Artistic

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There are a couple of ways to shoot infrared images and this is the simplest if not the most efficient. Every digital camera has a filter that is designed to prevent infrared light from hitting your sensor. Infrared light, given the right equipment, is just as visible as the light in our ‘normal’ spectrum, just not to the human eye. However, if you can make your camera see this end of the light spectrum then you can really get some ethereal results. Once your camera sees infrared, leaf-covered trees become a glowing white, blue skies become black and lakes take on the appearance of a deep, dark, tar pit.

These pictures were taken on a Nikon D70 – a camera especially well suited to IR – with a IR filter on the lens. This means that you will be taking a long exposure; most of my images were around the 20-30s mark even in bright sunshine, and then converting your shot to black and white. Don’t forget your tripod. Set your aperture, focus your shot without the filter, switch your lens to manual focus, put on your filter, lengthen the exposure time and don’t forget – check your histogram!

When you take the shot you will see a red/pink image on your screen. To turn it into these magical black & whites you need to do some post-production. Nik Silver Efex 2 is ideally suited to the task. I generally use the the Fine Art filter, followed by just a touch of the ColorEfex Glamour Glow. That combination really brings out the other-wordly aspect of IR photography.

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This piece was originally written for the website 35mmc. If you haven’t visited Hamish’s site yet, do it.

This is a camera that I would guess everyone is familiar with. It’s not a complicated piece of machinery and millions were made in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. Made famous in the UK by various tv commercials, it is simple to use with range focusing, an internal battery powered by the selenium cell around the fixed lens, and a cunning way of preventing you taking pictures when there’s insufficient light. It raises (literally) a red flag and locks the shutter release. It’s not foolproof, however, as I have managed to prove once or twice.

The 5 images were taken during a recent trip to Manhattan. We were visiting a cousin in NJ and I wanted to go to B&H in New York. I considered what camera I should take, I had a Fuji X-E2s, a Nikon F90x with colour film loaded, and my Trip with JCH Street Pan 400 black and white. New York? Black and white. No question. I hadn’t tried this film before but I have a preference for contrasty black and white and had seen other results on Flickr and various Facebook groups. It was a sunny day so it was an easy choice. I’ll be shooting some Ferrania P30 soon and that has a similar feel from what I’ve seen so far.

The roll was developed in Blazinal, which I believe is the trade name used in Canada for Rodinal. Blazinal is, again, a developer that brings out lots of contrast without having to make any adjustments to the standard developing time, so gave me the look I wanted with minimal effort. A win-win. So presented below are 5 of the results of that trip, images of 2017 Manhattan given a classic feel by a 1970’s camera.

Manhattan 2017
Inside the Oculus – JCH Street Pan 400

Manhattan 2017
The Naked Cowboy – JCH Street Pan 400

Manhattan 2017
NYPD – JCH Street Pan 400

Manhattan 2017
The Runner – JCH Street Pan 400

Manhattan 2017
The 9/11 Memorial – JCH Street Pan 400

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