Fujifilm X100 720nm IR Conversion | First Outing | 35:Chronicle

35mm, black & white, infrared, photography

‘X’ Hits the Spot.


To begin, this isn’t a review. I dare say there will be thousands of them out there for the basic / standard camera anyway so what would be the point? But if you enjoy IR photography and have ever wondered if a a great fixed-lens, single focal-length camera is worth converting, I may be able to persuade you. Please bear with me.

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I | 35mm | 1/170th – F8 – ISO320 | 720nm IR.

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Okee-dokee – this might seem like a bonkers time of year to try out a new IR set-up and, you’d be forgiven for believing so. Winter infrared photography was something that I never really considered either, until recently which, in itself, is completely barmy seeing as how I have been shooting IR for over twelve years now. One might be forgiven for asking me (rather sternly, I might add) what the heck I’ve been playing at? Still, I have discovered the joys of shooting infrared all year round and, it’s a knowledge that I am utterly delighted to have. Naturally, (after the brightness of the spring and summer months here in the Northern Hemisphere) during autumn, after deciduous trees lose their leaves, hunting for interesting, engaging rural scenes and subjects with any kind of visual impact under infrared wavelengths can sometimes be a little tricky, however, ignore the stereotyping for this kind of alternative wavelength photography and it’s not difficult to see that with good, undiffused sunlight and an interesting subject – there’s no time of year that renders IR photography a pointless pursuit. It merely requires a change of outlook and, not a lot else. [View post #101 for an example – caught on New Year’s day.]

For around eight years now, I have been a Fuji-X shooter. I can’t say that I have been exclusive to this system during this time but, there have been very few months over this period (comparably) where I’ve not had one in my bag or more importantly, in front of my leading-eye. Another favourite system of mine over this entire time has also been Ricoh’s GXR (APS-C) system . Both outfits in their various guises have served me terrifically in not only visible light photography but also for IR and full-spectrum. The GXR has been a mainstay for me in alternative wavelength shooting and without my good friend, The Doctor, down in Guildford, I’d have known none of these systems. Every single conversion I’ve ever wanted, he has patiently created for me and I can take nothing away from him when it comes to my own enjoyment of the genre. However, the bag was getting heavier (again) and like most photographers, I needed to ‘spring-clean’ my gear and, rethink. That’s when I asked my good friend, once more, if he might create what was to become one of my personal Holy Trinity of cameras. Of course, because I am writing this, you know already that he came through, in style.

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II | 35mm | 1/180th – F8 – ISO320 | 720nm IR.

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The only X100 model that I’ve not owned / shot with is the ‘F’. Sure, I wanted one but I’m not the kind of chap to always want the newest sensor, hardware – anything, really. I desire a certain kind of output (most usually for black and white) and this is why I have stuck with Ricoh for so, so long. (Out of interest, if indeed you are interested, another of my Trinity happens to be my GR (1st APS-C model) for this very reason – as well as a few other important ones, too). As the X100 line evolved, so did the X-Trans sensor and, no matter how much I liked future iterations of that sensor, I could never get away from the fact that the first iteration was, for me anyway, more organic in output. I don’t give a monkey’s **** about MP – just show me some output-quality and good all-round performance and I’ll be on my knees, but while the first model in this line was a little less refined, hardware-wise, when I was thinking about a dedicated 35mm FoV IR conversion, I couldn’t think of any other camera that would or could fit the bill better than this one. I couldn’t imagine, after a couple of years using and experiencing the files from the ‘S’ too, that either that or the ‘T’ would come close to the rendering of the first, under IR light. There were issues with the latter two’s sensors in my opinion. There were other, practical reasons also for sticking with the line.

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III | 35mm | 1/340th – F8 – ISO320 | 720nm IR.

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For a start, it uses the same batteries (predictably) as my main 35mm FoV squeeze, the X100T. It weighs about the same and, whilst the button layouts are a tad different, I can interchange pretty quickly between the two of them without having to take my eye away from the viewfinder. I’ve used both of them for more than long enough to know them pretty well and, as I found out today, using them in unison on the same shoots, is a breeze. Also, they weigh so little as to render them perfect for that kind of caper. Naturally, all the accessories and filters are interchangeable too; (I don’t use many but, it’s an obvious bonus). 

Over a fortnight had passed after I received my X100 IR conversion and with work commitments and poor light on free days keeping me back, today was a true gift.  To say that I have been itching to get out and play with it is a veritable understatement. I also know that there are others who read my pages and sometimes contact me on the subject too, who may also be interested in what or how I shoot or process. I have been a little lazy on the subjects of techniques, I know – and I guess I have always figured that there are so many photographers who like to pass on that kind of knowledge that perhaps the world doesn’t need yet another one; besides, everyone  finds their own path eventually, either by investigation, tuition or, dogged experimentation (or as I call it, constant faffing around with my equipment – ahem!) That is not to say that I am not happy to help or join anyone who wishes to learn or share information – insomuch as my experience may allow, so please, do feel free to drop me a line or a comment if you wish. 

