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Messy woods

Messy woods

There are lots of sections like this in the woods this morning after last night’s rain and wind, trees and branches down everywhere. Nothing absolutely huge but these sections across the trail are particularly tough for Holly, who I think navigates by smell and memory as she is mostly blind at this point. But she does her best with a little help and guidance and makes it through πŸ™‚

New (old) macro lens

New (old) macro lens

So with spring and the beginning signs of greenery popping up in the woods, I found a new vintage lens for an excellent price on ebay: it’s another Asahi Pentax from the 70’s, the Super-Multi-Coated MACRO-TAKUMAR 100mm f/4. This shares a very similar optical design to the Bellows-Takumar I have had for a while, but it is a little easier to use as it is a conventionally focusing lens.

This lens was made from 1972 until 1980, so, based on the serial number, this one is probably from the later part of that period, 1978 or 1979, so about 45 or 46 years old, but it’s in mint condition and looks like it was made yesterday πŸ™‚

I just took a few quick shots to make sure all is working properly, and it’s very nice and super-sharp, even wide open! These are all full-sized shots, not cropped in at all…

I can’t wait to get out with this once the next couple of intense work weeks are over and the spring flowers start showing themselves- perhaps I’ll even combine macro and IR photography and see what we can come up with πŸ˜‰

St Patrick’s Day walk

St Patrick’s Day walk

It’s a nice warm day, sunny and 59Β°. And I guess it’s an appropriate day to see our first little snakey friend of the year πŸ˜‰

It’s so weird, but for some reason neither of the dogs pay any attention to the snakes we meet in the woods. I’m not sure if they just don’t see them because of their color vision, or if they just don’t have a smell. But they just don’t seem to notice their existence, even when they’re pointed out to them.
Welcome to the wacky world of Infrared Photography :)

Welcome to the wacky world of Infrared Photography :)

A while back I rented a camera that allowed me to try out some Infrared Photography, and I was intrigued enough to look into getting a fully converted camera of my own… which I have finally done πŸ™‚ Trees and foliage look white, water looks black (as one reflects IR and the other doesn’t) and though there’s not a lot of foliage yet, I had fun giving it a first real try …

I got a used (but in very good shape) Sony A7ii, an older version of the full-frame Sony system that I use, that has been converted to full-spectrum by LifePixel. This camera will work with all my lenses, it’s just a little slower and doesn’t have some of the auto-focus bells and whistles that my newer cameras have, but my IR photography will probably be mostly landscapes so that stuff is not needed.

I went with a full-spectrum conversion so I can do different types of IR photography by just adding filters to any of my existing lenses, I got a 590nm, a 720nm, and an 830nm, all in an 82mm size, so with step-up rings they will fit any of my lenses, but all of these pictures were taken with the 720nm filter on my Sony 16-35mm f/4 as I wanted to try things out with a good “base” lens that I know well before I try it with some of my more esoteric vintage glass πŸ˜‰

All digital cameras can see the full spectrum of light, from UV, through visible, to IR, but camera manufacturers put in a filter that blocks the IR light. This camera has had that filter removed, so it can take pictures of the full spectrum with no filters, or if a filter that blocks the visible light is used it can take pictures of just the IR light, or, with the right filter a combination. The LifePixel site has a really good introduction here if you’re interested, or just Google “Infrared Photography”.

All IR photographs are really “false-color” as it’s a spectrum of light we can’t see so it can’t have color for us, but with some creative editing these pictures don’t have to be just black and white, as you can see here. I’m just dipping my toes into this world, but I’m looking forward to diving deeper!