Sunday, August 24, 2008

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Miss me?

Crazy world.  Crazy sky.
Hey folks! Sorry I've been neglecting this blog for the weekend. Things here have been somewhat nutty, but nothing terrible has happened.

The thing is, I got this new infrared filter, and, along with a few other of life's tediums, it's consumed a heap of my time as I try to figure it out. It's not been going so well, and for you non-photography people, you could probably skip vast swaths of this entry since, well... I need to complain.

Anyway, this filter is actually pretty interesting, but the results are not what I am after. The white balance is blown, and if I want something other than the garish, monochromatic results you see in today's picture, I need to grab a custom white balance off a patch of sunlit grass. After all, grass reflects a lot of infrared light, and setting the balance to the grass would render some nice, yummy, ethereal-looking, snow-white leaves and lawns and what have you.

Unfortunately, I'm having a genuine bitch of a time gathering the white balance data by shooting at a patch of grass. In fact, I've spent the better part of three days trying with different exposure settings to get the data needed. I've actually got a somewhat nasty sunburn from wandering around with the mad-dogs and Englishmen in the mid-day sun... We're talking hundreds upon hundreds of shots, and not a single one has rendered a usable result.


All I need is one.

Now, don't get me wrong, the results I am getting are nice, but the colors are so washed out, I can only process them to black and white, for the most part. And, even though black and white IR photography is nice, it's not what I'm after. What I'm getting now is really not too different from just slapping a colored hunk of glass on the front of my lens and shooting through it.

Anyway, I established that it's my filter that's making it impossible for me to gather what I need to render the shots I'm after. And, well... I can't say I'm surprised. I mean, I only paid a few bucks for this cheap piece of glass. So, I ordered a better filter, and hopefully that will set things straight.

It is unbearably annoying...

One other problem is that we seem to be entering into a drought here in Southeastern Wisconsin, and finding a patch of lush, green grass is almost impossible to begin with. Everything is just baked brown and crispy.

So, yeah... I'm just rattling off some angst here. I'm not really angry or anything. I'm just frustrated, and it's become a mission of sorts. Every day, the sun shines, and every freakin' day, I get out there and roast my brain in the hot summer sun trying in vain to get this fucking reference that should only take a couple of seconds...



Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 8/24/2008 01:06:00 PM


  1. Sorry to hear the lens hasn't worked out as you'd planned. I think they're some pretty cool shots, but if it's not what you're looking for...I hope the new lens will work better for you.

    I'd send you some rain if I could, but we don't have any to spare. Perhaps you can contact Florida.


  2. Hope the new filter provides better results for you.  I have never really tried filters, but that could be a future project.  Guess I will avoid grass pictures though :o)

  3. It's actually not the lens.  I'm just having trouble with the screw-on filter.  And, the shots are actually kind of cool, but I can only convert them to B&W (or some other single-color version).  Right now, in fact, everything just comes out purple, and when I run them through Photoshop, nothing really changes and there's no way to bring out any individual color.  For example, if I want blue skies, white grass and perhaps some sort of brown in there somewhere, I can't do that.  

    For example, what you see above, everything is blue.  Even the whites have a blue tint.  Now, if I want to change that to make the tree leaves true white, I'll lose the blue sky too.  

    It's just frustrating.  But, we'll see if the new filter fixes things.  It should since I've seen some incredible results with that filter and the camera I have.  So, unless my camera is somehow broken, I should be able to duplicate those results.  


  4. Practice makes perfect (winks), I know I have the annoying habit of pointing out the obvious. What would happen if you inverted the colors in Photoshop? (Hugs)Indigo

  5. To my totally untrained eye, the tree is fluffy and gorgeous. Just ditch the house across the street.

  6. Dan, I read it all and it was over my head. To that I say thank God since I would never be able to handle a filter and might eliminate myself if I got a frustrated as you seem to be.
    Put all the sharp knifes in a locked box and good luck. Bill

    PS I have a lot of grass in my back yard if you want a couple of shots I will be glad to take some pictures.

  7. I guess using a houseplant isn't exactly the same thing..........

    Some places here, the corn is high and green, some places here it's high and pale dry brown, or half way to that drought-color.