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This Filter has forever changed the way I will shoot.

November 30, 2023

I have found something that will forever change the way I shoot.  Now I realize that’s a bold statement, but it is true. 

What I am talking about is the Iridium filter by Kolari Vision.

The proof is in the pictures

What do all these images have in common?

 

The answer? 

They are all straight out of the camera, a camera with an Iridium filter in it. 

For the record, I didn't adjust the levels & curves, I didn't increase the saturation, or make adjustments in Selective Color.

And finally, I didn't do a red/blue color channel swap on the second image. 

I admit it felt quite strange to not work on these images in Photoshop, but they didn't need anything.

Look at the intense greens, reds, & yellows in the color image of the turtles. 

How about the incredibly blue sky in the second Infrared image?

And finally, check out the deep blues, yellows, and reds in the pelican image.  

 

So what is an Iridium filter, and what does it do?

Simply put, the Iridium filter is a color-enhancing filter.

As Kolari puts it:

 

"This new Kolari filter works by blocking the in-between, ambiguous colors, allowing true reds, greens, and blues to shine through.  By doing this, the Iridium filter can be used for both scientific images and artistic applications"

 

So, how do you use an Iridium filter?

 

They are currently available as a drop-in or clip-in filter.

Used on an unconverted camera, it gives me images straight out of the camera that remind me of the old Kodak Kodachrome, or the old Panavision movies. 
 

This image was made after sunset when you usually cannot capture the subtle colors you see with your eyes.

Here's another one, an after-sunset image

I have shot in the very same spot many times, but have never been able to so easily capture what my eyes and mind see.

For Monochrome photography, the Iridium filter is also great.  If you are going for a Chiaroscuro effect, this is the filter you want.


 

For me, the Iridium Filter by Kolari has been like magic. 
 

The images have a sharp, crisp feel to them, and the color tones and intensity are exciting.

Now on a Full spectrum camera, it also does some interesting things.  For those of you not familiar with a full-spectrum conversion, it is a camera that has had its IR-blocking filter or hot mirror removed and a clear piece of glass put in its place.  This allows you to capture (with no filter) the visible light spectrum, the IR spectrum, and the UV spectrums of light.  With a full spectrum camera, you decide what you want to shoot by what filter you place in front of the sensor but a clip-in filter, drop-in filter, or screw filer.

In the case of the Iridium filter, a full-spectrum camera will produce images that are very similar to a 720nm image, in that the image comes out with white, or near white foliage, and blue in the sky.  All with no post-production.

In some circumstances, you will get a touch of pale red in some of the foliage.

Next, I took the Iridium filter for a spin with one of my favorite shooting exercises, photographing butterflies. It may sound silly, but photographing butterflies is a great way to hone your skills as a photographer.  To be effective, you must be able to shoot quickly.  Blink and you could miss the entire shooting opportunity. So I shot with a Canon R5 and the RF 100-400 f5.6/8 IS USM lens.

Once again, these are straight out of the camera. Look at the amazing color tones! And with no post-production.  

I want to leave this filter clipped permanently in my camera. 

But can I ???

My initial testing was exciting, but I had to determine whether or not it had any effect on an image when shooting other types of Infrared. 

In all, I tested 590nm, 665nm, 720nm, 850nm, and the IR Chrome lite filters.

 

The outcome? 

 

There is minimal change when shooting a full-spectrum camera with the Iridium filter. If you weren't looking at them side by side, you probably wouldn't even notice.

Here's an example with the IR Chrome filter.

 

Here's the 720nm filter

And finally the ever-popular 590nm filter

So, I'm sold on the Iridium filter and intend to leave it in my camera full-time.

If you want one, head over to Kolari Vision and get one before they run out. 

My suggestion to Kolari, if possible, develop a full-spectrum conversion with the Iridium filter built. 

Then call me, I want one.

 

Here's a list of everything I used and spoke about.

Canon R5

RF 100-400mm lens 

IR Chrome Filter

Full-Spectrum conversion

Kolari Vision 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


The Most Versatile, easy to use, Infrared Filter

November 02, 2023

I love digital Infrared photography.  I've shooting it for nearly 20 years and teaching it for over 10 years.  The look is interesting, and the idea that you are creating images using a portion of the light spectrum we can't see is very exciting.  One constant in the world of digital IR has been the fact that post-production on Infrared takes more than a little bit longer than natural color photography does.   If you are shooting Infrared in the range of 590nm to 720nm there is the famous Red/Blue color channel swap that is necessary to give your images a blue sky. 

