InfraRed Photography

We've just run a photography competition at work. The winning picture was an infra-red shot. This really stood out and was absolutely wonderful. Sadly the picture isn't available on a public site, so Ican't point at it, but it got me thinking!

Could you do infra-red with digital? The answer appears to be 'yes' so I'm going to have a go! I've a D100, and the process looks very straightforward. Just need to get the IR filter for the camera. Probably going to go with the wideangle lens, as general views seem to produce the best images.

A good selection if IR images shows up some of what can be done.

Indeed it appears that not only IR but UV is possible!

Additional Links

Epson R2400 – Swapping Matte to Glossy

The Epson R2400 is a great printer, but has two different main black inks - Photo (i.e. glossy) and Matte. I got my printer profile today, and wanted to try it out. Sadly I had just swapped on to the matte inks, so had to switch back.

Of course the printer driver didn't spot I had swapped the ink cartridges so the list of papers was. Well internet to the rescue againg.... solution is here. Go into the Epson ink levels utility, click about a bit, and things work.

Really annoying!!

The Circle, Bath

20070306-0037, originally uploaded by Calanais.

Camera: D100
Lens: Nikon 18-70mm @ 29mm
Exposure:f9 @ 1/640s ISO 200
Post Process: Capture One Raw Conversion, Photoshop Level correction
Location: The Circle, Bath, UK

This circle of houses in Bath is very striking architecturally, even more so as the frontage of all the properties have been kept the same.

This appealed to me purely from the symmetry, the challenge being that it was impossible to show the entire circle, so I need to communicate a sense of whole but only showing a very limited part.

(submitted to the Developing Vision and Style project)

Photographic Workflow: Tools

So what tools do I use for various photographic jobs:

  • I take RAW images from the D100. These have been processed in Phase One's Capture One LE. Pretty good and very reasonably priced. It does all I can ask of it for RAW processing. No library features, and is a straight RAW editor. Has a very good feature to do a rough conversion to jpg. Very useful when the wife wants to see what pictures I've taken.
  • Recently though I have started to use the Adobe Lightroom, just coming out of beta now, this has a very good interface. Browsing images is very nice, and can work not just with RAW but other formats we well. Not quite got to grips with the curves here, and I think it needs some reasonably procesing power.Capture One seems better at doing bulk image handling. No difference in output quality as far as I can see.
  • Image manipulation, and I only do very basic stuff realy was done in Photoshop Elements 2. Now that I use Lightroom/Capture One, all that Elments does is to crop, rotate, compression of JPGs for web use, and converting formats.Elements 2 is missing 16bit support, plus curves and the channel mixer. Something that is offered by Earthbound Light
  • Recently I was given as a present PaintShopPro X. Not used this a lot, but is looking good. I need to adapt from the Photoshop terminology and interfaces.
  • For output, I use QImage. A great little program for solely printing. It's interface does take some getting used to, but after that it is great for getting things exactly where you want them, and the exact size. Please do work with this program and read the tutorials. Not be put off by the interface!
  • For catloging images, and keeping a track of what I've got IMatch DB is great. Nothing else quite comes close; it has the ability to handle a massive collection of images. Plus it handles the ability to take a set of images, say from one shoot and move them to offline storage.
  • I will confess that I am also now using Picasa to browse the images that are on my harddrive. It is set to only look at the RAW images, so it is great for looking at my recent work. It is fast and slick. Also it is great for other members of the family to browse the images I have recently taken.
  • Some landscapes really do have to be taken with a panorama to do them justice. Not having a X-Pan to hand I use Panorama Factory - A great program that produces some stunning results
  • To produce DVD images, ProShowGold is pretty good.Very easy to use, and work through. Have found a couple of defects in this, and it doesn't have short-keys for the functions. Means a lot of mouse use for a large presentation, but the options within it are unrivaled.
  • For web galleries JAlbum is brilliant. It has produce for example. It is very easy to use and has some great submitted skins for to generate some good sites.
  • Flickr is now starting to appear in my list of tools (look up Calanais as a user and that's me)

Any planned changes? Well Paint Shop Pro may well take over from Elements. I have tried to use GIMP, with the Photoshop look and feel. But it just not worked for me. Picutre Window Pro was looking promising, but never got the time to do it justice.

Photographic Workflow: Output

When I started photography seriously, I was using a 35mm file camera (Praktica ML50). My typical film stock was Fuji-print film. With hinsight, that was the wrong thing to me using. It was though easy to expose for, and produced results that you could see easily - and put in an album. Plus at the time I had an Epson 1200U scanner that could produce reasonable results from the prints.

What I think I should have done though is taken slides.  Velvia or Provia would have been a better training ground with exposure, and generally quality.  Obtaining a projector wouldn't have been a problem (have my father's projector) and a screen cost me £15 second hand.

But I moved onto digital - missing out slide film. Although I do have a few roles around that I really want to try using!

One thing though I have found is MicroQuiz they can produce from a digital file some great slides. There are 3 reasons to do this

  1. Digital projectors are still not quite there for quality, but this won't last for long
  2.  Slide competitions in local clubs are not now well entered. So you stand a better chance of wining based purely on numbers
  3. Persistence. Perhaps the strongest reason of all. I reckon that a slide has a greater chance of lasting than a digital file.

So I am considering getting all of my main portfolio copied onto slide - just in case!

Photographic Workflow: Managing file formats

An important part of the process of digital photography I think is establishing a 'workflow' that works for you (pardon the pun). Workflow may sound like it is something that is the domain solely of professionals, but even if you are amateur maybe only taking a handful of pictures it is, I would assert, very important.

I'm now posting to various different photosites, such as, Flickr, Pixola, and various stock agenices. Each require a specific quality of image. Different resoultions, file formats, and maximum file size.

Whilst any photo tool can handle this type of transformation, I was looking for something more streamlined. So I'm currently investigating using ImageMagick

Some articles on using this are on developerWorks, an odd place for a photo article but never mind. With a great tutorial site on creating thumbnails.

More will be posted on this topic !

An alternative that I was considering pursuing is the use of Python and the Python Imaging Library 


Just started using Flickr! Previously I've posted to sites such as (which I must get back to using btw), Flickr is certainly offerieng something more. I think the attraction for me, as a software developer, is the additional APIs that are available to interact with it. One good collection of links of many.

Some notable Flickr extensions that have so far caught my eye.

To see my own space in flickr go here

Photo directory auto-resize


Watch a directory on windows, and when I copy an image file into, resize it based on an existing script.

I upload to various online photo sites. Flickr's upload tool will do the resize for me, but others don't; they all have different requriements for size, resoultion etc. So I'll have a directory per site, and scripts set accordingly.

Using the following code snipet would be the first step to doing that I think.