Timeline

  • So, at the beginning
    Date: May 1, 2013 Category: Howto

    It all start a few years ago when i saw online some high contrast B&W landscape photographs and wanted to know how they were done.

    After reading a couple of confusing articles, my first attempt at Infrared photography (which is not that hard, if you are also new to it) was to get a cheap piece of dark, supposedly meant for IR, plastic and hold it in front of my DSLR camera (a Nikon D700 SLR), and play with exposures of between 8-30 seconds.

    The results were varied, but encouraging enough to make me want to learn more, but also realise the limitations of using an external filter – namely that it makes handheld IR photography much harder.

    image

  • Image: First shot
    Date: May 5, 2013 Category: Images

    So my first IR photo ūüôā

    Nikon D700, un modified. Plastic lens filter. Neither interesting or good, but the mundane test still makes me smile.

  • Image: Piccadilly Circus
    Date: May 5, 2013 Category: Images

    Second test of the camera at Piccadilly Circus and the first appreciation of how people turn out and the difference strong light makes.

    Modified Nikon J1, 720nm. The main thing however that pleased me was the confirmation that shooting handheld IR is realistic and easy. Hurrah. No more tripods and hanging around. RAW image processed in Apple’s Aperture 3; desaturated and mid-contrast turned up a little.

    All image rights reserved.

  • Image: Boats on Thames 2
    Date: May 20, 2013 Category: Images

    My first real attempt at a decent IR image. Boats on the Thames, at Marble Hill, Richmond.

    Nikon 700 (un modified). Holding the piece of plastic in front of the lens for between 8-20 seconds.

    All image rights reserved.

  • Image: Boats on Thames
    Date: May 21, 2013 Category: Images

    Hoping to hide the blur on the moving boat, I tried to make something out of the original (and failed).

    Nikon D700 (un modified), using lens filter.

    All image rights reserved.

  • Image: Church yard
    Date: June 15, 2013 Category: Images

    My second real attempt (still with the piece of plastic and long exposures) – a church cemetery in North Yorkshire.

  • Spectral Range
    Date: April 2, 2014 Category: Info

    Where IR sits in the spectrum

  • First real IR camera
    Date: May 1, 2014 Category: Info

    With the results being encouraging I started to think about changing to a camera with a modified filter, primarily so I could shoot hand-held and not have all the faff of changing filters and long exposures. Most of my time with family always around is spent grabbing a quick photo snap when I can.

    The fates must have smiled on me, as a fortunately I quickly came across a S/H converted camera for sale. A little, interchangeable lens, Nikon J1 and kit lens, modified with a 720n sensor filter. Not that I cared what the filter was, just that I could afford the camera (about ¬£250 S/H) – it was a start!

    image

  • Image: Hyde Park Hayes
    Date: May 5, 2014 Category: Images

    First pictures with the little modified J1 (720n), Hyde Park Hayes. Test shots when I picked up the camera.

    All image rights reserved.

  • Image: Zurich
    Date: May 15, 2014 Category: Images

    Bits of Zurich.

    Modified Nikon J1, 720n sensor filter; monochrome processed in Photogene (IOS).

    All image rights reserved.

  • Image: Zurich skyline
    Date: May 15, 2014 Category: Images

    Zurich roofs

    Modified Nikon J1 720n sensor filter; monochrome processed.

    All image rights reserved.

  • Image: Marble Hill park
    Date: May 17, 2014 Category: Images

    Marble Hill Park, Richmond (starting to get a overly obsessed with virgin white foliage).

    Modified Nikon J1, 720n sensor filter; monochrome processed in Aperture 3.

    All image rights reserved.

  • Image: HK Office
    Date: May 21, 2014 Category: Images

    Hong Kong office

    Modified Nikon J1, 720n sensor filter; monochrome processed in Aperture3.

    All image rights reserved.

  • Image: Meat IR Style
    Date: May 23, 2014 Category: Images

    Meat IR style!

    Modified Nikon J1, 720n sensor filter; monochrome processed in Aperture3

    All image rights reserved.

  • Image: View from bar Sugar
    Date: May 23, 2014 Category: Images

    Hong Kong view from Bar Sugar.

    Modified Nikon J1, 720n sensor filter; monochrome processed in Aperture3.

    All image rights reserved.

  • Image: Hong Kong island
    Date: May 24, 2014 Category: Images

    View from Hong Kong island.

    Modified Nikon J1, 720n sensor filter.

    All image rights reserved.

  • Image: Opera House
    Date: May 26, 2014 Category: Images

    Sydney’s famous Opera House.

    Modified Nikon J1, 720n sensor filter; monochrome processed.

    All image rights reserved.

  • Image: Hong Kong people and trees
    Date: May 26, 2014 Category: Images

    Hong Kong trees living with the offices,

    Modified Nikon J1, 720n sensor filter; monochrome processes

    All image rights reserved.

  • Image: At the airport
    Date: May 28, 2014 Category: Images

    Melbourne airport

    Modified Nikon J1, 720n sensor filter.

    All rights reserved.

  • Image: Rowing on the Yarra
    Date: May 28, 2014 Category: Images

    Rowing on the Yarra, Melbourne

    Modified Nikon J1, 720n sensor filter; monochrome processed

  • Image: Melbourne
    Date: May 28, 2014 Category: Images

    Melbourne.

    Modified Nikon J1, 720n sensor filter; monochrome processed

    All image rights reserved.

  • Image: Playground parents
    Date: May 30, 2014 Category: Images

    Parents in the playground, Islington. London.

    Modified Nikon J1, 720n sensor filter.

    All image right reserved.

  • Image: Islington
    Date: May 30, 2014 Category: Images

    Islington, London

    Modified Nikon J1, 720n sensor filter; monochrome processed

    All image rights reserved.

  • So what have a learnt so far?
    Date: June 14, 2014 Category: Howto

    So what I have learnt so far…

    1. First off, using a modified camera is so much easier than external filters. Very happy with the portability.

    2. Quite a few people have cameras converted, especially older DSLRs, and then get bored with them – this makes for an excellent S/H market to try and play with IR, with minimal cost.

    3. It is all very light sensitive – the images vary a lot depending on the type and intensity of the light at the time.

    4. Some understanding of post-shot processing RAW images is really helpful, if not essential. (I am using Aperture3 for most of my RAW processing).

    5. There is lots to read and it helps to read the articles.

    6. There are different types of filters; which I did not get at first. Depending on the grade/strength they let in a wider or smaller band of light in. This allows different levels of visible light to be mixed with “near” IR frequencies.

    7. The downside of using a modified camera sensor is that it is for a fixed frequency band. This makes any modified camera a one trick pony, unless you want to use a wide band and additional external lens filters (which I don’t, as I want to keep it ‘snap’ simple).

    8. I need to upgrade my camera – bracketing (not supported on the little J1) would be really useful. A bigger sensor would also be nice.

    9. Time for some colour in my IR journey. I have got too obsessed with virgin snow scenes.

    10. It can produce great shots on the most boring dull days – hurrah.

    11. This is cool and not that hard, once a bit of knowledge and play is indulged.

  • Modification choices
    Date: June 22, 2014 Category: Howto
  • Image: Ghost train
    Date: June 28, 2014 Category: Images

    Ghost Train at St Margrets.

    Really pleased with this experimental shot – but it also started a chain of thought on HDR IR, and the need to replace the little J1 with its limited functionality.

    Modified Nikon J1, 720n sensor filter. 3 layered shots, processed in Aperture 3.

    All rights reserved.

  • Camera No. 2
    Date: July 1, 2014 Category: Info

    Once again the fates smile on me Рpicked up an old Olympus e-PL1, already converted with a 720n sensor filter. An old model camera, but still a functional step up from the little Nikon J1; plus the lenses second-hand are plentiful and relatively inexpensive. 

    image

  • Image: At the beach
    Date: July 2, 2014 Category: Images

    Shoreham beach.

    Modified Nikon J1, 720n sensor filter; monochrome processed in Aperture3

    All image rights reserved.

  • Image: Girl at house
    Date: July 6, 2014 Category: Images

    Beware, people turn our as albino alien vampires.

    Modified Olympus e-PL1, 720 filter sensor.

    copyright reserved.

  • Image: The Wall
    Date: July 8, 2014 Category: Images

    Remnants of the Berlin Wall

    Modified Olympus e-PL1, 720 filter sensor.

    copyright reserved.

  • Image: Berlin
    Date: July 9, 2014 Category: Images

    General shots of Berlin, including the Cathedral.

    Modified Olympus e-PL1, 720 filter sensor.

    copyright reserved.

  • Image: Holocaust Memorial
    Date: July 9, 2014 Category: Images

    The Holocaust Memorial, Berlin.

    Modified Olympus e-PL1, 720 filter sensor. Un colour-swapped, desaturated.

    copyright reserved.

  • Image: Marien Kirche
    Date: July 9, 2014 Category: Images

    Boy walking carefully to the Marien Kirche Chruch, Berlin

    Modified Olympus e-PL1, 720 filter sensor.

    copyright reserved.

  • Image: TV tower
    Date: July 9, 2014 Category: Images

    The iconic Berlin TV Tower.

    Modified Olympus e-PL1, 720 filter sensor.

    copyright reserved.

  • Image: Park Statue
    Date: July 10, 2014 Category: Images

    Finally some real IR colour. Berlin park statue.

    Modified Olympus e-PL1, 720 filter sensor.

    copyright reserved.

  • Image: Richmond upon Thames
    Date: July 13, 2014 Category: Images

    Richmond upon Thames.

    I am now very pleased that I am getting the B&W contrast that I first saw and started me on this quest. A happy snapper.

    Modified Olympus e-PL1, 720 filter sensor. 3 shot HDR images, monochrome processed in Aperture3.

    copyright reserved.

  • Image: Hong Kong consumers
    Date: July 22, 2014 Category: Images

    Commuters in Hong Kong

    Modified Olympus e-PL1, 720 filter sensor. 3 shot HDR.

    copyright reserved.

  • Image: Star Ferry
    Date: July 23, 2014 Category: Images

    The iconic Star ferry heads into Hong Kong Island. I am starting to like more the bronzing of the 720n filter and letting some colour creep in.

    Modified Olympus e-PL1, 720 filter sensor.

    All image rights reserved.

  • Image: Hong Kong life
    Date: July 23, 2014 Category: Images

    People in Hong Kong.

    Modified Olympus e-PL1, 720 filter sensor.

    copyright reserved.

  • Image: Old Man’s Whiskers
    Date: July 23, 2014 Category: Images

    Old man’s whiskers, Hong Kong.

    Olympus e-PL1, 720nm modification. Not colour-swapped.

    All image rights reserved.

  • Image: Kowloon from the ICC
    Date: July 25, 2014 Category: Images

    Views of Kowloon, Hong Kong, from the ICC tower.

    Modified Olympus e-PL1, 720 filter sensor.

    copyright reserved.

  • Image: Bleached day
    Date: July 26, 2014 Category: Images

    Bleached day in the harbour, Hong Kong.

    Modified Olympus e-PL1, 720 filter sensor.

    copyright reserved.

  • Image: Flying into Syndey
    Date: July 28, 2014 Category: Images

    Flying into Sydney.

    Modified Olympus e-PL1, 720 filter sensor.

    copyright reserved.

  • Image: Driving into CBD
    Date: July 29, 2014 Category: Images

    Driving into CBD, Sydney.

    Modified Olympus e-PL1, 720 filter sensor.

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  • Image: Sydney icons
    Date: July 29, 2014 Category: Images

    The icons of the bay, Sydney.

    Modified Olympus e-PL1, 720 filter sensor.

    copyright reserved.

  • Good video on camera sensor filters
    Date: July 31, 2014 Category: Howto

    A good video on sensor filter options and dealign with colour.

    http://www.lifepixel.com/infrared-filters-choices

  • Image: Sydney Bay
    Date: August 1, 2014 Category: Images

    Sydney bay.

    Modified Olympus e-PL1, 720 filter sensor.

    copyright reserved.

  • Image: Wollongong
    Date: August 2, 2014 Category: Images

    Wollongong city beach. Rather use colour channel mixing, attempted to colour change using Aperture (less successfully).

    Modified Olympus e-PL1, 720 filter sensor.

    copyright reserved.

  • Image: Garrie Beach
    Date: August 2, 2014 Category: Images

    Garrie Beach, NSW Royal National Park.

    Modified Olympus e-PL1, 720 filter sensor.

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  • Image: Chinese Gardens
    Date: August 5, 2014 Category: Images

    The Chinese Gardens, Sydney.

    Modified Olympus e-PL1, 720 filter sensor.

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  • Image: Darling Harbour
    Date: August 7, 2014 Category: Images

    Darling Harbour, Sydney (with sky writing).

    Modified Olympus e-PL1, 720 filter sensor.

    copyright reserved.

  • Image: Blue Mountains 1
    Date: August 8, 2014 Category: Images

    Blue mountains.

    Modified Olympus e-PL1, 720 filter sensor.

    copyright reserved.

  • Image: Blue Mountains 2
    Date: August 8, 2014 Category: Images

    Blue Mountains, NSW. So I found clour channel swapping today, hurrah. Used GIMP and the component, colour mixing function. Easy and effective.

    Modified Olympus e-PL1, 720 filter sensor.

    copyright reserved.

  • Image: Surrey Hills sunset
    Date: August 8, 2014 Category: Images

    Strange apocalyptic sunset over Surry Hills, Sydney. Again, I liked the standard 720n bronzing, so left it.

    Modified Olympus e-PL1, 720 filter sensor.

    copyright reserved.

  • Image: Melbourne
    Date: August 9, 2014 Category: Images

    Melbourne, from the Eureka.

  • Image: View from Binna Burrag
    Date: August 16, 2014 Category: Images

    View from Binna Burra. Thought I would put up two versions, one monochrome processed and the other colour-swapped.

    Modified Olympus e-PL1, 720 filter sensor.

    copyright reserved.

  • Image: Binna Burra
    Date: August 16, 2014 Category: Images

    Morning over Binna Burra, Queensland.

    Modified Olympus e-PL1, 720 filter sensor.

    copyright reserved.

  • Image: Noosa Heads Beach
    Date: August 18, 2014 Category: Images

    Shade on he beach at Noosa.

    Modified Olympus e-PL1, 720 filter sensor. No colour swapping.

    copyright reserved.

  • Image: Boys on the beach
    Date: August 18, 2014 Category: Images

    My boys at Noosa Heads.

    Modified Olympus e-PL1, 720 filter sensor.

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  • Image: Rainforest
    Date: August 19, 2014 Category: Images

    In the rainforest, Fraser Island.

    Modified Olympus e-PL1, 720 sensor filter.

    copyright reserved.

  • Image: Lake Mackenzie
    Date: August 19, 2014 Category: Images

    Lake Mackenzie, colour channel mixed.

    Modified Olympus e-PL1, 720 sensor filter.

    copyright reserved.

  • Image: Lake Mackenzie 2
    Date: August 19, 2014 Category: Images

    Lake Mackenzie, Fraser Island

    Modified Olympus e-PL1, 720 filter sensor.

    copyright reserved.

  • Image: Wreck SS Maheno
    Date: August 20, 2014 Category: Images

    Wreck of the SS Maheno.

  • Image: Wreck SS Maheno II
    Date: August 20, 2014 Category: Images

    The wreck of the SS Maheno.

    Modified Olympus e-PL1, 720 sensor filter.

    copyright reserved.

  • Image: Central Station creek
    Date: August 20, 2014 Category: Images

    Central Station Creek, Fraser Island.

    Modified Olympus e-PL1, 720 sensor filter.

    copyright reserved.

  • Image: Fallen trees
    Date: August 21, 2014 Category: Images

    Fallen trees at the lake, Fraser Island.

    Modified Olympus e-PL1, 720 sensor filter.

    copyright reserved.

  • Image: Indian Head
    Date: August 21, 2014 Category: Images

    Views from Indian Head, Fraser Island.

    Modified Olympus e-PL1, 720 sensor filter.

    copyright reserved.

  • Using Colour Swapping/Mixing with GIMP
    Date: August 23, 2014 Category: Howto

    How to colour mix/swap in GIMP (opensource image editing).

    Using GIMP Colour Channel Mixer

    With my simple 720n images, that I want to add in greater colour (as opposed to desaturate for a monochrome image) all I do is swap the red and blue channels.

    Get GIMP here: http://www.gimp.org/

  • Image: Landy Disco
    Date: August 23, 2014 Category: Images

    Our trusted ‚ÄúLandy Disco‚ÄĚ on Seventy Five Mile beach.

    Modified Olympus e-PL1, 720 sensor filter.

    copyright reserved.

  • Image: Hervey Bay
    Date: August 23, 2014 Category: Images

    Hervey Bay jetty.

    Modified Olympus e-PL1, 720 sensor filter.

    copyright reserved.

  • Image: Hervey Bay Beach
    Date: August 23, 2014 Category: Images

    Hervey Bay, Australia.

    Modified Olympus e-PL1, 720n sensor filter.

    copyright reserved.

  • New camera
    Date: August 30, 2014 Category: Info

    Hurrah, found another converted M4/3rds camera second-hand – an old model Olympus e-PL2, this time modified with a 590n sensor filter.

    Want to try more colour and mixing visible light than the 720n camera I have now; plus am hoping that portraits are less albino alien vampires (but still keeping an little of the ‚Äėstrange‚Äô).

  • First play with 590nm
    Date: August 30, 2014 Category: Howto

    First test of the newly acquired e-PL2, with a 590n sensor filter. Image has just been colour swapped (using GIMP, mixing the usual red and blue channels)

    An overcast day, but still get the colour levels introduced. This is going to be fun.

  • Image: Me
    Date: August 30, 2014 Category: Images

    People at 590n, no adjustment. The T-shirt is black in visible light.

  • 590nm comparison
    Date: August 30, 2014 Category: Howto

    A comparison of 590n Infrared, non channel mixed (straight out of the camera) on the left and the swapped version (just red and blue swapped) to get the blue sky, on the right.

  • Image: Richmond and river boats
    Date: August 30, 2014 Category: Images

    First real play with 590n, Richmond upon Thames today.

    Modified Olympus e-PL2 520n sensor filter. Colour swapped R<>B and a little desaturation to toe down the bright yellow.

    Copyright reserved.

  • Image: Zurich
    Date: September 1, 2014 Category: Images

    The factory railroad round the back of the Zurich office.

    Modified Olympus e-PL2, 590n sensor filter. 3 shot HDR (small tone mapping). Colour swapped R<>B.

    Copyright reserved.

  • InfraredPhoto.eu – Another good site with information and examples
    Date: September 12, 2014 Category: Info
  • Channel Swapping
    Date: September 12, 2014 Category: Howto

    Another useful and interesting article on channel swapping.

    http://www.crhfoto.co.uk/crh/digital%20infra-red/digital-ir-p2.htm

  • Article: Experiments with digital IR
    Date: September 12, 2014 Category: Info
  • Image: Thams and Oxo Tower
    Date: September 12, 2014 Category: Images

    This morning walking over Waterloo bridge.

    Modified Olympus e-PL2, @590n. Colour swapped and desaturated.

    Copyright reserved.

  • Lens filters
    Date: September 18, 2014 Category: Info

    Useful list of external IR filters, from http://dpanswers.com/content/irphoto.php

    I am considering a full-spectrum modification and was looking for a list (so can cost) of external filters needed, which to me would be:

    • UV pass-through (UV only)
    • UV & IR Cut (normal light only)
    • 600n (colour IR)
    • 720n (colour/B&W IR)

     

  • 590nm and 850nm
    Date: September 23, 2014 Category: Howto

    Two test shots taken with the same camera, a modified Olympus e-PL2 with a 590nm sensor filter. The one on the left is straight from the camera (just a std UV filter) and the one on the right is with an additional 850nm lens filter.

    Left is f/5.6 1/500sec, Right (with the 850 filter) is f/5.6 1/160sec Рjust under 2stops lost with the 850 filter.

  • B&W 850nm and desaturation
    Date: September 23, 2014 Category: Howto

    Same shots now processed as B&W (simple desaturation). It shows the greater contrast 850nm produces with the sky (the image on the right), compared to 590nm (the left). However, it also has less detail on the tree.

  • Colour Swapping 850nm
    Date: September 23, 2014 Category: Howto

    Finally basic Red<>Blue colour swapped – which is a bit pointless with 850nm, as you can see.

  • Image: Southbank Offices
    Date: September 26, 2014 Category: Images

    Workers at the Southbank, London

    Modified Olympus e-PL2 590nm sensor filter.

    All copyright reserved.

  • Image: HMS Belfast
    Date: September 26, 2014 Category: Images

    HMS Belfast and The City, London.

    Modified e-PL2 590nm sensor filter. Colour swapped R<>B and desaturated.

    All rights reserved.

  • Image: Richmond an cotton sky
    Date: September 27, 2014 Category: Images

    Richmond this afternoon. Top image is straight 590nm, channel swapped. The bottom image is 850nm.

    Modified Olympus e-PL2 590 sensor filter; plus an 850nm lens filter for the B&W image.

    All rights reserved

  • Image: Richmond Boats
    Date: September 27, 2014 Category: Images

    Row boats at Richmond.

    Modified Olympus e-PL2, 590nm sensor filter. HDR processed (x3 shots +/-1EV). Colour swapped.

    All rights reserved.

  • Image: Richmond Afternoon
    Date: September 27, 2014 Category: Images

    Another of Richmond this afternoon.

    590nm, colour swapped.

    All image rights reserved.

  • Colour: Hue, Saturation, Range, Luminocity
    Date: September 28, 2014 Category: Howto

    Shooting more at 590nm has meant greater range of colour to process and play with. Getting to understand what is ‚Äúcolour‚ÄĚ has been extremely helpful (and was not something I really understood before).¬†Adjusting the individual colours, as part of the workflow, is where understanding the relationship of hue, luminosity, saturation really comes in.¬†There are a few good articles on the web on this, but not many. I will post ones up as I find them.

    http://www.vanseodesign.com/web-design/hue-saturation-and-lightness/

    http://www.tomjewett.com/colors/hsb.html

  • Workflow update
    Date: September 28, 2014 Category: Howto

    I am now starting to standardise my post-shot workflow, which seems to be working well. I don’t understand colour swapping impact enough yet to really tune that step, but thats next.

    My usual processing, once the RAW image is out of camera and on the computer is as follows. Apple’s Aperture3 runs the main process, only ding a few critical external steps, which then come back into Aperture.

    1. Aperture3 –¬†Set White Balance
    2. Photomatix –¬†Make the HDR composite (if an option)
    3. GIMP – Basic Colour Swap – usually just R<>B
    4. Aperture3 –¬†Cropping/Straightening
    5. Aperture3 –¬†Adjusting composite exposure
    6. Aperture3 –¬†Adjusting 1 to 3 individual colours (‚Äėhue‚ÄĚ): saturating/desaturating, moving the hue, increasing/decreasing the¬†luminosity¬†and range.
    7. Aperture3 –¬†Final tweak to contrast, mid-contrast etc.
  • Image: Walking over Waterloo bridge
    Date: October 3, 2014 Category: Images

    Walking over Waterloo bridge this morning.

    Modified e-PL2 @720nm.

  • Image: Anselm Kiefer
    Date: October 7, 2014 Category: Images

    The Anselm Kiefer exhibition at the Royal Academy, London.

    Modified Olympus e-PL2 590nm sensor filter, 720nm lens filter. Desaturated colour image.

    All rights reserved.

  • Denoise of HDR
    Date: October 7, 2014 Category: Howto

    Using HDR, even lightly, has proven good with many IR images, pushing the contrast and light range; however, the process obviously introduces noise in to the digital image. One solution is software to denoise. I have been playing with Topaz denoise and I am very impressed so far. Easy to get significant improvement.

    http://www.topazlabs.com/denoise

  • Image: Anselm Kiefer 2
    Date: October 7, 2014 Category: Images

    My reworking of the earlier image. 3x HDR composite +/-1EV, colour swapped R<>B, denoised (Topaz DeNoise), finally tweaked in Aperture.

    All rights reserved.

