Infrared Woodlands – Unconverted EOS 6D

Woodland Boardwalk - 20 sec @ f/5.6, 1600 ISO

Woodland Boardwalk – 20 sec @ f/5.6, 1600 ISO

I haven’t shot any infrared for about 9 months. This afternoon I went to a local nature preserve, and the sun was so bright, it was perfect for infrared. Now I still have a couple limitations to work around.  My camera is not converted for IR, so exposure times with my 830nm B+W filter are in the 6 to 20 second range at 1600 ISO.

Also, the only lens I have small enough to take my 58mm filter is my “nifty fifty” (using a 52 to 58 step-up ring). So everything had to be composed at a 50mm focal length. I got the filter to use with my Powershot G3 back in 2002. I’ve purchased some “L-glass” since then, but 77mm IR filters are expensive!

Stumpy Pond - 10 sec @ f/8.0, ISO 1600

Stumpy Pond – 10 sec @ f/8.0, ISO 1600

The first photo was mostly in the shade of large trees, while this second photo in open sunlight took half the exposure time, even with the aperture at f/8.

Footbridge Rails - 10 sec @ f/8, ISO 1600

Footbridge Rails – 10 sec @ f/8, ISO 1600

For post processing, I pushed contrast and clarity adjustments to a much farther extreme that I do with visible light photos.  I deleted most of the photos I took.  A lot of scenes don’t work in infrared. There has to be the right mix of dark and light elements, like foliage contrasting with wooden objects, water, and sky.  The rules of composition obviously still apply, but only certain types of scenes lend themselves to infrared.

Natural Gateway - 15 sec @ f/8.0, ISO 1600

Guardians of the Bridge – 15 sec @ f/8.0, ISO 1600

There is a lot of shade in this photo and you can see it slowed the shutter speed. I also see a strange bloom effect on the tree trunks which doesn’t seem to affect the boardwalk or bridge. Because that wood is already “dead”? I don’t know.  Leaves often show some bloom, but I’ve seen it with tree trunks too.

Dainty Petals IR - 3 sec @ f/4, ISO 1600

Dainty Petals IR – 3 sec @ f/4, ISO 1600

I haven’t tried to shoot much of anything close up in infrared. It’s problematic when your shutter speeds are so long, and even gentle breezes are making the flowers sway.  I got lucky here.  My tripod legs were splayed out almost flat to get this angle.

This was a fun challenge, to only use 50mm and deal with longer exposures.  I still plan on getting an older dSLR converted, because I really like the look of infrared, and people who see my infrared photos are usually impressed.  I could get faster shutter speeds without having to work against a hot mirror, and I could use any of my lenses!

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