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Fun with Infrared

Fun with Infrared

I took my full-spectrum converted A7ii with me to the woods this morning, along with one of my favorite vintage lenses, my Auto-Takumar 35mm f/2.3 with a 590 nm “Supercolor” IR filter. This is a filter which lets in a little visible light, producing some very interesting effects, especially after some post-processing.

For example, this is a picture taken with just a custom white balance:

The camera sees green leaves as bright and mostly white as they reflect a lot of infrared, but the blue of the sky as mostly red, however with a simple red/blue channel swap in Photoshop (tell it to render blues as red and reds as blue), you get this:

I’m still learning what makes a good infrared picture, as the converted camera will see things very differently than your eyes do in the moment, and the images will look different again once you get them back to the computer and start processing them, but some of these came out very nicely I think …

Apparently the best light for this is the harsh, noonday sun of high summer, so I’ve got that to loo forward to 🙂

Missed an anniversary

Missed an anniversary

I was listening to The Archers (long running BBC radio soap opera), as I tend to in the morning while walking the dogs, and yesterdays episode (I am usually a day behind as I listen on the BBC Sounds app) was mostly about Alice and her ex-boyfriend Harry and their struggles with alcoholism, when I realized that I missed an anniversary last week- Tax Day (April 15) 1999 was the day I gave up drinking, so this year it has been 25 years.

I suppose that fact that I missed it is probably a good thing, as it shows that it really doesn’t rank very highly in importance my life any more, but I thought it might be nice to acknowledge and thank the people who made it possible: mostly my amazing wife, my daughter (whose impending arrival made it very important at the time), the rest of my family, George Packard, my then boss, and the folks at St. Vincent’s. Here’s to the next 25 years 🙂

(The use of the AA chip image is a little deceitful as I don’t go to AA meetings, but I am a huge supporter of their work for those who it helps, so I think they’d forgive me borrowing it).

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 🙂

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 🙂

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 😉