Meteora is a beautiful location in Greece, with monasteries built on a formation of rocks. Its really a unique place which I have visited many times and have literally taken thousands of photos. This weekend, the weather conditions were perfect for infrared images. A sunny day with cloud formations, the best environment for IR images.
I had with me my full infrared gear, the Leica M8 with three infrared filters, the B+W 092,093,099.
The lenses of my choice were the Voigtlander Skopar 21mm f4, Voigtlander super wide Heliar 15mm f4.5, Leica Summarit-M 35mm f/2.5 and Leica Tele-Elmarit 90mm f/2.8. A tripod was used in almost all shots to ensure a sharp and focused image.
Lately, I have started using more often the 093 filter, which will give you a pure IR look (with the cost of losing the option of false color conversion). In many cases, depending on the subject, I prefer this look. Unfortunately, my Voigtlander 15mm in most images will show a hot spot, so I cannot depend on it for flawless images. I will try this filter also on my Skopar 21mm to see how it behaves. The 28mm equivalent of the Skopar (due to the 1.33x crop factor of the M8) is very suitable for landscapes, but there are times where I want a wider lens. Currently, I don’t have the 092 filter for my 15mm to try and see if it works without showing hot spots.
Although the Leica M8 can easily be used handheld with an IR filter, when shooting landscapes, I prefer to use my tripod.This way I can use a smaller aperture to gain depth of field, and of course there is a difference at low shutter speeds when using a tripod. That may not be so evident on the screen, but when printing at 20 inches wide, every single detail counts. Even today, I am still impressed from the ability of this 10 megapixels camera to produce high quality large prints.
As you can see, false color conversion can create some very interesting looking images. The b&w one has the classic IR look, but I also like very much the color one. For this one, I added a Cross Balance effect with Color Efex (Nik Software) in addition to the false color process. The presence of clouds when shooting IR, can really make a difference.
This is one of the rare times I use the 90mm with IR filter. Its more difficult to nail focus with a telephoto, and most of be times it requires taking multiple images (focus bracketing). When on a tripod, its easier for me to do it. I will inspect the images when I get home to find the good one,since the LCD of the M8 makes it really difficult to do it while on the field.
Now, this is the look of the orange 099 IR filter. A very unique look. This is my least used IR filter, since the colors look strange. Sometimes I like the results, like the image above, but usually I will use the 092 or 093. Still, a very interesting filter for experimentation. The Summarit 35mm is a fantastic lens which always gives me superb results. A tack sharp lens, with great flare control, and I highly recommend it.
I really love using the different IR filters with my M8, but I have to admit that most times my favorite combo is the 092 with the Skopar 21mm lens. It has given me my best IR photos and if I had to choose between diffrerent combos, the 21mm/092 would always be my first choice.
The M8 is really a unique camera. Despite its age, it still produces fantastic images, the look of the CCD sensor is great, and the ability to shoot IR is really a great asset. And the black and white conversions I get from the M8 files are still the best I have seen. A truly great camera.
Enjoy the rest of the images.
(c)2013 Konstantinos Besios. All Rights Reserved