Infrared images

After testing the Fuji X100 for infrared photography (with mediocre results), it was time to go out with my “real” infrared camera, the Leica M8. There are certain days where the conditions are perfect for IR images. On a bright sunny day, when there are could formations, that’s when IR photos really shine.

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(Leica M8, Summarit 35mm f2.5, B+W 092 infrared filter)

Shooting handheld with the M8 felt just right, since with the Fuji X100 a tripod was required. Shutter speeds between 1/15 and 1/60 (at ISO 320), combined with the lack of a mirror allowed me to produce sharp images handheld. Of course, there were a couple of situations where I should have used my tripod in order to shoot at f8 and f11 (which allows greater Dof, since with IR focus marks are not accurate and my lenses don’t have a IR focus mark).

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(Leica M8, Voigtlander Skopar 21mm f4, B+W 092 infrared filter)

Despite shooting handheld, I have made excellent prints (18 inches wide) from these images. The lack of AA filter on the M8 allows razor sharp images that need little sharpening at process (and sometimes no sharpening at all). That allows very minor post process, and it translates to great quality final images (judging by the look of the prints, there’s room for even more enlargement).

All images except from the first one were shot with the Voigtlander Skopar 21mm lens. About the first image, I was really stunned by the quality and sharpness of the Leica Summarit 35mm. The Summarit series is considered to be the “cheap” line of Leica lenses, but in my humble opinions, they are underestimated. The 35mm is a phenomenal lens and only half a stop slower than the Summicron. It’s a great street and travel lens (47mm equivalent due to the crop factor of the M8), but for landscape work it’s not wide enough, that’s why I don’t use it often for my infrared images.

In this series of images, I tried some different ways in post process for the false color IR photos. By experimenting with the White Balance and adding a Cross Balance effect, I was able to differentiate from the classic “blue sky / yellow foliage” scheme and create images with different colors than my previous color infrareds. There is lot of room for experiments, so I will keep searching !!

Enjoy the rest of the images.

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(c)2012 Konstantinos Besios. All Rights Reserved.

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