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Photo Information
Copyright: Alain Thibodeau (Athila) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 335 W: 239 N: 493] (1982)
Genre: Landscapes
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 1978-07
Categories: Trees
Camera: Nikkormat EL, Nikkor 50mm f/1.4, Black & White contrast filters
Details: Tripod: Yes
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Date Submitted: 2005-10-26 14:21
Viewed: 5419
Points: 13
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
No itís not red maple leafs at the autumn in Canada!

Years ago, while it was still available, I experimented with color Infra Red films. This one was taken in mid summer on a sunny day. Depending on the color of the filter you put in front of your lens, color will vary according to the amount of IR radiations reflecting back in the direction of your camera.

Because of the photosynthesis process, green leafs absorb sunrays and liberate oxygen in the air. At the same time it also reflects IR radiations. IR films have a layer sensitive to IR radiations and normally transform into red dye in the processed film. Other layers will react differently.

Lot of test (or lot of reading) are necessary to expect final result. Here I have been using a deep red (No 25) filter. The green leaves became red. Since the sky absorbs IR rays it turned green (donít ask me why it is green). Water acted as a mirror and reflected back the colors of the objects it was representing.

IR rays do not focus like visible rays in a camera. Usually distance measured is not set on the focus mark but on an IR mark beside it. This is what is normally recommended for B&W IR films. With color IR film, since two layer of film are sensitive to visible rays and one layer is sensitive to IR rays, you are better to focus normally and use as much DOF as possible to ensure good focus on main subject as I did here.

Unfortunately these films arenít easily available anymore.


Technical data:

Camera : Nikkormat EL
Lens : 50mm f/1.4 Nikkor
F/stop : Not recorded (small aperture)
Shutter speed : Not recorded
Tripod: Velbon
Filter: Red No.25
Flash : No
Accessory : cable release
Film : Ektachrome IR
Flatbed Scanner: Epson 4180

extramundi, traveller, glazzaro, dew77, scottevers7, cherokeechief, AdrianW has marked this note useful
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Add Critique [Critiquing Guidelines] 
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To cherokeechief: Nice paint effectAthila 1 05-28 21:15
To L810th: Compliments on your workshopdelfi 1 11-28 17:40
To L810th: Different filters = Different effectsAthila 1 11-26 21:01
To extramundi: Not a bad job!Athila 1 10-26 19:10
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Critiques [Translate]

Hi Alain, this stuff is really interesting. It is great to see this landscape from a IR POV
Great note with plenty of details, I enjoyed very much, and of course I tryed a balance WS, :D
You are right that it is really strange, it looks as if you are working only on one colour layer. I still post the awful fast attemp I made so you can laugh a bit. Thanks for posting.

This was a great warning and a very interesting attitude! The note is extremely useful too.

Interesting effect, well done.


  • Great 
  • dew77 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4432 W: 248 N: 4028] (13270)
  • [2005-10-27 3:37]

Hello Alain!
Very interesting and unusual post.I liked POV,DOF,framing,visual impact and composition a lot.

Hi Alain,
This is an excellent IR shot. I did some of this stuff years ago in B&W, but did not save my shots. The effects are always so interesting. It is always good to see someone push the envelope and try different things. I would love to see this scene in a color shot. I like composition.

  • Good 
  • L810th (0)
  • [2005-11-26 12:40]
  • [+]

Hi! Alain,
I have done a WS to re-adjust this image based on my own experimental work with Ektachrome IR back in the mid 70's. Yes! you cannot balance the colour as we know Our World to be, with this film, but you can get close to "reality" once you adjust the colour of living plant life to RED/orange. Using this film with a yellow filter gets you very close to seperating out the colours of a scene. The relationship between the B&W version of this film and colour, bear no resemblance. In fact the B&W version is soooo... much more exciting and predictable. Check this image out if you like.

IR Cottage

...and a B&W IR:

Lazy Days of Summer

Thanks for the Challenge!

Looks very dramatic and scenic. Nice experiment here.

Hi Alain,

All your pictures are great (and highly rated, rightfully so!), I had a hard time picking one to critique for now. (My wife says I already spend too much time on here.) ;-) But the note on this one and the effect is fascinating. Plus great composition & sharpness to boot. Thanks for sharing! And thanks for your workshop on my polar bear. Check out what I did to the original with my Paint action in Photoshop, if you get a chance. Randy

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