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IV | 35mm | 1/180th – F8 – ISO320 | 720nm IR.

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Clearly, I have not yet explored the possibilities of this new conversion, spring is a while away yet, but I can honestly say that if these few frames, taken just an hour before the Golden Hour on a cold, sunny, winter’s day in Kippford are anything to go by, it’s going to be another very enjoyable year in photography. Thank you for reading, thank you, Amar (again!) and, I hope you’ll all enjoy these few inaugural frames. (Please click the infrared tag for other IR posts, if you’re interested.)

R.

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Closer Still(s) | PT.XVIII [II] | 35:Chronicle

35mm, close-up, colour, nature, photography

Moss, Inside Droplets |  A Colour Excursion.


Two days ago I posted a few close-ups (almost macro, maybe) of a little of the moss on my garden wall, after a light drizzle. As many of you who read my posts and view my work, it will be all too apparent that my preferred medium is black and white and, as such, I tend to think in this way when I am envisioning and composing a shot. Still, there are many who like a little colour and I cannot neglect those of you either. Though I shoot and post for myself (don’t take that the wrong way, only, I resist the temptation to shoot or process images based on expectation of any audience) I do sometimes process for colour representation, just – not very often (unless the colours are the reason that I want to make the frame in the first place). On this day, when I made these shots, the light was rather flat; however – diffuse, cloudy light can be rather useful for evening out exposures and, also, can render saturation of colour far more pleasingly than harsh or direct light. As such, for Rajeev and for Quy, and anyone else who might have wondered how I would have seen the images of #107 in colour – here they are. I can only hope that they were worth your wondering. (I haven’t included the IR frame – false colour infrared really doesn’t do it for me, I’m afraid).

[On a slightly technical note – I love to use minimal equipment and carry as little as I possibly can. Not many of us like gear or choice to get in the way of how we shoot and I am a huge fan of minimal.  With that said, I have no need for a dedicated macro lens and, while my normal 35mm FoV lens focuses down to a minimum of around 6″ (I just have to be more careful not to block the light I wish to use, and predictably, the wider the lens, the harder it becomes) – I get a lot closer when I pop my Hoya +10 on the front of it. The +10 was also used for these frames, though not at closest focus distance.]

I do hope you’ll enjoy these few captures.

R.

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I.

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II.

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III.

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Closer Still(s) | PT.XVIII | 35:Chronicle

35mm, black & white, close-up, infrared, macro, nature, photography

Sterling Moss | Reprise.


Way back in May last year, I posted a few frames snagged of the moss on my garden wall. Not hugely interesting, to many I am sure, and in review, I have caught far better. One of the aspects of any image that I choose to make that I find is very important is, quite simply, to try to capture a different view of things; not necessarily unusual, rather – a view not too often seen by the many of us who don’t stop from time to time to observe, or seek. I am still very guilty of this – though not always. This is why, in contrast to the visible-light frames that I had posted in #24 – I have decided that these are more preferable and, a little more interesting, to me at least. I do love ‘delicate’. I hope that you’ll enjoy them, too. 

R.

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I | Moss Inside Droplets | VIS | 35mm.

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II | Moss | 720nm Infrared | 35mm.

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III | Moss Inside Droplets [II] | VIS | 35mm.

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A Stop-Gap, Perhaps? | 760 & 715nm Infrared | 35:Chronicle

black & white, infrared, landscape, photography

Either Side of 35.


As I am now on the verge (pardon the pun, please?) of re-commencing my photographic passions with entirely different systems, both of which feature fixed 35mm (FoV) lenses, I thought it might be nice to reflect a little on the two IR systems that I enjoyed last year. Both of them are either side of 35 and, of different wavelengths to the 720nm I will from here-on, be concentrating – and, my anticipation of getting back out there is again heightened by such reflection. 

These few frames were taken around Megget Water; either of, from or, towards Megget Dam, (not far from St. Mary’s Loch) in South West Scotland – during July of last year. Most frames that I had posted of Megget last year concentrated mainly on the reservoir itself, but there are clearly other views. I simply cannot wait to go back in the spring. I might even remember to pack my heaviest tripod and a Big-Stopper, next time! 

R.

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I | From | 28mm | 760nm Infrared.

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II | Towards | 50mm | 715nm Infrared.

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III | Of | 28mm | 760nm Infrared.

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In-Spired-Out | 35:Chronicle

black & white, infrared, photography, structures

We Are, Therefore, We Create.


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I | Scott Monument – Princes Street, Edinburgh | 28mm – 1/125th – f4.2 – ISO: 259.

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II | Spire of St. Theresa’s [II: VIS] – Dumfries | 35mm – 1/220th – f5.6 – ISO:200.

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III | Greyfriars [II] | 720nm IR | 24mm – 1/125th – f7.6 – ISO: 336.

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Land-Escapery | PT.IV | 35:Chronicle

infrared, landscape, photography

Onwards | 720nm Infrared.

