Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Infrared and the Snow

The one thing I have been itching to do all winter are infrared photos of the snow. In fact, I think this is the first time I've been excited for snow ever since it no longer meant a snow day from school (for those who don't know, this means we'd get a day off of school due to snow), and probably even before then. Some how, at least for me, snow lost its magic once I realized that sledding just wasn't as fun as it used to be, and being cold and wet really wasn't all that fun after all. So now that snow is magical again, at least for this short span of time with my creativity muse, I'm trying to capture it.

The weather on the other hand has not been cooperative.

For days and days I hoped for snow, and the day we got the first big snowfall I had to be in Massachusetts to pick up some friends. But I remained optimistic, and hoped that hey, maybe this time around it'd stick to the trees. It didn't. Just like the time before it was blown or melted off, and disappeared into mud. I was very disappointed.

That was only five days ago! So for it to snow again yesterday, well, I was excited again!

This time, I managed to get a photo!

It's not the best photo I have ever taken, I realize, and it certainly isn't the last. But I'm excited about this one because I managed to capture it between blizzard-like snowfalls in very little light.

For those who don't know, working with an infrared filter means that you need a long exposure. The filter itself is a deep red--almost black--and is designed to block out all light except infrared; hence the name. Because of this though, if you haven't guessed, the lens can see nothing through it. This means I have to set up my focus beforehand, and then without disrupting the focus, place the filter on the lens. Considering I don't own a prime lens (yet), this can be pretty difficult. Exposure wise, I pick a low aperture to start (but no lower than f/5.6) and a 30sec shutter speed. If that doesn't work, since my camera hates being about ISO100 (possible sensor issues), then I'm not going to get anywhere. As it is sometimes I end up with a lot of noise doing this. Either way though, it's a long process to get the shot I want, so I try to pick my scenes carefully and overshoot just to be sure. That's part of the joys of the digital era.

As I said prior though, I snagged the only time between two heavy snowfalls that I could, and I did so in my own backyard. After all this I ended up taking a nap (I was unusually tired, and think I may be catching a cold), and when I awoke it was to the snow having been blown and melted off the trees again; thus rendering them just ugly and dead once more. Boooooo.

The good news? There's supposed to be more snow today! Yay! This of course means I can try again with the infrared very soon!

After feedback, I'm happy to say I actually like the shot I got. I think my favourite comment thus far is that it reminds someone of Narnia. Many said it felt magical or fantastical, but only one named it after Narnia.

So here it is, my Snowy Forest Path. Enjoy! And please feel free to leave me comments on here.

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