I have been doing infrared photography for quite a while now which started with a Canon G7 point-and-shoot converted for this purpose. With that camera, I took many photographs from the window of commercial airplanes as I flew from Providence to Salt Lake City over a course of four years. Eventually, that collection, Infrared Earthscapes, got published in the LensWork Magazine in December 2011.
Previous Infrared Cameras
Just a little before the publication of my Infrared Earthscapes collection, I replaced my infrared camera with a Canon Rebel T2i so that I could use different lenses on it and that camera gave me many photographs until late last year. My main challenge with the first one was the small image sizes and the lack of raw format images. The second one produced a different challenge with the focusing process. The DSLR format cameras normally use a secondary light path for focusing than the one actually hitting the sensor unless the live view mode is used. Although a solution, that proved to be difficult to use most of the time because outdoors the live view is very difficult to view let alone carefully focus.
Mirrorless Cameras Have Infrared Advantages
I decided to replace my last infrared camera with a mirrorless one since the focus is always done on the actual image capturing sensor and is as precise as it needs to be. The logical choice for me was a Canon M5 since I had been using one since its introduction. I found a refurbished unit on the Canon store at a good price and purchased it a couple of months ago.
I had the other two cameras converted to infrared at LifePixel and was generally satisfied with the results and decided to use their services again. Other than an unfortunate mistake on their part the battery lid required excessive force to open and closed, which caused me to send the camera back for service. They found that one screw was loose! I am not sure how, but they left it not properly tightened so the second service was easy but cost me $60 extra in shipping charges. Now, all is good.
(Note on 5/25/2018: I guess LifePixel was expecting me not to mention this snafu on their site, they strangely refunded $5 to me probably triggered by my review in which I mentioned the extra shipping cost. Petty! And, I no longer have faith in their work or judgment.)
(Note on 5/28/2018: The principal of LifePixel contacted me via e-mail to set up a phone appointment which we did. Due to some personal reasons, he missed it twice and on the third time, he offered his apologies for not handling the matter better. I told him that I was not asking for a refund but simply narrating the story with an ending “Now, all is good.” He also told me that they refunded my extra shipping cost of $60 as a gesture of goodwill. Had they not made that $5 refund all would still be good. I accepted his apology, goodwill will take time. I have donated the $60 to RI Center for Photographic Arts.)
Lightroom Has Become More Infrared Friendly
I have been trying to take some experimental photographs since I got it back as the weather and my health permitted. In the meantime, the new release of the Lightroom Classic CC and Adobe Camera Raw added features that made processing infrared images a lot easier than before as I wrote in a recent post. Here, I am sharing some photographs that I took back in March in the Roger Williams Park and this afternoon at the Garden City Shopping Center. I thank the staff of the Pottery Barn store for their cooperation and allowing me to photograph in the store.
You will find a mix of photographs in terms of subject matter and processing. Take them as the result of my experiments in infrared photography. Keep in mind that even when the photograph is in color and some parts may even look normal, all the colors are false colors. That’s the nature of infrared photography!