Filters for Full Spectrum Photography, Part I

2009-09-17

Some time ago, I wrote an article about Getting Started with Digital IR Photography. Now I’d like to continue with a discussion of the different filters that can be used with a full spectrum digital camera to achieve various effects. I am going to split this into 2 posts covering: (1) taking normal photographs with a modified camera and some general form-factor considerations, and (2) filters for infrared effects. This is the first post of the pair.

As I mentioned in my previous post, taking visible light photographs with full spectrum-modified DSLR can get tricky. Here’s an example of a photo I took out of my window in San Francisco shortly after obtaining my newly modded camera.

UV-Vis-IR Camera, No Filters

UV-Vis-IR Camera, No Filters

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Getting Started with Digital IR Photography

2009-08-01

Infrared photography has never been easy, but once upon a time it was at least straightforward. You bought a roll of infrared film (typically Kodak High Speed Infrared, variously called HSI or HIE, for black & white or Kodak Ektachrome Infrared, EIR, for color), attached an appropriate filter (deep red, infrared, or yellow), and started taking pictures. Okay, admittedly, it was never really that simple. Your camera had to be sufficiently old-fashioned as to not have an infrared film sensor, the film had to be loaded in absolute darkness, and exposure bracketing was mandatory, giving you at best 12 usable images from a $15-$25 36exp roll. But still, the process was fairly straightforward.

Then, last year, Kodak announced that it was discontinuing its 35mm infrared films. Remaining supplies were snatched up quickly, sometimes being resold for 10x their retail price. (I actually saw a roll of Kodak EIR on eBay for over US$200.) What was an infrared photographer to do? Read more…

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