Back to Blue Bayou | Ruminations in Infrared | X100s Experiment

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If you have been following or reading my posts for over a few months, and perhaps you may even have an interest in infrared photography, you may remember that I had over the course of the last year, written many articles about infrared photography including topics about converted cameras, different wavelengths and a whole host of images to boot. You may also remember my frequent mentions of a certain, extremely clever chap with whom I now have a great friendship, who was responsible for a lot of my infrared experiments. His name is Amar; I’ll come back to him shortly.

I’ve been interested in IR photography for around five years or so now and have experimented (as much as I have been able) with different sensors (read: cameras) and wavelengths, from full-spectrum, 350nm all the way up to around 950nm. But somehow, I lost the love for IR – unhappy with most of my images and regrettably, (and here, I apologise to the many readers who followed my IR work in particular) I deleted post after post, including the images that illustrated them. But obviously, I still have the images – how else would I have got to the point at which I have now arrived? And so, just recently, I have been going through some of my older and, more recent IR work. With almost fresh eyes, I have been able to be a lot more subjective about my work in this area and after a few days re-processing some of my favoured images – would you believe, I’ve got the bug again? After all of the wavelengths I have worked with – my very first tryout at 720nm, was what got me hooked again. Just seeing those shots again had me asking myself, “… Did I really shoot these?!” I get so much pleasure from them, that I have decided to jump back on board.

Amar was back in touch again recently and naturally, he’s been working hard on a few specific IR conversions and has had many rather clever ideas (perhaps more about these another day!) – so, knowing how he likes (loves) a challenge, I offered him another. After a conversation about his latest experiments in IR (loosely speaking) I happened to mention what I have just told you; and…my ultimate wish, which I will tell you now: an X100/s internally converted to 720nm IR (perfect for faux colour and monochrome, given that the X-Trans RAW files provide excellent DR performance coupled with Lr’s potential for processing, producing outstanding results, even for prints). To say that Amar became somewhat excited at the prospect, is probably a little bit of an understatement and considering too that initially, I was wondering if he could fix it’s sticking shutter button, conversational evolution with the Great Doctor has seen me submit my X100s for Amar’s own brand of photographic experimentation… There is a possibility that unforeseen problems may render it useless, but our watch-phrase has become: no guts; no glory.

There are one or two companies that have and still do perform IR conversions on the X100s, to the tune of $500.00 or so and after viewing some posts regarding the disassembly of the X100/s, it’s understandable as to why it’s so expensive. Scary, isn’t it? This is probably why most other IR conversion companies won’t touch it.

If this works out – you’ll be the first to know about it and, for anyone wishing to contact Amar Verma (vermatec) for any IR related issues, I know that as always, he will be very happy to hear from you. In the meantime – I wait to learn in the ensuing weeks as to how his new challenge is working out (and whether I will have an IR X100s after all?) No guts… well, possibly!

At this point, I shall leave you with a few of my favourite IR shots, some shot at 720nm and others re-processed for a 720nm look in Lr4.4 (though originally shot at 600nm from some conversions previously performed by Dr. Verma). From here, I can only have faith in the Great Doctor and perhaps even look forward to having a IR X100s in my bag – how wonderful would that be?!

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[Images resized for web: please click to enlarge]

2013.10.29 A708 600nm IR (22) 2013.10.29 A708 600nm IR (19) 2010.04.10 St.Marys Loch[IR] (13) 2010.04.10 St.Marys Loch[IR] (1) 2010.04.11 Port Patrick [IR] (1) 2010.04.10 St.Marys Loch[IR] (2) 2013.10.29 A708 600nm IR (21) 2010.04.10 St.Marys Loch[IR] (12)*

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©2014 Rob Lowe Photography.

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