  • Image: Thames Barge
    Date: October 7, 2014 Category: Images

    Barge on the Thames today.

    Modified Olympus e-PL2 590nm + 720nm lens filter. 3 shot HDR +/-1EV. deniosed and desaturated.

    All rights reserved.

  • New camera
    Date: October 8, 2014 Category: Info

    New toy! Modified Camera number four, this time a loner. A Panasonic G2 modified for full spectrum (UV, visible and IR). Interested to see what I can get from UV and IR; plus how, with an external filter, it performs as a normal visible light camera.

    The little Nikon J1, unit number one, has now gone to a good home and the Olympus e-PL1 @720nm will go up for sale shortly.

  • Converting DSLRs
    Date: October 8, 2014 Category: Howto

    It has certainly been very cost effective to pick up second-hand cameras already converted; plus fun scouring Ebay, Guntree and various shops for them.
    I have opted for Micro 4/3rds format cameras, but there are lots of options out there. While looking, I have come across lots of older DSLRs converted, which as full-spectrum or lower frequencies, like 590nm, 660nm etc. is perplexing. What these cameras don’t have, as they are older tech, is LiveView displays; which I would view as essential if you are going to use additional external lens filters.
    I would happily use an older DSLR sensor modified for higher frequencies like 720nm and 850nm, where you are probably not going to use external lens filters; otherwise, I see mirrorless cameras having a distinct advantage when converted.

  • Filters Isolating and isolating spectrum
    Date: October 8, 2014 Category: Howto

    I put together this simplified and crude diagram (it does not take into account transmissions percentages) to try and show the combinations of filters to be used with the  full spectrum camera; including how to isolate UV, visible light and various IR frequencies.

  • Filters, filters, filters
    Date: October 9, 2014 Category: Howto

    Not all filters are the same is the big conclusion I have come to. A pretty easy to make, downright obvious, statement; but to explain…

    First off, having played with three cameras all able to shoot at 720nm it has been very obvious straight off that the images are subtly, but noticeably, different. The little J1 always produced a sharper contrast. This could be down to the difference in sensors, but I suspect also was due to the filter in front of it.

    Secondly, when you look at transmission charts for the filters you can see marked characteristic differences between how they perform, on levels of transmission and where they pass or block various frequencies. Like everything it seems in the magical world of invisible light, and visible, there are lots of ‚Äėgrey areas‚Äô.

    Finally, cost ! Specific IR frequencies filters: 590nm, 720nm etc are relatively inexpensive; however, UV+IR pass, UV+IR cut filters etc., especially when you need as much UV as possible and clean cut off for visible light, are more than you can pay for the modified camera. Beware…

  • Image: Marlow
    Date: October 10, 2014 Category: Images

    Marlow (England) this morning.

    Modified Olympus e-PL2 590nm sensor, 720nm lens filter. Composite 3x image HDR (Nik HDR), Colour Swapped (GIMP). Lens corrected (PTlens). Slight saturation and desaturation tweaking (Aperture).

    All rights reserved.

  • Image: Marlow 2
    Date: October 10, 2014 Category: Images

    First shot with the full spectrum G2, using a 720nm lens filter.

    All rights reserved

  • Image: Barcelona, test of iPad Processing
    Date: October 14, 2014 Category: Images

    Travelling with just the camera (Olympus e-PL2 @590nm) and an iPad and wanted to see what I can do post process with an IPad. The answer is quite a bit, including colour swapping (in PhotoForge2), however I have not found an app to do dropper/pipet WB. Any recommendations are welcome ?

    All rights reserved.

  • Image: Barcelona II
    Date: October 14, 2014 Category: Images

    Another of Barcelona, using the iPad.

    Olympus e-PL2 @590nm, colour swapped in PhotoForge2 (IOS).
    All rights reserved.

  • Full Spectrum for normal visible photography ?
    Date: October 18, 2014 Category: Howto

    One of the big questions I had was: can full-spectrum (or 2-spectrum), with the appropriate filter, also operate as a normal visible light camera? Having played with a number of external UV&IR Cut filters (on the lens), the answer I have is ‚Äúyes‚ÄĚ, a full-spectrum camera can operate normally again. It does, however, depend on the quality of the UV&IR Cut filter. I have three, two relatively cheaper ones and a Hoya. Constantly resetting the white-balance, is the faustian bargain, but it works well (I am happy with the colour in the above shot) and noticeably better with the Hoya.

    On the basis of these tests, if I had to travel with just one camera with me on my travels (occasionally this is the case), I would be happy to use it as an interchangeable normal and an IR camera.

    Next question: is the extra costs of being able to play with near-UV also worth it, given the relatively expensive cost of the external filters needed to isolate the spectrum ?

    Camera used: Modified full-spectrum Panasonic G2, with Hoya UV&IR cut filter.

    http://www.hoyafilter.com/hoya/products/generalfilters/uvircut/

    All image rights reserved.

  • Image: St Margret’s Station
    Date: October 21, 2014 Category: Images

    Experimenting with a 7.5mm fisheye.

    Modified Olympus e-PL2 @590nm. Colour swapped R<>B. Tweaked in Aperture 3.

    All image rights reserved.

  • Image: Eal Pie Island, Twickenham
    Date: October 25, 2014 Category: Images

    Out and about this sunny winter’s afternoon in Twickenham.

    Full-spectrum Panasonic G2 with 720nm lens filter. Colour swapped R<>B. Colour saturation and sharpened in Aperture3.

    All image rights reserved.

     

  • Comparison of colour-swapped (and not)
    Date: October 25, 2014 Category: Howto

    Comparison with the original unWhiteBalanced, unColourSwapped and unTweaked.

    All image rights reserved.

  • Workflow update
    Date: October 25, 2014 Category: Howto
    Been playing with a new process workflow, here goes:
    1. Import RAW file into Aperture3
    2. White balance set – Aperture3
    3. Correct lens pincushion or barrel distortion РPTLens plugin
    4. Crop & Align – Aperture3
    5. (if used) HDR composite РPhotomatix or Nik HDR plug-in
    6. Colour Swap – Gimp (as external editor from Aperture)
    7. Noise reduction – Nik Dfine or Topaz Denoise
    8. Pre-sharpening –¬†Nik Sharpener Pro
    9. Exposure/highlights tweaking – Aperture3
    10. Colouring tweaking – Aperture3 or Topaz Restyle
    11. Output Sharpening – Nik Sharpener Pro

    It looks a lot, however, it runs smoothly and does not take much time for the shots worth spending time on.

    I like the Topaz toolset, however, collectively it is expensive. The Nik Toolset (Google) is, with my limited budget, more palatable. I do, however, really like the Topaz ReStyle tool for colouring and and happy to add that to the plug-in set, in addition to Nik’s ColorEfex.

    https://www.apple.com/uk/aperture/

    http://www.topazlabs.com/

    https://www.google.com/nikcollection/

    http://www.hdrsoft.com/

  • Image: Teddington Lock
    Date: October 26, 2014 Category: Images

    Teddington Lock.

    Full spectrum Panasonic G2, 850nm lens filter. 3 shot HDR composites.

    All image rights reserved.

  • Comparison of full-spectrum filters
    Date: October 28, 2014 Category: Howto

    More playing with Full Spectrum (UV+Vis+IR).

    All images are white-balanced using the same grey point. Wanted to see the impact of including, and excluding, UV.

    All image rights reserved.

  • Testing the UG1
    Date: October 28, 2014 Category: Howto

    The first thing that stands out to me is how easy it is the take the UG1 image, UV+IR only (cutting out 400-700nm), and slide the violet of the sky into a nice blue, but still keep the white of the building and foliage). I this was a straight 720nm image, colour sapping the R<>B would have also tinted the building blue. Using UV and IR negates the need for colour swapping, which is a rather blunt instrument, and helps on the likes of buildings and general non sky or foliage.

  • Image: Ravenscourt Park
    Date: October 28, 2014 Category: Images

    Managed to get some time this afternoon to play with the UV+IR pass filter Рapprox UV up to 400nm and IR from 700nm; cutting visible light from 400 o 700nm out.

    Really like how it gives blue skies (with a little hue sliding form violet) and white foliage, without having to unsubtle colour swap and change all the image to a shade of blue. Allows the blacks and greys to be that and not a shade of blue. Like it.

    Full-spectrum Panasonic G2 with a Schott UG1 filter.

    All image rights reserved.

  • More on Schott filters
    Date: October 29, 2014 Category: Info

    ug-1

    Schott Filters

    Nice ! Schott make data available for their filters, including the frequency graphs which are helpful in giving an indication of how colour will be influenced.

    Schott Downloads

    Time to see how a BG3 compares to a UG1. Just wish I could find a good local source for made filters with the glass.

  • Comparison of dual-band filters
    Date: October 29, 2014 Category: Howto

    A comparison of four different Schott glass types (used in bandpass filters), which combine UV and IR, and exclude Visible.

    The UG11 looks very similar to the UG1 I already have (results blow); however, the UG5 and BG3 look to allow in greater levels of UV and a small amount of visible – potentially more blue and some green coming in.

    I just need to find a source for these types of filters as they are hard to get hold of.

  • Image: Out in the woods
    Date: October 30, 2014 Category: Images

    Out in the woods today.

    Full-spectrum modified Panasonic G2, with 660nm lens filter.

    All rights reserved.

  • Hot spot lenses
    Date: October 30, 2014 Category: Howto

    A very helpful list of lenses that suffer, and don’t suffer, hotspot issues.

    http://www.kolarivision.com/lenshotspot.html

    Also a useful post on the www.mu-43.com site, for those like me using M43 lenses with their IR (original post link).

    I can testify to the validity of the Oly 14-42mm II R, 9-18mm and the Panasonic 14-42. I have not seen it on my Oly 17mm f2.8, but I suspect that is because I have been using it wide open, rather than shut down Рothers report it having issues at f12 and above. 

    Good Performers

    Olympus 12mm f/2
    Olympus 60mm f/2.8 Macro (hotspot @ f/9)
    Olympus 9-18mm f/4-5.6 
    Olympus 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 ED
    Olympus 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 II R
    Olympus 40-150mm f/4-5.6
    Panasonic 8 mm f/3.5 (hotspot @ f/10)
    Panasonic 14 mm f/2.5
    Panasonic Leica 45mm f/2.8 Macro
    Panasonic 7-14mm f/4 (hotspot @ f/9)
    Panasonic 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6
    Panasonic 14-45mm f/3.5-5.6
    Panasonic X 45-175mm f/4-5.6

    Poor Performers

    Olympus 12-50mm f/3.5-6.3
    Olympus 17mm f/2.8
    Olympus 45mm f/1.8
    Olympus 75mm f/1.8 (low contrast & hotspot @ f/4.5)
    Panasonic 14-140mm f/4-5.8 (hotspots from 14-25mm)
    Panasonic 45-200mm f/4-5.6 (low contrast)
    Panasonic Leica 25mm f/1.4 (hotspot @ f/5)
    SLR Magic Hyper Prime 12mm f/1.6
    Voigtlander 25mm f/0.95

    Mixed reviews (please let me know if you have these)

    Olympus 45mm f/1.8 (one report of hotspot @ f/9)
    Panasonic 12-35mm f/2.8

    For my own tests, I used a full-spectrum GX1 with 850nm (Wratten 87C, B+W 093, Schott RG850) and 790nm (Wratten 87, Lee 87) long-pass filters, taking multiple exposures at all apertures of blue sky (> 90¬į from the sun’s direction) framed by light colored clouds or leaves. Loss of contrast and hotspots show very strongly in these conditions at wavelenghs above 800nm.¬†

  • Lens hotspot example
    Date: October 30, 2014 Category: Howto

    A good hotspot example from the http://www.astrosurf.com/ site.

  • Image: Feeding duck
    Date: October 31, 2014 Category: Images

    Feeding the ducks this lunchtime in Twickenham.

    Full-spectrum Panasonic G2, UG1 filter (UV+IR mix). 3 composite HDR. Contrast and colour tweaked in Aperture.

    All image rights reserved.

  • Hotspots Update
    Date: October 31, 2014 Category: Howto

    Thought I might as well collect as much as I can on M43 lenses and hotspot issues. Have made a new page for it: hotspots

  • Camera change
    Date: October 31, 2014 Category: Info

    Camera change time. The 720nm e-PL1 has gone to a good home (the camera that taught me most of what I know so far on IR) and is replaced by a svelte e-PM2, which will be immediately off for a 660nm modification.

  • Downside of Full-Spectrum ?
    Date: November 1, 2014 Category: Howto

    Downside of full-spectrum modification?

    I currently have two cameras, one modified for 590nm (and above) and one for full-spectrum, where it is sensitive to UV+Vis+IR; in effect, there is no filter in front of the camera sensor.

    By using external lens filters, I can isolate specific frequency ranges. Adding a 720nm filter to either camera produces the same result (remember 590nm modification, means 590nm and longer).

    One of the questions I had, and is commonly asked, is: ‚Äúwhy not just modify for full-spectrum and have every option?‚ÄĚ. Yes, full-spectrum give you great flexibility, but there are some downsides:

    • You really need LiveView functionality to work with the dark filters like 720nm, UG1 etc – so old dSLRs would not really work
    • The cost of the external filters, especially for including or isolating UV, are relatively expensive and not easy to get hold of.
    • Some extreme wide lenses, like my Samyang M43 fisheye that can‚Äôt use lens filters, are rendered useless.
    • (minor) You have to carry, and faff around, with various external lens filters.
    • There is a¬†possibility¬†(I have not been able to confirm it) that external lens filters¬†exasperate lens hotspotting.
    • External filters potentially produce lesser IQ than Internal sensor filters, as they are closer to the sensor.

    The upsides, compared to converting to a specific IR frequency, like 590nm, I see as being able to:

    • Include UV with IR (using something like a UG1 filter), which gives stunning results.
    • Easily use 470nm ‚Äėsuper blue‚Äô (Wratten 47B filter), which many professional convertors don‚Äôt do (note: LifePixel do).
    • (minor) Use a UV+IR Cut Off filter to take, relatively, normal visible light images. Although personally, I would just use a normal camera to do that.

    If you just want to use a variety of IR frequencies, personally I would not bother with including UV, then it is easier and simpler to just convert a camera for 590nm and use inexpensive filters for 660, 720, 850nm etc. However, to me, if you don’t mind the cost and hassle, then including UV with IR is rewarding.

    My intention going forward is to keep two cameras, one small simple travel-light camera, modified for a specific shorter IR frequency like 470nm, 590nm or 660nm; and one full-spectrum for more planned snapping.

  • Modifying a Sigma DP1 Merrill
    Date: November 3, 2014 Category: Howto

    A couple of good photo walkthroughs of modifying a Sigma DP1 Merrill.

    I like the interesting concept behind the¬†Foveon X3 sensor, however, am put off converting one by Sigma’s¬†obscure, and unsupported by third-party tools, raw format. Otherwise, I think it would be a really interesting camera to modify.

    SONY CyberShot DSC-W300

  • New cameras off for conversion
    Date: November 3, 2014 Category: Info

    Two new cameras sent off today for conversions, an Olympus e-M5 for a full-spectrum mod and a PM2 for a straight 660nm job. The plan is to have the little PM2 for light, hand-luggage only travel, and the M5 for more planned trips and intentional photographic excursions.

    The lovely 590nm PL2, which has been a great camera, and the full-spectrum Panasonic G2, now go to new homes.

    Why 660nm and Full-Spectrum for the new cameras ? Well, 660nm just because I have had 720nm and 590 before – ¬†time to be different and simple for light travel (no external filters needed). And full-spectrum because I want to continue playing with more dual-band UV and IR, and¬†470nm ‘super blue’ (using a Wratten 47B filter).

    e-m5Pl2 -2

     

     

  • Image: In the Woods, first shots of 47B
    Date: November 4, 2014 Category: Images

    First test shots with a Wratten 47B filter, using the full-spectrum G2. I believe this is what is known as a “super blue” filter, which certainly fits with the images it produces; which are very blue dominant. Unlike at 590nm, and longer, you do not worry about lack of blue with this little fella. However, I did find it hard to work with, given the overly dominant blue in the images.

    Both images are individually white-balanced, hence the major colour contrast between the images. No colour-swapping. Colours tweaked in Aperture3.

    This is the W47B’s transmission – similar to UG1 profile.

    wratten-47-spectra

    All rights reserved.

  • Image: Thames at Marble Hill
    Date: November 4, 2014 Category: Images

    Walking back via the Thames today, at Marble Hill.

    590nm Olympus e-PL2, with 7.5 fisheye.

    All image rights reserved.

  • Image: Woods by the river
    Date: November 4, 2014 Category: Images
  • Comparison of W47B
    Date: November 4, 2014 Category: Howto

    Comparison test

    A comparison of the Wratten 47B filter. Each image has been individually white-balanced and a little colour tweaked. The 660nm and 720nm images have been colour swapped.

    For me, the main thing it shows is how much blue overly dominates this filter.

  • Wavelength Pro
    Date: November 4, 2014 Category: Info

    Looks very interesting: neuraloutlet.wordpress.com/wavelengthpro

    “This is (Alpha version) software used for manipulating multi-spectral images. The primary use is merging multiple photographs ‚Äď visible light images, infrared and ultraviolet images ‚Äď and doing it in interesting ways.”

    wlp2

    Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ycv7Cm7-mIk

    Alpha download: http://www.filedropper.com/wlp-alpha

  • Image: Trying to tame the W47B
    Date: November 5, 2014 Category: Images

    Trying to tame the W47B ! These shots are taken at dusk with dull skies – that is the faustian bargain with this filter. It brings out what little blue their might be, but it still hits you full on! This is not a filter IMO to use on a bright sunny day and may be that is its forte, used on dull grey English winter days.

    Full-spectrum Panasonic G2, W47B filter.

    All image rights reserved.

  • How many shots for HDR ?
    Date: November 6, 2014 Category: Howto

    An interesting, and helpful, article on HDR from theHDRimage.com: (link) Article: How Many Exposures

    logo2013-2

    I use HDR techniques quite a bit (at least 30% of my images, counting shot in the gallery now), primarily because a lot of infrared shots work well as high-contrast images and HDR, if done well, can help with such shots and bringing out detail.

    Personally, most of my HDR comes from the camera bracketing multiple shots, while being hand-held. Hand-holding the camera is the limiting factor here. The more shots bracketed, the longer you have to hold the camera and the more movement you are going to introduce and therefore produce ghosting and alignment issues. With my bigger dSLR (Nikon D800) I can happily get away with 5 or 7 bracketed shots hand-held; however, my slower (slower to write) older model M43 cameras only give me hand-held 3 shots, before too many issues often creep in.

    My standard approach, hand-held, is to play conservative and¬†bracket just 3 shots at +/-1EV (the max EV range¬†with my M43 cameras); and if the scene has a very high contrast need, I will make two raw image copies and add a further stop to the raw image in Aperture3. For the making the composite result, I mostly use HDRsoft’s Photomatix plug-in, but occasionally fall-back to Nik’s software HDR Efex Pro.

    HDRsoft 

    Nik HDR Efex pro 

     

  • Image: St James Park
    Date: November 6, 2014 Category: Images

    St James Park, London today.

    590nm Modified Olympus e-PL2. Colour swapped in GIMP; minor colour tweaking in Aperture3.

    All rights reserved.

  • Image: Millbank views
    Date: November 6, 2014 Category: Images

    Views from Millbank.

    Modified 590nm Olympus e-PL2. R<>B colour swapped in GIMP. Slight hue sliding in Aperture3.

  • Site: www.ultravioletphotography.com
    Date: November 8, 2014 Category: Info

    Interesting and informative forum on UV photography: www.ultravioletphotography.com

    ultraviolet-spectrum-diagram_l

  • Info: Filter coverage
    Date: November 8, 2014 Category: Info

    Updated my full-spectrum filter frequency coverage chart

    Note: this is only a rough representation of the frequency coverage of each filter and does not show transmission levels which can vary significantly in producing results.

     

     

  • Photoshop as external editor for Aperture3
    Date: November 18, 2014 Category: Howto

    I had problem with using Photoshop Elements as the external editor on Aperture3 – basically it would not load.

    However, bingo – a very helpful post by someones (as always) solves the problem, which is a misunderstanding of the actual editor program.

    Adobe Hide & Seek

    Thank you http://barbarabrundage.com

     

  • New camera arrives
    Date: November 18, 2014 Category: Info

    Hurrah, the new modified camera arrives – Olympus PM2, modified for 660nm.

    Am off to Switzerland for a couple of days, so will test it there. The plan is to basically keep a Panasonic 12-32mm pancake lens on it and use it as a travel light camera, carrying only a screw-in 850nm filter with it. All other planned IR & UV photography will be with the coming soon M5 full-spectrum.

    The camera was picked up very cheaply off Ebay (sold as an ex demo with no charger or box bits) and converted, in the UK, by Funky Electronics (www.funkyelectronics.com) who were very helpful over the phone and reasonably priced.

    Why Funky Electronics (when the e-M5 has gone off to Kolari) ? I wanted to keep the conversion in the UK and try someone new; plus Oly Pen’s seem to be a relatively well kown and easy camera to convert (unlike the M5, hence going to Kolari in the USA). So far the job looks a good’un.

    Pl2 -2

  • Image: Flying into Zurich
    Date: November 19, 2014 Category: Images

    OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

    e-PM2, modified for 660nm. Colour swapped R<>B in GIMP; hue shifted in Aperture3.

    All image rights reserved.

  • Infrared Portraits by Esben Olesen
    Date: November 20, 2014 Category: Info

    A short video from Esben Olesen on his Infrared portraits: Esben Olsen

    fstoppers-esben_olesen_takes_you_through_his_infrared_workflow-sam_mermek-body-1http://www.esbenzollnerolesen.com/

  • Use of external IR filters
    Date: November 20, 2014 Category: Howto

    I have had a couple of similar conversations over the last week with people who had not appreciated the use of external filters in addition to sensor modification, which made me want to get this out on the blog.

    Putting aside full-spectrum conversions, there is still a place for external IR filters with single-spectrum modifications. The quoted frequency for the modification, like “590nm” or “720” means “590nm and above (longer)” ¬†or “720nm and above (longer)”; it does not mean just 590 or 720.

    I.e a 590nm modification, with use of external filters, can do 660nm, 720nm, 850nm etc. 720nm, being longer, can do less, but can still do 850nm, 920nm etc.

    The thing to add is that these external lens filters are relatively inexpensive, so trying different frequency ranges is easy and accessible. The only time it is not possible to use such additional filters is with ultra-wide lenses, like my M43 Samyang 7.5 fisheye, that would be cropped by any additional front filter; or when the camera does not have a LiveView capability (such as with older DSLRs), as filters like 720 and 850 are too dark to work with an optical SLR viewfinder Рwhich is why I am not convinced generally that DSLRS make good IR cameras and favour mirror-less cameras.

    There is a logical school of thought that if you just¬†want to capture IR (and not UV as well), a modification of 590nm is the most versatile common frequency; allowing it to be used with 660nm, 720nm, 850nm etc. Personally, I support this thought and don’t want to be locked into just one or two frequencies – much¬†of the fun comes from playing and seeing what comes from different frequencies.

    IR frequencies

  • Image: Zurich Fields
    Date: November 20, 2014 Category: Images

    OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAZurich Fields

  • Image: Son’s football
    Date: November 30, 2014 Category: Images

    OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

    Olympus e-PM2 660nm modified with an 850nm lens filter. Not colour-swapped. Tweaked in Aperture3, Nik Define & Silver Efex.

     

  • Image: English Park on sunny winter’s day
    Date: November 30, 2014 Category: Images
    English park - 660nm

    English park – 660nm

    Olympus e-PM2 660nm mod. 3 image HDR composite. Colour-swapped with GIMP; hue tweaked in Aperture3; Nik Define.

    All image rights reserved.

  • Image: Park & Church
    Date: November 30, 2014 Category: Images

     

    Park & Church - 660nm

    Park & Church – 660nm

    Olympus e-PM2 660nm. Not colour-swapped; Nik SilverEfex.

