Infrared Filter in Ireland

I had the pleasure of using the Singh-Ray Filter 830 Infrared Filter during my recent photo tour to Ireland.  It was great to get to play with the filter and use it in a variety of settings.

(Please see my previous posts on Singh-Ray Infrared Filters.  Canon users need to use the 830.  Nikon users can use either but Canon cameras need the 830.)

All the images below are 240 second exposures, ISO 400-800, and f/stop of f/9 to f/22.  In my experimentation, I’ve learned that you start with one exposure as above.  Take the photo and then check the histogram.  More exposure is needed if the histogram doesn’t hit the right side.  Less exposure is needed if the histogram spikes up the right side.  Be prepared for some trial and error.

Carrickahowley Castle KAC2738
Infrared filter, of Grace O’Malley’s Castle; Carrickahowley Castle;  County Mayo, Ireland.  240 second, f/9, ISO 800.

In

Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic Coast, Achill Island, County Mayo, Ireland
Achill Island, County Mayo, Ireland.  Atlantic coast.   Exposure as above.
Infrared Ireland KAC0899
Murrisk Abbey in County Mayo, Ireland.  One of my favorite images from the trip.  The green trees are white as snow.  Same exposure as above.

 

Infrared Ireland KAC0900
Famine Memorial, County Mayo, Ireland.  The ship seems to be sailing off into a bleak and snowy environment.  Same exposure as above.

Please read my previous posts on using this filter.  It is a great tool and could be just what you need to add a bit of creativity to your photography.

Singh-Ray Infrared filters.

High ISO Is Amazing

At sunset in July we were cruising down the Rio Piquiri in the Pantanal of Brazil.  Junior, the boat driver, killed the motor and pointed to a pair of jaguars sitting on the riverbank.

Jaguar, Pantanal, Matto Grosso, Brazil, juvenile, males
Jaguar photographed at 51,200 ISO with the aid of a flashlight.  Canon 1Dx, f/8, 1/160th shutter speed.

There were 10 people in the boat and all were squirming to get their cameras and find the jaguars. The boat was bobbing in the water.  There was a lot of movement to try to photograph something after sunset.

I pushed the ISO button on my camera and rolled the dial all the way to 51,200.   I could only get a 50th of a second shutter speed.  No way the photos were going to work with a shutter speed like that!

Raul, our guide, had been bragging about this high-powered flashlight that he’d received as a gift from a previous guest.  His little flashlight was nearly a spotlight.

“Raul, point that flashlight at the jaguars!” I yelled.  It was magic! The light was enough light to give us shutter speeds in the 1/160th or 1/200th of a second range.

A modern high-power flashlight and modern cameras with high ISO gave us the ability to photograph a jaguar in the dark.  I love it!

 

Infrared Filters From Singh-Ray Filters

I love infrared photos but somehow I never seemed to get around to having an old camera converted to infrared.  So earlier this year I got an email ad from Singh-Ray Filters advertising their infrared filter.  My hand grabbed my computer mouse without my will and order the filter.  Before I knew it, Singh-Ray’s IR 690 filter was heading to my doorstep.

Glenwood cemetery infrared KAC9586before_1
Photo out of the camera with IR 690 filter

The filter arrived, I read some articles online, and then went out to give it a try.  The photos came out RED.  Yep, they were red but they were supposed to be red.

The articles I read said that the photos out of the camera would be red.  I was then supposed to process with method #1, method #2, or method #3 to get an infrared image.

I tried all the methods and simply had a black-and-white image.  No snowy-white grass or grass that look so great in infrared photos.  I could never get anything that even remotely looked like infrared.

Glenwood cemetery infrared KAC9586after
The above photo processed is just a black-and-white photo.

Out of frustration, I sent an email to the folks at Singh-Ray Filters.  I got an immediate response and they put me in touch with one of their experts.  That man and I exchanged photos and emails for the next two weeks.  I shot photos with the filter, processed them per his instructions, but nothing worked.  He paid for me to ship my filter to him so he could use it on his camera.

In the end, we found that my Canon 5D Mark IV and my Canon Rebel need a Singh-Ray 830 Infrared filter.  The IR 690 filter only yields a black-and-white image after processing.

Mystery solved.  Singh-Ray Filters immediately shipped me an 830 Infrared Filter and issued a credit for my 690 IR filter once they received it.

Glenwood Cemetery KAC5888_1
Processed images using the 830 Infrared Filter from Singh-Ray Filters.  Notice the white tree leaves.
Glenwood Cemetery KAC5886_1
Processed images using the 830 Infrared Filter from Singh-Ray Filters.  Notice the white tree leaves in the center and white grass on the ground.

