Black and White Photography of New York - Dave Beckerman

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Pine Cones & Footprints

22 September, 2008 (19:11)

pine-cones-footprints-2394 Pine Cones & Footprints

I’m starting to think that when the 50D comes out, if I have the money, I’ll buy one and have the 40D converted for infrared.  Then I’ll sell off the modified XT if I can.  It seems that this infrared thing has me under it’s spell.  The truth is that, even when I view the little picture on the camera’s LCD, the best I can do is see (I’ll usually check the histogram) if I’m in the ballpark in terms of exposure.  A lot of the little glittery things that show up, I sort of imagine as I’m taking the shot, but I don’t know how they turned out.

I do have the process down for b&w infrared though.  I have what I call my infrared curve in LR with various settings to control the glow and highlights all together in one preset.  At this point, that usually gets me pretty close.  I’m not really doing any of that meticulous painting as I was when I was doing color.  For the most part one or two graduated filters are used (these are remarkable for controlling the highlights and basic lightness of sections) and since I’m still shooting with an 8MP camera, I try very hard to shoot it right so I won’t have to do any cropping later.

If I’m doing street stuff, I’ll use a custom white balance taken off the sidewalk.  If I’m in the park, I’ll either do it off trees or grass.  The camera display (parameters with the XT) are set to show b&w. 

I suppose that it’s that “surprise” factor that still fascinates me, plus the ability to bring out certain highlights by using the infrared flash (used in this shot).  It does feel a bit like open air painting.

Well anyway - after a drought with orders - they’ve picked up again - and several of the new infrared prints were sold.  I was thinking originally that I’d put all the IR stuff in it’s own directory, but I’ve found that the average person doesn’t know what infrared is, and so there’s no real reason to separate them out - it’s sort of like using another film stock - that’s all.

(Oh, I have the Mets game on in the background — please don’t tell me that they’re folding again — and that the curse of last year has returned.  Please say it ain’t so.)

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Comment from Barrett
Time: September 22, 2008, 11:36 pm

Well, putting last things first, our Metsies caved to the Cubs tonight…not an auspicious start, but hope springs eternal, and all that.

I know I kept going on about that crazy new Leica S2 (amazing it is, but at an estimated $30k for the body alone, I don’t think that anyone known personally by either of us will get in line to buy one), I don’t even know the specs on the D50. Then again, I’m long off the SLR bus, film or digital (with the very occasional exception of my little Olympus OM-2n).

If you get the D50, what’s involved in getting your D40 modded for IR duty?

- Barrett

Comment from richo
Time: September 28, 2008, 2:53 pm

Again, I am not that much interested in the technical stuff. And all this ever changing possibilities and offers. Few days after I bought my Nikon D300 , nikon D700 was announced and it was exactly what I would like to have full frame with small body.
More I am enjoying such a cool and nice photograph like you have it here Dave. Again nice quiet image which gives me much more viewing pleasure that discussing cameras and options.
Congratulation !

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