A year in the life...

In Union Square
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 - In Union Square - Techno-Impressionist Museum - Techno-Impressionism - art - beautiful - photo photography picture - by Tony Karp

One of my digital cameras has a built-in facility for taking infrared pictures. Most other digital cameras have a special filter inside the camera that filters out this range of light. There's a switch on top of the my camera that moves the filter out of the way to enable infrared. There are some limitations, but it opens a whole new area of photography.

In this mode, the camera can take pictures in what, for other cameras, would be almost total darkness. In addition, my camera had little infrared "headlights" to give a boost to the exposure. (I soon covered them up as they caused other problems.) In addition, the top shutter speed in this mode was 1/60 second, which was supposed to keep you from shooting infrared in daylight. (There are workarounds for this.)

What they didn't tell you, and what made things even more interesting, was that the infrared setting allowed the top "film speed" to go about six times higher than the highest normal setting. This added a interesting grainy look that, combined with the overall green cast, is reminiscent of those CNN night-vision shots.

This young couple in Union Square Park in NYC is illuminated by streetlights some distance away. Much too dark for an ordinary camera without a flash.

There are some possible variations on this picture. You could reduce it to black and white, which would give it a grainy "available light" look. Even more interesting, it's possible to restore almost all of the original color to these infrared shots. I've worked out some methods for doing this, and I'll have some examples in future journal entries.


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