    All image right reserved.

  • Image: Park 2
    Date: November 30, 2014 Category: Images
    Park 2- 660nm

    Park 2- 660nm

    Olympus e-PM2 660nm mod. 3 image HDR composite. Colour-swapped in GIMP. Nik Define. Hue tweaked in Aperture3.

  • New camera
    Date: December 10, 2014 Category: Info

    Hurrah, the new camera is back: Olympus e-M5, converted for full-spectrum

    Kolari did the conversion and by all accounts, unlike with the Olympus Pens, the M5 is not an easy conversion.

    e-m5

     

  • Image: Austin morning
    Date: December 10, 2014 Category: Images
    Austin sunrise - UG5

    Austin sunrise – UG5

    Sunrise on Austin, TX. Was lucky enough to be flying back from there and took the shot this morning. First play with the new Schott UG5 filter. No colour-swapping as the blue comes naturally from the UV bleeding in – see transmission graph below.

    Full-spectrum Olympus e-M5 with UG5 filter. All image rights reserved.

    materials_schott_UG5_1

  • Image: Flying over Chilterns
    Date: December 10, 2014 Category: Images

    OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

    Flying over the Chilterns (I think?) into Heathrow. First use of the new Schott BG3 filter.

    Olympus e-M5 full-spectrum, BG3 filter. No Colour-swapping – the UV is there for the blue naturally. As the transmission graph below shows, compared to the UG1 and UG5, there is a lot more blue and green visible bleeding in with the UV.

    All image rights reserved.

    bg3

  • Image: Flying over London
    Date: December 10, 2014 Category: Images

    OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

    Flying over London with the Shard standing proud.

    Full-spectrum Olympus e-M5, UG5 filter. All image rights reserved.

  • How To: Exotic dual/tri-band filter comparison
    Date: December 20, 2014 Category: Howto

    UG Comparisons

    A comparison of the exotic Schott UG1, UG5, BG3 and Wratten 47B dual/tri-band filters, used with a full-spectrum modified camera (Olympus E-M5).

    These are dual or tri-band filters and hence are not colour-swapped, as the violet and blues come naturally from the near UV end of the spectrum. White-balance was done individually, using grey elements in the images. I have also not hue-shifted the violet in the UG1&3 images, which i would normally do, so as to show the initial capture.

    It is worth noting that it is winter here and light levels are low; with higher intensities of sunlight the UG filters would produce strong white foliage. The standout point for me on the comparison is the near identical performance of the BG3 and the W47B.

    Below is a transmission chart showing the UG1, UG5 and BG3 filter transmissions. it worth noting that the UG1 has a low transmission levels, which is reflected in it losing nearly 2EV compared to the UG5. Secondly the BG3 is letting in a lot more light in the 300-400nm range, hence, the deep blue.

    UG comparisons

     

    I have not had it confirmed, but read in a few forums that the BG3 is what LifePixel use for their SuperBlue sensor modification. It would be great if someone could help and confirm it, or not.

  • Image: Cromford Mills
    Date: December 22, 2014 Category: Images

    Masson Mills, Derbyshire (full-spectrum image)

     

    Cromford Mills, Derbyshire.

    Full-spectrum image, Olympus e-M5. 7.5mm fisheye. White balanced and contrast toned in Aperture3.

    All image rights reserved.

  • Image: Cromford Mills Water
    Date: December 22, 2014 Category: Images

    OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACromford Mills water system.

    Full-spectrum Olympus e-M5, 9mm lens. 850nm lens filter. +/-1.5EV 3 composite HDR image (Photomatix HDR).

    All rights reserved.

     

  • Image: Matlock Bandstand
    Date: December 22, 2014 Category: Images

    OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

    Matlock’s empty bandstand, Derbyshire. Would have happily paid for some people to play or dance there – arr’ well.

    Full-spectrum Olympus e-M5, 9mm lens + 850nm filter. Tweaked in Aperture 3 and sharpened in Nik Tools.

    All rights reserved.

  • Image: Cromford Mills Water FS
    Date: December 22, 2014 Category: Images

    OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

    A full-spectrum version of the same location. This is using a 7.5mm fisheye (rather than the straight 9mm wide in the earlier shot), which can’t take external filters and, hence, is in full-spectrum.

    All rights reserved.

  • Image: Collingwood School
    Date: December 22, 2014 Category: Images

     

    Collingwood School - 850nm

    Collingwood School – 850nm

    An impulse snap of Collingwood School, where my son was playing football. Surprised how it turned out. A bit of the luck of the draw. 660nm modified Olympus e-PM2 with an 850nm lens filter.

    All image rights reserved.

  • Image: Holloway, Derbyshire
    Date: December 24, 2014 Category: Images

    Holloway village, Derbyshire. Full-spectrum Olympus e-M5, 9mm lens and UG5 and BG3 filters. Both hue shifted the, UV induced, violet over to blue. Grass a little desaturated.

    UG5 dual-band filter (UV and IR).

    Holloway, Derbyshire - BG3

    Holloway, Derbyshire – BG3

    BG3 tri-band (UV, Vis and IR)

    Holloway Village - BG3

    Holloway Village – BG3

    All rights reserved.

  • Image: Derbyshire in the snow
    Date: December 27, 2014 Category: Images
    Derbyshire in Snow - UG5

    Derbyshire in Snow – UG5

    Full-spectrum Olympus e-M5, UG5 filter. +/-2EV 3 shot HDR composite. Hue shifted (violet to blue) and tweaked in Aperture3.

    All rights reserved.

     

  • Image: Hideaway in the snow
    Date: December 27, 2014 Category: Images

    Our christmas hideaway in the snow.

    Full-spectrum Olympus e-M5, 35mm lens and 590nm filter. The uncolour-swapped image (my preference).

    Derbyshire hideaway (unconverted) - 590nm

    Derbyshire hideaway (unconverted) – 590nm

    Colour-swapped:

    Derbyshire hideaway - 590nm

    Derbyshire hideaway – 590nm

    All rights reserved.

  • Images: Derbyshire in the snow
    Date: December 28, 2014 Category: Images

    Shots of Derbyshire in the snow.

    Full-spectrum Olympus e-M5 with UG5 filter. +/-2EV x3 HDR composites. Hue shifted the violet to blue in Aperture3

    All rights reserved.

  • Image: Thames at Richmond
    Date: December 29, 2014 Category: Images

     

    Thames at Richmond - 660nm

    Thames at Richmond – 660nm

    The Thames at Richmond this afternoon.

    Olympus e-PM2 660nm modification. +/-2EV 3x HDR composite. Colour-swapped. Tweaked in Aperture3. Sharpened in Nik SharpenerPro.

    All rights reserved.

  • Image: Portraits in 660
    Date: December 29, 2014 Category: Images
    Michelle in 660 - 660nm

    Portrait in 660 Р660nm

    Playing with infrared portraits. Olympus e-PM2 660nm modified. No colour-swapping, this is just white-balanced. They key with portraits I find is the eyes: unless you want the zombie look, they generally need the white brightening and the iris darkening.

    Un-tweaked.

    All image rights reserved.

  • Image: Moon over trees
    Date: December 29, 2014 Category: Images

    OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMoon over the trees tonight.

    Olympus e-PM2 660nm modified. No colour-swapping. Custom white-balance.

    All image rights reserved.

     

  • Image: Marble Hill Trees
    Date: January 8, 2015 Category: Images
    Walking in the Woods - UG5

    Walking in the Woods – UG5

    A desaturated UG5 (UV + IR) image, using full-spectrum Olympus e-M5. Sharpened in Nik tools, contrast tweaked in Aperture3. Shot in the day (thats the fun of these filters).

    All image rights reserved.

  • Image: Marble Hill Park Hut
    Date: January 8, 2015 Category: Images
    Marble Hill Park - UG5

    Marble Hill Park – UG5

    UG5 filter, full-spectrum Olympus e-M5. Hue shifted in Topaz Restyle.

    All image rights reserved.

     

  • Image: Thames at Marble Hill
    Date: January 8, 2015 Category: Images
    Thames At Marble Hill - BG3

    Thames At Marble Hill – BG3

    BG3 Filter, full-spectrum Olympus e-M5. Hue shifted the violet to blue in Aperture3. Desaturated the yellow foliage.

    All image rights reserved.

     

  • Image: View from Waterloo Bridge
    Date: January 9, 2015 Category: Images
    View from Waterloo Bridge - 660nm

    View from Waterloo Bridge – 660nm

    660nm image, modified Olympus e-PM2. Colour-swapped in GIMP and tweaked in Aperture3.

    All image rights reserved.

     

  • Image: View from The Strand
    Date: January 9, 2015 Category: Images
    This afternoon on the Strand - 660nm

    This afternoon on the Strand – 660nm

    660nm image; Olympus e-PM2. Colour-swapped.

    All image rights reserved.

     

  • Image: Working Boats on the Thames
    Date: January 9, 2015 Category: Images
    Working Boats on the Thames - 660nm

    Working Boats on the Thames – 660nm

    660nm image; Olympus e-PM2. +/-2EV 3x composite HDR image using HDRsoft. Colour-swapped in GIMP. Hue and contrast tweaked in Aperture3. Sharpened in Nik.

    All rights reserved.

  • Image: Marble Hill Park
    Date: January 10, 2015 Category: Images
    Marble Hill Park 1 - 660nm

    Marble Hill Park 1 – 660nm

    The sun finally came out in Marble Hill park. 660nm image; Olympus e-PM2.

    Marble Hill Park 2 - 660nm

    Marble Hill Park 2 – 660nm

    All rights reserved.

  • Image: Rugby Training in the Park
    Date: January 10, 2015 Category: Images
    Rugby Training 2 - 660nm

    Rugby Training 2 – 660nm

    Rugby Training in Marble Hill Park. 660nm image; modified Olympus e-PM2. Tweaked in Aperture3.

    Rugby Training 1 - 660nm

    Rugby Training 1 – 660nm

    All image rights reserved.

  • Image: And the Sun Goes Down
    Date: January 10, 2015 Category: Images
    Sunset 2 - 660nm

    Sunset 2 – 660nm

    660nm image; modified Olympus e-PM2… and some incorrect white-balance ! No colour-swapping.

    Sunset 1 - 660nm

    Sunset 1 – 660nm

    All image rights reserved.

  • Image: White house in the woods
    Date: January 10, 2015 Category: Images
    White house in the woods - BG3

    White house in the woods – BG3

    UG5 image; full-spectrum Olympus e-M5. +/-2EV 3x composite HDR. Topaz Restyle.

    All image rights reserved.

  • Fixing Hotspots
    Date: January 10, 2015 Category: Howto

    My friend George’s excellent article on fixing lens induced hotspots:
    LINK: how-to-fix-ir-hotspots

    ir_hotspot

  • Images: Flying into Switzerland
    Date: January 13, 2015 Category: Images
    Flying into Switzerland 1 - 660nm

    Flying into Switzerland 1 – 660nm

    Flying into Zurich airport, Switzerland. 660nm image using a modified Olympus e-PM2. 19mm focal length, iso200, 1/800th & f/4.5. Colour-swapped in GIMP. Contrast and hue tweaked in Aperture3.

    Flying into Switzerland 3 - 660nm

    Flying into Switzerland 3 – 660nm

    Flying into Switzerland 2 - 660nm

    Flying into Switzerland 2 – 660nm

    All image rights reserved.

  • How To: An alternative to Colour-swapping
    Date: January 19, 2015 Category: Howto

    An interesting alternative to R<>B colour-swapping from Tonee Gee

    “An alternative to R/B channel swap in Photoshop.

    Sometimes you may want to give your IR image another color flavor without too much effort, and that is part of the first couple of steps to correct your IR shot.

    Refering the photo below:
    Image 1 is the RAW file
    Image 2 is the RAW file with white balance on a neutral tone in the image
    Image 3 is the “regular” channel swap, using the channel mixer
    Now image 4 is the other war to do it, with a bit of a twist in the colors.

    Here’s how to do it:
    a- create a Level adjustment layer above your image layer.
    b- in the levels output box, below the histogram, replace 0 by 255 and 255 by 0
    c- change this layer blend mode to HUE
    …and voila! you get image 4

    As you can see on the screenshots, image 3 has got a cyan-based sky color and foliage is going towards yellow, image 4 features a more vibrant sky, more blue, and foliage with a nice touch of deep reds.

    Why? because basically when you do the levels inversion, you’re changing the whole RGB composite content. When using the channel mixer, we are leaving the green channel alone.”

    Alt Colour0swap proces examplesAl examples

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/toneegee/

  • Images: Cold morning in Green Park
    Date: January 19, 2015 Category: Images

    Cold morning walking through Green Park. 660nm images from a modified Olympus e-PM2.

    Morning in Green Park 1 - 660nm

    Morning in Green Park 1 – 660nm

    +/-2EV 3 image HDR composite. Colour swapped in GIMP and hue-shifted in Topaz Restyle.

    Morning in Green Park 2 - 660nm

    Morning in Green Park 2 – 660nm

    Looking up towards Mayfair. Colour-swapped in GIMP. Hue and saturation tweaked in Aperture3.

    All image rights reserved.

     

  • Image: Walking the back of Whitehall
    Date: January 19, 2015 Category: Images
    Walking back of Whitehall - 660nm

    Walking back of Whitehall – 660nm

    660nm image from modified Olympus e-PM2. +/-2EV 3 image HDR composite. Not colour-swapped to keep the sky tone. Desaturated greens.

    All image rights reserved.

     

  • Images: St James park
    Date: January 19, 2015 Category: Images

    Walking through St James park and two different colour processes. 660nm images from a modified Olympus e-PM2.

    St James Park views 1 - 660nm

    St James Park views 1 – 660nm

    A raven flies over the park. +/-2EV 3 image HDR composite. Colour-swapped in GIMP. Tweaked in Aperture3. Sharpened with Nik.

    St James Park views 2 - 660nm

    St James Park views 2 Р660nm 

    The London Eye behind Whitehall. +/-2EV 3 image HDR composite. Colour-swapped in GIMP. Hue shifted in Topaz Restyle. Sharpened with Nik.

    All rights reserved.

  • Images: St James Park lake
    Date: January 19, 2015 Category: Images

    Two comparison images of St James park lake. 660nm image from modified Olympus e-PM2. The first not colour-swapped, the second is.

    St James Lake 1 - 660nm

    St James Lake 1 – 660nm

    St James Lake 2 - 660nm

    St James Lake 2 – 660nm

    All image rights reserved.

  • Image: Looking out to St Paul’s
    Date: January 20, 2015 Category: Images
    Looking out to St Paul's - 850nm

    Looking out to St Paul’s – 850nm

    850nm filter on a 660nm modified Olympus e-PM2. +/-2EV 3 image HDR composite. Tweaked in Aperture3.

    All image rights reserved.

  • Image: Sun up on the Southbank
    Date: January 20, 2015 Category: Images

    660nm image from modified Olympus e-PM2. +/-2EV 3 image HDR composite. Colour-swapped, saturation tweaked in Aperture3.

    Sun up on the Southbank - 660nm

    Sun up on the Southbank – 660nm

    All image rights reserved.

  • Examples of Alternative Colour-swapping
    Date: January 20, 2015 Category: Howto

    660nm examples of using Tonee Gee’s alternative to colour-swapping in Photoshop.

    1. White-balance image
    2. Create a level adjustment layer
    3. In the levels output box (below the histogram) replace 0 by 255 and 255 by 0
    4. Change the layer blend mode to HUE

    The obvious difference is the foliage coming out pink, rather than the usual yellow for 660nm. Second is the sky being more green, than with the normal colour-swapped image. This is however easily hue-shifted into blue.

  • Images: St Anton
    Date: January 24, 2015 Category: Images
    St Anton 3 - 660nm

    St Anton 3 – 660nm

    St Anton 4 - 660nm

    St Anton 4 – 660nm

    St Anton 2 - 660nm

    St Anton 2 – 660nm

    The mountains of St Anton, Austria. Not much light to work with and only a few minutes of clear view as the clouds chased us all day.

    660nm images from a modified Olympus e-PM2. +/-2EV x3 HDR image. Colour-swapped in GIMP. Tweaked in Aperture3.

    All image rights reserved.

  • Images: More of St Anton mountains
    Date: January 25, 2015 Category: Images
    St Anton 5 - 660nm

    St Anton 5 – 660nm

    St Anton 6 - 660nm

    St Anton 6 – 660nm

    Creeping clouds 1 - 660nm

    Creeping clouds 1 – 660nm

    Some more shots of the mountains around St Anton.

    660nm images from a modified Olympus e-PM2. Colour swapped in GIMP and tweaked in Aperture3.

    All image rights reserved.

  • Images: Creeping Clouds in the Valley
    Date: January 25, 2015 Category: Images
    Creeping clouds 4 - 660nm

    Creeping clouds 4 – 660nm

    Creeping clouds 2 - 660nm

    Creeping clouds 2 – 660nm

    Creeping clouds 1 - 660nm

    Creeping clouds 1 – 660nm

    Shots of the valley in cloud. It slowly creeped after us all day suffocating all further chances of good photos.

    660nm images from a modified Olympus e-PM2. +/-2EV x3 HDR image. Colour-swapped in GIMP and tweaked in Aperture3.

    All image rights reserved.

  • Images: Shadows at Brondesbury Station
    Date: February 7, 2015 Category: Images
    Shadows at Brondesbury Station

    Shadows at Brondesbury Station

    A 660nm image from a modified Olympus e-PM2. +/-2EV 3 image HDR composite. Colour tweaked in Aperture3. Sharpened in Nik Collection.

    All image rights reserved.

  • How to: Sharpening
    Date: February 8, 2015 Category: Howto

    After the last image of the train station, which is heavily sharpened, I thought it worth posting an article about sharpening.

    Link: cambridgeincolour.com-sharpening

    I use sharpening discretely, depending on the subject and the overall image I am looking for. I rarely, if ever, find it helps my portrait images; however, on buildings I almost always do some sharpening. Although there are tools in Aperture3 and Photoshop, most of my sharpening is done using the Nik Collection tool: Sharpener Pro, as a plug-in to Aperture.

    Example from the excellent Alex Nail website 

    sharpen comparison

    Sharpening Comparison

     

  • Image: Obergurgl Valley
    Date: February 21, 2015 Category: Images
    Obergurgl Valley - 660nm

    Obergurgl Valley – 660nm

    Obergurgl valley. 660nm image from modified Olympus e-PM2.

    All image rights reserved.

  • Image: Austrian Tyrol
    Date: February 23, 2015 Category: Images
    Austrian Tyrol - 660nm

    Austrian Tyrol – 660nm

    The Austrian Tyrol, from the Mountain Star, Hockgurgl (at 3020m). 660nm image from a modified Olympus e-PM2. Colour-swapped in GIMP. Tweaked in Aperture3.

    All image rights reserved.

  • Images: Westminster & Embankment
    Date: February 24, 2015 Category: Images

    660nm images from Westminster and Embankment today. 660nm images from a modified Olympus e-PM2. +/-2EV 3x composite HDR images. Colour-swapped in GIMP and tweaked in Aperture3.

    All image rights reserve.

    London Eye 2 - 660nm

    London Eye 2 – 660nm

    Birds over Westminster - 660nm

    Birds over Westminster – 660nm

    London Eye 1 - 660nm

    London Eye 1 – 660nm

  • Image: The workings of the Eye
    Date: February 24, 2015 Category: Images
    The workings of the Eye - 660nm

    The workings of the Eye – 660nm

    The workings of the London Eye. Monochrome 660nm image. +/-2EV 3x composite HDR process. Not colour-swapped.

    All image rights reserved.

  • Image: View from Vauxhall Bridge
    Date: February 27, 2015 Category: Images
    The Thames from Vauxhall 2 - 660nm

    The Thames from Vauxhall 2 – 660nm

    660nm monochrome image (with a slight blue tone) from a modified Olympus e-PM2. Not colour-swapped. Tweaked in Aperture3 and Nik SilverFX.

    All image rights reserved.

  • Image: Spring on the Thames
    Date: February 27, 2015 Category: Images
    View of the Thames from Vauxhall - 660nm

    View of the Thames from Vauxhall – 660nm

    660nm image from modified Olympus e-PM2. Colour-swapped in GIMP.

    All image rights reserved.

  • How To: Hot-mirror Filters for Full-Spectrum
    Date: March 1, 2015 Category: Howto

    Although in some ways it is easier just to carry an additional unmodified camera for normal visible spectrum shots, there are times (typically out cycling or skiing) when I have wanted to just carry one camera and switch between IR, UV and Visible. However, to date, I have not been totally happy with the colours when I use my Hoya IR/UV Cut filter with my current full-spectrum camera (Olympus e-M5). My previous Panasonic G2 seemed to get better closer natural results, but not the M5.

    I have some experimenting to do, but a little research and help from Mark Hillard and Ed Noble from the Facebook Infrared Photography Group (links below), seems to show that what works well, with full-spectrum, can be combining reflective (clear looking) and absorptive hot-mirror filters (turquoise looking).
    * “Hot-mirror” being a generic term for filters that cut out UV and IR spectrum ranges, leaving primarily the¬†visible spectrum.

    hot-mirror filter - absorbing

    hot-mirror filter – absorbing

    hot-mirror - reflective

    hot-mirror – reflective

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    A new absorption filter is on order from Kolari (will try later the similar Xnite filter). Will post test results when it arrives, along side my reflective Hoya and Tiffen reflective Hot Mirror filters, and my Schott S8612.

    Links:

    Edd Noble’s Filter Comparison

    Note: the difference between the Kolari Hot Mirror absorption filter and the B+W 486 UV/IR Cut filter.

    Edd Noble's Filter Comparison

    Edd Noble’s Filter Comparison

  • How To: UV & IR Cut with Hot-Mirror Filters
    Date: March 1, 2015 Category: Howto

    Some cursory research highlights four Schott glass varions РBG38, BG39, BG40 & S8612 Рwhich work as hot-mirror absorption filters.

    The following chart highlights their aggressive cutting of IR, up to 700nm; however, it also highlights the need for an additional (stacked) filter to cut out UV 300-400nm.

    Original chart from UVOptics (recommended Ebay seller of various Schott Glas built filters); link:http://www.ebay.com/usr/uviroptics

    Full comparison data on Schott IR Cut/Hot-Mirror Glass: Schott Link

  • Image: View from home window
    Date: March 3, 2015 Category: Images
    View from home window - 660nm

    View from home window – 660nm

    Worked from home and did not get chance to get out, when the weather looked really interesting. 660nm colour-swapped image from modified Olympus e-PM2.

    All image rights reserved.

  • Images: Solarized Images of Flying
    Date: March 4, 2015 Category: Images
    Flying out of Heathrow airport - 660nm

    Flying out of Heathrow airport – 660nm

    Flying into Zurich - 660nm

    Flying into Zurich – 660nm

    Solarized 660nm colour-swapped images from a modified Olympus e-PM2. Colur-swapped in GIMP. Solarized with Nik Colour EFex Pro4.

    All image rights reserved.

  • Image: Industrial Zurich
    Date: March 4, 2015 Category: Images
    Industrial Zurich - 660nm

    Industrial Zurich – 660nm

    660nm image from modified Olympus e-PM2.

    All image rights reserved.

  • New project: aerial-photography
    Date: March 11, 2015 Category: Info, KAP

    For sometime now, I have been looking into aerial-photography as an expansion of my current infrared landscape efforts. When I manage to find high views from buildings and towers, the results in infrared are generally impressive. The range of foliage, the big expanse of clouds and geometric buildings all contrast well in infrared.

    My first thought was to use a quadcopter drone carrying a camera; however, already owning a Parrot Ar.Drone 2 machine, I was put off this approach as you need a much more expensive and bigger drone to lift a decent modified camera (the Parrot does not have enough lift for the likes of a Mirrorless camera), plus if they get out of range and drop there is a lot of cost in the drone and camera damage; especially, if is by water.

    So having shelved the quadcopter approach¬†for now, I found a small number of¬†website and communities dedicated to Kite powered Aerial Photography (‚ÄúKAP‚ÄĚ). There is not much out there on the net on using kites for aerial photography; however, there is sufficient to get started¬†– links below to some of the helpful sites and communities I found.

