Valley of Fire Canon 5D 6

Valley of Fire Canon 5D 7

Valley of Fire Canon 5D 8

T2i 1

T2i 2

T2i 3

T2i 4

T2i 5

Mar 282014

A tribute to Kodak’s false colour Infrared films

By Tony Kajtazi


Sunrise over the Grand Anse beach (Grenada)


The legend

Here are some of my favourite shots I’ve taken with a very special breed of near extinct film. Like many other great films falling victim to the digital age, it also, sadly, is no longer in production. There have always been disappointments in the past whenever manufacturers decided to stop making a certain type of film, and especially when there was no direct replacement for it elsewhere. For me, this sentiment is felt strongest with the disappearance of the colour infrared films, as there’s just nothing even remotely like it.

These films are capable of rendering crazy, psychedelic colours with tons of clarity and contrast. It can make the most boring of subjects look stunning. Get the exposure right, and you’ll get instant art through colour alone. Couple it with good composition and an interesting subject matter, and you’ll have a masterpiece.

 All photos taken with a Mamiya 7 and the 43mm lens


Kodak was the only company I know of that used to make colour infrared film. Little of it that remains on the market is largely due to one man in Germany who bought up the last batches of Aerochrome film sheets, hand-cut and hand-rolled them onto 120 format spools ready to be used with any medium format film camera. From time to time some of these rolls would trickle down to the rest of us via his website* where he would occasionally put some up for sale, thus delaying the total extinction for that tiny bit longer.

The consumer variation of this film used to be called Kodak Ektachrome Infrared (EIR), and it came in the standard 35mm format. Kodak stopped making it long before they’d stopped making Aerochrome sheets, originally intended for scientific aerial imaging. I have never used the EIR, but I suspect the end-results would be quite similar. Nonetheless, it’s worth noting that even though they do pretty much the same thing, they are not the same.

The method

 Shoot this film at f8 or smaller for best results, IR light does not behave the same way as normal light. You might have the shot focused precisely for normal light, but the IR light will most likely be out of focus at large apertures.


A rough explanation of how Kodak achieves this special look is as follows: As with other common types of colour slide film, it has three image forming layers: the red-exhibiting layer, which is sensitive to IR light, so the Infrared light and its unique tonality is mapped as red on the slides, the green layer is sensitive to red light and the blue layer is sensitive to green light. All three layers are sensitive to blue and project it as blue. This is why the blue light is most often considered a “pollutant” and has to be filtered out with a yellow or an orange filter in order to achieve the intended look commonly observed here and elsewhere.

I personally prefer to use an orange filter with this film because it paints the skies dark navy and gives the foliage that deep red colour. The orange filter doesn’t just filter out the blues, but goes a step further and blocks most of the green light from hitting the film. Different shades of orange cut different amounts of green and since Aerochrome’s blue layer is sensitive to green light, a green-cutting filter removes the blue cast from the photographs, so magenta foliage you get with a yellow filter becomes red.

Using a red filter on the lens further limits the sensitivity of the film to only the red and the IR spectrum, projecting only green and red respectively. This makes the foliage orange and the skies green/cyan or even yellow. Nice but in my opinion it constricts the chromatic range a bit too much.


The photos shown here have all been taken using the B+W 040 filter on the lens, which on paper at least, is identical to the widely recommended B+W 099 for this purpose. The former is a modern version of the latter, and they work equally well. The ISO rating of Aerochrome is approximately 800, with a Wratten #12 filter this goes down a stop to 400, and with the B+W 040 you should rate it at 200. IR sensitivity will wane pretty quickly with time even if the film is stored in a freezer, so the speed might need to be adjusted accordingly if you plan to use it in say, 2 years’ time, and even then there’s no guarantee that your photos will come out looking the same.

The end

Speaking generally, the future of this type of colour infrared look is closely tied to this film, so the day the last rolls get used up is the day we last see pictures like it. Unless someone can convince Kodak to start making it again or at least licence the technology to a manufacturer that is willing to resurrect it (Lomography?), the only option we’re left with is to try to replicate the look digitally.

