Sunday, March 11, 2012

My backyard in infrared

IR: Backyard by Jepster
IR: Backyard, a photo by Jepster on Flickr.
I haven't opened my box of camera stuff since I got here (6 months already and I haven't fully unpacked yet. I know.. I know... I should just get on with it already) and I was trying to look for my R72 filter that I knew was in the pile of boxes somewhere. I found my old IR camera (an old Fuji FinePix S602) which I was using before to get IR photos with the gel type IR filter but the exposure times were usually so long and you needed a nice stable tripod. Also the live view doesn't really do anything but show a very faint outline of what I want to compose (the viewfinder was an EVF so that one's useless as well). So anyway, I found that my old Fuji has finally died and I was trying out the IR filter on my other Cameras.

I was pleasantly surprised that my Sony CyberShot DSC-V1 (given to me by my brother-in-law) is actually a very decent IR camera. I placed the filter on and while I was walking towards the front door I noticed something peculiar. The Live View was showing me clear images indoor and I thought this rather strange since the filter is supposed to cut off most of the visible light and just leave the wavelengths close to the IR range. Normally I see images on the LCD screen when I'm using an IR camera outside on a very sunny day.

So what happened apparently was that I flicked on the night shot mode by mistake and I think what this does is the internal hot mirror filter that normally blocks out stray IR light is disabled and the sensor is optimized for sensitivity for night IR images. Also the IR beam at the front of the camera will turn on. When I tried pointing the camera to a window, the scene was completely washed out and I was actually worried that the sensor would burn out. So I went back to my camera box and got an ND8 filter and just held the ND8 plus the R72 firmly in place at the front of the lens (careful to prevent any stray light from going in) and I got a rather washed out IR photo which I later "fixed" in post processing (and I also cropped out the right most portion where my fingers can be seen holding the ND filter in place hehe). I think I will need a darker neutral density filter for this but I am quite happy with the result especially with the working live view. ISO is already at the lowest at 100 and all the other settings I could not change since for some reason the camera's night shot mode only works on full auto and "P" modes and not in the priority modes or in full manual. I haven't really played around with the settings yet but if the camera can output raw then most of the details that may have been lost in the washed out JPG image may be minimized. I will post more pictures once I figure out how to make my makeshift IR Filter + ND to snugly fit into the camera lens.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Dragon Fruit Plants (seedlings)

Dragon Fruit Plant seedlings growing up and starting to look like a proper cactus. I tried my luck growing these from seeds and of all the seeds that I have sown only this tiny clump of seedlings sprouted. I'm guessing that the depth of the seeds and the amount of moisture and sunlight this part of the plant box were ideal. This is the white flesh variety and none in the other plant box where I tried growing the red variety survived. Better luck next time.