Back Modifications (4)
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Lonely Tree

A infra red digital experiment photograph, taken in a local urban park, in the early hours of a Sunday morning.
This tree was in a group of trees, bushes, on a slope of a local park that is known as a 'hill'.
Selected it because of its position on the slope, vegetation in the foreground, cloud formation in background.
Some of it is sharp, other parts of the photo are soft, which sometime happens with infra red.
Doing some landscape, nature photos in infra red digital, as an experiment, learn, adapt, explore.

Tags: Wildlife and nature Parkland and gardens

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chase Plus
15 1.9k 481 England
27 Oct 2020 11:12AM
Hi and welcome to the Critique Gallery.
I see you have been here for some time but this looks like your first request for critique.
To offer critique we could do with knowing what particular area you need help with...exposure, composition, camera settings...etc.

As I see this as it is, I am not really seeing an infra red effect, just a very dark image and really soft too.
I did do a simple mod in which I used levels to lighten the whole thing, then lifted the strongest shadows using the Camera Raw filter in Photoshop.
I converted the colour profile to sRGB, which is the one recommended for posting images on ePz and the web in general.
Is that the kind of thing you were hoping to achieve ?
Over to you.
dark_lord Plus
16 2.7k 710 England
27 Oct 2020 12:01PM
Welcome from me too.

It would be useful to know something of your IR technique because as Janet says this doesn't look IR at all. While dark images can be moody, this is all dark grey and it's difficult to make anything out. There's no separation between tones.

Janet's lightened mod does have lighter foliage characteristic of IR. That's why if we know about your processing steps we can suggest different things to try.

The image is soft, and looking at the exif it looks like a mixture of focus issues (f/3.5 means focus is critical and as IR focuses at a different point to visible light it would bebest to shoot at f/8) and possible camera movement (was the camera firmly supported, did you use a remote release, for example).

I think you have a promising subject, you need to make a return visit in combination with a review of capture and post processing techniques which we can try and help with.
mrswoolybill Plus
14 2.4k 2290 United Kingdom
27 Oct 2020 12:19PM
Welcome from me too, it's good to see someone experimenting rather than sticking to the same-old. I'll just add to the above - the softness will be partly down to large aperture, but almost certainly in addition down to the length of the exposure. If there is the slightest breeze, twigs can move an awfully long way in one second.

Exposure was difficult, and this is underexposed. I like dark images, but there's a need for contrast, highlights, in order to reveal detail and convey depth.

My understanding (and I have never actually tried this) is that for night time infrared photography to work there needs to be a certain level of infrared light available, and this is problematic unless you have say street-lights or similar. I suspect that there simply wasn't enough IR to produce the image without a considerably longer exposure - increasing the risk of movement. Janet (chase)'s modification works far better for me, it has the dreamy, slightly surreal IR effect. But IR works so much better on foliage, bare trees don't convey the effect nearly so well.
mrswoolybill Plus
14 2.4k 2290 United Kingdom
27 Oct 2020 12:32PM
Back again, I've added a modification. Here's what I did: added one stop exposure, made a Levels adjustment to boost highlights, did some very gentle dodging on the lower part of the frame (huge brush, dodge tool set to highlights, 3% exposure). Then I removed some untidy twigs top left to enhance the arc of the tree, and added a bit of dark vignetting to balance the top right corner better with top left.

The result is darker than Janet's, less dramatically IR on the grass, I was aiming to keep the night time feel.

As Keith says, it would help if you tell us more about what you did.
dudler Plus
17 1.4k 1739 England
27 Oct 2020 4:45PM
I'm late at the party, but I'll add my welcome, and also note that IR is often quite hard work!

You'll find links to some potentially-useful articles HERE if you're interested. And I wrote an article last year about infrared, both on film and digital.

A significant problem is that the IR filters are almost completely opaque to visible light, so if your camera hasn't been converted (around 350) you will always have long exposures to get a result. Just how long depends on which IR filter you use.

Whatever you do, you need to stop down the lens pretty well (f/8 or f/11) to avoid blur due to the difference between where the lens focusses visible light (which is what the camera's AF system uses) and where the lens brings IR light to a focus. Old-school lenses have a separate IR focus mark, but modern lenses often don't have one (many don't even have a focus scale these days).

It's great fun, so it's worth persisting with it - and if you get really hooked, consider having a camera converted for IR - it involves removing an IR-blocking filter from the front of the sensor, and replacing it with one that blocks most visible light. I've heard of D-i-Y solutions, but it's not a great idea for most people!
Lontano Plus
10 8 2 United Kingdom
27 Oct 2020 11:48PM
I think the image appears dark because of an incorrect profile. Converting it to RGB mode gives a usable profile to work on. Using a series of layers one can adjust certain aspects. I used a Channel Mixer Adjustment layer, a Curves Adjustment layer, a Hue/Saturation Adjustment layer and a Blur Adjustment Layer. I changed the Blending Mode several times on each layer and settled for "Lighten". From what I can remember from my film days, IR films were fairly grainy so I added a little grain.
The idea was to give the image a little glow effect, but it would take a little more work to fully achieve it.

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