Many of my students want to know how to shoot IR without having to spend too much time on post-production.  I then try to show them the quickest techniques and help them accept the reality of Digital Infrared post-production.

It takes time.

Well, that has changed. Thanks to the  Kolari Vision IR Chrome Lite filter.  

 

Now if you're not familiar with the IR Chrome filter, it is the digital answer to the now-defunct Aerchrome Film.  Aerchrome film was an Infrared film made by Kodak from 1942 to 2009.  To say it was challenging to use is being very polite, but it produced images with a bright Blue or Cyan sky and the foliage was in the color tones of Red, Pink, or Orange.

Kolari brought out the IR Chrome filter a few years ago, and the IR Chrome Lite is the latest iteration of this filter.

Now it is important to note that the Kolari IR Chrome Lite filter can only be used on a Full-Spectrum Camera.  For those of you not familiar with a Full-Spectrum conversion, this is a process where the Hot Mirror, or IR-blocking filter is removed allowing the camera to capture images in the light spectrum range of Natural Color, Infrared, and Ultra Violet.  The way you determine what you are going to capture is by what filter you place on your lens, clip-in front of the sensor, or drop-in behind the lens. It's a great way to shoot as you need only one camera body to shoot everything.  If you'd like more information about a Full-Spectrum conversion, I suggest checking out Kolar Vision here  They are the number one in the industry.

Now as for the images made with an IR Chrome lite filter, they will need to be properly white-balanced.  In my opinion, the best White Balance can be achieved by using the RAW editor made for your camera.  Each camera manufacturer has a free RAW editor that will allow you to properly White Balance your images.  If you are not familiar with the RAW editor for your camera, you can contact me and I will point you in the right direction. 

So, here is an example of an IR Chrome RAW image.  An in-camera White Balance was set, but as I know the in-camera WB doesn't actually alter the RAW file, but rather the way I preview it,  I don't give it any concern.  This however can be a shock to some people as this is how my IR Chrome Lite image initially looks.

Not to worry though. I use my RAW editor, in this case, the Digital Photo Professional software to White Balance, and convert my RAW files to a Jpg or Tiff.   

Once the White Balance is set, the image immediately pops.  You will also notice I cropped the image slightly.

 

Just like that, I have a stunning Infrared image!

And without the need for a channel swap. 

This is where the versatility comes in. 

Let's say I like this image, but I want the look of a 590nm IR image.  

Well, that's simple. I'm going to open my image in Photoshop and then select Image>Adjustmenst>Hue/Saturation

Then you see this dialog box.

All you need to do is select REDS and then move the Hue slider to the right.  That will give you this.

If you want to adjust the sky from Cyan to Blue, Select CYANS, and then adjust the Hue slider to the right once again, to get this.

Want the look of a 720nm IR image?  Simply lower the saturation on the REDS and then adjust the lightness to make it look like this. 

See? 

Very Easy. 

Now how about an intense Monochrome Black and white?  Simply follow the 3 easy steps I outlined in this piece here and you can get this.

Four different looks form one image, and all are done in less than 5 minutes total.

So you can see why I say the IR Chrome Lite filter is so versatile.  

But.......

Let's not lose sight of how interesting the IR Chrome Lite filter looks without the changes.

The way the color tones come through with the IR Chrome Lite filter can make for some very surreal images.

Here is a long-exposure image image made using a 10-stop ND filter with the IR Chrome Lite.   

Canon R5, IRIX 15mm f2.4, 10-stop ND, f13, ISO 50, 10 seconds

 

Here's an of a tree by the ocean, out for a walk.

Canon R5, IRIX 15mm f2.4, f11, ISO 100, 1/320 sec

 

And one of my favorites.

Canon R5, IRIX 15mm f2.4, f11, ISO 100, 15 seconds

You'll notice in this long exposure image that the subject retains a natural-looking skin tone, as opposed to the ghostly white look you normally get from an IR image.

 

This one really has an other-worldly feel to it.

Canon R5, IRIX 15mm f2.4, f18, ISO 100, 30 seconds

 

In conclusion

Shooting with the  IR Chrome Lite filter from Kolari has been like discovering a totally new type of Infrared photography.  The ease of use and the versatility of the images make for great shoots.  It is now my first go-to filter.

So, what do you think?

Here's a list of everything I used and spoke about.

