Monthly Archives: May 2014

A Cloudy Capital

Cloudy Capital

Cloudy skies over the Washington State capitol building in Olympia, WA

Today’s image “A Cloudy Capital” is another IR captured image that I made some time ago but never shared until now.  It is one of the images that I used during a recent IR photography presentation to the Olympia Camera Club.

This image as captured from downtown Olympia across Budd Inlet.  I have visited many state capitols across the country and I truly believe that none are a nice as what we have here in Washington State.

Posted in IR photography

IR Lightning

IR Lightning

Lightning strike over the southern Arizona desert outside of Tucson captured with and IR converted camera

Over the last week or so a lot of my storm chasing friends have been out chasing storms and I have been sitting at my desk at work.  Sadly there doesn’t seem to be a midwest storm chasing trip in the cards for me this year, I did enjoy watching their live streams while they were out, and in a couple cases I even managed to direct the action a tiny bit by sending some texts and asking for camera positions to be changed.  They were out seeing amazing weather, including lightning, and I was looking at a monitor.

While watching those streams, and doing my day job, I was also working on a couple presentations that I will be giving to my local camera club, the Olympia Camera Club, this week.  One will be on IR Photography and the other on Time Lapse.  I came across this image of a lightning strike that I captured in Tucson a few years ago.  This is one of the very few lightning strikes I have ever captured with an IR converted camera.

Posted in IR photography, StormChasing

Sucker for a pretty sunset

Tumwater Sunset

Sunset near the Olympia Airport in Tumwater, WA

I have always been a sucker for a pretty sunset.  When I lived in Arizona you would get to the point where you would almost take them for granted, but here in Western Washington having a sunset that fires up the sky doesn’t happen all the time, you need to take advantage of it when it does happen.

This shot was from a couple nights ago when I noticed that things were shaping up to be a nice sunset.  It was already a bit late to go very far away, but I knew that there was a good vantage point near the Olympia Airport, so I grabbed a camera and rushed over to get this shot.  Is it the perfect location for a great image, nope, but I am still a sucker for a nice sunset.

Posted in Photography

IR Rhododendron

IR Rhododendron

An IR capture of a bright red rhododendron in my front yard

I have been experimenting with doing some macro work with my IR converted cameras recently for a photo challenge hosted by my local camera club and I will confess, this hasn’t been going as well as I had hoped it would.  This image of a bright red rhododendron in my front yard is the best I have been able to capture so far.

The biggest problem has been with the issue that can arise with IR converted cameras and hot spots.  Basically a hot spot is a section of the image that almost blows out from being over exposed.  Some lenses are very good for IR, some are not, and my Tamron 90mm macro lense is one that is NOT good for IR.  I have been experimenting with different lense / bellows combinations and have yet to find the perfect combination, but the cool thing about doing things you haven’t done before is that you get to learn from what doesn’t work, and perfect what does.  It helps you grow as a photographer.

This image was actually captured with a lens that is very good for IR, the Nikon 18-70 kit lens, sort of the gold standard for DX converted bodies.  I added in a lot of extra detail as well as added a lot of grain to make it look a little more grungy.  I am quite pleased with the result, and which it might not be considered a “beautiful” image by many, I find it very compelling.

Posted in IR photography

Black Water

Black Water

Downtown Olympia captured with an IR converted camera from the Thurston County Courthouse complex

I have always gone into a photographic “lull” every spring, when I lived in Arizona I always attributed it to being anxious for the upcoming monsoon season the the storm chasing photography that would come with that.  After 2 years of not living in Arizona, but still having that lack of motivation photographically in the spring, I think I can safely say that it has nothing to do with the thought of an upcoming monsoon season.  To break myself out of this little lull, I decided to grab one of my IR converted cameras and do a little shooting.  The result is this image, which I have called Black Water.

I ended up my little shoot with 5 or 6 images that I am happy with, and will be sharing here over the next week or two.  Hopefully this was enough to get some of the motivation back and want to get out and do some shooting.  My galleries and this blog have been quiet for far too long.

Posted in IR photography