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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Keeping Sensitive To IR's Needs

Tripping With Infrared Film • Running Out Of Walls • How To Go Pro • Waiting For Long Exposures

Click Images To EnlargeThis Article Features Photo Zoom
tech tips
Digital infrared is only a camera conversion away. This image was taken on Molokai, Hawaii, with a converted Canon EOS D60 camera using an EF 15mm fish-eye lens at 1/45 sec., ƒ/11 and ISO 200.

Tripping With Infrared Film

I’m traveling to Patagonia, and I want to carry 35mm infrared film. What suggestions do you have regarding how to get it through international (Argentinean) security? Will they absolutely insist that the film be removed from the canister?
D. Owen
Via the Internet

No one knows what Argentinean security may do, much less TSA in U.S. airports. Infrared film is indeed much more sensitive than black-and-white or color film.
You’ll have to decide if carrying the film is worth the risk.

One of the advantages of switching to digital is that you no longer have problems with carrying film through security. In this case, just carry an additional camera body that has been converted to infrared. If you shoot Nikon, something like a D100 or D200 will suffice; for Canon, the EOS 40D or an earlier body would work. Digital cameras are sensitive to infrared light, but a cutoff filter works to keep the infrared light from being recorded and interfering with the desired color. If the filter is replaced with one that allows only infrared light to record, you have infrared capabilities that far exceed what you can capture on infrared film. You can have the camera converted at a number of reliabl vendors: Life Pixel (www.lifepixel.com), IRDigital (www.IRDigital.net) and MaxMax (www.MaxMax.com). Before you balk at carrying another camera, think about how annoying it is to have a body tied up with infrared film when you need to shoot color or regular black-and-white film.

Running Out Of Walls
My walls are full, and there’s seldom a chance to get out a digital projector to showcase my work from a recent trip. Any suggestions?
J. Fawcett
Victorville, California

An elegant way of showcasing a group of images is to produce your own coffee-table book. There are several companies that make beautiful leather-bound book covers in various sizes; 8x8, 12x12 and 12x15 are standard sizes. The manufacturers offer a wide variety of paper styles, surfaces and weights that can be printed on both sides on your own inkjet printer, bound between the covers and protected by vellum interleaves. To contain and protect the book, some products include a classy sleeve on which you can display a special presentation print representative of the book’s contents. Because the pages are easily replaced and reordered, you can continuously refresh the content to highlight your most current work, or you can have a bookcase full of bound special editions for each of your important trips or themes. Indeed, this new media can take your work far beyond the old plastic-covered, adhesive pages and photo corners. With a little research into principles of design, you can print your own book and easily make copies for friends and relatives who might want one of their own. An excellent example of portfolio books and products is the Chinle series from Moab by Legion Paper (www.moabpaper.com). We’re using these portfolio sets for some classes at the Lepp Institute (www.leppphoto.com). Another company to check out is Stone Editions (www.stoneeditions.com).

Another way to present your work is to display it on your high-def television. Make a slideshow in your favorite presentation program, such as PowerPoint, Keynote (Mac) or ProShow Gold (Win), to name a few. That’s the easy part. The hard part is the interface between the computer and the HD television. Some HD TVs have a computer USB input, making the process simple, since all laptops accommodate it. Others have an HDMI input, and only newer laptops accommodate this interface. If you’re looking for a new laptop, make sure it has HDMI connectivity.


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