Canon R5

IRIX 15mm f2.4 

IR Chrome Filter

Neutral Density Filter

Full-Spectrum conversion

Kolari Vision 

 

 

 

 

 


Kolarivision Drop-in Filter system for Infrared photography - A Long overdue review

September 28, 2023

When Canon brought out their mirrorless cameras, the “R” series, they also brought a new lens mount the “RF” mount to go with it.  Those of us existing Canon shooters initially had the concern we would now be forced to buy all new lenses.  Canon delighted us by bringing out a convertor ring that allowed the use of our old “EF” lenses on our new Mirrorless “R” cameras.  Then Canon took it a step further and made a convertor ring with a side mount, drop-in filter.  Canon offered a small selection of drop-in filters, but nothing that really aided with Infrared photography.  This is where Kolarivision saw the opportunity and took it.  More about what they did with the drop-in system in a minute.

What is the drop-in filter system?   

The drop-in filter system is a small ring that fits between the body of the "R" Series Canon mirrorless cameras and connects to the Canon "EF" lenses.

 

 

Using the drop-in system is very simple and once in, the filter locks in place and will not come out.

Overall, a great design.

Now, let's talk about how this relates to Infrared.  

The people at Kolarivision as I said a minute ago, saw the opportunity, created a system based on this idea, and made something pretty cool for Infrared photography. 

They even designed their own convertor ring with a drop-in filter and then marketed it way less than the price of the Canon OEM convertor ring.

Nice.........

Then they proceeded to start making different drop-in filters.  At first, it was different nanometer Infrared filters.  Those alone made for a great shooting experience.  

Why do I say that?  Here's an example.  

I love an ultra-wide lens for landscapes.  I have found an excellent 15mm f2.4 lens made by IRIX.  It is a great lens, worth considering.  It has almost no side distortion but comes in an "EF" mount.  With the converter ring, it is no problem to use on one of my "R"s.  The problem is the lens takes a 95mm filter in front.  95mm filters are not easy to come by, are expensive, and hard to deal with. With the Kolarivision drop-in filters, shooting with the lens is a breeze.

Here are a couple of examples, made in one of my favorite places to shoot, Las Terrenas, DR  These images were made with the IRIX lens

 

Another example is the Tamron 150-600

Probably one of the best budget Super-telephoto lenses on the market.  Once again, a 95mm filter is required.  With the Drop-in filter system, not an issue.

Here are a couple of IR images I made using the lens on one of the Safaris I lead.

 

The reason I labeled this piece as "long overdue" is because I've been shooting with the Kolarivision drop-in filters for a few years now and they quickly became a mainstay in my camera gear and I forgot to share my experience.  In a way, it's good that I did delay, as since then Kolarivision has added an amazing number of drop-in filters.  

Here's a current list as of today.

Filter Options:

  • 2-10 Stop VND**
  • 6-15 Stop Dark VND**
  • Swirl Bokeh 1X
  • Swirl Bokeh 2X
  • CPL
  • 1-Stop IRND
  • 2-stop IRND
  • 3-Stop IRND
  • 4-stop IRND
  • 5-stop IRND
  • 6-Stop IRND
  • 7-Stop IRND
  • 8-Stop IRND
  • 10-stop IRND
  • 15-stop IRND
  • 20-stop IRND
  • 550nm Infrared
  • 590nm Infrared
  • 665nm Infrared
  • 720nm Infrared
  • 850nm Infrared
  • IR Chrome
  • UV Bandpass
  • UV/IR Cut Hot-Mirror
  • UV/IR Cut Filter (H-Alpha Pass)
  • Clear
  • Blue IR/NDVI
  • Iridium – Color Enhancing
  • IR Chrome
  • IR Chrome Lite
  • Rotating Flare
  • Rotating Streak
  • Dual Streak
  • Streak + Rotating Flare
  • Flare + Rotating Streak
  • Dual Flare
  • Drop-In Frame Only (No Glass)

Let's see, ...... 35, 36, ...37 filters right now.  The last one being a holder that you can use to make your own custom filter.

They even have a Filter case/holder, which I have not had my hands on, but looks to be a cool way to transport filters.


 

So, if you are looking for a great, easy way to shoot Infrared with the ability to swap out filters easily, the Kolarivision system is the way to go. 

Here are some links to make things easier to find.

Kolarivision

The drop-in filter adapter 

The drop-in Filters

 


A journey to photograph the least visited Country in the World - Tuvalu

August 18, 2023

One day not too long ago I was working on some pictures I had made of the Great Ocean Road in Australia, one of the most photographed places in the world.   I started wondering where the least visited places in the world were and found Tuvalu. Further reading told me of their plight.  Since I work a lot in Infrared photography I decided to look it up and found there are no IR photographs of Tuvalu.  That’s when I decided I need to go there and photograph Tuvalu in Infrared. Rather than make this just a travel and photoshoot situation, I want to draw attention to Tuvalu.  I want people to learn about this little-known country. To that end, I want this to be a journey that people can take with me; either physically or virtually.  So, I set up a Gofundme page to start this journey  https://gofund.me/8d3f55e0

What is Tuvalu?

