Recently I had my old camera converted into infrared - 720 to be exact. I had no idea what to expect other than the infrared photography I’d seen done by some photographer friends was stunning. I love the different perspective and colors that appear seemingly from nowhere.
Some images that I think will look great turn out to be not very special. But I got some tips from one of my National Geographic instructors since she also loves IR. And she was right. One of the tips is that you never know where your focus will be even if you think that it looks right in the camera, IR will trick you, then whammo!…you download it to your computer expecting one thing and you have an entirely different thing. It can be exhilarating and frustrating, but I'm so enamored of what I do get that I'm very forgiving.
The other thing is, it seems that the IR sensor only changes certain ranges of greens. I was expecting ALL foliage to turn whitish blue and it doesn’t. I’m delighted when it does, other times, not so much. In addition, it turns blue skies brown or black. And not a yucky muddy color either, but this rich, deep color that makes the clouds look so gorgeous you can't stop looking at them. A lot of people turn their IR images into black and white versions, but I like them the way they are - straight out of the camera.
So, my advice to anyone wanting to get into IR is, don’t get all serious, because it will lead to frustration and ultimately you will end up hating IR. Just play and let things happen. You won’t be sorry. It’s a whole other way to express your art and you will be amazed at some of the stuff you turn out.
One other side note…if you have an old camera that you want to convert to IR, choose the company wisely. Do your research. I didn’t because I was so excited to have it done and I paid the price - literally and figuratively. Don’t fall for a slick looking website and a fast-talking rep like I did. I’m not mentioning any names, but suffice it to say the company’s initials are LP. Stay as far away from them as possible. REALLY bad news. If anything goes wrong, they will try to blame it on you when it’s really their fault. And it doesn't stop there. Fair warning.
I used Kolari Vision and they were fantastic! I recommend them highly. I dealt with Ilija and he kept me informed every step of the way. It was an awesome experience to actually deal with someone who knows what they’re doing and what they're talking about. Phew! That was a long side note.
Let's just say that if you let your inner child come out to play when you’re out with your IR camera, you will never be sorry. It’s way fun and like I said…exhilarating.
Until next time…