For anyone that’s tried to emulate the look of any type of film in Photoshop knows that it’s no easy feat to pull off. Imitating Aerochrome convincingly on the other hand is much harder, because it might involve trickery such as double-takes, channel swapping and quite a bit of post-processing, and even then there’s no fooling the trained eye of an Aerochrome aficionado.

For the end, I’ll leave you with a couple of my best attempts at it, and maybe talk about this digital process in more detail some other time.

Picture taken with a full spectrum camera and post processed to achieve the Kodak EIR look


Close but not the real deal


Tony Kajtazi

Oct 212013

The Lomography Experimental Lens Kit Review

by Dirk Essl – His website is HERE

Today I received an Experimental Lens Kit from Lomography and immediately took it on a test ride while having my lunch break. In case you don’t know it, it is a kit of 3 Plastic Lenses with plastic optics. and an integrated shutter, so you can take ‘real’ double or multi exposures just like in the analog days.

Packaging And Contents:


In the package there are the three lenses with front and rear cap, on the rear cap the focal length and name of the lens is written:


Also in the package is a tiny pouch with tiny little filters which can be inserted into a filter slot on the back of each lens:


So we have yellow, blue, orange, green, violet and two different ND filters. The ND filters are helpful for doing Multi Exposures in bright daylight.

The Filters are mounted in a dedicated slot at the back of the Lens. Stacking Filters is also possible:


Also included is a big poster with Instructions in all different languages and sample pictures on the back. You can see it acting as a backdrop here where I mounted each lens on a camera for your enjoyment. From left to right: E-P2-IR with 12mm Wide-Angle Lens, E-M5 with 24mm Standard Lens, E-PM1 with 160° Fisheye Lens


Although the look a bit different in size, they are not. just the Fisheye is a bit shorter, as it does not have the integrated hood.


As I said the lenses are plastic. Plastic mount, plastic lenses, plastic everything. Only the shutter level-knob and I guess the screws and a spring inside the lens for the shutter are made of metal. Mounting the Lenses on a camera is done as with every lens with a m4/3rds mount. Align the dots, twist. done.

The lenses shutter is closed in the original configuration, so to see a picture on the viewfinder, you need to open that up. Turn the triangle-shaped lever downwards until it snaps in and you can compose your shots. The integrated shutter is disabled in this position (T-Mode). Set your camera to A-mode and you are done. If the shutter speed is too low, raise your ISO. All three lenses are fixed at f8, just like the Olympus Bodycap Lens.

Multi-Exposure Mode

To make real multi-exposures, I find the easiest is to leave the camera in A-Mode. Compose your shot, close the shutter with the triangle lever, push the little metal-shutter knob, recompose (you will of course need to guess your composition from know on) and trigger the shutter again. As the meter will measure with the shutter closed, your shutter speed will be at about 4-5 seconds, which should be enough time to take a multi-exposure image. the manual says to use bulb mode, which of course works as well.

Optical Performance

I tested those lenses today at lunch time on an Olympus E-PM1 and on an IR converted E-P2 (720nm) The Visible images are all straight out of camera, with no adjustments beside resizing in Adobe Lightroom. The IR pictures only have some increased clarity, as they would look very flat-out of camera. White balance of the E-P2 was on green gras.

12mm Wide Angle Lens E-PM1





Of course, optically all those lenses are only mediocre. Well less than mediocre to be honest. The 12mm is a contrasty, quirky colors, wide-angle lense with a nice vignette. The center is not as soft as the corners and it has very strong barrel distortion. Focus goes from 0.2m to infinity


Wide angle of View (24mm FF equiv.)


close focusing distance


plastic fantastic (should be a pro, through)

24mm Standard Lens E-PM1




As well nice colors, quite sharp in the center, typical lo-fi TV lens look in the corners. Not so much distortion as you would expect. I guess this is quite a fun lens at night with color filters and a flash. Red gel in the Lens, blue gel in a flash and you get crazy colors like never seen before. Focusing goes from 0.6m to infinity.


nice ‘Standard’ FOV (48mm FF equiv)

good colors

focuses nearer then any Leica Lens


only f8 (might be tuneable)

160° Fisheye Lens E-PM1






Infrared performance

As there so many m4/3rds bodies now that can be bought (or sold) for very little money, many people decide to get their old body converted to different wavelengths. I have an E-P2 converted to 720nm (near Infrared). I mostly shoot it with the Samyang 7.5mm Fisheye and can say it is a wonderful combo. Examples of false color and B&W pictures taken with this camera can be seen in this flickr set

12mm Wide Angle Lens in Infrared





In IR, this is my favourite out of the three. You can take nice, contrasty IR images without worrying much about fstops, focus, sharpness and all that technical stuff. Shooting directly into the sun? No problem. Hotspots? non-existent.