    Kite_aerial_photo

    So, to get my modified M43 cameras up high I have started with:

    • Two kites, one for light to medium wind and the other for stronger winds
    • An¬†automated panoramic camera¬†rig
    • An automatic remote timer/interval control
    • Cheap wind meter
    • Line, reels etc.

    The plan being to fly the modified camera up to around 50-200m, have the rig automatically turn the camera through 360degrees and the remote timer triggering the camera to capture a few 100 images over something like every 5-60 seconds. Then pull it down, see what we have and adjust the rig angle and focal length of the lens acordingly.

    Well thats the plan…. I will post more over the coming months on how successful it is all going and hopeful that the cameras are all safe and well.

    Helpful Links:

    Kite_aerial_photo 2

     

  • Images: Swiss Alps
    Date: March 12, 2015 Category: Images
    Swiss Alps - UG5

    Swiss Alps – UG5

    Swiss Hills & The Moon - UG5

    Swiss Hills & The Moon – UG5

    Mixed UV & IR images from a modified Olympus e-M5 with a Schott UG5 filter. The violet hue shifted to blue in Aperture3.

    All image rights reserved.

     

  • Image: UG5 of Curved Earth
    Date: March 12, 2015 Category: Images
    Swiss Alps 2 - UG5

    Swiss Alps 2 – UG5

    The curve of the earth, morning moon and the Swiss hills. A mixed UV and Infrared image from a modified full-spectrum Olympus e-M5 with a Schott UG5 filter.

    All image rights reserved.

  • Images: Sun down in Zurich
    Date: March 13, 2015 Category: Images
    Sun down in Zurich - 590nm

    Sun down in Zurich – 590nm

    Final flourish from the sun - 590nm

    Final flourish from the sun – 590nm

    590nm images from a modified full-spectrum Olympus e-M5, with a 590nm filter lens. Colour-swapped using GIMP and sharpened in Nik SharpenerPro.

    All image rights reserved.

  • Image: Zurich Town
    Date: March 13, 2015 Category: Images
    Zurich Town - 590nm

    Zurich Town – 590nm

    Colour-swapped 590nm image from a modified full-spectrum Olympus e-M5, with a 590 lens filter.

    All image rights reserved.

  • 5 Tips for Great Infrared Images
    Date: March 13, 2015 Category: Howto

    I was thinking what generally makes great infrared image and boiled it down to 5 consistent things that work 90% of the time. Of cause, there is always that great image that doesn’t follow the trend, the rules, but generally I think work with these 5 and you well on the way to getting some superb images.

    1. Include lots of foliage – different plants absorb and reflect different levels of infrared, making for more eye catching images; plus foliage generally contrasts very strongly with water (infrared absorbed), sky, clouds and buildings.
    2. Include lots of cloud structure – with infrared, cloud structures against sky have a high contrast and standout.
    3. Have no human skin promenant – human skin has a high absorption of infrared and people look vampire/alien milky. Equally eye-pupils turn black, all of which is generally off-putting to the human eye; and at best just a novelty. Keep people in the background and faces away from view. Infrared is really a landscape photography technique, not for portraits.
    4. Use as much sunlight as possible – the more infrared reflecting and bouncing everywhere, the more foliage will vary, the more clouds will stand out and the colour options you will get when processing.
    5. Finally, work that post-capture processing on the computer hard. Even just fine tweaks of the white-balance can produce dramatic difference in the image. Hey, in colour terms, you started off outside the bounds of (visible) normality, so why hold yourself back – go wild, you are already a hetetic and despised by purist classical photographers. Be prepared to push as many buttons as you fancy – the fun here is seeing what appears.

    As said, take these only as tips… and rules are always meant to be broken.

  • Image: Hong Kong, view over to Kowloon
    Date: March 19, 2015 Category: Images
    View over to Kowloon - 590nm

    View over to Kowloon – 590nm

    It has been hard, this short trip to Hong Kong to get any photo opportunities, given the constant low grey cloud-out and no sun. ūüôĀ ¬†¬†So far, the only thing I have managed to capture is this channel-swapped 590nm image of the harbour and Kowloon. Modified full-spectrum Olympus e-M5, with a 590nm and graduated lens filters.

    View over to Kowloon 2 - BG3

    View over to Kowloon 2 – BG3

    All image rights reserved.

  • Images: Hong Kong in cloud
    Date: March 19, 2015 Category: Images

    Finally managed to get above the clouds and snap a few shots from bar Sugar, atop the East Hotel (a good bar if you are ever there). Both are mixed UV and IR images from a UG1 filter, which is not an easy filter to work with when there is not much sun. Camera was my modified full-spectrum Olympus e-M5. No colour channel-swapping, as the UV delivers the blue/violet tones naturally.

    All image right reserved.

    Clouds in Hong Kong harbour 1 - UG1

    Clouds in Hong Kong harbour 1 – UG1

    Clouds in Hong Kong harbour 2 - UG1

    Clouds in Hong Kong harbour 2 – UG1

     

  • Image: More Cloud on Hong Kong
    Date: March 19, 2015 Category: Images

    Another of cloud on Hong Kong island, this time a 720nm pure infrared image. Colour channel-swapped, although frustratingly it did not produce much blue in the sky. Camera was a modified full-spectrum Olympus e-M5.

    Clouds in Hong Kong harbour 3 - 720nm

    Clouds in Hong Kong harbour 3 – 720nm

    All image rights reserved.

  • Images: Hong Kong Island
    Date: March 20, 2015 Category: Images
    Hong Kong Island - 720nm

    Hong Kong Island – 720nm

    A channel-swapped 720nm image from a full-spectrum Olympus e-M5.

    All image rights reserved.

  • Images: Two more of Hong Kong Island
    Date: March 20, 2015 Category: Images

    Two mixed UV and IR images from The Peak, Hong Kong. The first is aa dual-band UG5 image¬†and the second a BG3, “super blue” or “big blue”, image. In the first UG5 image, the normal bright green foliage was desaturated.

    Both were taken on a modified full-spectrum Olympus e-M5 (so glad I had it with me on this trip and not just my usual 660nm travel PM2). No colour channel-swapping, as the blue comes from the filter’s openness to UV.

    Hong Kong Island - UG5

    Hong Kong Island – UG5

    Hong Kong Island - BG3

    Hong Kong Island – BG3

    All image rights reserved.

  • Images: Old and new Hong Kong
    Date: March 21, 2015 Category: Images

    A real view of the old and new Hong Kong. A mixed UV and IR image from a Schott BG3 lens filter, with a modified full-spectrum Olympus e-M5.

    Old and new Hong Kong - BG3

    Old and new Hong Kong – BG3

    A panoramic second shot.

    The old and new Hong Kong 2 - BG3

    The old and new Hong Kong 2 – BG3

    All image rights reserved.

  • Images: Hong Kong Towers in the Clouds
    Date: March 22, 2015 Category: Images

    Two separate images of the Hong Kong towers in the clouds. Both mixed UV and IR images from a UG1 filter on a modified full-spectrum Olympus e-M5.

    All image rights reserved.

    Towers in the clouds 1 - UG1

    Towers in the clouds 1 – UG1

    Towers in the clouds 2 - UG1

    Towers in the clouds 2 – UG1

  • How to: BG3 RAW import and conversion issues
    Date: March 22, 2015 Category: Howto

    Virtually all of my photography starts with RAW images; I like the greater ability to tweak exposure etc. The RAW import and conversion is normally done in Apple’s Aperture 3, which also is the backbone of the workflow. However, I have lately bumped into a bug in Aperture, which also seems common to some other RAW conversion tools – after import, Aperture widely changes the white-balance away from what was initially shot/set.

    The example is below, from a BG3 mixed UV and iR shot with the custom white-balanced  set pre-shot. Camera is an Olympus e-M5 producing an Olympus Raw Format file (xx.ORF). The first image is the JPG which comes with the RAW and the second is the post-import RAW conversion by Aperture. The difference, as you can see is significant Рthese two images should be near identical.

    JPG Example of custom white-balanced BG3

    JPG Example of custom white-balanced BG3

    BG3 RAW import conversion with Aperture 3

    BG3 RAW import conversion with Aperture 3

    So far, the error has only been with BG3 white-balanced images, which is puzzling. Also puzzling is that I have noticed similar miss-conversion with some other less sophisticated RAW conversion tools.

    Having tried the same BG3 filtered shot with various white-balance settings, including custom (set using white-card and getting the best results), auto and other custom settings, I don’t think this is a custom white-balance issue; I suspect this is just a BG3 issue with some RAW import and conversion tools.

    It is also worth noting that once imported with the off/incorrect white-balance, it is near impossible to correct using the white-balance tools in Aperture. The work around is to use another tool to do the import and conversion to TIFF and then import the TIFF into Aperture and process as normal. What was also interesting was the noticeable variation in conversion output from RAW to TIFF from various tools tested, including: RawTherapee, Adobe Elements (Adobe Camera RAW), GIMP, RAW Photo Processor 64, RAW-Convertor and Olympus Viewer 3. In the end it was Olympusown Viewer 3 and RAW Photo Processor 64 that, as a default, delivered the closest to the JPG and scene as remembered.

    At some point I realise I have to let go of Aperture, but am not ready to right now – for everything else I use it for, I like it and it given its capability it is very competitively priced. Am happy to see what Apple offer as a replacement first, before considering changing to Lightroom or other.

  • How to: Examples of RAW import & conversion variations
    Date: March 23, 2015 Category: Howto

    Following on from the previous post: RAW Import and Conversion

    Examples of RAW (ORF) export to Tiff. Custom pre-shot white-balance set on the camera. Modified full-spectrum Olympus e-M5, with BG3 lens filter.

    The first image is the original JPG image. The second how Aperture 3 imported it. The rest are various imports and exports to Tiff from different applications, with Olympus Viewer 3 and Raw Photo Processor 64 getting the closest to the JPG. GIMP was close, but underexposed (easily fixed). The others were off on the white-balance, even when set to “as shot”, rather than any auto setting.

    Note: This was not very scientific as a test, I am sure with some tweaking I could get Adobe Camera RAW and RAWTherapee to also get close enough. RAW-Convertor, however, does not give the settings necessary to adjust.

    The lesson in the end for me is always check back with the JPG when importing RAW into Aperture (or any other tool).

    If anyone wants to also try different applications, you are welcome to try on the same RAW file – let me kow how you get on (have lso included the original JPG and the Olympus View3 conversion to TIFF): Folder

    All image rights reserved.

  • Images: Mountain light at La Clusez, France
    Date: March 26, 2015 Category: Images

    Views of the light falling on the La Clusez ski area, France. 660nm images from a modified Olympus e-PM2.

    La Clusez 1 - 660nm

    La Clusez 1 – 660nm

    La Clusez 7 - 660nm

    La Clusez 7 – 660nm

    La Clusez 4 - 660nm

    La Clusez 4 – 660nm

    All image rights reserved.

  • Images: Part 2 La Clusez Mountain Light
    Date: March 26, 2015 Category: Images

    More from the La Clusez area. 660nm images from a modified Olympus e-PM2.

    La Clusez 9 - 660nm

    La Clusez 9 – 660nm

    La Clusez 6 - 660nm

    La Clusez 6 – 660nm

    La Clusez 5 - 660nm

    La Clusez 5 – 660nm

    All image rights reserved.

  • Images: Part 3 Mountain Light at La Clusez
    Date: March 26, 2015 Category: Images

    Part 3 of the mountain light series at La Clusez. 660nm images from a modified Olympus e-PM2.

    La Clusez 8 - 660nm

    La Clusez 8 – 660nm

    La Clusez 3 - 660nm

    La Clusez 3 – 660nm

    La Clusez 2 - 660nm

    La Clusez 2 – 660nm

    All image rights reserved.

  • Images: Richmond this morning
    Date: March 27, 2015 Category: Images

    850nm images of Richmond this morning, walking back from breakfast. Taken on a 660nm modified Olympus e-PM2 with an 850nm lens filter. +/-1EV 3x composite HDR images.

    richmond this morning 1 - 850nm

    richmond this morning 1 – 850nm

    richmond this morning 2 - 850nm

    richmond this morning 2 – 850nm

    richmond this morning 3 - 850nm

    richmond this morning 3 – 850nm

    All image rights reserved.

  • Images: The Thames
    Date: March 27, 2015 Category: Images

    Views of the Thames from Waterloo bridge. Mixed UV and iR images from a full-spectrum Olympus e-M5 with a Schott UG5 lens filter.

    View from Waterloo bridge 1 - UG5

    View from Waterloo bridge 1 – UG5

    View from Waterloo bridge 2 - UG5

    View from Waterloo bridge 2 – UG5

    All image rights reserved.

  • Info: Work and camera bag
    Date: March 30, 2015 Category: Info

    Carrying gear is the bane of every photographer’s life, especially when you are out doing other things. I prefer to not carry a bag that says “expensive camera gear – mug or steal me“, hence, I normally use an inconspicuous everyday utility bag, with a soft protective camera insert.

    bag insert

    A lot of my photography is, however, done when travelling with work and I therefore need something more business suitable, often when suited up and conscious of impressions. Up to now, I have had to smuggle my small modified Olympus e-PM2 alongside the usual briefcase etc.; which has worked, but never been perfect or comfortable. Now, thankfully, I have found, after considerable searching, the Australian made: STM Velo2 – a small satchel/messenger bag, that can take a camera, a laptop (13″ MacBook Pro) and papers, without being massive or looking like a ‘steal-me’ camera bag. The important, and difficult to find feature, being a handle to allow it to be carried like a briefcase/satchel (amazing that this was so hard to find) as well as a shoulder strap, while remaining compact for easy commuting, and having the space for one of my modified mirrorless cameras.

    stm-112-025M-01_large

    Link: STM Velo2 (small)

  • Images: Jurrasic Coast, Dorset
    Date: April 1, 2015 Category: Images

    The Jurassic coast, shot around Hive beach, Dorset. All shot with a modified full-spectrum Olympus e-M5 and Schott UG1 or UG5 lens filters.

    Jurassic Coast 3 - UG5

    Jurassic Coast 3 – UG5

    Jurassic Coast 4 - UG1

    Jurassic Coast 4 – UG1

    Hive Beach 1 - UG5

    Hive Beach 1 – UG5

    Hive Beach 3 - UG5

    Hive Beach 3 – UG5

    All image rights reserved.

  • Images: Hive Beach
    Date: April 1, 2015 Category: Images

    Two views of Hive Beach, Dorset. The first taken with a Schott’s UG1 filter.

    Hive Beach 5 - UG1

    Hive Beach 5 – UG1

    The second image is with a Schott’s BG3 (the “big blue”). Both are taken on a modified full-spectrum Olympus e-M5 camera. Both are mixing UV and Infrared, with the BG3 allowing more visible light in blue and green spectrum. The UG1’s strong violet has been hue-shifted to blue.

    Hive Beach 4 - BG3

    Hive Beach 4 – BG3

    All image rights reserved.

     

  • Images: Walking the Jurassic Coast
    Date: April 1, 2015 Category: Images

    Walking the Jurassic coast, from Hive beach towards Chesil beach. Both images taken with a modified full-spectrum Olympus e-M5.

    My family walking on ahead. An UG1 image, with the violet hue-shifted to blue/purple.

    Jurassic Coast 1 - UG1

    Jurassic Coast 1 – UG1

    A BG3 {the “big blue”) image.

    Jurassic Coast 2 - BG3

    Jurassic Coast 2 – BG3

    All image rights reserved.

  • Info: Annoying Filter Wallets
    Date: April 2, 2015 Category: Howto

    Apologies, I need to vent over fliter wallets and poor design. Playing with full-spectrum cameras and various isolating filters, means carrying around 6-12 filters; typically:

    • Infrareds: 590nm, 660nm, 720nm & 850nm
    • Bandpass: UG1, UG5 & BG3 (and sometimes W47B)
    • ND400 & ND2000
    • UV&IR Cut: UV/IR Cut reflection &¬†S8612
    • UV(0)

    Until now I have been using cheap fold-up filter wallets like this:

    Filter-Wallet-Case

    Filter-Wallet-Case

    However, I am throwing these in the bin and looking for something else Рthe inherent design fault is how they fold out Рunless they are opened carefully, on a flat surface, it is inevitable that one or more of the filters slips out. Useless when, as I am most of the time, I am changing filters from my bag while moving. Thankfully, the only filter to hit the ground and smash has been a cheap UV cut filter (and not one of the exotic bandpass filters); but no more, time to change how I carry my filters.

  • How To: Interpretating Transmission Charts
    Date: April 2, 2015 Category: Howto

    I have for sometime been trying to work out how to interpret the exotic multi-band and bandpass transmission charts (where various frequency ranges are isolated); with such filters as the Schott BG3, UG1, UG5 and the wacky B36. Trying to predict roughly how results will look when these filters are used on a full-spectrum camera.

    With a little help I think the key is appreciating that 50% transmission is 1 stop less, 25% is 2 stops less and 12.5% is 3 stops less etc. The implication being shown on the transmission chart below.

    Transmission Comparisons

    Transmission Comparisons

    In reality, I would interpretation transmissions charts as showing what colours will dominate (above 50% -upto 1 sop) , what colours will minor and potentially need helping through the likes of HDR (50-12.5% Р1-2 stops) and finally what other colours will be negligible or lost (less than 12.5% Р3 stops or less).

    As ever, I am learning here, so any comments or corrections are very welcome.

  • How To: Workflow update
    Date: April 4, 2015 Category: Howto

    An update on my commonly used workflow. For a worthwhile image, the whole process takes around 5 minutes, once imported.

    1. Capture
      • On Camera – Custom-white balance set on the camera using white card.
    2. Import
      • Aperture 3 or Olympus Viewer 3 – Import of RAW files into Aperture 3 (except BG3 filtered files, where Olympus View 3 is used to Import and produce Tiff for importing to Aperture, due to an Aperture 3 bug).
    3. White-balance, Exposure & Pre-Sharpen
      • Aperture 3 – minor adjustments of White-Balance using Aperture dropper.
      • Aperture 3 + Nik Vivenza Plug-in – exposure and detail tweaking
      • Nik Sharpener Pro 3 (Aperture 3 Plug-in)¬†– sharpen RAW files into Tiff
    4. HDR Build
      • Photomatix (Aperture 3 Plug-in) – usually combining three hand-held images with +/-2EV range
    5. Noise Reduction
      • Nik Dfine 2 (Aperture 3 Plug-in)
    6. Colouring
      • GIMP (Aperture 3 external editor) – colour channel-swap if a pure infrared image
      • Aperture 3 – Individual hue-shifting
      • Topaz Restyle (Aperture 3 plug-in)
      • Nik Color Efex Pro 4 (Aperture 3 plug-in)
      • Nik Silver Efex Pro 2 (Aperture 3 plug-in)
    7. Framing
      • PTLens (Aperture 3 plug-in) – lens distortion correction
      • Aperture 3 – rotation & cropping
      • Aperture 3 – retouch &¬†cloning
    8. Finishing
      • Nik Sharpener Pro 3 (Aperture 3 plug-in) – output sharpen
      • BorderFX – border creation
  • Images: Moormead Park
    Date: April 10, 2015 Category: Images
    Moremead Park - BG3

    Moormead Park – BG3

    Moormead park, in Twickenham. Mixed UV and IR image from a full-spectrum Olympus M5 with a BG3 lens filter. No colour/channel-swap.

    All image rights reserved.

  • Images: Flying to Zurich
    Date: April 10, 2015 Category: Images

    Mixed infrared and UV images of flying over the channel and into Zurich airport. UG5 filter on a full-spectrum Olympus M5.

    Flying into Zurich - UG5

    Flying into Zurich – UG5

    Flying over the channel - UG5

    Flying over the channel – UG5

    All image rights reserved.

  • Images: White Cross Pub, Richmond
    Date: April 11, 2015 Category: Images
    White Cross Pub, Richmond - UG5

    White Cross Pub, Richmond – UG5

    Mixed UV and IR image from a UG5 filter.

    All image rights reserved.

  • KAP: First test flight
    Date: April 11, 2015 Category: Howto, KAP

    First flight and test of high wind delta kite: Dan Leigh made Trooper. 240lb Dacron black line. No camera and rig. Beaufort 2-3 winds.

    Just under 200m and straight up – very impressive. Getting the kite down gently was easy enough, through a succession of gentle stalls; however, getting up was more fraught due to treeline wind disturbance causing a number of take-off spin crashes. More practice needed before putting a camera onboard.

    KAP First flight

    KAP First flight

    Dan Leigh made Trooper

    Dan Leigh Trooper

    Dan Leigh Trooper

    Link: Dan Leigh kites

  • HowTo: White-balancing 590nm issues
    Date: April 11, 2015 Category: Howto

    Occasionally I find my cameras, both a full-spectrum and a dedicated 590nm model, have issues custom white-balancing 590nm (only 590nm, not any other filter). Using white card, the camera fails to register the new white-balance.

    The solution, having read up on others who have encountered similar issues, is to use a neutral-density (ND) filter when doing the custom white-balance (then taking the ND filter off for actual use). I use a ND1000 filter, but I suspect any rated ND filter will do. Consequently, I now keep a cheap ND filter attached to my 590nm filter, when in the bag.

    590nm + ND

    590nm + ND

  • Images: Richmond Green
    Date: April 11, 2015 Category: Images

    Richmond Green today using different frequency ranges. Both images taken with a full-spectrum Olympus e-M5. The first two are mixed UV and IR images from a UG5 lens filter; the final two from a straight infrared 590nm filter, including the colours/channel swapped.

    Richmond Green - UG5

    Richmond Green – UG5

    Richmond Green 3 - UG5

    Richmond Green 3 – UG5

    Richmond Green - 590nm

    Richmond Green – 590nm

    Richmond Green 2 - 590nm

    Richmond Green 2 – 590nm

    All image rights reserved.

  • Images: Gate Tower with UG5 filter
    Date: April 11, 2015 Category: Images
    Gate Tower - UG5

    Gate Tower – UG5

    A gate tower in Richmond. Mixed Infrared and UV, from a full-spectrum Olympus e-M5 with a UG5 lens filter. Violet hue-shifted to blue.

    All image rights reserved.

  • Images: Boating on the Thames
    Date: April 11, 2015 Category: Images
    Richmond Boating - UG5

    Richmond Boating – UG5

    Boating on the Thames at Richmond. Mixed Infrared and UV image from a full-spectrum e-M5 with a Schott UG5 lens filter. The violet hue-shifted to blue and the green desaturated.

    All image rights reserved.

  • HowTo: More Aperture3 Raw import issues
    Date: April 16, 2015 Category: Howto

    I am now see more Aperture 3 errors with importing mixed UV and IR RAW files, which have been custom white-balanced on the camera. The Schott UG5 filtered images are incorrectly imported, like the BG3 images; not as extreme, but still noticeably different/incorrect.

    The first image is the correct JPEG image, shot simultaneously. The second is the Aperture import of the same RAW file. Unlike with BG3 images, I can re white-balance and hue-shift the RAW derived image back to how it should be; however, this is significant and unwelcome work. Again, as with BG3 images, the OlympusView3 software will import correctly (may be a little under exposed) and allow me to produce a good TIFF, as a work around, which I can then work in Aperture3.

    UG5 Aperture  JPEG Import

    UG5 Aperture JPEG Import

    UG5 Aperture RAW Import

    UG5 Aperture RAW Import

    POST COMMENT [03-05-15] ¬†– I am now seeing RAW import issues with straight infrared images and not just mixed UV and IR ones. Apple are you deliberately degrading your product to move us to your dumb and dumber Photos app ? Sadly it seems I can no longer trust you with handling RAW files. ūüôĀ

  • Info: The B+W 491 Redhancer
    Date: April 16, 2015 Category: Images, Info

    Browsing the multitude of glass/filter transmission charts, the one filter that has always been of interest is the Schott BG36, given its mixed UV, Visible and IR rollercoaster transmission across the spectrum.

