Wonderful scenes in the most unlikely of places   1 comment

I haven’t done much IR work in the rain, so headed out this week to see if I could find anything interesting. A nice downpour left my windshield covered with rain drops, and I drove around Bakersfield for about 10 minutes without turning on the windshield wipers. I was turning around in a parking lot – of all places – right in the middle of the busiest part of Bakersfield, when I saw this scene, which I thought would make a nice “wintry” photo. I angled my car so that the scene I wanted to shoot was properly framed, then I turned off the engine because I knew I’d be shooting a long exposure, wanted to use the steering wheel as a brace to keep the camera steady, and knew the vibration of the engine would result in too much camera movement. Camera was my Canon 20D converted to 665nm enhanced color infrared, and a Canon 20mm f2.8 with a polarizer placed over the lens. ISO was 100, aperture f4 and shutter 1/5 second. Focus was on the raindrops rather than the background. Processing was pretty standard, a white and black point set in Photoshop’s levels, then a red/blue channel swap in the channel mixer. I guess if there’s a lesson here, it’s that there are pictures to be made almost anywhere, but you have to learn to look beyond the obvious, which in this case was a relatively full parking lot.

This photo (below) was shot on a stormy day along Highway 99 south of Bakersfield. Camera was a Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS6 point and shoot converted to 715nm standard infrared. This camera does not offer raw capabilities, so I leave it set to aperture priority with an exposure compensation of minus 1/3 stop, because blown highlights are just not an option for me. This is what I call a “half swapped” IR photo. In Photoshop, I set a white and black point, then went into channels. Instead of doing the full red/blue channel swap, I did just the red channel swap. I then went into curves and removed the slight green cast that is usually left when you stop at the half way point.

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One response to “Wonderful scenes in the most unlikely of places

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  1. Stunning picture. Thanks for sharing. I also took a picture that inspired me today with raindrops on tree branches…

    http://photoserendipity.wordpress.com/2011/01/01/drops-of-water-and-a-leaf-hanging-on/

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