IR lens flare: good, bad or a little of both   Leave a comment

No question about it, a converted digital IR camera is quite susceptible to lens flare, even with the use of lens hoods. It’s especially prevalent with back lighted or side lighted scenes. In my early photography years, lens flare was considered to be pure evil, to be avoided at all costs. Today, lens flare seems to be in vogue. I have even seen filters that you can buy just to put lens flare in your photos! That’s one filter I won’t have to buy, since lens flare has never had much trouble finding me! A nice thing about lens flare with digital IR is that it is very easy to see in the viewfinder, so you’ll know it is there before you take the shot. You can decide to leave it there, you can move around a bit to position it where you would like it to be in the frame, or if you don’t want it there at all, you can move and watch it disappear from the viewfinder. With a converted digital IR camera, it’s your call. Use it for effect, or get rid of it. I found these moss covered trees in an oak preserve in Los Osos, California, a quiet and beautiful coastal town near San Luis Obispo. Talk about a natural IR subject! Camera was my Canon EOS 20D converted to 665nm enhanced color IR and a Canon 24-70 f2.8 L lens. Processing was extremely basic: a white point and black point set in Photoshop’s levels, then a red/blue channel swap to create the Wood effect. The Wood effect is the process where infrared light reflects the chlorophyll and moisture in green foliage and plants and renders them white.

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