Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Infra-red photography

I've recently had my attention drawn to infra-red photography.
Not the most ideal time of year for it but still.

There's a few ways to do such photography, the most expensive way is to buy a specialist camera or have a camera physically modified to remove in-built filters that purposely filter out light from the appropriate end of the spectrum... The red end I guess.
The cheaper method, the method of choice for folks such as myself, is to use a filter, these come in varying strengths, restricting the spectrum of light that can pass through the lens to the cameras sensor. The result of which, in camera, is a black and red photograph of, whatever you should choose to shoot.
For a better explanation here's a wikipedia link...

Some cameras work significantly better than others and, fortunately for me the D50 is fairly good for it.
Most folks convert IR photographs directly into black and white images but, with some jiggery pokery in software to get the desired white balance and colour temperature compensation, you can squeeze a bit of colour here and there. The shades of colour you get as a result can differ as per taste/technique however the effect of infra-red photography is quite consistent.

The effect can result in an image that looks quite alien but not quite unrealistic. At a glance it might seem like the image is a mere colour negative of reality, however the specific focus of infra-red light that is captured has a notable effect.
The most noticable effect is that blue skies tend to be darker whilst green plantlife glow up brightly infront of it. The more sunlight the better and the greener the plants the more drastic the effect,while other surfaces tend to appear relatively consistent with reality (though in duo-tone.)

Here are some images from my first trip out using some cheap filters I nabbed off of amazon, it's worth noting that you can't use the auto-focus and as infra-red is a slightly different frequency you'll have to offset the focus ring slightly to compensate. I did this via trial and error myself so it's difficult to explain it precisely, also expect shutter speeds to be long due to the volume of light being restricted through the lens, so bring a tripod.

Here is another set, from a familiar location, near my place of work a few weeks after the above set.
I'd had a little more practice by this time so I believe the standard of images is a little better myself.
This last image is a panoramic stitch of several portrait photographs.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Photograph of the week #052

"When not scribbling away in a sketch book or dabbling on a Wacom tablet i'm invariably fiddling around with exposure settings on my Nikon D90 trying to capture moments in aesthetically pleasing ways.
So here we have "Photograph of the week" a (mostly) weekly feature showcasing my favourite photo of the week."

Huzzah! Photograph of the week has come full circle(-ish) and is on it's 52nd posting. Today on the 26th of Novemeber 2011 I post the 52nd photograph of the week in a row since the first POTW posted all the way back in 2010 on... *cough* the 6th of September! *cough*

Ironically of course I actually don't have a new photo as such to post this week either. (It's been a busy month and any photos I have taken have been family photos really which are not suitable for wip-tricky.)
Instead, however, I have compiled the past fifty-one photographs into one of my tried and tested "pile-of-photographs" compilation wallpapers for 1920x1020 resolutions, roughly in order going from left to right in rows from top to bottom.

It's interesting, to me, to see how the subjects changed over the year, there's quite a few macros in there, a couple of landscapes, some wildlife, no portraits, a few still-lifes and some experimentation in infra-red at the end. It's quite good to look at, reminds me what I'm capable of, what I've achieved so far and helps give ideas of where/how I should improve or what new things I should try to do next.

So what about those missing weeks eh?
By my calculation, with the exception of the past three weeks, I have missed 12 weeks over the past year but that does not necessarily mean I didn't take any photographs during those periods. I've gone back over my photo-database and discovered a photograph from every week I failed to do an update. They shall be posted below and you can decide for yourself whether I didn't post them because they didn't deserve it(sometimes), because I was too busy(other times) or because I forgot(no comment).
I missed one week in December 2010, January, April, May, June and September and two weeks in February, March and August. The only months I managed a full compliment of weekly updates were in the initial months of September 2010, October 2010, November 2010 and then July 2011.

The next photograph of the week post I make after this one will be the new date that I shall try to get a fluent, unbroken years worth of weekly updates. Until then If you have any requests, ideas, or thoughts on photograph of the week feel free to contact me via the contact page or leave a comment below.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Scribble of the week #010

My sketch books are forever filled with random mind-scrawlings and scribbles that will otherwise never be used for anything or be seen by anyone, because of this I bring you "Scribble of the week".

Scribble of the week is a weekly feature(well, bi-monthly at best at the moment) where i'll be posting a random sketch, scribble, design or element from one of my various sketch books. These will always be unfinished pieces of work and will often, most likely, be very random.

Much like the last "Scribble of the week" this weeks scribble is another character concept. Once again, no heavy concentration on shading or details, a lot of the rough outlines are still present, this is very much an exercise in creativity rather than a project to be finished... Which is handy because I don't have to worry so much about those blasted feet!

This character is a chap called James. The bio-sheet I wrote up to base this character on was quite lengthy but it's not really worth posting so much detail here.
In brief James is meant to be a kind of super-mechanic/engineer/scientist type character. The most noticeable characteristics he has is that he has replaced his rib-cage, internal organs and spinal cord with a mechanical substitute, the substitution requires an exhaust-pipe for an unknown bi-product for an undisclosed internal process, he has also lost and replaced his right arm.

I couldn't decide how he replaced his right arm though, whether it was with a sophisticated bionic arm, a somewhat less-sophisticated mechanical arm or a whole new arm reforged from pure energy. The nice thing about a "pure-energy" arm, I figure, is that you could use the "pure-energy" to power a bionic arm that was built around it, or various other fun devices, so even if I end up preferring the bionic arm I could say there was the energy version underneath it. I did get a bit distracted by the "pure-energy" concept, hence i did a bit of arm anatomy to one side. :)

The character generally is overladen with tools in his many slotted/pocketed toolbelt and he also owns a large mechanically augmented war-hammer that he calls "plan B" because:
"If all else fails, try hitting it with a hammer"