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Monthly Archives: April 2018

  • This mom uses photography to help her autistic 4-year-old son socialize

    When he was three years old, Max Pritchard was diagnosed with high-functioning autism. His mom Danielle knew how important an early intervention would be to help Max to overcome troubles with speech, anxiety and social skills. One of big factors in his treatment is photography. With a camera in his hands, little Max is successfully […]

    The post This mom uses photography to help her autistic 4-year-old son socialize appeared first on DIY Photography.

    Source: Diyphotographynet

  • This wedding ring photo was taken with a phone and a sponge

    I saw this photo in one of the wedding photography forums I visit and got curious. I contacted Dor Sasson of Happy Days, the photographer and asked him how the shot was taken. It could not have bees simpler. The photo was taken with a “Real Camera”, but the scene and lighting were provide with everyday […]

    The post This wedding ring photo was taken with a phone and a sponge appeared first on DIY Photography.

    Source: Diyphotographynet

  • Tips for Converting an Old Camera for Shooting Infrared Photography

    A few years ago I become friends with a guy who likes dong infrared photography. It was something that I had tried when I was shooting film, but never quite figured out. My friend had converted an old camera of his and it seemed like a good idea. At the time, I had two old cameras and thought perhaps I could use one of them for infrared. However, the price was too high then.

    Tips for Converting an Old Camera for Shooting Infrared Photography

    Port Arthur and the main Penitentiary looks a lot better in infrared.

    Move forward to a few years, and after buying a second-hand camera from a friend, I found myself in the same position. I had two extra camera bodies, so why not convert one to infrared.

    You can do this by putting a filter on the end of the lens, but from searching around for information, getting the camera converted specifically for infrared seemed like a better alternative.

    What is infrared photography

    Perhaps before going any further, it might be good to get an understanding of what infrared photography is actually all about.

    Infrared photography is the capture of part of the spectrum of light that is invisible to the naked human eye. Infrared light is at the top end of the spectrum and is not visible to the eye, so to capture it with a camera some special techniques and equipment are required.

    It isn’t an easy concept to understand, but once you get out there and start doing it, you will figure out what works and what doesn’t.

    Tips for Converting an Old Camera for Shooting Infrared Photography

    Late winter at Alowyn Gardens. It never snows here, but the infrared camera makes it look like it had.

    Different ways of doing infrared

    As with most types of photography, there are various ways to go about it. Infrared photography is no different.

    Computer conversion to infrared

    You can find ways to do infrared conversions on the computer. There are processes that you can use that will help give you that infrared look, however, it is just a look and won’t be the same as doing it with filters or a dedicated camera. If you are curious, though, you could try this first before investing any extra money into it.



    Alowyn Gardens again, looking again like winter and snow, or perhaps a frost.

    There are filters that you can get to put on your lens that will help you to get infrared-style images. These will let the IR light through to your sensor. The advantage is that you don’t have to give up a camera body to do this. I’ve never tried them, so I can’t comment on how good they are or are not.


    One thing a lot of photographers who love this kind of photography do is to get one of their cameras converted to be dedicated just for doing infrared photography. Some do this themselves, or you can take it to camera repair place to do it for you.

    I took mine to a place to get the infrared conversion done. I’m always wary of playing around with the sensor. They have to remove the filter that comes with the camera and replace it with one that will let through the infrared light, and block all visible light.

    Tips for Converting an Old Camera for Shooting Infrared Photography

    Late winter at Alowyn Gardens. It never snows here, but the infrared camera can give it that look.

    Choosing which sensor filter

    You do have to choose which filter you want and some places will give you many choices. Where I sent my camera there were only two options.

    The first choice is the 720nm filter. This will give you close to a full infrared effect, but it will allow you to put some color into your images. The second is the 850nm which would give you very rich dark blacks and perfect if all you want to do is black and white infrared.

    For me the choice was easy, I wanted to get some of that color. Not all the time, but it was important to have a choice, so I went with the 720nm filter.

    Tips for Converting an Old Camera for Shooting Infrared Photography - color infrared image

    The 720nm sensor filter allows you to get some color, like having a blue sky.

    What to photograph in infrared

    Like any type of photography, you can photograph anything with an infrared camera or one with a special filter. However, not everything will have the same effect or give you great results. You really need to experiment with it to see what will work.


    Portraits can be quite weird, and the infrared light does strange things to the skin and facial features. The hair can look funny too and the lips almost disappear. I don’t know that many people would enjoy getting their portrait done this way. Perhaps for a special event or something, maybe. Who knows.

    infrared portrait - Tips for Converting an Old Camera for Shooting Infrared Photography

    The infrared camera gives Chris a completely different look.

