It was a beautiful day today and I’ve been in the mood to do something artistic. So I rounded up my camera, tripod, R72 infrared lens, and screw-on lens holder with homemade cardboard insert, and E dropped me off at the local scenic bridge while she went to run some errands. Here’s a nice little river photo — OK, maybe not much actual water is visible, but the stonework on the bridge and the plants are pretty enough:
Here’s the same photo, taken with an infrared lens and a 1-second exposure time. No, I don’t have a fancy camera, just a little digital point-and-shoot, but buried deep in the menu options is a “long time exposure” setting. Without it, the IR lens blocks out so much light that the pictures are nearly black. The long exposure time is why the tripod is so critical.
Here’s where the computer fun back at home comes in. I use Gimp software, open the first image, then open the second infrared image as a layer on top of it. Then I set the infrared layer from “normal” to “value” and play with the opacity setting. Basically, the software combines the color from the normal image with the lightness/darkness level from the infrared image, and the opacity setting controls how heavily the infrared image is weighted. Here, top to bottom, are the results with opacity at 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100%.
At 25%, I think it nicely enhances the image. At 100%, it’s downright freaky. The in-between ones are probably my favorites.
Oh, and if you remember hearing about the flooding we had this past spring — pretty much all the land you see here was underwater, and despite the National Guard sandbagging both ends of the bridge, they still ended up under a couple feet of water. Amazing.