One thing I found as speciality on all of the three lenses is that the T-Shutter can be closed only partially to create a strong vignette in the lover right corner. If you are a fan of heavy vignettes and don’t want to fiddle around with post processing, these are your lenses:


24mm Standard Lens in Infrared



The 24 is usable for IR as well, but just not my focal length for this type of shooting. Hotspots? Negative report!

160° Fisheye Lens in Infrared




This is the only of the three that has not enough focus for infinity focus in IR. As in a converted camera the focal plane is different because a.) the different wavelength of IR and b.) because of the different thickness of the filter glass in front of the sensor. It might be hackable to achieve infinity focus, and I really hope so as I like the circular effect.

Focal length comparison:

Just for reference the same scene, taken with a E-PM1 in A-mode, ISO 200, center weighted metering.





I think it is a great addition to the m4/3rds family. It shows that the system has enough users for new companies to produce lenses for it. No need to mess around with quirky adapters to get these lo-fi shots. No messing around with post processing if you want to add a certain effect to your pictures. If you want to have a break from your usual photography style, take those lenses with you and enjoy an afternoon of worry free shooting.

You can visit Dirk at his very own blog HERE

Sep 192013

Shooting Sony NEX7 modified for infrared

by Dierk Topp – His Flickr is HERE

Hi Steve,
I have a very special topic again for your readers.

After the great B&W post from Ashwin Rao and from Lee Sungsoo from India and so many more great B&W series I would like to offer a very special type of B&W images from North of Germany:

Infrared images in B&W

Made with a NEX7 after conversion to infrared with a R715nm filter built into the camera in front of the sensor.

I have been interested in infrared photography since decades but in the analog times it was just too complicated and expensive – ok. to modify the NEX7 for infrared is not cheap either.
Not cheap but a lot of fun, if you like this special mystic look of these images. You may have seen my post of infrared images made with the Leica Monochrom in June 2013. With the Leica Monochrome I one IR filter R715, that fitted the 21mm and 35mm lenses. For other lenses I would have to buy more filters. At that time a friend told me of his IR converted mirrorless and he told me, that he could use the camera like any normal camera and shoot hand-held! That got me :)

If you are interested in more information about infrared photography look here at wikipedia.

I will try a short explanation of the specialty of infrared photography:

shooting B&W infrared gives very light to white tones of the green of trees, leaves and grass and dramatic sky and clouds. I started my first IR shots with the Nikon D70 about 10 years ago and when I got the Leica Monochrom last year I tried it again. For shooting infrared with a normal sensor you need a tripod, as the IR blocking filter in front of the sensor blocks most of the infrared light and the infrared filter, you put in front of the lens, blocks most of the visible light. The small amount of light between these two filters is all you get for the exposure, very long exposures. Hand held IR is not an option in normal situations. The next problem is, that the focal length of the lens for IR light is different from visible light. Therefor you can not use the normal focus mark on manual lenses. I described this in my previous post with the Leica Monochrom.

Now comes the NEX7. 
The NEX7 has a normal color sensor and in front of the sensor the normal IR blocking and AA filter. If you take out these filters you get the full spectral sensitivity of the sensor and can use external IR or UV filters or get an internal filter permanently installed. I got an 715nm IR filter in font of the sensor.

What you will “lose”: 
This is one way, after the modification there is no way back to your normal color camera!
What you get: 
In my case with the IR filter built-in I have a IR camera and can use all my lenses (you know, you can adapt almost all lenses on the mirrorless cameras), even tilt/shift lenses or Hasselblad with the Rhinocam adapter!