    Schott BG36 Transmission

    Schott BG36 Transmission

    I am reliably informed,¬†however, that this is one of Schott’s most expensive pieces of glass and consequently getting a screw-in camera filters was going to be over¬†¬£150+ (even a thin one at 52mm!). I was, however, also reliably informed that the B+W 491 filter, the “Redhancer”, (if you can find one) is¬†considerably cheaper and very similar in pattern.

    B+W 491 Transmission

    B+W 491 Transmission

    Fortune smiled and I found a reasonably priced one in Germany this week. Unfortunately, I have not had the weather to really test it, so this is just an initial unworked snap with my full-spectrum Olympus e-M5.

    The initial results, sadly, are a bit disappointing. I was hoping for something different, as wacky as its transmission; however, the initial images are very similar (even a little more dull) to what can be easily produced from a Schott BG3 or UG5.

    The first image is the 491 and the second, a green desaturated BG3 for comparison.

    Test B+W 491

    Test B+W 491

    Test (desat) BG3

    Test (desat) BG3

    As said, a little disappointingly not different, however, this is just the initial first test and not really worked. I want to see how it performs when stacked with a UV cut filter and colour-swapped like a pure Infrared image. Will post some more test images over the next few weeks, if the weather is good.

    All image rights are reserved.

  • KAP: Test 2 – Aerial GoPro
    Date: April 18, 2015 Category: Images, KAP
    Marble Hill House - KAP

    Marble Hill House – KAP

    Aerial view of the Thames, Marble Hill house and cricket pitch.

    Test 2 – put the GoPro up on the kite (the Trooper), on the Picavet. Pleased with the test results, but the GoPro took a good battering, getting off the ground, landing and even up in the air. Don’t think one of my infrared Olympus cameras would have survived it. It may be just the conditions or I need a different way of getting a more delicate¬†camera up.

    Also learnt that gloves are essential. The line, under pressure can really burn and tear into your hands ūüôĀ

  • Images: Bushy Park
    Date: April 18, 2015 Category: Images

    Bushy park this morning. Mixed Infrared and UV images from a full-spectrum Olympus e-M5 with a Schott BG3, the “super blue”, filter.

    Bushy Park 2 - BG3

    Bushy Park 2 – BG3

    Bushy Park 1 - BG3

    Bushy Park 1 – BG3

    All image rights reserved.

  • KAP: Test of the pulley system
    Date: April 18, 2015 Category: Images, KAP

    Tested today using a pulley on the kite line to get a camera (still testing with the robust GoPro at the moment) up, once the kite is up and stable.

    Diagram: Kite and pulley

    Diagram: Kite and pulley – not to scale!

    The issue I have found with urban parks is there is dirty/difficult wind lower down, below the tree-line, which can make launching of the kite unpredictable and hazardous to the camera. The idea is to get the kite up high, above the tree and building line and then pull up the camera on a pulley.

    First short test of this, this morning at Moremead Park (a small urban park) was relatively successful, although the camera swings around wildly when going up and impacts the kite’s flight. Plus, the camera line can quickly become a second¬†control line, if it becomes too taught. This method needs tight coordination between the kite flyer and the camera line operator.¬†More testing needed, before deciding if it is better or worse than using a standard picavet, but it certainly incurred less risk on the camera with kite launch.

    KAP Moremead Park

    KAP Moremead Park

    All image rights reserved.

  • KAP: Ouch – stuck in tree and broken case
    Date: April 19, 2015 Category: KAP

    So that went well (not) ! Lessons learnt.

    The kite (the Dan Leigh Trooper) got stuck in a tree in Richmond park and the Gopro case broke, after hitting the ground. Thankfully, and impressively, the GoPro itself survived – hey, thats why testing and learning with a GoPro, as opposed to one of my more delicate Infrared cameras, was a good idea! The case is easily replaced – an inexpensive lesson. Phew.

    Broken case

    Broken case

    Getting stuck in a tree – and thankfully getting the kite and GoPro out.

     

    The KAP lessons learnt:

    • Keep wearing gloves – saved some skin a couple of times
    • Getting kites up near trees, with the dirty wind, is difficult.
    • Flying too close to¬†trees is too risky, with the kite and camera getting stuck.
    • The Trooper is best with strong wind – which you don’t get close to trees. The wind, around 8-11mph was not strong, or consistent, enough today for it and the weight of the camera and rig. An alternative kite was needed.
    • Keep learning with a GoPro and not more expensive and delicate cameras.
    • Dan Leigh builds tough kites ! Nice.

    All image and media rights reserved.

     

  • Info: The Apple Aperture dilema
    Date: April 20, 2015 Category: Info

    Aperture icon

    Like most long term Apple Aperture users (version 3), I am¬†now forced to face the dilemma of what to do: migrate to the new dumb & dumber Photos app, migrate to Adobe’s Lightroom (and their insidious¬†payment plan) or spend endless days searching the internet for that inexpensive, but functionally brilliant, holy grail alternative.

    I really like Aperture and have invested considerable time and effort in it, with the rewards. I get that Apple has given us fair notice of the the change/drop, but I still feel stranded and let down.

    A cursory play with Photos, backed up with some good informed and trusted articles, is not encouraging to move now to Photos. it is not just about the images in the library and all the built-up¬†meta data, it is just as equally about the plug-ins and invested¬†workflow. ūüôĀ

    For now, I will hold on to Aperture for as long as I can, in the hope that the likes of Topaz and Google Nik fill the gaps with Photos or someone like Serif steps into the gap. Good as Lightroom is, Adobe and their insidious subscription plan is just too painful right now. Here is hoping that any up and coming Apple patches and OSX releases do not switch Aperture off.

    Apple you let me down; not all of us are the dumb users you seem to watch to now sell to.

    Articles:

  • KAP: Gentles clickPAN-PRO Controller
    Date: April 25, 2015 Category: KAP

    For those that are using the common Gentles clickPAN-PRO controller on their rig (I use mine with a KAPshop Modular1 rig), here is the set-up and configuration manual: clickPAN-PRO РI had a little trouble find it initially so thought it worth posting.

    Also knocked up this diagram to help.

    The key is which three point plug goes where. Read the diagram left to right, looking at it the same way in the pic.

    • Left Back = Tilt motor
    • Left Front = Shutter control
    • Right Back = Pan motor
    • Right Front = Power feed

    The plug/connectors should be, left to right (again looking the same way): yellow/white, red, black.

    Gentles clickpan controller

    Gentles ClickPan controller

    Pin Settings:

    PAN

    ClickPan Pan Pin Settings

    ClickPan Pan Pin Settings

    ClickPan Tilt Pin Settings

    ClickPan Tilt Pin Settings

    ClickPan Tilt Squence

    ClickPan Tilt Squence

    ClickPan Shutter Pin Settings

    ClickPan Shutter Pin Settings

    PS: Also found this excellent, and more informative, summary  via the good KAP folks at the Berkeley Edu forum:

    Link to Gentles Site: Gentles

    Link KAPshop Modular1: Modular1

  • Images: Marble Hill in 720nm infrared
    Date: April 25, 2015 Category: Images
    Marble Hill afternoon 2 - 720nm

    Marble Hill afternoon 2 – 720nm

    Marble Hill afternoon 1 - 720nm

    Marble Hill afternoon 1 – 720nm

    Marble Hill park and house this afternoon. Straight (‘raw’)¬†720nm images, with no colour channel-swap, from a full-spectrum Olympus e-M5 with an IR720 lens filter.

    All image rights reserved.

  • KAP: Why kites don’t fly
    Date: April 27, 2015 Category: Howto

    An interesting article on why kites don’t fly, by kite builder Peter Lynn:¬†Why Kites Don’t Fly

     

  • Images: Queen Mary’s Reservoir & French Clouds
    Date: April 28, 2015 Category: Images

    Fly past Queen Mary’s reservoir, out of Heathrow on the way to Zurich. Colour/channel-swapped Infrared image from a 720nm filter on a full-spectrum Olympus e-M5.

    Queen Mary's Reservoir - 720

    Queen Mary’s Reservoir – 720

    Strange little clouds over France.

    Clouds over France - 720

    Clouds over France – 720

    All image rights reserved.

  • Images: Heathrow & West London
    Date: April 29, 2015 Category: Images
    Heathrow - 720

    Heathrow – 720

    Heathrow and West London. A solarized infrared image from a 720nm lens filter on a full-spectrum Olympus e-M5.

    All image rights reserved.

  • HowTo: UV & Bandpass Filters
    Date: April 30, 2015 Category: Howto

    One of the questions I have had is, what happens with a bandpass filter if you cut out near-UltraViolet. Bandpass filters, like the Scott UG1, UG5 and BG3, mix UV with IR; effectively letting in some blue/violet and negating the need to colour/channel-swap.

    Using a Hoya UV HMC(0) filter, which has an aggressive cut off right on he 400nm, stacked with UG5 and BG3 filters, helps answer the question.

    A BG3 filter, with a transmission like this:

    BG3

    BG3

    With a UV(0) should make for a transmission like this:

    BG3+UV0

    BG3+UV0

    And a UG5, which has a transmission like this:

    UG5

    UG5

    With a UV(0) should make for a transmission like this, with a lot more IR:

    UG5+UV0

    UG5+UV0

    The results, from a little test this morning are below – the left image is the straight bandpass filter and the right image is with the UV(0) filter added.

    UG1

    UG1 comparison

    UG1 comparison

    UG5

    UG5 comparison

    UG5 comparison

    BG3

    BG3 comparison

    BG3 comparison

    There is not a lot of difference in reality, the UG1 shows the biggest difference but then it has the weakest UV and IR intake. You easily make the images on the right with a simple tweak, post shot, on the computer.

    The answer I guess, is that cutting out near-UV does not really do much at all.

    All image and content rights reserved.

  • Images: Flying over London
    Date: April 30, 2015 Category: Images

    Amazing conditions tonight flying into London, great visibility, light and cloud formations. The fates smiled upon me with the window seat at the back of the aircraft (thank you fates).

    590nm images from a full-spectrum Olympus M5 with a 590nm lens filter.

    London Thames & Docklands - 590

    London Thames & Docklands – 590

    Westminster - 590

    Westminster – 590

    Buckingham Palace - 590

    Buckingham Palace – 590

    Brentford - 590

    Brentford – 590

    All image rights reserved.

     

  • Images: Flying over Western France
    Date: April 30, 2015 Category: Images

    Flying over western France today. 590nm images from a full-spectrum Olympus M5 with 590nm lens filter.

    Flying over W France 2 - 590

    Flying over W France 2 – 590

    Flying over W France 1 - 590

    Flying over W France 1 – 590

    All image rights reserved.

  • Images: Flying over Hyde Park
    Date: April 30, 2015 Category: Images

    One more of flying into London today, with Hyde park in foreground. Colour/channel-swapped 590nm image from a full-spectrum Olympus e-M5 with a 590nm lens filter. Colour/channel-swapped in GIMP.

    London Hyde Park 590nm infrared

    London & Hyde Park – 590

    All image rights reserved.

  • Images: Yesterday in Zurich
    Date: May 1, 2015 Category: Images

    Yesterday in Zurich. Mixed UV and IR images from a full-spectrum Olympus M5 with a Schott BG3 lens filter.

    Zurich 1 - BG3

    Zurich 1 – BG3

    Zurich 2 - BG3

    Zurich 2 – BG3

    All image rights reserved.

  • Images: St Stephan’s Church
    Date: May 2, 2015 Category: Images
    St Stephan's Church - 660

    St Stephan’s Church – 660

    660nm image from a full-spectrum OLympus M5 with 660nm len filter.

    All image rights reserved.

  • HowTo: Comparison of UV and Cut Filters on Full Spectrum
    Date: May 2, 2015 Category: Howto

    Below is a comparison of a Hoya HMC UV(0) and Hoya UV/IR Cut filters. These filters are added (“stacked”) to Ho Mirror absorption filters to get full-spectrum cameras back to taking visible¬†(normal) light images.

    As discussed previously (look up “hot mirror”) to get back to visible light you need a Hot Mirror absorption filter, like the Schott BG38, 39, 40 and S8612, and a UV cut filter to cut off the near UV – as shown on the transmission chart below, below 400nm is near-UV and with these filters there is a lot creeping in. They are aggressively cutting out near-IR above 700nm, hence, the primary need is to cut the near-UV bottom end.

    hot mirror filters 2

    The question I have had is, do you need to use a UV/IR Cut filter, with an absorption Hot Mirror, or can you use a simpler and cheaper UV filter ?

    For this simple comparison test I used a Hoya HMC UV(0) filter (as opposed, to a UV-A, B or C) as they aggressively cut out near-UV right on 400m. I then separately stacked it with a Kolari Hot Mirror filter or a Schott S8612. Secondly, I did the same stacking, but replacing the UV filter with the Hoya UV/IR Cut filter.

    Note: each shot was individually white-balanced.

    The first set of 3 shows the UV/IR Cut Filter, with the absorption filters.

    UV/IR Cut Filter comparison

    UV/IR Cut Filter comparison

    The second¬†set of 3 shows the UV/IR Cut Filter, with the absorption filters. Note the impact of just the UV filter on full-spectrum, where there is no cutting of IR. This is hence not a ‘normal’ light image, but I included it for completeness.

    UV(0) Filter comparison

    UV(0) Filter comparison

    There are number of conclusions for me here (even though this is a simple comparison test and prone to light changes and white-balance inconsistencies):

    1. You definitely need to pair a filter to cut near-UV left in by an absorption hot-mirror.
    2. A UV/IR Cut filter (a reflection filter) on its own is not enough, it needs to be paired with an absorption filter.
    3. There is no real advantage in paying for a more expensive UV/IR Cut filter to pair with an absorption hot mirror filter; a simpler and cheaper UV(0) will suffice.
    4. There no real difference between the Kolari Hot mirror and the S8612 (I suspect the Kolari filter is a BG40, but may be wrong).

     

     

  • HowTo: Bandpass Filter for just IR
    Date: May 2, 2015 Category: Howto

    Bandpass filters like the Schott UG1, UG5, BG3 and Wratten 47B mix Infrared, a little of the visible spectrum and near-IR. The following are examples of what happens when a 590nm infrared filter is combined with bandpass filters to black the lower end visible and near-UV, leaving just red and near-IR.

    Schott UG5 + 590nm

    UG5 + 590nm

    UG5 + 590nm

    UG5

    UG5

    UG5 + 590

    UG5 + 590

    720

    720

    Although it loses about a stop, compared to using just a 720nm filter, the outcome is very much on a par with 720nm.

    Schott BG3 + 590nm

    BG3 + 590

    BG3 + 590

    BG3

    BG3

    BG3 + 590

    BG3 + 590

    Shows most of the transmission coming through from around 750nm

    Wratten 47B + 590nm

    W47B + 590

    W47B + 590

    47B

    47B

    47B + 590

    47B + 590

    The 47B has slightly higher transmission again with the outcome heading towards 800nm and B&W.

    Comment

    Why bother, when you can just use a 720nm or 850nm filter ? Well if, like I do a lot, you want to travel as light as possible and carry a minimum number of filters (with a full-spectrum), it allows you to combine a bandpass filter with a 590nm filter and not have to carry an additional 720nm filter.

     

  • HowTo: Minimum filters for full-spectrum
    Date: May 2, 2015 Category: Howto

    OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

    I am lucky enough to do interesting location travel with work and have been thinking what is the optimum set of equipment for travel, especially with regards to filters and my full-spectrum M5 (and not taking my little modified 660nm PM2). After various tests, and trips, I have got down to the following:

    • Full-spectrum Olympus M5
    • 12-32mm f3.5-5.6 Panasonic pancake lens
    • White-balance card
    • 3 filters:¬†BG3, 590nm & 850nm
    • 2 filters for visible light (normal):¬†UV(0) + Hot-Mirror
    • 1 ND filter, which can also help white-balance the 590nm
    • …and laptop

    Filter choice rational:

    • The UV(0) can stay on the lens protecting it, as it does not interfere that much with the BG3 (see previous post on stacking a UV filter with bandpass filters).
    • Adding a Hot-Mirror¬†filter to the UV(0) allows me to get close enough to normal visible photography for people and ‘normal’ visible spectrum shots.
    • The Schott BG3 gives the near-UV blue skies, without colour-swapping, and strong greens; plus with some simple green desaturation I can get close to UG5.
    • 590nm for the¬†widest colour¬†in near-IR; plus with some selective post-shot work, I can colour close enough to 660nm.
    • Add the 590 to the BG3 (see Combining Bandpass Post) and you get roughly 700nm to get the classic IR72 bleached out foliage look.
    • 850nm for B&W; however,¬†potentially I could do without this and just desaturate the 700nm images and get close enough, saving carrying another filter.

    Minimum Travel Filters

    FilterFrom camera (with White-Balance)Colour/Channel Swapped
    No filter (full-spectrum)
    FS

    FS

    + UV(0)
    FS + UV

    FS + UV

    + UV(0) + Hot Mirror (visible spectrum)
    UV + HM

    UV + HM

    + BG3
    BG3

    BG3

    + 590
    590

    590

    590 - CSwap

    590 - CSwap

    + BG3 + 590nm (approx 700nm)
    BG3 + 590

    BG3 + 590

    BG3 + 590 - CSwap

    BG3 + 590 - CSwap

    + 850nm
    850

    850

  • KAP: First Test of the ITW Ultrafoil 15
    Date: May 3, 2015 Category: KAP

    Tested the InToWind Ultrafoil 15 today at Marble Hill park; including with the GoPro attached. Had enough wind (est 15-20mph), to get the kite up; but as usual, in the low level park, the wind was dirty and skitty.

    ITW Ultrafoil 15

    ITW Ultrafoil 15

    Ultrafoil sideways on

    Ultrafoil sideways on!

    ITW Ultrafoil 25

    Ultrafoil in the sky

    Marble Hill House

    Marble Hill House

    A kite better suited to some nice clean breeze and not the frustrating unstable wind of Marble Hill park. It collapsed numerous times, but self-recovered quickly. Certainly enough lift to get my simple camera rig, on a picavet, up. A kite I will keep back for more open spaces with clean strong wind.

    All image rights reserved.

  • Images: London Bridges – Part 1
    Date: May 3, 2015 Category: Images

    Had a break in the grey weather and got a good afternoon down on the Southbank and a small project to capture London bridges.

    Blackfriars bridge - W47B

    Blackfriars bridge – W47B

    London Bridges 1  РBlackfriars station and bridge over the Thames, London. Full-spectrum Olympu M5 with a Wratten 47B lens filter (no colour/channel-swapping, as the blue is natural).

    Waterloo Bridge - W47B (desat)

    Waterloo Bridge – W47B (desat)

    A desaturated W47B image.

    All image rights reserved.

  • Images: St Paul’s, London
    Date: May 3, 2015 Category: Images
    St Paul's Cathedral - 590

    St Paul’s Cathedral – 590

    A desaturated infrared image of St Paul’s cathedral and the millennium bridge, shot from the Tate Modern. Desaturated image from a full-spectrum Olympus M5 with a 590nm lens filter.

    All image rights reserved.

  • KAP: Succesful testing of the Cody 30 on Box Hill
    Date: May 4, 2015 Category: KAP
    Flying the Cody 30 with a fuzzy tail on Box Hill

    Flying the Cody 30 with a fuzzy tail on Box Hill

    Successful testing of the new Cody 30 kite up on Box Hill

    First time kite flying on Box Hill, which had a good 8-12mph southerly breeze. The main location, where most people fly, is however tight on space and not really suitable for big kite flying IMO, when there are so many people, especially children around. In the end we stopped at two successful flights and landings and chose not to put the camera up with so many children running under the kite. Thats life, but I was happy with how the kite flew in the difficult space Рvery stable and relatively easy to land, through gentle stalls. Had to use a fuzzy tail to stop it overfling, which is a minor pain.

     

    Cody 30

    Didakite’s Cody 30

    A southerly is also not the best to fly from Box Hill, as it limits the use of the hill. An opposite direction northerly would allow kites to¬†be flown further down the hill and away from the picnics and children’s parties

     

     

     

    Box Hill

    Box Hill Coordinates: 51.248094, -0.311104

  • KAP: The Cody
    Date: May 4, 2015 Category: KAP
    Cody 30

    Cody 30

    Cody spotter kite A bit of background – the kite is named after¬†Samuel Franklin Cody (1867¬†‚Äď 1913), the¬†Wild West showman and early pioneer of manned flight.

    He is most famous for his work on the large kites known as Cody War-Kites that were used by the British in World War I as a smaller alternative to balloons for artillery spotting. He was also the first man to fly an aeroplane in Britain, in 1908.

    Mine is a scaled down version made by the German company Didakites: link

     

    Samuel Franklin Cody

    Samuel Franklin Cody

    Wikipedia: SamuelFranklinCody

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    So far it is easy to put up, but needs holding when on the ground in any kind of breeze. I also use elastic bands on the end of the kite to secure fastenings, otherwise, they slip off when not under tension and you are forever slipping them back on before tension is established. Finally it can overfly, but not drastically; a tail slows it down enough to stop this.

    Cody Tension Ends

    Tension Ends

    The Cody 30 with fuzzy tail

    The Cody 30 with fuzzy tail

  • Images: View from Box Hill
    Date: May 4, 2015 Category: Images

    The view from Box Hill.Colour/channel-swapped infrared images from a full-spectrum Olympus M5 with a 590nm lens filter.

    Box Hill infrared

    View from Box Hill 2 – 590

    Infrared Box Hill

    View from Box Hill 1 – 590

    All image rights reserved.

  • KAP: Broken Kite – Damaged Cody
    Date: May 5, 2015 Category: KAP

    Well that’s a lesson learnt ūüôĀ ¬†Broken kite.

    Tried to put the Cody (nicknamed Toothless, after How To Train Your Dragon) up, solo, in too stronger wind (est. 20+pmh) and ended up with the kite violently pivoting on me and the ground leading to a puncture of one of the wings and a broken carbon fibre spur.

    Completely my fault, a dumb move and lessons learnt as they say. Have patched up the puncture hole and ordered a replacement spar and ferrule.

    Punctured Cody

    Punctured Cody

    Broken spar

    Broken spar

    POSTSCRIPT

    The Cody is repaired with a replacement carbon-fibre spar and ferrule from The Carbon Fibre Shop

  • KAP: Lightwater with the Ultrafoil15 and DL Trooper
    Date: May 7, 2015 Category: KAP

    We are finally getting to understand and handle the Trooper, which is made all the better with the addition of a medium sized (16ft) fuzzy tail. With the tail it is so much more stable on takeoff and landing, with all the dirty wind from the enclosed park space.

    Here is the Trooper flying over Lightwater, Surrey; flying from from the Leisure Center sports fields. Winds: an inconsistent 12-18pmh. Not an easy place to fly from as there are close-in trees all the way round.

    Dan Leigh Trooper Fuzzy Tail

    Dan Leigh Trooper with fuzzy tail

    We used, with the GoPro, for the first time the new wire-rope pendulum, which worked well and, given the conditions, created less hassle than the picavet.

    My son, Harry, flying the ITW Ultrafoil 15 with the rains coming in (we headed for cover shortly after). Not an ideal kite to put up in the enclose space, with lots of dirty wind (the Trooper was much easier), but we fancied a challenge and the experience.

    ITW Ultrafoil 15 lightwater

    Ultrafoil 15 over Lightwater

    And the Ultrafoil going sideways !

    ITW Ultrafoil 15

    The Ultrafoil 15 sideways!

    Location

    Lightwater Leisure Centre: 51.349936, -0.685482

  • Images: The Thames from Kew Bridge
    Date: May 7, 2015 Category: Images

    590nm images form a full-spectrum Olympus M5 with 590nm and ND1000 lens filter. Colour/channel-swapped.

    Kew Thames London 590nm infrared

    The Thames at Kew – 590

    Brentford Thames 590nm infrared

    Brentford from the Thames – 590

    590nm boats kew thames infrared

    Kew Bats 3 – 590 desat

    Mixed UV and IR image from a Wratten 47B lens filter.

