Week No. 2. Blue Sky Infrared

Blue Sky Infrared
Blue Sky Infrared I
Blue Sky Infrared with Yellow Florenence
Blue Sky Infrared II

Yesterday I received my old Pentax K10D back from Kolari Vision converted to an Infrared camera (Kolari is the only service I could find that converts Pentax cameras.)

These pictures from my back yard are my first tries at developing false color schemes with blue sky achieved by switching the red and blue channels. The picture that comes straight from the camera has strong magenta tones; the 720 nm IR filter blocks most visible light allowing artifacts from he red end of the visible spectrum through to the sensor. Note the blue cast on the top of the flowing grasses where reflection from the sky is strongest.

There is no such thing as color in the infrared portion of the electromagentic spectrum. Color is a function of human perception and human beings cannot see infrared radiation. By manipulating the artifacts of visible light between 720 nm and 850 nm a false color scheme can be achieved.

The white balance I used for the first picture was the one that was set in the factory that converted the camera. The second was based on using a custom white balance that shifted a bit cooler than the default. Further experimentation will be needed to find the best manual white balance to use with the converted camera. Green grass is used to set the white balance with infrared cameras. Photosynthesizing vegetation floresceses to appear white in infrared photography.

Jay M. Ressler

Jay Ressler Composite Photography, Encaustic Art, and Oil Painting He is an outstanding location photographer and painter, with an eye that can capture the soul of a Havana back street as beautifully as the sip of a hungry hummingbird, often with compelling black and white images. Jay Ressler is best known for artistic expression that lives in layers between opposites. “I like to explore boundaries,” he explains. “Boundaries between consciousness and the unconscious, between reality and imagination, between certainty and skepticism.” He does this by compositing his own photography in multiple layers to produce stunningly original, interleaved images. Using Photoshop, other image manipulation software and a variety of digital effects, he paints one photographic layer on top of another. He takes advantage of textures he's captured along with an array of processes for manipulating light, contrast, and color to tell the story. “Distorting and reinterpreting the literal 'machine moments' captured by the camera is as old as the art of photography,” he insists. Jay occasionally extends his multi-layered approach to encaustic mixed media creations. Based on ancient techniques, the process begins with cooking his own recipes of beeswax and damar resin and applying this medium between the layers of photographic images, along with various pigmented compounds and materials to add color, texture and expression. Either way, the results are riveting. The viewer is drawn into an unfolding, dreamlike scene that might be heart-warming, haunting, gritty, poignant or magical. Sometimes, within the various layers, all of the above. The award-winning photographer/artist has many dimensions himself. He studied advanced digital photography at Pittsburgh Filmmakers and advanced encaustic techniques with leading instructors in the field. He worked as an underground coal miner, steelworker, machinist, labor and civil rights activist, copywriter and commercial printer. He has a BS in Psychology from Albright College.

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