Monday, September 1, 2008


I haven't had a chance to use the InfraRebel for anything but landscapes since I got it, until yesterday, when we went to the Marks' for the Labor Day weekend. Ten-year-old Rebecca has always been one of my most agreeable subjects, although today she was a little concerned about my choice of locations for our informal portrait session.

I wanted to shoot her in open shade, which in her backyard required us to stand on the side of the garage. No problem with that, except that getting there meant we'd have to walk across the grass, which was something of a minefield thanks to the tireless work of Bosco, the family Lab.

But we were able to tiptoe our way through, and she struck a few poses for me. Notable about the infrared process is the way it smooths out the skin tones. Unfortunately in Rebecca's case, this means we don't get to see the cute smattering of freckles across her nose. It also does something a little weird to the eyes, dramatically darkening the blue of her irises, and slightly darkening the whites.

MEGO Info: It's a little grainy, and looking at the EXIF data I see that the camera was set at 1600 ISO. I don't remember why I set it so high, but it's just another thing I need to check before shooting. Lens was the 17-40 at 40mm, f8, 1/500, exposure compensation minus 1-2/3 stop.

Addendum - September 2, 2008:

The first image was posted in a gallery on another website where a fellow photographer commented on the yellow skin tone and darkness of the eyes, saying it was a little too creepy for a portrait. After about two seconds of consideration, I agreed, but rather than try to color-correct it, I decided instead to reprocess the RAW file to a neutral monochrome. In Photoshop I used the magic wand to select the whites of the eyes (not an easy task given the graininess of the image) and lightened those areas.

Overall I think the black and white processing gives a better result when using the IR for portraiture.

1 comment:

Sharon said...

Oh, that's sooo much better. I hated the first one, she looks like a rheumy-eyed, alcoholic vampire, but as a point-and-shoot sentimentalist, I didn't want to criticize...I'm glad someone with photochops made the suggestion...