Infrared images

Lately, I have found myself to process most of my infrared images at “false color”. The reason is the new addition to my post process sequence, which is Color Balance. This effect gives a more dramatic look to false color IR images, and although some times it seems like over saturated, it’s a look that I like.

The use of the B+W 092 filter is mandatory for false color IR, since neither the 093 or 099 can produce this kind of color. I am waiting for a good sunny day with scattered clouds to use the 093 again, since its been left too long in my filters case. I’ve seen images where the 093 can really “see though haze” and produce clean landscape photos on situations where normal photography would just record haze. So, it’s one of my plans for a future photo trip.

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(Leica M8, Voigtlander Skopar 21mm f/4, B+W 092 filter, panoramic stitch of three images)

Even with a cloud sky, the M8 can see infrared light and produce false color images. I almost always shoot this camera with an infrared filter, although its still a magnificent camera, capable of delivering beautiful images with the sharper look from any other camera I have tried (even the M9).

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(Leica M8, Voigtlander Skopar 21mm f/4, B+W 092 filter)

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(Leica M8, Leica Tele-Elmarit 90mm f/2.8, B+W 092 filter)

The image above was shot with the Leica Tele-Elmarit 90mm f/2.8 lens. I rarely use this lens for infrared, mostly to due to the fact that my majority of infrared photos are shot handheld. The 90mm focal length, makes it very difficult to nail focus on a rangefinder camera when shooting IR. I have to bracket focus in order to achieve a sharp image and the terrible LCD screen of the M8 does not helps evaluating properly an image. So, I consider a tripod to be necessary. On scenes like the above, a longer exposure would lead to blurred leaves due to the wind, so I had to bracket focus to ensure I have sharp leaves.

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(Leica M8, Voigtlander Skopar 21mm f/4, B+W 092 filter)

In scenes with great contrast, converting an image to b&w can create a very dramatic look, whether its a normal or IR photo. When shooting against the sun, the IR filter can create serious flare, so I use my hand as an extra hood to block as many of the direct light as I can. Sometimes it works, sometimes not. My Leica lenses are less prone to this flare, so when I don’t need the wide length of the 21mm, I will prefer either the Elmarit 28 or Summarit 35 lenses.

Enjoy the rest of the images.

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(c)2012 Konstantinos Besios. All rights reserved.

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