Sunday, January 27, 2008

Here's to Normal Light (well, mostly normal)

    These two shots were taken at the same time as the infrared below, but with color digital photography (a Nikon D70).  The first is a regular shot and the second is the same shot, but processed in HDR (high dynamic range).  There's a good discussion on HDR here on Wiki, but basically the idea is to correct for lighting challenges.  For example, without bringing lighting with you, there are going to be areas in the picture too dark to see detail and if you expose for your main subject, the sky will likely be washed out.   For true HDR, you need patience and a tripod.  Take one picture with the appropriate exposure, one or two under-exposed 1-2 F stops, and one or two over-exposed by 1-2 F stops.  Then process them in Photoshop or even easier with Photomatix.   There's free trial software at their website to play with.  It leaves a watermark until you pay for it, but you'll get the idea.  Faux HDR is done (the bottom shot) by processing the raw image so Photomatix does all the work of creating the other exposures.  With experience, you can fine tune it to your preference.  On a Mac, it's super easy-- just open the raw image in Photomatix.  On a PC, you need to first create and save under and over exposed images in Photoshop first when you open as a raw image and then load them into Photomatix as if they were separate shots.
These two groups on Flickr have more examples:  HDR and HDR from A Single Raw

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Here's to Invisible Light

Here's my most recent upload of a picture that showcases the advantages of what can be highlighted in a scene using infrared photography.
"Growing Storm" There was a nor'easter heading this way with a dramatic sky, so it was a must shoot day.
This shot demonstrates the high contrast between white clouds and a dark sky, the shades of black/gray from bark, and the bright white of leaves. Cement and stone is mostly unchanged with IR, but it ends up having a very smooth texture compared to the high contrasts and textures of the rest. The lawn in the background which still has grass despite it being winter looks like snow but it's just grass.
More later, on how to do IR photography, including what equipment, how to shoot, and how to post-process.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Greetings from the Worlds of Visible and Invisible Light

This first blog is my jump to the blogosphere from living in the virtual world primarily on Flickr.  I have previously only been known as Cocoabiscuit .  Visit my page there to see that alternative universe.  My plan for this is to feed my new photos in here as I post them, especially with a bit more of commentary to go with them.  I'm especially interested in near-infrared photography, so the future will hopefully include some tutorials on how to do it.  My other interest is in playing around with HDR work, so hopefully we'll have some fun with that as well.  Looking forward to the experience.