    Boats Kew Thames Wratten 47B

    Boats at Kew – W47B

    All image rights reserved.

  • KAP: Kap Pendulum
    Date: May 8, 2015 Category: KAP

    My new KAP pendulum. I like using the picavet (Brooke’s Compact model), but in difficult situations (enclosed parks), where the kite is all over the place, I have had looping problems with it getting wrapped around the line.

    image

    After a bit of research and using what I had laying around the house, I built a 50cm pendulum using 5mm plastic coated wire rope, with the principal being that the plastic and wire helps dampen the pendulum movement.

    Initially I used a pulley block for it to swing on, but that seemed to offer no advantage (and extra weight) over just connecting the loop to the screw link on the main line. Simple and less weight always wins over the elaborate.

    image

    Nothing fancy either with attaching for now the test pilot GoPro, just some cable ties.

    image

    Once, I have got happy with the kites and set-up, i will work out a way to attach a looped end of the pendulum to the KapShop Mod1 rig.

    Main thing is to keep remembering to look where the sun is and attach the Gopro in the opposite direction

  • KAP: Flying from Moormead Park Twickenham
    Date: May 9, 2015 Category: KAP

    Flying the Dan Leigh Trooper from Moormead Park today.

    Wind was a messy (it is a small park) and inconsistent 12-16mph. The trooper as usual was excellent, with the 16ft fuzzy tail on.

    KAP flying over twickenham moormead park

    Flying from Moormead Park, looking over Twickenham

    st Margrets KAP kites moormead twckenham

    Moormead Park, St Margret’s, Twickenham – KAP

    KAP,moormead,st Margrets,kite,twickenham

    Moormead Park; St Margret’s, twickenham 3 – KAP

    Moormead Park KAP

    Moormead Park – KAP

    St Margret's KAP

    St Margret’s – KAP

     

    Twickenham KAP

    Twickenham – KAP

    Moormead Park Twickenham KAP

    Moormead Park & Twickenham – KAP

    Location: Moormead Park, Twickenham

  • Images: Flying into the Netherlands
    Date: May 12, 2015 Category: Images

    Flying into the Netherlands. 590nm infrared images from a full-spectrum Olympus M5 with a 590nm lens filter.

    Netherlands coastline 590nm infrared

    The Dutch Coastline – 590

    Dutch fields 590 infrared

    Dutch fields – 590

    Netherlands infrared 590nm

    Netherlands 1 – 590

    Netherlands infrared 590nm

    Netherlands 2 – 590

    All image rights reserved.

  • Images: Gateway to the Netherlands
    Date: May 12, 2015 Category: Images

    Slightly solarized infrared image of the cannal gateway into the English Channel. 590nm image form a full-spectrum Olympus M5 with a 590nm lens filter.

    Netherlands infrared 590nm

    Gateway to the Netherlands – 590

    netherlands infrared 590nm

    Netherlands 4 – 590 (desat)

    All image rights reserved.

  • Images: Loading the Tourist Boat in Amsterdam
    Date: May 13, 2015 Category: Images
    amsterdam boat 590nm infrared

    Loading the boat in Amsterdam – 590

    A desaturated 590nm image from a full-spectrum Olympus M5, with a 590nm lens filter. This image came out as a welcome surprise, the detail that came out unexpectedly reminds me of old Dutch painting.

    All image rights reserved.

  • Images: Raw images of Amsterdam in Infrared
    Date: May 13, 2015 Category: Images

    Some raw 590nm images, uncolour/channel-swapped, of Amsterdam.

    Amsterdam infrared 590nm

    Amsterdam 1 – 590

    Amsterdam infrared 590

    Amsterdam 2 – 590

    All image rights reserved.

  • Images: Amsterdam in mixed UV and Infrared
    Date: May 13, 2015 Category: Images

    A mixed IR and UV image of Amsterdam, using a full-spectrum Olympus M5 and a Schott BG3 filter. The final image has had its usual green desaturated.

    Amsterdam infrared UV schott BG3

    Amsterdam – BG3

  • Images: More of Infrared Amsterdam
    Date: May 15, 2015 Category: Images
    amsterdam infrared 590nm

    Boating in Amsterdam 2 – 590nm

    Boating in Amsterdam - 590nm

    Boating in Amsterdam – 590nm

    590nm infrared netherlands

    Train goes by – 590 (desat)

    Desaturated 590nm images of Infrared Amsterdam, taken with a full-spectrum Olympus M5 with a 590nm lens filter.

    All image rights reserved.

  • KAP: First camera flight of the Triton
    Date: May 21, 2015 Category: KAP
    Triton with a tail

    Triton with a tail

    After a few simple no-camera test flights, I got a chance to fly the Triton properly, with a GoPro on my wire pendulum, and am impressed. Flew from Chobham Nature Reserve, not an easy place to fly from, given the wide cover of gorse bush.

    Surrey Heath

    Surrey Heath

    I was warned that the¬†Triton is a kite with a tendency to¬†overfly and I can confirm this; however, with a short fuzzy tail on it (as shown), it flies¬†fine. Very stable, with excellent¬†pull in light winds – lifted my GoPro and wire pendulum with no issue in 4pm’ish winds. Straight up out of the hand and easy to reel back to hand.

    Tried the Cody in the same wind and got nowhere near the same lift. The Cody needs really Bft 3 to lift well, whereas the Triton is very happy below that.

    Location: Chobham Nature Reserve

  • KAP: Struggling with the Rokkaku
    Date: May 21, 2015 Category: KAP
    didakites rokkaku

    didakites rokkaku

    Struggled again with the rainbow rokkaku today.  The lines on mine are definitely not correct set-up and my attempts to change them on the fly was not great. Time to find some good documentation and help. Even though it was not correctly set-up, its limited flight did show excellent pull and potential. Happy to persevere.

    POSTSCRIPT

    The fine folks over at the Berkeley.edu KAP forum¬†pointed me at the following PDF document on John Dobson’s kite site (www.johndobson.info): link¬†– and am in the midst of re-bridling the kite.

  • KAP: First flight at the seaside, Bexhill on Sea
    Date: May 25, 2015 Category: KAP

    The first time flying at the beach and, wow, what a difference from learning in difficult parks. Lovely consistent breeze. Flew both the Triton and the Cody straight up out of hand and straight back to hand. Marvelous.

    First up was the Triton at Bexhill on Sea beach, by the Sovereign Light cafe in a steady 4-6pmh light breeze. As usual, needed a shortish fuzzy tail to stop it overflying. Lifted the GoPro, on the wire pendulum, with ease. Very stable, a joy to handle.

    My son easily holding the Triton (and other members of family in support :-> )

    KAP - Harry with the Triton

    KAP – Harry with the Triton

    The shadow of the Triton on the beach

    KAP - Bexhill on Sea 2

    KAP – Bexhill on Sea 2

    KAP - Bexhill on Sea

    KAP – Bexhill on Sea

    KAP - us on the beach

    KAP – kite family on the beach

    Location: Bexhill on Sea (Sovereign Light cafe)

  • KAP: Hastings
    Date: May 25, 2015 Category: KAP

    After Bexhill on Sea we moved on to Hastings, which also proved a joy with constant wind off the beach; however, the overlooking West Hill proved more variable, but still good.

    Flew the (repaired) Cody off the beach, as the wind had picked up to around a constant 10-12mph. Lifted perfectly and was as usual very steady, again using a shortish (12ft) tail.

    KAP - Hastings Seafront

    KAP – Hastings Seafront

    With the weather turning the second site was at the top of the West Hill. The quaint victorian cliff railway takes you up the hill to a big open park area, which has the sea wind coming over it.

    A lesson to learn for me Рon the top of the hill the wind was a light 8mph (checked on the ever helpful anemometer), however, as soon as the kite was 10m up the wind became a lot stronger and the Triton was not happy under the stress. The Cody would have been more in its element and should have been the kite I put up. Quickly hauled the Triton down, not wanting it to break, but did manage to get a few shots from the short time it was up, with the weather turning.

    KAP - Hastings West Hill

    KAP – Hastings West Hill

    Location: Hastings Beach & West Hill

  • Images: Bankside today
    Date: May 28, 2015 Category: Images

    Walking down Bankside (London) this morning. Both images taken with an Olympus M5 with infrared and a Schott bandpass lens filter.

    590nm infrared image, colour/channel-swapped.

    Bankside 1 - 590

    Bankside 1 – 590

    BG3 mixed UV and IR image.

    Bankside 2 - BG3

    Bankside 2 – BG3

    All image rights reserved.

  • Images: Green Park Tube Exit
    Date: May 28, 2015 Category: Images

    Green Park (South) tube exit. A mixed UV and Infrared image from a full-spectrum Olympus M5 with a Schott BG3 lens filter.

    Green Park - BG3

    Green Park – BG3

    All image rights reserved.

  • KAP: The Rokkaku flies !
    Date: May 29, 2015 Category: KAP

    After the rain and wind settled down today I managed to get to test the re-bridling of the Didakite’s Rainbow Rokkaku on my way home from work, at Craneford Way park/playing fields; and, hurrah, success – it flies! And not just “flies”, pulled like an out of control train in about 14-18mph winds.

    KAP - Twickenham & Rokkaku

    KAP – Twickenham & Rokkaku

    The canal, trainline and West twickenham

    KAP - Twickenham

    KAP – Twickenham

    KAP - Twickenham 2

    KAP – Twickenham 2

    KAP - Twickenham 3

    KAP – Twickenham 3

    Location: Craneford Way playing fields & park, Twickenham

  • KAP: Marking out the Rokkaku
    Date: May 31, 2015 Category: KAP

    After re bridling the rokkaku (basically untying the bridle and putting it back together with the top and bottom knots further back and the connecting line tied differently), and understanding more how it flies, especially how sensitive it is to where the line is attached, I have marked out some increments on the bridle and the bow lines. Trying take some of the guess out of the adjustment.

    Rokkaku bridle marking

    Rokkaku bridle marking

    Rokkaku bow marking

    Rokkaku bow marking

    Got lots of help from some old forum discussions, and various articles, on tuning rokkakus:

    The standout points to me, reading the various articles and discussions on tuning and setting up rokkakus, were:

    • Kite should fly approximately 70-80 degrees to the wind
    • The bridle should not be short¬†– “can’t be too long!” (1.5x – 3x kite height seems most people’s guide)
    • “More wind, more bow”
    • Bow the bottom spar a little more than the top for stability
    • The window of adjustment, of where you attach the¬†line (tow-point) and produce¬†the kite angle, is small. Too high and the kite will overfly, too low and it will sink.
    • Higher tow-point = Higher Flying Angles, great for stronger winds.
      Lower Tow Point = Lower Flying Angles, creates more pull for lighter winds.
    • Fly the kite from your hand and¬†keep lowering the tow-point and checking that the kite wants to lift until you have reached a point where the Kite does NOT want to lift. Then mark that position on the bridle plus another mark 10mm above this, this a good starting¬†tow-point, if the Kite does not want to lift, then raise the tow-point by increments of 5mm at a time until you have liftoff.
  • KAP: Musing on progress
    Date: May 31, 2015 Category: Howto
    Setting the camera

    Setting the camera

    I was musing on my progress with getting IR cameras up in the air and that I haven’t so far. More through choice, than technical challenge, but it has still been an interesting learning experience so far. I have held back putting anything other than my well protected GoPro up as it has taken some time to get the hang of the kites and understand the conditions well enough so that the expensive cameras don’t end up quickly in bits.

    KAP - Harry and the Cody

    KAP – Harry and the Cody

    Initially, primarily with my poor mistreated delta (the Dan Leigh Trooper) the crashes were frequent, especially flying without a tail; however, now my success rate is pretty crash free, which has been more about judging the conditions correctly (and learning to walk away), than expert kite control.

    So, some things learnt so far:

    • Getting used the kites and conditions has been invaluable,
    • Gloves are essential with handling the line – one friction line burn was enough to get it.
    • Parks, with close trees, make for difficult places to fly.
    • Unless I have constant clean wind, I would rather use a frame/sparred kite than a soft foil. You only have to watch a foil collapse mid-air once to appreciate the issue.
    • All my kites seem to be better with a tail – I now always have a 16ft tail in my field¬†bag.
    • I prefer using my homemade pendulum, to my pivacat. The picavet gets fiddly to attach when I am on my own and gets flayed around too much in difficult wind situations.
    • I generally take at least two kites with me now, when I go out. I take the general wind/weather forecast as rough estimate, which is often wrong for the actual location – with two kites of different wind-range, I can usually cover the actual¬†location.
    • My rokkaku (or rather my skill with it) has been a real PITA – it has been¬†like dealing with a diva¬†opera singer – when it hit the right note, it knocks your socks off (pulls like a freight train), but more often than not, it chooses not to sing ! They may not¬†lift as much, but starting with deltas is much easier.
    • With trips away, and less predictability, three kites has been sufficient to cover¬†potential wind ranges.
    • I am still undecided on the use of swivels – I can the argument not to, but can also see the potential benefit of less impact on the line holding the camera.
    KAP - Dan Leigh Trooper Fuzzy Tail

    KAP – Dan Leigh Trooper

    Re the KAP kites I have to play with (borrowed or owned):

    • The ITW Triton, which came to me secondhand, demands a tail otherwise it overflies; however, with one on it is a good light wind lifter. My first choice for light winds. Packs down well and easy to transport, which is a bonus.
    • The Dan Leigh Trooper, like the Triton, also demands a tail but more for stability and slowing the aerial sports down. Great for good to strong winds and my go-to when the wind picks up. Easy to assemble and handle on my own; however, a big (long)¬†kite to transport and not easy to travel with.
    • The ITW UltraFoil 15 has not been flown much, as I have not had much strong clean wind to work with. Like all foils, it is easy to fold down and travel with so hope to use it more over the summer when away.
    • The Didakite’s Cody 30 looks very majestic and is a very stable mid-wind flier. Fits nicely between the ranges of the Triton and Trooper, but does not lift as strong as the Rokkaku. Assembling it¬†initially was tricky, but the elastic band trick (see previous post) has made it now a doddle; however, it is much easier with two people. I suspect that the Rokkaku will displace it for mid-winds over time.
    • The Didakite’s Rainbow Rokakku, which also came to me secondhand, initially would not fly at all. After re-brindling it, which was probably more about me understanding how it worked than how it was initially set-up,¬†has flown well and is a very strong lifter. Can be packed down small, if all the spars are take apart, which makes travelling with it easier.
    • The Dan Leigh Lightweight Carbon Whirlwind has not been¬†flown much as it is a very light wind kite with a small wind-range. When the conditions are right it is lovely to see it fly, however, the Triton has a little more range to work with. I will probably keep the Whirlwind more for fun, than KAP.
    • On order is a Dan Leigh Wildcard (yes, I like Deltas)
    Ultrafoil sideways on

    Ultrafoil sideways on!

    It is very early days, and I have a lot still to learn, but if I was to grab just one kite to run out of the house with, for the quick fix, it would be the Dan Leigh Trooper Рit may not pull/lift as much as the rokkaku or foil, but it is a darn-sight easier to fly with.

    Next, when we have some good wind, the full rig goes up with the 660nm infrared Olympus PM2.

  • KAP: Rokkaku in Bushy Park
    Date: June 1, 2015 Category: KAP
    KAP - Rokkaku in Bushy Park 1

    KAP – Rokkaku in Bushy Park 1

    KAP - Rokkaku in Bushy Park 2

    KAP – Rokkaku in Bushy Park 2

    The temperamental rokkaku in Bushy Park.

    All image rights reserved.

    Location Bushy Park

  • KAP: First test of the new KAP rig
    Date: June 2, 2015 Category: KAP
    KAP - The Stoop & Twickenham Stadium

    KAP – The Stoop & Twickenham Stadium

    Felt bullish and went out to the local park tonight and tested the new KAP rig – Kapshop Mod1 –¬†still¬†just with the GoPro (did not trust the expensive cameras in the conditions). Strong post storm winds, 20mph, bust gusting much more (up to 36mph according to the wind apps).

    Me hanging on nervously

    Me hanging on nervously

    Put up the trusted and tough Trooper delta and up went the rig and camera on the picvet. It survived, but got a big baptism of fire being tossed around and swung in multiple 360s around the line. In these condition I much prefer the pendulum, especially as it is easier to handle on my own; however, I have not yet built a trusted mechanism to fasten the pendulum to the rig.

    The Trooper and rig bouncing around

    The Trooper and KAP rig bouncing around

    The Trooper way up high

    The Trooper way up high with the new KAP rig

    I am down there somewhere

    I am down there somewhere

    All image rights reserved.

    Location: Craneford Road Playing Fields

    Richmond Park

    Richmond Park

  • KAP: New rig on the KAP Pendulum
    Date: June 4, 2015 Category: KAP

    Finally worked out how to robustly attach the new KAPshop Mod1 rig to my wire-rope pendulum suspension.

    Here it is with my Infrared 660nm modified Olympus e-PM2 (plus Panasonic 12-32mm lens), the main camera it will fly; plus the interval timer (attached below). Annoyingly the Olympus does not support IR triggering, so I have to use a separate intervalometer to do the triggering. Less than ideal as there is no direct synchronisation between the rig movement and the shutter firing, but the objective has always been to shoot aerial infrared, so the camera stays until I modify another which can be triggered, and synchronized, by the rig (ClickPan-Pro) controler.

    New rig and pendalum

    New rig and pendulum

    Total weight is 940g, camera, lens, rig, batteries and pendulum.

    I am so glad (hurrah) to ditch the picavet in favour of the wire-rope pendulum Рso much less hassle, no painful lines to keep untwisting. Much easier to add the pendulum to the line one handed, while flying on my own. I get the weight advantage of the picavet, but for me in my typical scenarios it has been nothing more than a PITA*.

    Dan Leigh Whirlwind

    Dan Leigh Whirlwind

    Frustratingly there was no wind tonight to really test it. I managed to get the Dan Leigh Carbon Whirlwind up for a very short period, and it lifted the rig and camera amazingly well, given there could have been nothing more than a few mph of wind.

    Looking forward to the coast at the weekend to test it all properly.

    * refer to Urban Dictionary.

  • KAP: Tuning the tempremental Rokkaku
    Date: June 5, 2015 Category: Images, KAP
    the rianbow rokkaku

    the rainbow rokkaku

    Although I had finally got the temperamental rok flying, I felt it had a tendency to pull too much to the left. After checking the bridle, I found that one side was indeed slightly shorter than the other, by about 2cm (on a 120cm line).

    I took it all apart again and, on the basis of reading more, lengthened the top and bottom bridles to 175cm (attachment point to the combining knot), allowing about another 20cm, behind the combining knot, to the adjustment line. This time I made sure the line lengths were equal and marked.

    Worked a treat tonight, with the rok pinning itself to the sky, after flying it from my hand and adjusting the tow-point attach position a couple of times. So this temperamental diva likes it all nice and very symmetrical.

     

  • KAP: First Aerial Infrared Photography
    Date: June 5, 2015 Category: Images, KAP

    Finally, after 4 months and a lot of practice, I put up an an infrared camera this evening.

    The rokkaku pinned itself to the sky in a Bft3, but did not have long as the wind picked up and the rokkaku became too forceful. The Trooper would have been better suited, on reflection.

    The rokkaku and rig

    The rokkaku and rig

    I also made the rookie mistake of not checking the rig batteries which were low and consequently the rig stopped moving 5 minutes in !

    Not much of an image (660nm infrared colour-swapped image) – but hey, it is a landmark and I have worked hard to get here. Now to start getting good images.

    KAP Twickenham - 660

    KAP Twickenham – 660

    All image rights reserved.

    Location: Craneford Road Park & Playing Fields

  • Images: Kingston upon Thames
    Date: June 5, 2015 Category: Images
    Kingston upon Thames - 590

    Kingston upon Thames – 590

    Colour/channel-swapped infrared image of Kingson upon Thames, take with a full-spectrum Olympus M5 with a 590nm lens filter.

    All image rights reserved.

  • Images: Leo on folkestone beach
    Date: June 7, 2015 Category: Images

    My friend Joe’s son, Leo, exploring and paddling on folkestone beach today. The second image has the red and oranges slightly desaturated.

    Leo on Folkestone beach  1 - 590

    Leo on Folkestone beach 1 – 590

    Leo on Folkestone beach  2 - 590

    Leo on Folkestone beach 2 – 590

    Colour/channel-swapped infrared images from a 590nm lens filter on a full-spectrum M5.

    All image rights reserved.

  • Images: Folkestone in IR and UV
    Date: June 7, 2015 Category: Images

    Mixed infrared and ultraviolet images of Folkestone from a full-spectrum Olympus M5 with a Schott BG3 lens filter.

    Folkestone old sea-defences - BG3

    Folkestone old sea-defences – BG3

    A second image, this time with the yellow slightly desaturated.

    Folkestone Beach - BG3

    Folkestone Beach – BG3

    All image rights reserved.

  • Images: Infrared KAP Aerial Images of Folkestone
    Date: June 7, 2015 Category: Images, KAP

    First good¬†aerial infrared images. ūüôā The plan is taking shape.

    Folkestone this weekend. 660nm infrared images from an Olympus PM2, on a KAPshop Mod1 rig.

    Excellent¬†constant bft4 wind – as usual the coast is so much easier than flying in London’s parks. Excuse the pun, a great breath of fresh air. The first image is hanging from¬†a Dan Leigh Trooper delta; which, as usual, was happy, upright and stable with a 4m¬†tail on it.

    KAP: Folkestone 1 - 660nm

    KAP: Folkestone 1 – 660nm

    The second set of images are from an IntoWind UltraFoil 15, again with a 4m tail. A kite I do not fly often, as I am usually limited to parks and urban areas with crappy wind. By the sea, with constant solid wind, however, it is in its element and flies superbly. We also, for a bit of fun and an experiment, augmented the tail with a windsock fish to act as a drogue; connected at the tow-point.

    KAP: Folkestone 2 - 660nm

    KAP: Folkestone 2 – 660nm

    KAP: Folkestone 3 - 660nm

    KAP: Folkestone 3 – 660nm

    Both kites lifted the 940g rig/camera/suspension (wire-rope) with no issue. The Trooper flies more upright at a tighter angle than the UltraFoil, but it does not limit the photography.

    Flying from Folkestone Beach - 660nm

    Flying from Folkestone Beach – 660nm

    Camera & Rig Settings

    Infrared modified 660nm Olympus e-PM2 & Panasonic 12-32mm lens

    • ISO: Auto, capped at ISO800
    • Format: RAW
    • Mode: Shutter priority, set to 1/500th initially and then increased¬†to 1/1000th
    • Focal Length: 12mm (full-frame equiv¬†=¬†24mm)
    • Intervalometer: 15sec delay start (saves pointless initial lifting shots), 3 second interval.
    • Rig: KAPshop Mod1
    • Rig Pan: 20degree steps
    • Rig Tilt: H-45-N

    All image rights reserved.

    Location:  The Warren, Folkestone

  • KAP: Choosing Kites on the day
    Date: June 8, 2015 Category: KAP

    I am getting better at reading the wind, but it is not easy and always open to weather changes and the dynamics of the locality.

    My first point of assessment is usually the weather apps on my iPhone to see how the weather will work out over the days ahead, the Met Office one being the one I use first, followed by Windfinder. One the day I then look for the usual tell-tale signs, tree tops etc, and finally on the site I use my little cheap anemometer (wind meter). And often, all that is wrong and not what is actually happening at the site and a few meters above me.

    Met Office App

    Met Office App

    One of the things I have learnt that is important…¬†the hard way… is the forecast on gusting, as well as the general wind speed. A big gap between the two numbers, to me, means potential trouble if a kite is initially on the edge of its wind range or an increased risk of the kite doing something fatal.

    As said, even with the wind forecast and the signs for the trees, my experience is that many locations can be very different; usually with less wind than forecast, but occasionally the opposite and much stronger. Consequently, I usually take 2-4 kites with me to cover any variation at the location.