    Trees and nature – give your scene the look of winter

    Trees are fantastic for this type of photography. All the leaves come out looking white. The more moisture the leaves have the whiter they are in the image. The gum trees in Australia don’t have quite the same effect as trees that are not indigenous to the area.

    It makes photographing in rain forests pointless as everything shows up as white and doesn’t have the same effect as it does with a color image. It’s hard to see any definition between the plants.

    Tips for Converting an Old Camera for Shooting Infrared Photography - b/w of trees and forest in IR

    Australian natives are a little different with infrared photography.

    One thing I found was that dead trees looked amazing in infrared. If you photograph them surrounded by lots of other trees, or on their own you would get a very different look. They stand out with an elegance that color photography just doesn’t give them.

    When traveling around Tasmania with my infrared converted camera I was looking for dead trees everywhere.

    dead trees in IR b/w - Tips for Converting an Old Camera for Shooting Infrared Photography

    Dead trees on the side of the road in Tasmania.


    One of the first times using the camera was in the city of Melbourne. I just walked around and took photos of the buildings and streets to see what could be captured in infrared.

    The images were disappointing. Once converted to black and white they didn’t look any different than other images done with a normal camera. They did have a quality that gave them an antique look, but other than that there was no discernable differences.

    b/w IR architecture - Tips for Converting an Old Camera for Shooting Infrared Photography

    St Paul’s Cathedral in Melbourne, it looks like any black and white image, though taken with the infrared camera.

    While on that same trip to Tasmania there did seem to be some buildings that were really suited  to infrared, like some old sandstone structures. Places like Port Arthur, where all of the buildings are made of stone, came out looking really good with the camera.

    When visiting Port Arthur I took images with the infrared camera and the normal one. Once the photos were on the computer it seemed clear that the ones done with the special camera were by far more interesting. Many of the images were processed, some hand colored and then published on social media. The color images of the same subjects were boring in comparison.


    All the images taken with the infrared camera need to be processed. You may find the sepia quality of the images quite good, but there is so much you can do to them. You can convert straight to black and white or play around with the white balance to get some color in the images.

    hand colored IR image of a church - Tips for Converting an Old Camera for Shooting Infrared Photography

    A small church in Tasmania, the sky was made blue because of the filter and the stone was hand colored on the computer later.


    Really, this is what photography is all about. Get out there with your camera to see what you can capture, what will work, and what doesn’t. Each subject will look different with infrared photography, but you should try every type of photography you can think of to take images and then review your results.

    Right now, I’m experimenting with a red filter on the lens. The images are interesting, but I need to try it a lot more.

    Tips for Converting an Old Camera for Shooting Infrared Photography

    Cascade Brewery is an old sandstone building that came out well. In the background, you can see the snow on Mount Wellington.


    While it can be an expensive exercise converting a camera to infrared, if you have an old body lying around, then you might want to consider it. You can do a lot of experimenting with it and you will likely not regret getting it done.

    If you like the look of this sort of photography, then there are also other options. It is amazing how much the world can change with infrared and it is a great way to add something different to your portfolio.

    The post Tips for Converting an Old Camera for Shooting Infrared Photography appeared first on Digital Photography School.

    Source: DP School

  • The Highs and Lows of ISO and How to Use it to Your Best Advantage

    Treating ISO as the foundation of the exposure triangle and only adjusting it when you really need to will help you produce more consistently creative photographs.

    Asian woman taking a photo - all about ISO

    ISO 100 (allowing a wide aperture setting).

    ISO stands for International Standards Organization, which does not really help you understand what it is. But it does indicate the standard is international and it is constant across all brands and types of cameras.

    The ISO is the measurement of how responsive your camera’s sensor is to light. The lower the numeric value, the less responsive, the higher the value, the more responsive.

    Editor’s note: ISO is actually much more complicated than that but for purposes of this article, this is generally considered the easiest explanation of ISO to understand, especially for beginners. 

    Close up of twp people holding DSLR cameras - ISO settings

    ISO 400

    Low ISO

    Choosing a low ISO setting, say less than 400, is best when there’s a lot of light or when you have a tripod and the style of photograph you want to make allows you to use a long exposure. When the ISO setting is low, the sensor is less responsive to light, so, therefore, it requires more light to create a well-exposed photograph.

    Using a low ISO setting will result in better technical quality photos generally. There will be little or no digital noise, the colors and contrast in your images will be better.

    Woman standing in a fresh market holding vegetables - ISO 100

    ISO 100 allowing for a slow shutter speed in bright light. My friend was standing very still and my camera was on a tripod.

    High ISO

    Choosing a higher ISO setting is best when the light is low or you are not able to make a long exposure. Higher ISO setting means your camera’s sensor is more responsive to light, so it needs less light to reach the sensor to create a well-exposed photograph.

    It also means the technical quality of your images may be affected by digital noise, colors may be less vibrant and overall image contrast is flatter. How much, depends on how high you have your ISO setting and your camera model.