The second day of this year was as beautiful as the first and, it would have been impossible for me to have remained indoors. Little did I know at the time though, that these images would be among the very last that I would capture using my faithful GXR systems – the lenses and alternative wavelength conversions that I have been using for the last six or seven years, at least. But I have decided upon two courses of action for this year. I want to lighten my bag and, I want to take things back to what I initially intended these pages to share my enjoyment of. The 35mm FoV, to be succinct. 

I have enjoyed, very much, not limiting myself to one field of view, but on the other hand, I don’t feel that I have learned much either by allowing myself such leeway and, I am beginning to crave limitation again; and to push myself further. I’ll still be shooting IR (try to stop me!) but will concentrate on 720nm, along with my visible-light set-up. New year, new tool-set, as my good friend put it. I know there’ll be frames I’ll miss, but, no matter what FL lens is mounted, there always will be. So, for this year, I’m scaling back in order to move forward. 

Onwards.

R.

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I | A Kind of Crossroad? | 720nm IR.

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II | On a Breeze | 720nm IR.

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Internal Affairs | PT.V | 35:Chronicle

black & white, colour, full-spectrum, Indoor, night / low-light, photography, structures

St. Giles’ Cathedral – Edinburgh | PT.III.


This is to be the final part of my St. Giles series. In all honesty, I could have gotten way more value out of my £2 photo-pass that I purchased upon entry. I could easily have whiled away more hours here than the one that I did. Watching, looking, shooting, looking. The light was poor though, a very dull and overcast sky affording less quality and intensity through stained-glass – so diffuse that my fixed lens camera of choice made it much more difficult to grab a steady shot, the later the afternoon became. Insosaying, I grabbed my low-light camera. Actually, it’s primarily my weapon of choice for much of my IR compositions, but, removing the UVIR Cut filter from in front of the lens element, I was able to gather twice as much light as my primary, fixed-lens camera. Shot in true full-spectrum, capturing all available light (from UV-A through VIS to IR) renders even sharp details a little softer due to invisible lightwave pollution but I still think these make the grade. I hope you will enjoy these last few captures.  

R.

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I | The Dark Exit.

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II | Symmetry Divine.

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III | Symmetry Divine [II]

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Down by the River | PT.I | 35:Chronicle

black & white, infrared, photography, waterscape

The Nith | As Peaceful as it Gets.


Before I dash off to work for the night, I just wish to share a few frames, snagged on a gorgeous New Year’s Day during a walk through Dumfries. These images were taken during the same meander as those published in my previous post, but having a little bit of OCD – I like to keep things grouped, somewhat. (I really should get out of this habit!) I really hope you’ll enjoy these and, I wish you all a fabulous weekend.

R.

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I | Devorgilla Bridge | 50mm | 720nm Infrared. 

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II | Weir | 35mm.

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III | At Nunholm | 50mm | 720nm Infrared.

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A Different Light | PT.II | 720nm Infrared | 35:Chronicle

black & white, infrared, photography, structures

Resolution.


For over an hour I have been sitting at my laptop, reviewing recently processed images that I was able to capture during a leisurely walk around Dumfries on what was a beautifully sunny day, under the clearest, bluest sky. As  my tummy rumbles, my choices become even more difficult as I now find myself distracted by the whiff of lunch emanating from the kitchen. But it can wait – I’ve decided, but it hasn’t been an easy choice. You see, I’ve lived here for almost twenty years now and, almost all of my photo-excursions (the landscapes, anyway) have had me concentrate heavily on rural scenes and views, making the most from infrared light wherever possible and insosaying, I have never, ever – in all of my time here, wandered through or around the town with my cameras. Though I had them with me, my only wish for such a beautiful day was that I might snag a few IR frames along the River Nith, after which, on approaching the town in search of at least one cafe with an ‘Open’ sign (which was more difficult than I thought it would be), I wasn’t thinking about making any more images at all, just… hot chocolate.

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I | The Venue Nightclub Building | 720nm IR | 24mm | 1/125th | f8 | ISO: 835.

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Nevertheless, leaving the riverside and heading into town, my ever scanning eye became increasingly keen as my recent fascination and enjoyment of strong structures again came to the fore and against such a deep blue backdrop, it was impossible to ignore these few frames-to-be. For colour enthusiasts I make no apology; I am delighted to share these captures of a place I know so well and yet, until now, have never seen quite like this. I take this as stark reminder to keep my eyes and, my mind open – especially to all that is right in front of me; that which I see almost every day – and don’t even notice. Of course, this applies to life just as it does to photography. A new resolution, perhaps?

To all of you who read, follow, click  or comment – I thank you and, wish you a very happy and prosperous 2019. I hope you’ll enjoy these few frames.

R.

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II | Spire of St. Theresa’s | 720nm IR | 35mm | 125th | f6.7 | ISO: 308.

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III | Greyfriars | 720nm IR | 24mm | 1/125th | f8 | ISO: 283.
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