    Kite Wind Ranges & Line

    I generally use the chart above¬†on choosing the kites to take with me, based on a mix of manufacturers recommendations and my experience. For example, my Didakite’s Rainbow Rokkaku list as flying in Bft 1, but I have never managed it. Plus “flying” is different to “lifting” – a kite may fly, but it won’t always lift. The colour bars, for each kite, are the range I normally fly it in looking for lifting capability; the outline blocks are the manufacturers quoted recommendations for just flying (not lifting).

    My general approach, when I get the chance to head out, is to grab:

    Light wind, Bft1-2 РThe Triton. The Carbon Whirlwind comes out if it looks like no wind at all and I am going out anyway, plus only to lift the GoPro.

    Triton

    Medium wind, Bft 2-4 РThe temperamental Rokkaku. Occasionally, if there are two of us, the majestic Cody comes along to look good (the Wildcard has not yet arrived, so not had chance to evaluate).

    the rianbow rokkaku

    the rainbow rokkaku

    Strong winds, Bft 4+ – The Trooper, unless I am the coast or somewhere with good constant wind, and then the UltraFoil 15 has a flight.

    Dan Leigh Trooper

    Dan Leigh Trooper

    So, most of the time, I walk out the door, with either a Triton & Rokkaku or a Trooper & Rokkaku in my hand.

    The other kites come along for the ride, depending on what takes my fancy and if I am solo or have the support of someone else (usually the press-ganged family).

    I have also learnt, from butt-clinching experience, that getting up might be easy, but coming down is less so. This is especially important when I am flying solo. Having now played with these kites in various conditions, I can appreciate the war testimonials from people talking about the difficulty with getting big kites down in strong winds, especially when there is expensive camera gear attached to the line. I now appreciate even more the Trooper (with a tail) in strong winds, which is never a problem hauling down.

    Dopero

    Dopero

    I am happy with my kite options for medium and strong winds, it is at the low end where I feel I am missing an option in the stable, especially if I travel. A Dopero seems the answer generally, however, not a great option for travel, where I would look for something to augment the, pack down small, Rokkaku and UltraFoil15. A Fled seems a good option for this, so may look to try one over the next month.

    Fled

    Fled

     

     

  • KAP: Keeping Reels Tidy
    Date: June 8, 2015 Category: KAP

    I like using simple halo reels, however, one of their annoying aspects is the line getting loose when they are not in use.

    My solution is to use a cheap little plastic carabiner clip on the loop and an elastic band, which keeps the line taut and tidy on the reel.

    Tidy reels

    Tidy reels

     

     

  • Images: Folkestone beach
    Date: June 8, 2015 Category: Images

    850nm infrared images of Folkestone beach, from a full-spectrum Olympus M5 with an 850nm lens filter.

    Folkestone - 850nm

    Folkestone – 850nm

    Playing of Folkestone Beach - 850

    Playing of Folkestone Beach – 850

    All image rights reserved.

  • KAP: Videos
    Date: June 9, 2015 Category: KAP

    Jim Nicholls

    Got directed by the good folk at KAP Berkeley Edu to some excellent help videos by Jim Nicholls of JimsKites.co.nz

    His YouTube Channel (lots of kite reviews)

  • Images: Aerial Infrared Richmond
    Date: June 9, 2015 Category: Images, KAP

    Really nice to have the light evenings. Got a chance to put some of the kites up in The Old Deer Park, Richmond.

    Richmond 1 - 660

    Richmond 1 – 660

    Richmond 2 - 660

    Richmond 2 – 660

    Old Deer Park 3 - 660

    Old Deer Park 3 – 660

    Old Deer Park 2 - 660

    Old Deer Park 2 – 660

    Old Deer Park 1 - 660

    Old Deer Park 1 – 660

    Views of Richmond upon Thames, Isleworth and Brentford (and the A316). Colour/channel-swapped 660nm infrared images from a modified Olympus PM2.

    All image rights reserved.

    Camera & Rig Settings

    Infrared modified 660nm Olympus e-PM2 & Panasonic 12-32mm lens

    • ISO: Auto, capped at ISO800
    • Format: RAW
    • Mode: Shutter priority¬†@¬†1/1000th
    • Focal Length: 12mm (full-frame equiv¬†=¬†24mm)
    • Intervalometer: 15sec delay start (saves pointless initial lifting shots), 2¬†second interval.
    • Rig Pan: 20degree steps
    • Rig Tilt: H-45-N

    Location

  • KAP: Walking down the Rokkaku
    Date: June 9, 2015 Category: KAP

    An interesting experience this evening in the Old Deer Park, with the wind being very variable and the rokkaku refusing to come down.

    As I am learning with my urban parks, a typical experience really Рthe forecast was for 9mph winds, with no gusting; at ground level the anemometer showed 6pm, however, when I put the Triton up with the anemometer attached it came down reporting 18mph ! Which explained why it was unhappy and tried to pull my hands off Рthe first time I have ever had that with the normally mild Triton. Tried to put the camera up on it, but the winds then died and it dumped the camera (thankfully gently). Not going to complain too much, given the Triton held itself together well outside its comfort zone.

    As the winds picked up again I tried the UtraFoil15; but, in big contrast to the weekend by the sea, it was not having any of it. It either did not want to fly in protest or just wanted to go sideways ground skimming. This is a kite that just does not like anything urban or anything other than constant clean wind. Wrapped it up and put it back in the bag, in the naughty corner.

    Finally put the temperamental rokkaku up and it love it, straight up, nailed up there in the sky. Camera clicked merrily away. Trouble was the rokkaku loved it too much and decided to stay up and pull my arms out of their sockets for fun. A right old power battle. Thankfully there are some rugby posts in the park and I was able to tie off the line and walk the camera down.

    Of all my kites the rokkaku is the one that can be the biggest battle and create the tautest singing line (Dacron Black 110daN). Great lifting in medium winds, but winding it in can sometimes be a lot of stress on the line, reel and my arms. Time for a better walk it down technique. Time to dig out the old Mini Eight, from Rock Exotica (which is hiding somewhere in the house or storage) and allow me to easily tie off the taut line and fasten it down to some fixed park item and then walk the kite, and camera, down. Not sure about wearing a climbing harness in a park, but it might come to that.

    Mini Eight Rock Exotica

    Mini Eight from Rock Exotica

    Loop, Carabiner & Tie-off Eight

    Loop, Carabiner & Tie-off Eight

  • KAP: Kites for Wind Gusts
    Date: June 12, 2015 Category: KAP

    Occasionally I find the weather forecast is for decent winds, but with potential for big gusts.

    Met Office App

    Met Office App

    One option is to not fly a kite, probably the most sensible option, however, sometimes I feel brave and foolish and put a kite up. There are, however, only a few kites I would trust with the risk, those with a wide enough wind range, predictability and robust enough to take it.

    The ones I would trust are my:

    • Trooper – I think it can take just about anything
    Dan Leigh Trooper

    Dan Leigh Trooper

    • Cody 30 – always stable, as long as there is someone there to help assemble it.
    The Cody 30

    The Cody 30

    • UltraFoil 15 – it can collapse, but recovers predictably and floats well.
    UltraFoil 15

    UltraFoil 15

    The ones I would keep in the box are my¬†Rokkaku,¬†enough of a fight inside its comfort zone and don’t fancy it in a more stressful environment, the¬†Whirlwind, just a bit too delicate, and¬†Triton.

  • KAP Images: Shoreham by the Sea
    Date: June 14, 2015 Category: Images, KAP

    After some nice early diving in the morning, out on Buccaneer, I managed to get the kites up for a short while on the beach in the afternoon.A nice easy location, with a wide beach right by the old fort. The off-shore wind was a bit temperamental around 8-12pm, with occasional lulls, but sufficient for the Triton and Rokkaku.

    The Rokkaku over Shoreham

    The Rokkaku

    Rokkaku up high

    Rokkaku up high

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    A day where the temperamental Rokkaku showed why it is worth persevering with. The Triton lifted to a reasonable height, but did not like the lulls and came down gracefully (one of its qualities). The UltraFoil 15 would not play and just hung around and sulked Рthis is a kite that likes strong wind. And the Rokkaku showed them all up, straight up, pulled like the usual train and nailed itself in the sky, twice as high as the Triton. Very impressive; I love this temperamental kite more and more.

    Shoreham Fort - 660

    Shoreham Fort – 660

    Shoreham by the Sea - 660

    Shoreham by the Sea – 660

    Shoreham by the Sea beach - 660

    Shoreham by the Sea beach – 660

    The beach & houses - 660

    The beach & houses – 660

    Sailing Dinghies coming home - 660

    Sailing Dinghies coming home – 660

    Shoreham Harbour Wall - 660

    Shoreham Harbour Wall – 660

    Camera & Rig Settings

    Infrared modified 660nm Olympus e-PM2 & Panasonic 12-32mm lens

    • ISO: Auto, capped at ISO800
    • Format: RAW
    • Mode: Shutter priority¬†@¬†1/1000th
    • Focal Length: 12mm (full-frame equiv¬†=¬†24mm)
    • Intervalometer: 15sec delay start (saves pointless initial lifting shots), 2¬†second interval.
    • Rig Pan: 20degree steps
    • Rig Tilt: H-45-N

    Location: Shoreham by the Sea Beach

     

  • Images: Flying out of London
    Date: June 15, 2015 Category: Images

    Got lucky again, flying out of London (to Frankfurt) Рwindow seat, good visibility and spectacular flightpath.

    660nm infrared images taken with a full-spectrum Olympus M5 and 660nm lens filter.

    London Docklands - 660

    London Docklands – 660

    Docklands & The  O2 - 660

    Docklands & The O2 – 660

    Westminster & The City - 660

    Westminster & The City – 660

    The Queen Elizabeth II Bridge over the Thames - 660

    The Queen Elizabeth II Bridge over the Thames – 660

    All image rights reserved.

  • Images: Richmond & St Margret’s
    Date: June 15, 2015 Category: Images

    More from the 660nm infrared series of flying out of London. This time flying over the home, Richmond, St Margaret’s (where we live) and Twickenham.

    St Margaret's (where I live) - 660

    St Margret’s (where I live) – 660

    Richmond & Kew - 660

    Richmond & Kew – 660

    Twickenham - 660

    Twickenham – 660

    All images from a full-spectrum Olympus M5 with a 660nm lens filter.

    All image rights reserved.

  • Images: Flying into Frankfurt
    Date: June 15, 2015 Category: Images

    And for balance, the arrival, although the weather was not as good as London, so there are less image. Again all 660nm infrared from a full-spectrum Olympus M5 with a 660nm lens filter.

    Frankfurt, Germany - 660

    Frankfurt, Germany – 660

    Germany - 660

    Germany – 660

    All image rights reserved.

  • Images: Train station
    Date: June 23, 2015 Category: Images
    Train station - BG3

    Train station – BG3

    Italian train station, on the rails to Ravenna. A mixed infrared and ultraviolet image from a full-spectrum Olympus M5 with a Schott BG3 lens filter.

    All image rights reserved.

  • Images: Bologna Bookstore
    Date: June 23, 2015 Category: Images
    Bologna - BG3

    Bologna – BG3

    Bologna bookshop. Mixed infrared and ultraviolet image from a full-spectrum M5 with a Schott BG3 lens filter.

    All image rights reserved.

  • Images: Italy from the Train
    Date: June 24, 2015 Category: Images
    Italy from the Train - BG3

    Italy from the Train – BG3

    Mixed UV and Infrared image from a full-spectrum Olympus M5 with a Schott BG3, the “Superblue”, lens filter. Shot out of the train window, travelling from Bologna to Ravenna.

    All image rights reserved.

  • Images: Cosenatico
    Date: June 24, 2015 Category: Images
    Cosenatico - BG3

    Cosenatico – BG3

    Cosenatico 2 - BG3

    Cosenatico 2 – BG3

    Cosentico Beach - BG3

    Cosenatico Beach – BG3

    Images from Cosenatico, Italy, using a full-spectrum Olympus M5 with a Schott BG3 lens filter.

    All image rights reserved.

  • Images: Flying in to London
    Date: June 24, 2015 Category: Images

    Flying into London, Heathrow,  today. 590nm infrared images from a full-spectrum Olympus M5 with a 590nm lens filter.

    Flying into London - 590

    Flying into London – 590

    Flying over UK - 590

    Flying over UK – 590

    Flying into UK 4 - 590

    Flying into UK 4 – 590

    Flying into UK5 - 590

    Flying into UK5 – 590

    (not color-swapped)

    All image rights reserved.

  • Images: Flying over Twickenham
    Date: June 24, 2015 Category: Images
    Flying over Twickenham - 590

    Flying over Twickenham – 590

    Flying over Twickenham, and the Stadium, today. 590nm, uncolour-swapped image, from a full-spectrum Olympus M5 with a 590nm lens filter.

    All image rights reserved.

  • Images: The Thames Estuary
    Date: June 24, 2015 Category: Images

    Flying over the Thames Estuary. A colour-swapped 590nm image from a full-spectrum Olympus M5 with a 590nm lens filter.

    Thames Estuary - 590

    Thames Estuary – 590

  • KAP: Wildcard and Whirlwind
    Date: June 27, 2015 Category: KAP

    The eagerly awaited new Dan Leigh Wildcard¬†delta arrived, so I headed off to the park this afternoon with the promise of reasonable 9mph from the weather apps….. and, as usual, in the park it was something less than an asthmatic¬†fieldmouse blowing out miniature birthday candles. ūüôĀ

    Tried to fly the Wildcard, but in the end only the delicate Carbon Whirlwind would play ball; not even my son’s fun pterodactyl would play with us. Fingers crossed for more wind over the next week so I can give the Wildcard a good tryout.

    Dan leigh Whirlwind

    Dan leigh Whirlwind

    Dan Leigh Whirlwind

    Dan Leigh Whirlwind

     

  • Images: St James Park
    Date: July 1, 2015 Category: Images

    Mixed IR¬†and UV images from St James Park this morning. Taken on a full-spectrum Olympus M5 with a Schott BG3 (the “superblue”) lens filter.

    St James Park - BG3

    St James Park – BG3

    Buckingham Palace - BG3

    Buckingham Palace – BG3

    All image rights reserved.

  • Images: View from Westminster Bridge
    Date: July 1, 2015 Category: Images

    View from Westminster Bridge towards Vauxhall, this morning. Taken with a full-spectrum Olympus M5 with Schott BG3 lens filter.

    View from Westminster Bridge - BG3

    View from Westminster Bridge – BG3

    All image rights reserved.

  • Images: Steephill Cove, Isle of Wight
    Date: July 3, 2015 Category: Images

    An infrared image of Steephill Cove, from a 660nm modified Olympus PM2. Post processed as a composite 3 image HDR.

    Steephill Cove - 660

    Steephill Cove – 660

  • Images: Flying over England
    Date: July 3, 2015 Category: Images

    Mixed infrared and UV images of flying over England (Berkshire, Surrey, Hampshire, Dorset). Taken with a full-spectrum Olympus M5 with a Schott BG3 lens filter.

    The flying as in a light-aircraft around 2000ft.

    Flying over England 1 - BG3

    Flying over England 1 – BG3

    Flying over England 2 - BG3

    Flying over England 2 – BG3

    Flying over England 3 - BG3

    Flying over England 3 – BG3

    Flying over England 4 - BG3

    Flying over England 4 – BG3

    All image rights reserved.

  • Images: Flying over Portsmouth
    Date: July 3, 2015 Category: Images

    Flying over Portsmouth, Hampshire. A colour-swapped infrared image from a 660nm modified Olympus PM2.

    Flying over Portsmouth 2 - 660

    Flying over Portsmouth 2 – 660

    All image rights reserved.

  • Images: Flying over Poole
    Date: July 3, 2015 Category: Images

    Flying over Pool harbour. Mixed infrared and UV images from a full-spectrum Olympus M5 with a Schott BG3 lens filter.

    Flying over Poole 1 - BG3

    Flying over Poole 1 – BG3

    Flying over Poole 2 - BG3

    Flying over Poole 2 – BG3

    All image rights reserved.

  • Images: Ventnor Bay, Isle if Wight
    Date: July 3, 2015 Category: Images

    Ventnor Bay, Isle of Wight. Mixed UV and IR images from a full-spectrum Olympus M5 with a Schott B3 lens filter. No colour-swapping of the red and blue channels as the blue comes naturally from mixing part of the the UV and blue spectrum

    Ventnor 1 - BG3

    Ventnor 1 – BG3

    Ventnor 2 - BG3

    Ventnor 2 – BG3

    More details on Ventnor.

    All image rights reserved.

  • Images: An English Village
    Date: July 3, 2015 Category: Images

    A church and village somewhere over Hampshire, taken from a light-aircraft. A mixed UV and Infrared image from an full-spectrum Olympus M5 with a Schott BG3 lens filter.

    English village - BG3

    English village – BG3

    All image rights reserved.

  • Images: House on the Hill, Steephill Cove
    Date: July 3, 2015 Category: Images

    One one of the cove houses at Steephill Cover, Isle of Wight. An uncolour-swapped infrared image, taken with a 660nm modified Olympus PM2.

    House on the hill - 660

    House on the hill – 660

    More Information on Steephill Cove

    All image rights reserved.

  • Images: Flying down to the Isle of Wight
    Date: July 3, 2015 Category: Images

    Flying down to the Isle of Wight with my friend Andy in a Piper light-aircraft. An uncolour-swapped infrared image from a 660nm modified Olympus PM2.

    Flying to the Isle of Wight - 660

    Flying to the Isle of Wight – 660

    All image rights reserved.

  • Article: KAP in Antrtica
    Date: July 8, 2015 Category: Info

    Interesting site about KAP’ing in¬†Antartica: Chris Henderson

    Chris Henderson

  • HowTo: Moving from Aperture to Lightroom
    Date: July 13, 2015 Category: Howto

    LR5ASo I have finally been forced to move away from Apple’s terminal ill Aperture to Adobe’s Lightroom, as my version of Aperture becomes rapidly more buggy, especially with¬†white-balancing infrared images. ¬†I would like to have titled this post ¬†as “migrating”, rather than “moving”, but in reality there is no practical migration option, just exporting and importing – i.e. moving. The main thing being that you can import primary images directly to Lightroom from an Aperture Library; however, any¬†adjustments, versions, stacks and a few other key attributes do not come across with them – which really is the whole point !

    I have adjusted approximately 70% of the images in my library and made stacked versions of about 10% – primarily all the important/best ones! And out of over 10,000 images, that is a lot that can not be migrated. ūüôĀ ¬†There is no prospect of me ever getting the time to re-edit thousands of images.

    Am not sure who to be really mad at: Apple for letting me down or Adobe for not giving me a good migration capability – consequently, I will be mad at both of them. I guess more at Apple for letting us photographers down (and “yes” I acknowledge they gave us fair warning of not wanting us as customers any more).

    If you are interested there are some good testimonials and walk-throughs of what you can, and can not do, moving from Aperture to Lightroom:

    Having investigated this for the last week and tested various options, my approach is as follows:

    • Keep Aperture on my MacBook as a backup for existing/pre-move¬†images.
    • Keep the existing Aperture libraries on my external (mirrored) drive.
    • Export all¬†originals from Aperture to an archive folder on my NAS (Synology), which also archives them to AWS Glacier.
    • Export versions of all images from¬†Aperture as full-sized JPEGs, to a MacBook folder, and import them into Lightroom. Then treated them as all finalised images in Lightroom and at least be able to search all images in Lightroom; just doing minimal, if no, editing on¬†them (given they are only JPEGs). If I do need to do substantial editing, I either pull out of hibernation Aperture or import the original image file and start again.
    • All new images imported and edited with Lightroom going forward.

    For reference the Lightroom masters/images on my MacBook are held on a folder which syncs with one of my Synology NAS machines using the Synology Cloud Station software.

    One thing to also not overlook is re-licensing, or migrating over, your Plug-ins; for me, primarily PTlens, Nik Tools, HDR Soft and Topaz. Thankfully I have kept the original licence emails and purchase receipts.

  • KAP: Marble Hill House
    Date: July 16, 2015 Category: KAP

    Marble Hill house in 660nm. Camera lifted on the Rokkaku.

    Marble Hill House - 660nm

    Marble Hill House – 660nm

    All image rights reserved.

  • HowTo: Lightroom WB Issues & DNG Workaround
    Date: July 19, 2015 Category: Howto

    I am finding it hard to like Lightroom after Aperture, but will persevere. I can see, and appreciate, all the more comprehensive features, it is just visually, after Aperture, I find it too cultured and limiting. But hey, thats life, it is the only option I have now really.

    One of the first issues I encountered is preserving the in-camera set WB set on infrared images. Although LR is set to “in camera” the default range is too limited and it puts a bad cast on the images nor¬†does it¬†allow them to be amended back to what they should be.

    Thankfully, it is a well known limitation and there is workaround using the DNG editor to set a profile/recipe for infrared images: link to David Clapp’s page (there are other’s who have publicised this work around).

    Example of a standard (wrong) import:

    OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

    Adobe Std

    Example of a corrected (with DNG editor) import:

    OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

    Custom DNG Edited

    Sadly I am finding that this is not so easily sorting issues with bandpass images from the likes of BG3 and UG5.

    UPDATE – I have given in trying to get Adobe to correctly import in-camera WB mixed UV and IR images, from the likes of the Schott BG3 and UG5 filters, and have gone back to using the Olympus Viewer for importing and exporting Tiff files, which I then import into Lightroom.

    All image rights reserved.

     

  • Images: Bilbao
    Date: July 25, 2015 Category: Images

    590nm images of Bilbao, northern Spain. Taken with an full-spectrum Olympus M5 with a 590nm lens filter.

    Bilbao 4 - 590

    Bilbao 4 – 590

    Bilbao 1 - 590

    Bilbao 1 – 590

    Bilbao 2 - 590

    Bilbao 2 – 590

    Bilbo 5 - 590

    Bilbo 5 – 590

    Bilbao 3 - 590

    Bilbao 3 – 590

    All image rights reserved.

  • Images: Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao
    Date: July 28, 2015 Category: Images

    The Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao. Mixed UV and iR images from a full-spectrum Olympus M5 with a Schott BG3 lens filter.

    Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao

    Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao

    Guggenheim Museum 2

    Guggenheim Museum 2

    All image rights reserved.

  • Images: Flying out of Spain
    Date: July 29, 2015 Category: Images

    Flying out of Spain, going north towards the edge of France. 590nm infrared image.

    Flying out of Spain - 590

    Flying out of Spain – 590

    All image rights reserved.

  • Images: Flying into London
    Date: July 30, 2015 Category: Images

    Flying into London (again). 590nm images.

    Docklands:

    Flying into London 11 - 590

    Flying into London 11 – 590

    The City

    Flying into London 12 - 590

    Flying into London 12 – 590

    West London

    Flying into London 13 - 590

    Flying into London 13 – 590

    OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

    OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

    All image rights reserved.

  • Images: London from the Shard
    Date: July 30, 2015 Category: Images

    Views of London from the Shard. 590nm infrared images from an Olympus M5 with a 590nm lens filter.

    View of London from the Shard 5 - 590

    View of London from the Shard 5 – 590

    View of London from the Shard 4 - 590

    View of London from the Shard 4 – 590

    All image rights reserved.

    The Shard: Shard Viewing Gallery

    The Shard, London

  • Images: More Images from the Shard
    Date: July 30, 2015 Category: Images

    More images of London from the Shard viewing gallery. The first a mixed UV and IR image from a BG3 lens filter and the second from 590nm infrared lens filter; both taken with a full-spectrum Olympus M5.

    View of London from the Shard 7 - 590

    View of London from the Shard 7 – 590

    View of London from the Shard 6 - 590

    View of London from the Shard 6 – 590

    All image rights reserved.

  • Images: More (2) Images from the Shard
    Date: July 30, 2015 Category: Images

    More infrared images of London from the Shard viewing gallery. 590nm images taken with a full-spectrum Olympus M5 with a 590nm lens filter.

    View of London from the Shard 1 - 590

    View of London from the Shard 1 – 590

    View of London from the Shard 2 - 590

    View of London from the Shard 2 – 590

    View of London from the Shard 3 - 590

    View of London from the Shard 3 – 590

    All image rights reserved.

