In my Death Valley digital photography workshop, Fani Cortes shot with a DSLR modified to make infrared images. She’d go to specific locations and make specific images that would highlight the strengths of this effect. On occasion, she made full-spectrum images that looked identical to her infrared images. The tool gave her a new way of seeing and her images a new look.

How would your photography benefit from exploring non-standard tools?
Which tools would benefit you most?

Read more in my creativity lessons.
Find out more about my Death Valley digital photography workshop.
Learn more in my digital photography workshops.

 


Looking for an infrared effect? Two options; capture in infrared or post-process to simulate infrared. Either way, the results can be compelling.

Here’s an excerpt from a statement I wrote on infrared techniques sometime ago.

“It looks like another world, yet it’s not. By opening a window into a spectrum we can’t see with the naked eye, infrared photography shows us our world in an extraordinary light … The effects are often unpredictable and almost always surprising. Perhaps, that is why this effect is so compelling.”

Read the rest of my artist’s statement here.
Read other artist’s statements here.

Find out more about black and white in my DVD Black & White Mastery.
Find out more about black and white in my Workshop Black & White Mastery.
Special discounts are available until January.

Because it offers so many more options, digital imaging may change the way you use your tools.

For instance, I use only 3 filters – a circular polarizer, a neutral density filter, and a infrared filter.

No other filter is as useful to me as a polarizer. Polarizers remove glare making colors more saturated and reflections allowing you to reduce or remove images on the surface of reflective surfaces. No software filter can do this. I use Canon’s circular polarizer. Whenever possible, I prefer to match filters to the manufacturer of the lens,

I’ve been experimenting with long exposures. Singh Ray makes a unique neutral density filter – the Vari-ND filter. Rotate it and you can slow reduce light between 2 and 8 stops. This eliminates the need to carry multiple filters and to stack them during exposure. It’s fantastic. (As an aside, I prefer all graduated filtration to be done with software because you can control both the effect and the graduation precisely.)

For infrared imagery I use an infrared filter. It’s not exactly the same as converting a camera to infrared, but it’s closer than simulating IR effects with software and it’s doesn’t permanently change your camera. I prefer to carry as little equipment as possible, move freely, and take long walks. Because I prefer to keep my options open, many times I will shoot in full color and use software to create an IR effect. If you take both a full color and IR filtered exposure of the same subject you have many more options.

I demonstrate these kinds of techniques in all of my field workshops.

See more of the products I use here.

Check out my full Review on the Singh Ray Vari-ND filter here.

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Read about essential camera tests techniques here.

Check out my field workshops here.
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