SiloI have shot infrared film for about 15 years and have always loved the results. It has given me an additional way to explore the possibilities of capturing and interpreting a scene. However, most of the infrared film I own is now on sale at eBay. The reason for this is that I have simply come to the conclusion that digital infrared has enough advantages over film that I have decided to switch.

I have never been one to bracket my exposures (in addition to shooting at the meter value, shooting a stop faster and a stop slower), but have relied upon experience to get my desired results. Bracketing has the problem that the exposure no longer matches the development with 35mm and 120 film, since the entire roll must me developed at the same time. Bracketing is useful with sheet film when one is unsure of the proper expopsure, but the last time I purchased the discontinued Kodak High-Speed film in the 4X5″ size, it cost $2 per sheet. That’s a lot of money that can be better spent on paper.

This image of a silo is the result of three digital bracketed exposures, which have been combined using the HDR function within Photoshop CS3, then converted to monochrome. This gave me an incredible amount of flexibility that I would not have had had I captured the scene with film.

About GLSmyth
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3 Responses to Silo

  1. Pingback: Near Infrared photography « …being the blog of Aaron Hefel…

  2. I’m really interested in your comments about not shooting IR film anymore about having used it for 15 years. Your Kodak IR film images show the kind of “dreamy” effect that many of us love and, as far as I know, is only available with film. I have seen a similar effect from Maco IR film. Do you believe that this kind of of effect can be replicated digitally? The digital IR images that I have shot and seen all seem a little “crispier” than film images. I’d love to read your thoughts on this.

  3. glsmyth says:

    Harold – I don’t think that we’ll see film go as far into the infrared region as Kodak’s offering. I test shot some Maco a number of years ago and liked it, but my mainstay was Kodak and Konica, each filling a particular need. Digital images may appear more crisp because they do not have the “problem” of the lack of an anti-halation layer that made Kodak’s film so special.

    However, there is a real advantage with digital infrared, which comes with the very easy ability to properly bracket exposures. They can either be combined or viewed separately, which then offers much different interpretations of the scene. Add to that Photoshop CS3’s capabilities in converting the color image to black and white and a whole new palate of possibilities is at your fingertips.

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