  • HowTo: Lightroom Image Backup & Share Strategy
    Date: August 1, 2015 Category: Howto

    After a second Apple TimeMachine failure¬†(the dreaded “SparseBundle unmountable” corruption) I have changed how I backup, archive and share my 23,000 (and growing) images and no longer reply on TimeMachine as a primary protection mechanism.

    Primarily:

    • No longer rely on TimeMachine as my primary recovery mechanism – just primarily use it¬†for recovery of accidental file deletion.
    • Use Synology’s CloudStation to constantly¬†synchronise the main Lightroom catalog¬†between the laptop (Macbook Pro) and a¬†Synology NAS; with the Synology NAS running simple disk-mirroring.
    • Retaining image¬†original and version copies outside Lightroom, in case of needing to rebuild a Lightroom catalog or migrate over to replacement software.
    • Using DropBox to make versions available to family and friends.

    Backup Strategy v2 copy

    Using Synology’s CloudStation file-sync application works really well and avoids Lightroom having to access any¬†catalog files over the network; which, according to internet¬†posts, is prone to problems.

    My travel laptop (smaller MacBook Pro) when back at home just exports it’s Lightroom Catalog to the NAS, which is then imported¬†into the main Catalog.

    In addition to CloudStation synchronising the Lightroom Catalog (about 300GB), regular exports from Lightroom of both original images and JPEG versions are made to NAS folders. The originals are then archived, using Synology’s Backup application, to AWS Glacier (via S3 buckets) and the JPEGs synchronised to DropBox, using Synology’s Cloud Sync app. Using DropBox then allows family and friends to easily access images they want to retain or print.

    As with CloudStation, Synology’s CloudSync and Backup applications are reliable and work well; however, it takes some configuration of¬†AWS and the Synology to get the S3 Buckets, from the back-up, to archive automatically over to Glacier and thus save significant cost. Bringing the originals back from Glacier is just as a last resort if all the devices are damaged in the house (e.g. house fire).

    TimeMachine is then left as a secondary backup to recover any accidentally deleted files.

    So far this is all working well and, with the exception of the AWS S3 and Glacier archiving, is relatively easy to set-up. Thankyou Synology and the ever excellent Synology community.

  • Images: The Guggenheim, Bilbao (second visit)
    Date: August 7, 2015 Category: Images

    Back in Bilbao, so more of the fabulous Guggenheim. 590nm image from a full-spectrum Olympus M5.

    Guggenheim, Bilbao - 590

    Guggenheim, Bilbao – 590

    The pre-channel-swapped image:

    Guggenheim (pre-CS) - 590

    Guggenheim (pre-CS) – 590

    Guggenheim, Bilbao 2.2 - 590

    Guggenheim, Bilbao 2.2 – 590

    All image rights reserved.

  • Images: Bilbao (second time)
    Date: August 7, 2015 Category: Images

    Second visit to Bilbao this year. 590nm images from a full-spectrum Olympus M5.

    East Bilbao - 590

    East Bilbao – 590

    Pre channel-swapped image:

    Bilbao (pre-CS) - 590

    Bilbao (pre-CS) – 590

    The string-bridge

    Bilbao String Bridge - 590

    Bilbao String Bridge – 590

    The pre channel-swapped image

    Bilbao String Bridge (pre-CS) - 590

    Bilbao String Bridge (pre-CS) – 590

    Old Town Bridge Bilbao - 590

    Old Town Bridge Bilbao – 590

    The pre-channel-swapped image

    Old Town Bridge Bilbao (pre-CS) - 590

    Old Town Bridge Bilbao (pre-CS) – 590

    All image rights reserved.

  • Images: Infrared Panoramic
    Date: August 7, 2015 Category: Images

    First time out building a good infrared panoramic and pleased with how it turned out.

    6 stitched channel-swapped 590nm images stitched using Adobe PhotoMerge from Lightroom.

    Panoramic Bilbao - 590

    Panoramic Bilbao – 590

    All image rights reserved.

  • Images: Old buildings by the river, Bilbao
    Date: August 7, 2015 Category: Images

    A rare foray back into native 720nm for me (lately most of my infrared has been at 590nm and 720nm was where I started). A 3x HDR composite image. Channel-swapped and selective hue-shifted in Lightroom. Taken on a full-spectrum Olympus M5 with a 720nm lens filter.

    Bilbao Old Buildings - 720

    Bilbao Old Buildings – 720

    The pre-channel-swapped image.

    Bilbao river buildings (non-CS) - 720

    Bilbao river buildings (non-CS) – 720

    All image rights reserved.

  • Images: Bilbao from the hills
    Date: August 7, 2015 Category: Images

    First use of the new lens (bought second-hand as an excellent bargain), a Panasonic 45-150mm. Optically OK Рa bit soft, as I find most of the M43 lenses Рbut is welcomingly light and compact for my travels.

    590nm images of Bilbao from the hillside. Taken from the top of the Artxander funicular. As with a lot of the city, the view is not really exploited as a tourist opportunity, being is limited and spoilt by poorly thought out trees and electric power-lines.

    Bilbao from the hills 2 - 590

    Bilbao from the hills 2 – 590

    Bilbao from the hills 1 - 590

    Bilbao from the hills 1 – 590

    OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

    Bilbao from the Hills – 590

    All image rights reserved.

     

     

  • Images: Monte Urgull Mendia, San Sebastian
    Date: August 9, 2015 Category: Images

    Monte Urgull Mendia, San Sebastian (the castle and statue above the city). Mixed infrared and UV image from a full-spectrum Olympus M5 with a Schott BG3 lens filter.

    Monte Urgull Mendia - BG3

    Monte Urgull Mendia – BG3

    All image rights reserved.

  • HowTo: White-Balance Article
    Date: August 11, 2015 Category: Howto

    Interesting article by Dan Wampler, at Lifepixel, on setting custom white-balance on the camera (although I am still not convinced that IR for portraits really works).

    “It IS¬†important, in fact I personally believe that a custom White Balance with Infrared photography is as important as taking off the lens cap.”

    Article: White-Balance isn’t important¬†(but really it is!)

    I now always set the custom WB on the camera, at every frequency chance and usually each day or significant change of light. I view this now as essential given both Aperture and Lightroom’s inadequate (including us DNG Editor to get a profile for the camera) handling of wide frequency white-balance.

    In Lightroom I now have a profile that seems to work for 590nm and 720nm from the Olympus M5; but have failed to get a working option for mixed UV and IR (Schott BG3) and 660nm from my Olympus PM2. For these frequencies I am using OlympusView3 to import and export the images to Tif, with the in-camera customer WB, and then import into Lightroom. A laborious workaround and PITA.

  • Images: Mixed UV and IR images of San Sebastian
    Date: August 11, 2015 Category: Images

    Mixed UV and IR views of San Sebastian from the Monte. All taken on a full-spectrum Olympus M5 with a Schott BG3 lens filter.

    San Sebastian - BG3

    San Sebastian – BG3

    The Miramar Palace and Diocesan Seminary of San Sebastian Donostia.

    Miramar Palace & Diocesan Seminary  - BG3

    Miramar Palace & Diocesan Seminary – BG3

    An 8 image PhotoMerge panoramic of the old town.

    San Sebastian Old Town - BG3

    San Sebastian Old Town – BG3

    All image rights reserved.

  • Images: Miramar Palace and Diocesan Seminary
    Date: August 11, 2015 Category: Images

    The Miramar Palace and Diocesan Seminary of San Sebastian Donostia.

    A channel-swapped 590nm infrared image with selective hue-shifting of the red foliage and grey sky.

    Miramar Palace & Diocesan Seminary - 590

    Miramar Palace & Diocesan Seminary – 590

    The pre channel-swapped image:

    Miramar Palace & Diocesan Seminary (pre-CS) - 590

    Miramar Palace & Diocesan Seminary (pre-CS) – 590

    All image rights reserved.

  • Images: Urumea river, San Sebastian
    Date: August 11, 2015 Category: Images
    San Sebastian & Urumea river - 590

    San Sebastian & Urumea river – 590

    A monochrome 590nm image.

    All image rights reserved.

  • Images: View from Monte Igueldo
    Date: August 12, 2015 Category: Images

    Views of San Sebastian from Monte Igueldo.

    The first a 590nm channel-swapped image:

    View from Monte Igueldo - 590

    View from Monte Igueldo – 590

    The pre-channel-swapped image:

    View of San Sebastian (pre-CS) - 590

    View of San Sebastian (pre-CS) – 590

    A mixed IR and UV image, from a Schott BG3 filter.

    View of San Sebastian - BG3

    View of San Sebastian – BG3

    All image rights reserved.

  • Images: Isle Santa Clara
    Date: August 12, 2015 Category: Images

    The Isle Santa Clara, San Sebastian. 590nm images.

    Isle Santa Clara  - 590

    Isle Santa Clara – 590

    the pre channel-swapped image:

    Isle Santa Clara (pre-CS) - 590

    Isle Santa Clara (pre-CS) – 590

    All image rights reserved.

  • Images: Bathing off the steps
    Date: August 13, 2015 Category: Images

    Swimming and bathing of the harbour steps. Channel-swapped 590nm image from a full-spectrum Olympus M5 with a 590nm lens filter. The red has been hue-shifted to yellow/orange in Lightroom and the curve stroked to increase the darker tones of the image.

    Bathing off the steps - 590

    Bathing off the steps – 590

    The pre channel-swapped image:

    Bathing off the steps (pre-CS) - 590

    Bathing off the steps (pre-CS) – 590

    All image rights reserved.

  • Images: The Goretti Valley, N Spain.
    Date: August 14, 2015 Category: Images
    Goretti Valley 1 - 700nm

    Goretti Valley 1 – 700nm

    Goretti Valley 2 - 700nm

    Goretti Valley 2 – 700nm

    A larger panoramic of 3 images

    Goretti Valley pan - 700nm

    Goretti Valley pan – 700nm

  • Images: Pamplona Hills
    Date: August 14, 2015 Category: Images

    The hills around Pamplona

    Pamplona Hills - 590nm

    Pamplona Hills – 590nm

  • Images: Ibon de Asnos, Panticosa
    Date: August 15, 2015 Category: Images

    Ibon de Asnos, Panticosa (Pyrenees), Northern Spain.

    Reflections on still water always make for a good photograph and the exotic BG3 bandpass filter, mixing UV and IR, works well in these situations, especially where there is a strong blue sky.

    Ibon de Asnos - BG3

    Ibon de Asnos – BG3

    An 8 image panoramic:

    Ibon de Asnos 2 - BG3

    Ibon de Asnos 2 – BG3

    All image rights reserved.

  • Images: Pic du Midi D’Ossau
    Date: August 16, 2015 Category: Images

    The Pic du Midi D’Ossau (2885m), French side of the Pyrenees.

    Pic du Midi D'Ossau -590

    Pic du Midi D’Ossau -590

    The pre channel-swapped image:

    Pic du Midi D'Ossau (pre-CS) -590

    Pic du Midi D’Ossau (pre-CS) -590

    All image rights reserved.

  • Images: Little Artouste train
    Date: August 17, 2015 Category: Images

    Looks like the tourist train on Mars, but it is actually the little train at Artouste, in the French Pyrenees. If you are ever in the area, it is worth searching out and riding, as Europe’s highest operated train.

    A channel-swapped 590nm image.

    Little Artouste train - 590

    Little Artouste train – 590

    The pre channel-swapped image:

    Little Artouste Train (pre-CS) - 590

    Little Artouste Train (pre-CS) – 590

    Tracks on the mountain - 590

    Tracks on the mountain – 590

    Link to train service: Little Artouste Train

    All image rights reserved.

  • Images: The Artouste Valley
    Date: August 18, 2015 Category: Images

    The Artouste valley looking like the planet Mars. 590nm images from a full-spectrum Olympus M5.

    Artouste Valley - 590

    Artouste Valley – 590

    The pre channel-swapped image:

    Artouste Valley (pre-CS) - 590

    Artouste Valley (pre-CS) – 590

    All image rights reserved.

     

  • Howto: Using HDR
    Date: August 24, 2015 Category: Howto

    I thought it worth putting down how I use HDR and some examples using mixed IR and UV images, from a Schott BG3 filter.

    First thing is that if I don’t need it, the exposure range in the image is quite small, then I don’t use HDR – if playing with lights, darks, highlights and shadows get the detail and image right, great. Everything has a cost and HDR processing induces noise and can burn out highlights; so if I don’t need it, I don’t use it.

    If the image does have a wide exposure range, mixing some really dark and some really light areas, then I will test to see if it helps with the overall image.

    Just in case, I commonly take three bracketed RAW shots with the camera Рone as the standard average, one at +1EV and one at -1EV. I would like to do three at +/-2EV but my Olympus cameras are limited to just +/-1, but it is sufficient. I shoot only three varied images, when handheld, as I want to limit as much movement as possible in the images.

    I am happy to adjust a RAW image from my Olympus by 2 stops (2EV); meaning that I can get, by adjusting the two outer images (the under-exposed and over-exposed ones) by 2 stops, an overall range of 6 stops:

    • Bracketed¬†-1 on the camera, -2 further darkened in Lightroom = 3 stops under-exposed
    • Middle¬†= Average matrix exposure
    • Bracketed +1 on the camera, +2 further lightened in Lightroom = 3 stops over-exposed

    Importantly I don’t always adjust the outer images, it is just an option there if needed. I think a very important principle of HDR is to use¬†the exposure range that is needed for that image, rather than any set formula. Often a 2¬†stop range is enough and can sometimes even be too much.

    The key part of my process is to then adjust the exposure of each image starting with the outer images (the over and under-exposed ones) and change the exposure so that on the over-exposed one, the darkest element of the image that I care about is visible. I do this by using the exposure slider to first darken the over-exposed image, to identify the darkest element I want to see detail on, and then sliding the exposure up to the maximum point to see the detail on that element. I then reverse the process on the under-exposed one, finding the brightest point and then darkening it enough to get the detail.

    Here are three bracketed shots off the camera at +/-1EV and then tweaked a little further

    =average

    =0 (average)

    -1 under exposed

    -1.5 under-exposed

    +1 over exposed

    +1.3 over-exposed

    This then produced, using Photomatix as a Lightroom plug-in, the following HDR composite image (note: I have gone for more tonal differences than strong HDR)

    OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

    HDR Output

    HDR invariably introduces some noise, so I denoise all my HDR composite images; either using Topaz or Nik Define.  With some final desaturation of the overly strong green (common with the BG3 filter), and output sharpening, the image is finalised:

    Final

    Final sharpened

    All image rights reserved.

     

  • Images: The Panticosa Valley
    Date: August 29, 2015 Category: Images

    More infrared panoramas of the Panticosa mountains and area. All captured with the full-spectrum Olympus M5 and lens filters.Multiple images stitched together using Adobe PhotoMerge.

    Ibon de Sabocos using a BG3 mixed IR and UV filter.

    Ibon de Sabacos – BG3

    Ibon de Ibones also using a Schott BG3 filter.

    Ibon de Ibones 2 - BG3

    Ibon de Ibones 2 – BG3

    Also using my son and a 590nm filter

    Ibon de Ibones 5 - 590

    Ibon de Ibones 5 – 590

    The valley in BG3.

    Panticosa Valley 11 - BG3

    Panticosa Valley 11 – BG3

    OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

    OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

    Panticosa Valley 10 – BG3

    All rights reserved.

  • Images: San Juan de Gaztelugatxe
    Date: August 29, 2015 Category: Images

    590nm infrared images of San Juan de Gaztelugatxe, just north of Bilbao; N Spain.

    San Juan de Gaztelugatxe 2 - 590

    San Juan de Gaztelugatxe 2 – 590

    The pre channel swapped image:

    San Juan de Gaztelugatxe 2 pre-CS - 590

    San Juan de Gaztelugatxe 2 pre-CS – 590

    San Juan de Gaztelugatxe - 590

    San Juan de Gaztelugatxe – 590

    The pre channel-swapped image:

    San Juan de Gaztelugatxe pre-CS - 590

    San Juan de Gaztelugatxe pre-CS – 590

    All image rights reserved.

  • Info: First Commercial Implementation
    Date: September 8, 2015 Category: Info

    Landmark event Рtoday saw the first commercial implementation of my infrared images (at RTS in Richmond); hurrah.

    On the wall

    On the wall

     

  • Info: New Sony a7ii Camera Conversion
    Date: September 10, 2015 Category: Info

    Having been influenced some time back by Ed Noble’s (Infra-Edd) conversion of a Sony a7, I decided to take the plunge and ordered a Sony a7ii, which will go straight off for full-spectrum conversion.

    Sony a7ii

    Sony a7ii

    Rationale was primarily based on looking for slightly higher IQ, over the M43 sensor format, especially on bigger prints; plus the opportunity to use some of my existing full-frame (FX) Nikon and other interesting old lenses. The Sony a7 range is currently relatively unique, in being mirrorless, and allowing use of other lens makes with a full-frame (35mm film sized) sensor. I romantically like the idea of not only using some of my old (kept for far too long) lenses, like my student-days Contax Zeiss Planar 50mm, but searching out old, but still optically excellent, manual lenses.

    I did consider converting my under-used Nikon D800, which would be easier to work with my existing lenses; however, the standard DSLR gotya, of really only being limited to one frequency with the optical viewfinder, is too much for me. I might, in the far future, convert it to 590nm, or BG3/Superblue, but is some way off.

    Even though the original Mk1 a7 has now reduced in cost second-hand, making it a great option for IR conversion IMO, I decided to go with the a7ii based on the new ergonomics (just nicer with¬†my big podgy fingers) and the image stabilization, given I shoot 95% hand-held. I don’t need the¬†a7s’ low-light and video capability; and the a7r’s whopping big pixel output (I struggle already with the D800 eating my hard drives and over working my laptop).

    The lenses I will initially use are my Voigtlander f3.5 20mm, Nikon AF-S f2.8 17-35mm and Nikon AF f2 135mm DC; all with a metabones adapter. Given 99.9% of my IR photography is landscape, reverting to manual-focus does not concern me. Unfortunately I will have to buy a 50mm lens with an aperture ring, as I currently have a Nikon 50mm G lens, but the older Nikon 50mm lenses are relatively inexpensive as AF-D or Ai-S lenses.

    Sony a7r with Nikon Lens

    I also decided to continue working with full-spectrum, and carrying the obligatory lens filters, as I would just miss too much working with the UG5 and BG3 bandpass filters (my UG1 has become redundant now, as it blocks a lot more light and there is little image difference between that and the UG5); plus, even if I converted to 590nm, I would still end up carrying lens filters for 720 and 850nm.

    It will be roughly a month before it comes back, but looking forward to getting it back and working with it (and hunting out some old lenses to play with).

    Not finalised what I will do with my existing M43 cameras, but will probably sell all bar one (probably the e-M5) to keep as ‘hand-baggage only’ travel camera.

  • Info: IR Filter Numbers
    Date: September 11, 2015 Category: Info

    The following is an update of comparative IR filter versions.

    IR Filters

    IR Filters

    It is useful to reference the various filter options when hunting out lens filters on the on-line shops marketplaces, Amazon, Ebay, B&H etc. Searches for “filter 590nm” often give no returns, but “Hoya 25A” comes back with multiples. Equally I have found filters, like the B+W 094 and Wratten 29, for sale from¬†people who did not know what they were and picked them up relatively inexpensively – many people just think they are red ¬†coloured or dark ND filters.

    I no longer worry about the little variations in frequency transmissions – is it a 700 or a 720nm ? There is no exact science here. My experience with all my converted cameras is that the conversions all subtly differred in results, equally processing the WB, saturation and hue can adjust any of the images differently or make opposite make them match. I.e. I no longer get that precious about having every single filter range option. Having all 10 of the frequency options above would be both expensive and pretty pointless.

    With a full or dual-spectrum camera, I would start with the lowest frequency: 580-590nm, like a Hoya 25A and then happily only live with an additional 800nm+ filter for strong contrast B&W images. Anything in between, IMO, is a nice luxury to have, but if you are happy to do some simple colour processing in Lightroom or the like, not essential.

    I also no longer worry about cheap non-big-make filters, I have some cheap Chinese no-name 590nm, 720nm and 850nm filters and, when compared to my Wrattens and Hoyas, I cannot see any difference. I might want there to be, given what I paid, but in reality I can not see any.

  • Info: Broken EVF
    Date: September 18, 2015 Category: Info

    These things happen and you have to accept that if you are using cameras regularly, in all terrain, accidents will happen.regularly… but it still hurts, especailly when it is something you like and value. !

    My Olympus¬†EVF, over the weekend,¬†was irreparably damaged¬†on my Olympus P5. ūüôĀ

    Photo 18-09-2015, 08 24 15 Photo 18-09-2015, 08 23 58

     

     

     

     

    Frustrating as the Olympus EVF4 is screen/presentation wise very good; however, it does cement my view that add-on EVFs are not great in terms of ergonomics.

    Probably won’t replace it, given the overall change in equipment.

  • Info: The new Sony a7ii arrives
    Date: September 18, 2015 Category: Images

    The new camera, a Sony a7ii, has arrived along with a metabones Nikon F to Sony E adaptor.

    Sony a7ii + Nikon 50mm f/1.8 AF-D

    Sony a7ii + Nikon 50mm f/1.8 AF-D

    The plan is to use it with my non-G Nikon lenses (the basic manual-only metabones adaptor needs the lenses to have an aperture ring) and existing manual Voigtlander lenses.

    Sony a7ii Metabones adaptor and Nikon and Voightlander lenses

    Sony a7ii Metabones adaptor and Nikon and Voigtlander lenses

    First impression is that the Sony is a well made and eronically nice – fits well in my hand, even though relatively small. However, I am not going to have much time with it as, in the next couple of days, it goes straight back out for full-spectrum conversion.

    What is very noticeable is how much the smallish camera is dwarfed by the big pro Nikon lenses, exaggerated by the metabones adaptor. Here it is with a Nikon 17-35mm, looking more like a big telephoto zoom than a wide-angle.

    Sony a7ii metabones Nikon AF-S 17-35mm f2.8

    Sony a7ii metabones Nikon AF-S 17-35mm f2.8

     

  • Info: Back with manual focus
    Date: September 20, 2015 Category: Info

    I grew up in my student days on¬†manual focus, with a beloved Contax 139 and Zeiss 50mm,(which dates me); however, have happily lived and relied upon auto-focus for the last 20 years, only occasionally switching to manual focus when the situation needed it or if I pulled an old 6×6 out of the attic (I exclude using my manual-only voigtlander 20mm lens as the¬†depth of field is so large that it requires no effort, just leaving near infinity).

    Contax 139

    Contax 139

    Back now in manual-focus only land, with the Sony a7ii and Metabones Nikon adaptor, is romantically part of the appeal; however, I had forgotten how much the ergonomics of a lens matter Рthe feel of the focus ring, how far it travels, switching between the focus and aperture ring etc. Not criteria I have used in a while with my DSLRs, where lens criteria has just been about the likes of maximum aperture, optical performance, weight and cost.

    It has, however, now suddenly come back to me how much ergonomics matter. I have had for some time a fine Nikon 50mm f1.4G  lenses, which will not work with the simple Metabones adaptor (G lenses, no aperture ring). No problem, I just bought online inexpensive,  but still optically very good, Nikon AF-D f1.8 50mm

    Sony a7ii + Nikon 50mm f/1.8 AF-D

    Sony a7ii + Nikon 50mm f/1.8 AF-D

    A simple solution in theory, but I had forgotten about ergonomics. The adaptor pushes the aperture ring forward (same for all lenses) away from the camera which is good and works well; however, with this 50mm lens the focusing ring is thin and right at the end of the lens, which with my big hands and fingers is quite fiddly and annoying Рso much so, that if I had tried before I bought, I probably would have looked for an alternative that worked in my hands better. Not the end of the world, but a good lesson for me to learn for next time.

    The old Zeiss 50mm, from the Contax, on the other hand still feels perfect (hey, that is the romance of long term relationships) and is begging me to get an adaptor for it, so it can join the fun.

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