Tuvalu is the fourth smallest country, and the most remote country on Earth.  The archipelago of six coral atolls and three islands covers an area of just 26 km or 10 square miles.  It is located about midway between Hawaii and Australia.  It is home to about 11K people.

 

 

Tuvalu has the honor of being the least visited country in the world.  It is also, unfortunately, a country that will be gone in less than 20 years.

Why is Tuvalu disappearing?

To the inhabitants of Tuvalu, Global warming is not a pseudoscience or political theory, but rather a reality.  Two of the nine islands of Tuvalu have already largely disappeared. Scientists say that if the Earth's temperature raises by just 2 degrees  Tuvalu will disappear completely.  Many experts predict that the Island chain of Tuvalu will be gone forever within 20 years.

 

Who am I?

My name is Dan Wampler. I am a photographer and a traveler.  I am an internationally published digital artist who works with Natural color photography and Infrared photography. I teach photography online and in workshops, and operate as a lead for African photo safaris.

What is Infrared photography?

Infrared photography is an art form of creating images using a portion of the light spectrum that we cannot see. This involves using a camera that has been modified to capture light in the Infrared spectrum.

 

What do I want to do?

I want to acquire the funding to travel to Tuvalu, with a small group and capture the beauty of this disappearing land and its people.  I would like a group of photographers and hopefully, a videographer to accompany me on this journey.  If you are someone in that category and are interested, please contact me.  Since Tuvalu has not been photographed in Digital Infrared, I will get to be the first person to do so. Upon my return, I will have a book based on my journey, as well as a photographic series of the country for everyone to see.  With a little luck, future generations will know what Tuvalu looked like long after it is gone. Hopefully, we can draw a little more attention towards saving areas like this. After costs are covered, a donation will be made to try and help the country and people of Tuvalu.  The target for the journey is September 2025

I need your help.  Use the link https://gofund.me/8d3f55e0

Thank you.

 


Major Copyright Infringement site Scroller.com

March 06, 2023

As a photographer and a digital artist, you always have to be mindful of protecting your intellectual property. You put your heart and soul into creating a piece and the idea of someone stealing your work and then making money off of that work can be irritating and demotivating.

What I am about to tell you about is both. 

I periodically do a Google search on my work to see what comes up. I know you could say that's self-absorbed, but quite often I find things that are positive. Last year I found several situations where someone had used an image of mine for a Blog piece they did on Infrared photography and said some very flattering things about my work. Things like that don't bother me.  I just assume they forgot to ask to use the image or didn't even realize they should ask to use an image.  

No harm, no foul.

Last evening, I did a quick search and the title below one image caught my eye and bothered me. 

It said "Infrared Porn"

That is not the way I would describe my work. The image was linked to a site, Scrolller.com

So, I clicked the link and found this.

 

 

I immediately noticed there was a button to download the image, so I clicked it, and it ask me to log in.  I don't have an account, so I clicked register.  Then this came up.

So I created an account and then tried to download my image, and got this.

One more click and I got this.

So, Scrolller.com is charging a fee for people to download my, and other artists' images without our knowledge or consent.

Not good.  My work is being labeled "Porn" and Scrolller.com is making money off of it. All without me being aware.

I did find an about page on their site.

I decided to contact Scrolller.com to see what I could get done. I sent an email informing them that they have my images on their site without my consent.

The following is the email chain, starting with the response.

 

It was at this point that the communication stopped.

So, to recap, Scrolller.com is charging is making money off of artists' work, without their knowledge.  And it is next to impossible to keep your work off of there as their site is "updated constantly"

As I looked thru their site and checked out the large number of images under "Infrared Porn" I learned there are also real porn images in the same folder as our Infrared work.  In fact, there is a large area on their site just for real porn.  

This is frustrating!

I did a little checking to see who owns Scrolller.com and found out that Twitter bought Scrolller in 2021.

I did one final thing; I posted a Tweet to @elonmusk asking him if he is aware of what Scrolller.com is doing.  As of this writing, I have not received a response. 

I suggest you check out Scrolller.com to see if any of your work is on their site, and maybe you should also contact Mr. Musk and ask him the same questions I did.

 

 

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