23rd July 2012: 1st IR Test Shot - Old Dee Bridge in Chester

Post date: 24-Jul-2012 19:45:50

Old Dee Bridge in Chester (InfraRed & HDR)

Inspired by a recent article I saw in Advanced Photographer magazine I went out on a very bright Sunday afternoon for half an hour to test out shooting in InfraRed. I used a 77mm Hoya Infrared R72 filter on a (unconverted) Canon 5d Mark II with a 17-40 F4L lens. I had a few challenges using InfraRed as I’ve never done it before but I (kind of!) managed to sort the issues out as follows:

Focusing: I tried to use the infinity marker on the 17-40 lens but found this to be completely inaccurate. I did end up using liveview and the camera set to “exposure simulation” mode in the menu which gave me enough light to focus with.

Exposure: This was really hit and miss and I remembered that in the article in Advanced Photographer a lot of the examples where shot at f5.6, ISO 200 and then bracketed the shots at -2, 0 and +2 with a base exposure of around 15 seconds, this seemed to work well.

Post-processing: This was the greatest challenge as I now purely use Lightroom 4.1 for my post processing (CS6 is too expensive and long winded). The biggest challenge was that the white balance range in Lightroom is limited to 2000k so to get around this you have to create a custom camera profile using a utility from Adobe called "DNG Profile Editor”. I created myprofile for my Canon 5d mark ii with a Temperature of -100 and a Tint of -50 using this method. Once the raw files where imported to Lightroom I used this camera profile to correct the white balance to something that “looked” more like an Infrared image.

HDR: As I had bracketed the images to see if the exposure was correct and the normal “0” exposure was fine I decided to also use the -2 and +2 exposures to create a higher dynamic range in the final image (this was done in Photomatix), I think this worked well if you look at the detail under the arches of the bridge.

NOTE: Lightroom & Infrared users! – If you shoot Infrared using a unconverted camera and you do your post-processing solely using Lightroom then I’d be really keen for your comments and suggestions of how you do it (please comment below) – thanks!!