And I ordered the Sony 10-18mm OSS for this camera, as said, I love clouds and therefor I like super wide:)
And I ordered the NEX6 for my normal color shooting – until I get the coming FF NEX, or if I don’t use the Leica M9.

I got my NEX7 modified by DSLR-Astrotec in Germany and got it back in July after less than two weeks.

My experiences up to now:

  • I started to shoot RAW and JPG in B&W, that gives me a B&W control image right after the shot
  • only, when I shoot with the panorama function of the camera, I have to use JPG
  • the sensitivity for the IR converted sensor seems to be about the same as beforee with the normal sensor
  • that means, I can shoot IR hand-held in relative dark environments (wood) without any problems, especially, as the 10-18mm has OSS stabilization
  • the AF of the camera works like before, also the senor cleaning
  • focusing manual focus lenses like the Leica lenses is very hard, sometimes not possible, as the live view image is all red in red. (see below) I have to find an area with high contrast in about the same distance as my object.

Pleas, forgive me, if my English is not correct sometimes.

Here are some of my IR images out of this NEX7-IR. You may find more here in my flickr album.

If not mentioned, all images are made with the Sony SEL 4/10-18mm OSS
PP: Lightroom 5, some with additional Nik Silver Efex 2

first image shows three different stadiums of an image

this is, what you see in live view before you shoot


this is, what you see after the shot,
when the camera is set to B&W (depending on B&W settings of the camera)


this is a color version, PP in CS6
remember, the image in the NEX7 is still a color image, but only red tones.
there are impressive IR color images in the web, but I prefer the pure B&W :)

NEX7-IR infrared with E 10-18mm OSS

if you like clouds, IR is for you
when I first saw the great images of Ansel Adams and his perfect and impressive clouds, I started to notice CLOUDS!

NEX7-IR infrared with Sony E 10-18mm OSS

NEX7-IR infrared with Sony E 10-18mm OSS

NEX7-IR infrared with Sony E 10-18mm OSS

NEX7-IR infrared with Sony E 10-18mm OSS

NEX7-IR infrared with E 10-18mm OSS

on this one a wanted to show the short exposure time for hand held shooting

NEX7-IR infrared with E 10-18mm OSS

and extreme light situations

NEX7-IR infrared with E 10-18mm OSS

NEX7-IR infrared with E 10-18mm OSS

NEX7-IR infrared with E 10-18mm OSS

NEX7-IR infrared with E 10-18mm OSS


panorama out of the camera, some PP (contrast, light, crop of foreground)

NEX/-IR infrared with Sony 10-18/4 OSS

and another pano out of the camera
with the Canon TS-E 17mm/4 tilt/shift on a Metabone adapter, shifted up about 5 mm, tripod
this lens does not accept filters due to the extreme front lens, therefor IR with this lens is only possible with a converted camera.

NEX7-IR infrared with Canon 17mm TS-E shifted up

cloudy sky with some sunshine, the white of the green leaves seem to light themselves
camera in portrait position

NEX7-IR infrared with Sony 10-18/4 OSS

NEX7-IR infrared with Sony 10-18/4 OSS

NEX7-IR infrared with Sony 10-18/4 OSS

NEX7-IR infrared with Sony E 10-18mm OSS

lens: Zeiss Distagon 40mm/4 with adapter Rhinocam and hand held series
(as described in the previous post about the Rhinocam adapter), no EXIF info

60 MPix - NEX7-IR and Rhinocam with Hasselblad Zeiss Distagon 40

NEX7-IF infrared with Sony 10-18mm OSS

ok. last but not least a “self”

NEX7-IR infrared with E 10-18mm OSS

I hope, you enjoyed some of the pictures, even, if the typical IR look is not your favorite B&W


Jun 142013

Infrared and the Leica Monchrom with a Super Elmar 21 ASPH by Dierk Topp

Hi Steve,

in your Leica M Monochrom Review part 2.5 you posted some infrared images. “Infrared photography is something I have always been interested in but never really tried it when shooting film.”  This is exactly what I experienced during my analog times (since about 50 years :) )

I did some tests with the Nikon D70 and the Hoya R72 filter in 2005, but the focus problem with my amateur zooms at that time where to big.

