Churches on The Patch
|Holy Trinity Church in Infrared|
Without getting too much into the science of light, infrared is a near visible area of the spectrum that our eyes can't see. Cameras can see IR, but most cameras have a filter on them that minimizes that wavelength or blocks it altogether, an IR blocking filter. An IR filter (non-blocking) is a filter you attach on your lens, or permanently on your camera's sensor, to effectively block most of the visible light and allow mainly infrared light to hit your sensor. With a lens based filter this usually leads to long exposure times as the sensor needs more time to gather more light to make a well exposed shot since the camera has IR blocking or minimizing filters. The above shot taken on a very bright sunny day with an aperture of f3.9 and an ISO of 160 has a shutter speed of 3.2 seconds. A similar shot I took without the IR filter and nearly identical settings produced a shutter speed of 1/1000 of a second. That should show you just how little visible light is hitting the sensor with the IR filter in place.
|Holy Trinity in IR Side view|
So why bother with IR? Early on in my photography journey I stumbled across some faux color IR photos and found them to be a treat. Something I wanted to understand and eventually do. I'm still not there yet as I think to do it to my standard I'll need to convert a camera permanently to IR so I can take much shorter exposure shots. The black and white IR shots usually come out very contrasty after doing a white balance adjustment then doing the basic conversion. There also seems to be a soft glow to the whites on the church that I can't seem to easily replicate in post processing a standard black and white shot. Also, I love what IR does with plants, turning them into whites. Take a shot of a field of grass and it comes out looking like a field of snow, it's really unique.
And here are some other shots that I considered:
|Chapel at Point St. George Heritage Site in Crescent City, CA|
|Large Church, Ferndale, CA|