July 12, 2015

Working with my New IR Camera (Halifax, Nova Scotia)

After obsessively tracking it's route, my new Canon EOS 5Ds finally arrived back from infrared conversion by LifePixel; I won't be able to use it in a session with a model for a couple of days, but I did manage to spend a bit of time photographing with the camera today, just to check it out.
Unfortunately, the weather wasn't ideal for infrared photography - the sky was hazy and lacked the drama of a clear blue sky with fluffy clouds. Wanting to work with a familiar subject, I headed to the Chapel of Our Lady of Sorrows, in the Holy Cross Cemetery. I'd included an image of this building in my exhibition The Light Beyond (2012), and was interested to see how the new camera compared to that photograph (which was a five-frame stitch from an IR converted Nikon D70).
Digital infrared original

Overall, my first impressions are really positive; the camera didn't seem as sensitive (in regard to the exposure) as the previous Canon EOS 5D MKII, but that will be easy to measure in a side-by-side comparison with the older camera. Working on the images in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, the added resolution (50mp vs 21mp) presented a wealth of detail that would have been missing from the same image on a lower resolution camera.
Digital infrared original
The real advantages of the higher resolution was revealed in the second image (with the two trees towering over the building). Made with the EF 16-35mm f/4 lens, I used manual lens correction in Lightroom to remove much of the lens distortion. This in turn required the image to be cropped some. In the past, I've been hesitant to use this technique, as it cost image resolution, but with the Canon EOS 5Ds, after cropping the image was still over 31mp in size!

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