With the Leica M Monochrome I did some tests with this old filter, taped on the lens (it had 72mm diameter) and the results where promising, but again the problem with the focus. The pictures where not really sharp. My Zeiss C-Biogon 21mm is my only lens with the old-fashioned IR focus mark, all the Leica lenses don’t have this any more:(

In the Leica forum I got the answer: the IR focus lies between the open and the one stop down aperture on the DOF scale of the lens (if you have a better explanation, please correct me!). That means on my Leica Super-Elmar 21mm/3.4 the IR focus point is between the 3.4 and the 5.6 mark on the DOF ring. That is at least, what I used with very good results.

After I got a filter Heliopan R715 in the 46mm mount for the 21mm Super-Elmar and the 35mm Summilux I started with IR — and could not stop till now! :)

I am fascinated of the mystic touch of the images. B&W white is great for me, that is, why I invested in the Leica M Monochrom, but infrared is (for me) THE B&W for landscapes. Blue sky and some clouds make the typical IR images and look, but some of the images are made in the shadow of the trees and show this mystic look even more.

I used f/8 for most of the images and about 1/2 second at base ISO 320 at bright sun and of course a tripod. Using the tripod the step for making panorama images is obvious. Looking at the scene I often do some more shots left and right and end up with a panorama image most of the time. For the stitching of the images I use ICE from MS, it is free and very fast. For the images in this post I used the Leica Super-Elmar-M 21mm/3.4 ASPH with the filter R715, I mentioned above.

The post processing is done with Adobe LR4.2 and on some of the images I used Nik SIlver Efex2 after the LR4.

There is not too much more to say about it.

Here are some of my pictures:

Leica M Monochrom with Super-Elmar-M 21mm/3.4 @ f/9, IR filter R

Leica M Monochrom with Super-Elmar-M 21mm/3.4 @ f/9, IR filter R

Leica M Monochrom with Super-Elmar-M 21mm/3.4 @ f/9, IR filter R

Leica M Monochrom with Super-Elmar-M 21mm/3.4 @ f/9, IR filter R


Leica M Monochrom with Super-Elmar-M 21mm/3.4 @ f/9, IR filter R

Leica M Monochrom with Super-Elmar-M 21mm/3.4 @ f/9, IR filter R

Leica M Monochrom with Super-Elmar-M 21mm/3.4 @ f/9, IR filter R

Leica M Monochrom with Super-Elmar-M 21mm/3.4 @ f/9, IR filter R


I hope, you will enjoy them. Thanks for looking.

You may find more on my flickr IR album



Jun 252012

Photographing Tree’s. By Ibraar Hussain

Dear Steve, I hope all’s well mate.

I’ve really been enjoying the reviews and submissions and thought I’d add something else into the mix.

Here’s a short article about photographing Tree’s. Tree’s are usually looked over, and ignored, they’re just, well, tree’s! they’re always to be found and I love photographing them. Yes, I am a bit of a Tree Hugger, am quite conscious and positive towards ‘green issues’, and a ‘born again Pagan’, (not really, I just like the sound of the last bit! )

Tree’s are very interesting and curious to photograph. they have a lot of character and charm. To look at and to study their shape, way of growth, form and texture is something which can be a very fulfilling task.

The best thing about them is that they’re (more or less) to be found everywhere, in cities, along avenues and pathways, gardens, parks, forests, plains, high mountains, moorland, deserts and even in and around offices and shopping mauls – concrete jungles!

They’re also very interesting subjects on their own, collectively, or as part of a scene – urban or rural.

I like to mix it up bit and my pictures range from photographing a favourite tree at different times of the year with different mediums, (some folks have made some perfect examples of a tree during the year – blossoming in Spring, Fully laden in Summer, golden in Autumn and naked and bare in Winter – and of course covered with snow. Tom Mackie, a well-known landscape photographer has many examples, as does Joe Cornish and Charlie Waite in some of their books – superb stuff) to a shot of a scene where the line of tree’s make up the main subject.

I also like to capture fascinating or strange or historical tree’s such as The Druid oak in Burnham Beeches, or the major Oak in Sherwood Forest. I’m sure countries all over the world have their important landmark tree’s – and these can make interesting subjects.

