Thursday, 27 September 2012

Dreaming in Infrared

Have you ever seen (near-) infrared photographs?
It’s like looking into someone else’s dream! So quiet and eerily tranquil, you can only whisper in this strange world.
One way to capture images like these is to convert your regular digital cameras to do so, because they are inherently capable of detecting infrared. In fact, their sensors are so sensitive to infrared that manufacturers have to insert a blocker so that normal photography will not be interfered. Essentially, the conversion replaces that blocker with a filter that does the exact opposite: only lets in infrared and blocks out all other lights.
I was up for a little convert-it-yourself. First, I managed to get a used Nikon D70 on Craigslist at a bargain price. The seller was a photographer upgrading her equipment. Plus, the D70 is supposedly one of the simplest cameras to convert. Then carefully, I followed the conversion steps outlined here. It has much better photos and detailed instructions.
1. The first step was the most intimidating. I was about to open up a camera! 2. Ooh, the inside looked high-tech and complicated. Is it too late to abort? 3. Snapped out of my hesitation, I kept going. 4. A view deeper inside the camera. 5. The infamous blocker that needs to be taken out. 6. The pretty little red filter that needs to go in. 7. Ta-da! 8. Now, just reverse the steps and put the camera back together…
Can you imagine my relief when the camera turned back on again?! And working? It was a glorious moment. Here are my infrared photos. I am pretty happy with the result.

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