Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Infrared Mania!

I realized in the last week or so that once the leaves had fallen off the trees in September, all my infrared opportunities would be over until May 2008! That lit a fire under my butt and I drove over to Eastern Cemetary, Portland's oldest graveyard, dating back to the 1630s, and got three good images of graves with my Hoya R-72 infrared filter. The one above is titled Here Lyes. The one below is called Sacred, and I love the cotton candy effect in the whiteness of the trees and the beautiful wispy clouds in the sky.

I am submitting the above two images along with a third to the Spirits Alive gallery showing of artwork inspired by Eastern Cemetary. I just got the 8 X 10 prints in the mail yesterday and am really excited to take them and get them matted and framed!

I was so happy with the Eastern Cemetary shoot, that I headed to the West End, another big historic district dating back to about the 1850s in Portland, the next day around Sunset. The following three images were taken with 15 second exposures on a mini tripod set up in the grass across the street from the houses. I was amazed at how much ambient IR (infrared) light there still was at almost eight o'clock at night! The first two pictures are what I call the Gatsby Mansion, and the third is a beautiful Federal Style with a hip roof.

Once I got such favorable results at the west End, I thought, "Maybe I should go back to the East End and try to get some images of houses there!" But the one below, is the only one that seemed worth photographing, even though it was a beautiful day. There just weren't that many clouds, which are an important part of getting an interesting IR image. I like the sun flares in this image, and the low perspective it was taken from though.
For all of these photos, I decided to try something new to me--I set my camera on Sepia, so I didn't have to put each photo I liked into Photoshop, convert the brilliantly red photo into grayscale, fix the levels, contrast and sharpen it. The finished project is a lot more interesting to me, and I wish I had tried it before!
And finally, last night, after my writers group in South Portland, I set up my tripod in a parking lot right next to the bay, that looks across the water to Portland's skyline and took this image. I like how the lights of Portland are reflected on the glassy waters of the harbor, but I missed the jewel-toned post-sunset sky by about 10 minutes, AND some of the buildings are just a hair out of focus. But it's interesting, nonetheless!


Zinnia said...

hey! I found you. :) I love both of your blogs and the photos are wonderful. :D You can peek at my blogs in my profile-- there are a few kid pix mixed in... I have a nonpublic one all about ridig and dressage. The minute details can be boring but it's my obsession these days. Glad to have found you here and miss you very much!

Al Hodge said...

I really like your infrared photos, likewise the shots of Portland Head Light. I might offer a couple suggestions: First get a spirit level either from a tripod or you can buy a small cube level than mounts on the flash slide-in on the top of the camera. Your nice shot of the lights on the harbor should be straightened (rotated) on Photoshop or PS Elements.The other thing you could try is the HDR (High Dynamic Range) function in Photoshop for shots like your lighthouse shots. It's too much to go into here but you can find a lot about it onvarious web sites.
Keep up the good work!
Best Regards,
Al Hodge


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