Another idea would be to create a sort of abstract photograph combining certain elements from a tree – whether the branches as I am won’t to do, or the trunk – focussing on a specific aspect. Some people concentrate on the texture and look of the trunk – something which I think is very difficult to get ‘right’.

And Infra red – as this makes the leaves resemble snow! You can get some crazy results with this medium (whether film or digital).

And of course, tree’s can combine with the elements (both flora and fauna) in a landscape to make up the scene.

I also love to try to capture the play of light and shadow and the rays of the sun through branches when I am able to.

Anyway, here are some examples, and as for myself, I will be going out more as soon as the dire weather clears up, and will be having a look at interesting tree’s in the City. I’ve also just received my Polaroid SX-70 and a pack of Impossible Colour Shade Film – and I reckon tree’s will be amongst the things I’ll be photographing with it!

This is of one of my favourite tree’s in Epping Forest in Essex – just outside London. A lovely ancient forest which i enjoy walking in all year round.

it is an Oak, and a very attractive one at that, I just love the shape, the way the branches flow and extend upwards and outwards, and the curious shape of the trunk – the number 4 painted on it – well, I don’t know what that’s all about but I presume it’s an important tree and has been registered with the Corporation of London who own the Forest.

I photographed it with Tri X 400 (developed with ID11) with a GA645 Fujifilm camera.


And I also snapped it with the same camera and Fuji Velvia film.


This is a very interesting and dominant tree I came across in The Chitral Gol national park in the Hindu Kush. I love the way it fills outwards. (Fuji GA645, Fuji Velvia 50)

The Druid Oak, a 500 year old Oak in Burnham Beeches in Berkshire. (Contax G2, 21mm Biogon T* Kodak e100vs)

Line of trees in Osterley park – I love the form of the upper branches, the way the middle tree disrupts the shape,  and the reflections. (Fuji F200EXR converted to BW, dodge/burn, Film Grain added)

The following line of tree’s is to be found near Turville in the Chiltern Hills. The Moon plus Red Kite add to some magic – i like this as it gives me the vibe of the place (Fuji GA645 Fuji Velvia 50)

The following photos are in Epping Forest. The BW are my favourite as I wanted to capture the shafts of lights flltering through the branches and the magic they create in this beautiful spot. (Fuji GA645 Ilford Pan F 50 ID11)
The 3rd photo is a different spot – Fuji GA645 and Agfa RSX 200
This photo was a hit n miss affair with the Contax G2 21mm Biogon and a red 25 filter. The Film was Kodak HIE Infra-red, which I didn’t have a clue how to expose for, nor develop – so was pleased with the results. Virginia Waters – Surrey
The following is a snap of branches, I like the light and shade and reach of the branches backlit. Epping Forest. Fuji GA645. Ilford Pan F 50.
Dec 152010

Check out these amazing IR photos taken with an M8..WOW..Inspiring!

Inspired by a “Faulty” Sensor

By Konstantinos Besios – (See his Blog)

The Leica M8 was “in trouble” when its high sensitivity to infrared light was discovered, M8 owners had to live with a UV/IR filter on their lenses, but when this cursed filter is replaced with either a Hoya R72 or a B+W 092 IR filter, then a door to a new world opens ….

A great tool for infrared photography and the best thing is that you can even shoot infrared without a tripod and get away with it ….

Below are some images I’ve taken with the Leica M8 and B+W 092 infrared filter.

(Note: the b&w image with the lady on the bridge is shot with a Leica M7 and Ilford SFX 200 film, the close up tree b&w photo against the sun is taken with a Leica M1 and Efke IR820 film.The rest of the images are from the M8)

Nov 232010

A reader of this blog, Konstantinos Besios, sent in these two images in where he snapped the same scene with his M8 with a B+W 092 Infrared filter and his Leica M7 with Tri-X 400 and a B+W 091 Red Filter. The M7 was scanned on an Epson V500 scanner so it is not even close to the full potential fo film, but I am digging those dramatic tones of the M8 shot with the filter. These are really a “just for fun” post as teh images are too small to really appreciate but at least we can get an idea of what an M8 with the filter is capable of :)

Thanks for the images Konstantinos!


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers: