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Thread: IR Flash Photography

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Dec 2004
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    62

    IR Flash Photography

    4x5 infrared nightime flash photography

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Does anyone have any personal knowledge or experiance shooting IR film at night with a flash that has a IR filter on it?

    Been doing some research into this type of photography (totally new to me) and was curious whether anyone here had tried it.

    My thinking is to use 4x5 IR film with my new Razzle rangefinger 4x5 and a Vivitar 283 with IR filter attached to make these images. I want to shoot street life in Bangkok at night.

    Any advice would be great.

    Thanks Guys



    www.gerryyaum.com

  2. #2

    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Westminster, MD
    Posts
    1,653

    Re: IR Flash Photography

    I've done this digitally to photograph sea turtle research, but not using IR film.

    Simply attach an IR filter to your strobe, and then test the film to learn its response.

    The key here is testing. I had to do a lot of test prior to photographing the sea turtle research to make sure I knew the digital response to the IR flash. Digital is easier because you can have a camera converted to an IR receptor very easily.

    So get a batch of 4x5 IR film, set the camera on a tripod, shoot with you strobe at various settings and the lens at various apertures, record everything you do so when the film is developed you can understand your results.

    I found the small strobes, such as a Vivitar 283 or the Nikon SB-800 underpowered. I ended up using a Lumedyne strobe. Its large flash tube produced more heat when fired at 400 watt seconds to become a good IR illuminator. You may have to go to a large portable strobe as well.
    When I grow up, I want to be a photographer.

    http://www.walterpcalahan.com/Photography/index.html

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Humble, Texas
    Posts
    58

    Re: IR Flash Photography

    I new a person who did his master's thesis at Sam Houston State University in the 80's on this exact subject. I can't remember if he was doing it for an MFA in photography or a criminal justice degree. Sorry, but I don't remember the person's name. You might check if they publish their student thesis' on-line. I remember the main problem he had was focus. Their was no easy way to focus in the dark if the subject to camera distance was constantly changing.
    I also have a copy of the Kodak publication on infrared photography. It describes how to shoot infrared using two flash units. It's called: Applied Infrared Photography, Kodak Publication No. M-28. I believe it is now out of print, but I found a copy at a local used books store. If your interested, you can find a copy on-line here:
    http://www.alibris.com/search/books/isbn/0879850094

    Good Luck

    Richard


    Quote Originally Posted by Gerry View Post
    4x5 infrared nightime flash photography

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Does anyone have any personal knowledge or experiance shooting IR film at night with a flash that has a IR filter on it?

    Been doing some research into this type of photography (totally new to me) and was curious whether anyone here had tried it.

    My thinking is to use 4x5 IR film with my new Razzle rangefinger 4x5 and a Vivitar 283 with IR filter attached to make these images. I want to shoot street life in Bangkok at night.

    Any advice would be great.

    Thanks Guys



    www.gerryyaum.com
    Last edited by Richard Wall; 19-Apr-2008 at 11:23. Reason: Edit out redundancies from what Mr. Calahan said.

  4. #4
    Whatever David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2000
    Location
    Honolulu, Hawai'i
    Posts
    4,658

    Re: IR Flash Photography

    Weegee used IR flashbulbs and film quite a bit (he called it "invisible light"), and I suspect that he focused in the same way he did in the daylight--practice and memorize scale focusing at two distances.

    Another option would be the Kalart Focuspot. This was a light that attached to the rangefinder and projected two beams of light from the two mirrors. You could aim the camera at the subject, and when the two spots met, you were in focus. It just uses the rangefinder in reverse. Graphics and Technikas of a certain age have the port for attaching the Focuspot. If you want to see how it works, try aiming a laser pointer through the eyepiece of the rangefinder on any rangefinder camera. You could even rig such a thing to work this way, but be careful not to aim the laser at anyone's face, and don't try it at any mafia weddings or major political events.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    62

    Re: IR Flash Photography

    Thanks..Walter, Richard and David. You guys gave me alot to think about. I think it will take lots of trial and error(experiance) to get this thing down, thanks for all your suggestions, I will go with tri-x and flash this coming trip and try the IR stuff next year when I have more time to work out all the problems.

    Gerry

    www.gerryyaum.com

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