Thanks to the great customer service at Singh-Ray Filters I’m now shooting infrared photos and loving my 830 Infrared filter.

By the way, the IR 690 filter works fine on Nikon camera.  We found this situation only applies to Canon cameras.

Here’s how to take a photo with the 830 Infrared Filter:

  1. Set the camera to the Bulb exposure mode and decide which f/stop you’ll use.
  2. Frame the shot and focus the lens.
  3. Turn off auto-focus on the lens.
  4. Screw the filter on the lens without moving the focus ring.
    1. You can’t see through the IR filters.
  5. With the camera in Bulb
    1. Take the photo with the shutter open for about 4-minute.
    2. Adjust based on the histogram.  A bit less time if the photo is too bright or a bit more time if the photo is too dark.

Here’s my method for processing photos taken with the 830 Infrared Filter:

  1. Open in Adobe Camera Raw or Lightroom
  2. Open Hue Saturation Luminance
    1. Move the red Luminance slider all the way to the right
    2. Move the red Saturation slider all the way to the left
    3. This gets rid of the red cast to the photo
  3. Go back to the Basic Tab
    1. Move the Exposure slider so the histogram hits the right corner
    2. Move the Black slider so the histogram hits the left corner
    3. Add some Contrast
  4. Continue processing to taste

I’ve just begun shooting in infrared and processing those photos.  Stay tuned.  More discoveries in store.

 

Which Polarizer Should I Buy?

I got this question today from Sandra:

Hi Kathy,

I am getting ready to buy some filters and had a few quick questions.  On the Singh-Ray filters, I see there are warming and neutral polarizing filters.  Which one do you recommend?  

Should I use a polarizing filter on both the 10-22mm and 15-85mm lenses?  I read something that indicated not to use it on the 10-22 mm lens.  

If I can use it for both, can I buy one filter and use rings to fit the other lens?  

I have been researching online which means I have seen about 100 different opinions!

Thanks for the info!  

Here’s my answer:

You want the thin Singh-Ray LB polarizing filter.  Buy the 77mm filter.  Then get the step-up ring that goes from 72-77mm.

Your 10-22mm has a 77mm filter size.  Your 15-85mm has a 72mm filter size.  The step-up ring will allow you to use the 77mm polarizer the lens with the 72mm opening.

Get the thin polarizer so the edges don’t show when using the 10-22mm lens.

Enjoy!

 

Which External Flash Should I Buy?

JAH wrote:

I  attended three, I believe,  of your photography classes in 2015 or 2016.  However, even now,  sometimes I feel like I’m still in the pre-beginner phase.  

I’m ready to think about buying and using an external flash.  I have on my to-do list taking one of the Basic Intro Flash classes that you have listed for February 2018. 

The purpose of this email is to ask if you can recommend a flash that is  beginner-friendly, not terribly expensive, and easy-to-use for the technology challenged.  

I read an article that was written in 2013.  That article recommended these five flashes:

  •      Neewer TT560  – (but it’s not an E-TTL)
  •      Canon 270 EX  II  – (probably the more expensive of the five)
  •      Yongnuo  YN-560  II
  •      Precision Design DSLR 300
  •      Neewer  NW680/TT680 (this one is the E-TTL version).

Do you have any thoughts on any of these, or is there another that you might recommend?

My Reply:

Canon 600 Flash KAC3626
Canon 600 flash is top-of-the-line
Canon 430 flash showing ETTL and Zoom settings.
Canon 430 EX II Control Panel  

Get a Canon flash for your Canon camera.  Same with Nikon users should buy Nikon flashes, Pentax should buy Pentax flashes, etc. 

 I worked with the Yongnuo and the Precision recently in class.  The Yongnuo is like working with a “knock-off”.  It looks like a Canon flash or a Nikon flash (both were in class) but it doesn’t feel like a Canon or Nikon.  The head is hard to turn. The buttons on the back are clunky and clumsy.  The flash exposure was erratic and not precise as it would have been with a Canon or Nikon flash. 

The Precision flash was not even wroth considering.  It way over-exposed during most of our classroom exercises.   

I recommend the Canon 430 EX  or Canon 430 EXII.  The 430EX III-RT is loaded with features and a bit  complicated.  It’s about $250.  Look around and see if you can find a 430EX II.  You might be able to find one used for $150.  It’s my favorite and so simple to use. 

You’ll love it for years. 

Take a look at some of my butterfly images on this page All of the butterflies were photographed with a flash but none look like they were flashed.  The flash should be subtle and natural.   In my opinion, you only get that with a good flash.