    Sensor technology is rapidly changing and, if you have a newer, higher-end model of camera you can more confidently choose to make photos at higher ISO settings than with older, lower-quality cameras.

    Sky lanterns being released in Chiang Mai during Yee Ping festival - high ISO

    ISO 6400. Allowing a fast enough shutter speed to avoid motion blur in the lantern in low lighting conditions.

    When and Why to Adjust the ISO

    Unlike shutter speed and aperture settings, the ISO setting has no direct creative impact on your photographs. If you think the inclusion of obvious digital noise in an image mimics a creative value similar to film grain I suggest you do some more serious study on the matter.

    Adjusting the ISO can assist you to achieve the shutter speed and/or aperture settings you desire to create the style of photograph you have in mind.

    Street scene at night in Thailand - ISO

    ISO 100 allowing a very slow shutter speed (long exposure).

    ISO and Aperture Creativity

    If you are wanting to blur a background using a wide aperture setting when the light is bright, you will need to adjust your ISO to one of the lowest settings to accomplish this. If you were to use a high ISO setting you may not be able to obtain a good exposure with a wide enough aperture setting, so your background will not be as soft looking as you want it to be.

    Asian woman portrait - ISO

    ISO 160 allowing a wide aperture setting to achieve a blurred background.

    Alternatively, if you want to create an image where everything in your composition is in sharp focus, it is best to choose a higher ISO, especially when the light is not so bright. By choosing a higher ISO you will be able to set your aperture to a higher f-stop number and achieve a greater depth of field than if your camera were set to a lower ISO value.

    ISO and Shutter Speed Creativity

    Choosing a low ISO can assist you in achieving a slow shutter speed when you want to create a photograph incorporating some motion blur. If you are photographing a moving subject, like a waterfall, and wish capture a lovely silky effect in the water, you will need to use a slow shutter speed.

    This is easier to do when your ISO setting is low.

    Mae Ya Waterfall - low ISO

    ISO 50 on a bright day to set the shutter speed slow enough to capture motion blur in the water.

    Freezing action by using a fast shutter speed will often require you to choose a higher ISO setting, especially if the light is not so bright. Being able to adjust your shutter speed so that is will render a fast moving subject as though it’s frozen in time will often mean balancing your exposure with a higher ISO.

    Auto ISO

    If you are comfortable with having your camera in control of your exposure, then Auto ISO is a good option to consider. If you set your ISO to Auto as you adjust your aperture and/or shutter speed settings, the ISO will modify itself to make an exposure the camera finds appropriate.

    Night time photo of Chedi Luang Thailand - ISO 800

    ISO 800

    If you do choose to work with Auto ISO, I recommend you do some testing first to discover what maximum ISO setting you are comfortable with for your camera.

    To do this, take a series of photos of the same subject in the same lighting conditions and double your ISO setting each time. Then compare all the photos (look at them close-up and full image) and find the ISO setting for the image you are comfortable with, the one just before you see too much digital noise.

    Editor’s note: Try not to overly pixel-peep. By looking at your images at 100% on your computer screen you will not get a true feeling for the amount of noise which will be visible at a normal viewing distance. 

    Many cameras have a means to set a maximum when using Auto ISO. So you can now set this to the number you determined with the test above.

    Practical Conclusions

    Three Asian woman review an image on a DSLR monitor - ISO

    ISO 320

    Adjusting your ISO setting is generally only necessary when you want to achieve a specific effect or when the light conditions change.

    When we do our photography workshops we always make sure to choose some locations which are outdoors and some which are indoors. This gives us the opportunity to demonstrate when it’s good to make an adjustment to the ISO setting.

    Thai Wood Carver - ISO

    ISO 2000 allows for a shutter speed fast enough to freeze the action in this low light setting.

    If you are photographing outdoors on a bright day, your ISO setting will most likely be between ISO 100 and ISO 400. If you go inside, especially to a dimly lit building with few windows, you may find yourself struggling to obtain a good exposure with a fast enough shutter speed if you are only adjusting your aperture and shutter speed settings.

    By adjusting your ISO so your camera’s sensor becomes more responsive in the low light you will be more flexible and capable of being more creative with your camera.


    The post The Highs and Lows of ISO and How to Use it to Your Best Advantage appeared first on Digital Photography School.

    Source: DP School

  • DIY Options for Charging Drone Batteries Off-Grid

    If you have a drone, sooner or later you’re going to want to charge your drone battery off-grid. The problem is that drones use big batteries, so to charge a big battery you need an even bigger battery – a simple solar panel USB charger might be good enough to charge your phone, but it […]

    The post DIY Options for Charging Drone Batteries Off-Grid appeared first on DIY Photography.

    Source: Diyphotographynet

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