Drizzly day on Calder & Hebble (8 images)

Another grey, drizzly day but I still wanted some exercise so headed down to the canal with a couple of Fuji cameras in the bag.

© Dave Whenham

X100t

The following images were all taken with the full-spectrum Fuji X-T1 using the Fotga variable infrared filter at either 530nm or 720nm.

© Dave WhenhamFull-spectrum. Another grey, drizzly day. Fotga @ 720nmFull-spectrum. Another grey, drizzly day. Fotga @ 530nmFull-spectrum. Another grey, drizzly day. Fotga @ 530nmFull-spectrum. Another grey, drizzly day. Fotga @ 530nm

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A panorama using 7 handheld frames and stitched in Photoshop

Fotga

Finally, a false-colour IR image – the same one from which the mono above was created.

Not the best day for a test …

I took a punt on a variable IR filter from Fotga this week to use with the newly converted X-T1 (no, never heard of them either). For £16 though I thought I’d chance it.

© Dave Whenham

Today it is grey, there is 100% cloud cover (also grey) and it is raining gently but persistently so not ideal conditions to test an IR filter but I went anyway. The test shot above with the Fuji X100t (standard JPEG SOOC) shows how un-ideal the light was!

Anyway, I figured that as I was there I’d complete the test anyway even though I knew I’d have to re-test once better conditions were available – which won’t be for a while according to the Met Office!

fotgaThe filter is rather chunky, not a bad thing with my aged fingers, but screws in very easily and appears to be well made. The outer glass rotates smoothly and there are markings around one quarter of the rim to show the relative strength of the filter. It is marked as being 530nm to 750nm and whilst I have no way of checking this the results from the filter do show a definite graduation from one extreme to the other as can be seen in the contact sheets below.

One thing to notice is that whilst mine has a 77mm filter thread the front thread is somewhat bigger which meant my 77mm lens cap was useless. I use stepping rings so always buy screw-in filters at 77mm so I can then use one filter on all my lenses.

I shot a sequence of ten images, all hand held from the same spot, moving the filter one full “stop” between each frame.  I created the following contact sheets using the JPEGs (standard preset) straight from the Fuji X-T1 which as I mentioned yesterday has been converted for full spectrum photography.

© Dave Whenham

JPEGs straight from camera with no additional processing

I then applied a basic channel swap (swapped Red and Blue channels) to the contact sheet which means that every image has had the same treatment.

© Dave Whenham

The same JPEGs following a basic channel-swap but not other adjustments.

I’m particularly looking forward to trying the “530nm” end of the filter on a sunny day as this will produce the strongest false-colour effects and up until now my only option has been a 720nm filter which is mainly used for black & white work although does occasionally render a nice false-colour image too.  I have no way of telling if these ratings are accurate of course but at least there is a clear difference between the two extremes and a clearly noticeable transition as the filter is rotated from one 530 through to 750nm.

Finally, another image shot with the Fuji X-T1 with the FOTGA filter on the lens set at 530. This is a false-colour infrared image and the channel swapping was rather more involved this time than my usual basic Blue/Red swap.

© Dave Whenham

The light was less than optimal today but the indications are positive for this inexpensive filter.

The image was converted from the RAW file, channel swapped (Red: R30/B70 Green: G110/B-10 Blue: R85/B15) and then Curves and Levels adjustments. When I get time I will post an overview of how I process these files and what my approach to channel swapping looks like.

© Dave Whenham

Simple mono conversion using a B&W adjustment layer in PS at default settings.

I’m looking forward to a bright sunny day, although it seems like I have quite a wait ahead of me!

 

Bienvenue à la maison

The Fuji X-T1 is home from his conversion for full spectrum photography and I took it out for half an hour this morning to quickly check it out.

 Dave Whenham

The two images on the top row are RAW files basically straight from camera; they were cropped and the exposure tweaked very slightly in Adobe Camera Raw to bring the histograms as close to the same as possible. The top left is the result with no filter attached and to my eyes the stonework has a slight greenish tinge whereas the ivy on the tree, which should be a dark, glossy green is paler as is the foliage in the hedge. Looking closely there is plenty of detail in the image though. The in-camera black & white jpeg was very “natural” looking however and I could use the camera for “straight” black and white photography if needed; the result wouldn’t match those from an unconverted camera but would be very usable.

Top right is the straight from camera RAW file with the 850nm filter fitted. This filter is mainly intended for black & white work (see bottom right) and I intend to purchase other filters as and when for comparison purposes.  My main reason for converting the camera was for black and white infrared photography and I’m more than happy with the result using this filter. My, very brief, experience this morning suggests I lose a stop with the 850nm filter in place which is more than manageable I think.

The channel-swapped mono from the RAW file (bottom left) is virtually indistinguishable from the in-camera black and white although the foliage is a little brighter in the latter. This could of course be down to the RAW conversion as much as anything.  I always shoot RAW+JPEG however so will have the luxury of knowing that I have all my options open. I’ve always been happy to use Fuji in-camera JPEGs and this hasn’t changed despite the camera having been converted.

So, a succesful maiden run this morning and I’m looking to putting the X-T1 through its paces over the coming weeks.  Watch this space for updates but in the meantime I’m off to check out what other filters are available!

 

365 – 2018

Three months have flown and we are now at the quarter-marker for the 2018 365 Challenge. I took image 91 this morning and came home to realise it was the 1st April and three months had passed already this year.

© Dave Whenham

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As some of my readers will know the final few years of my very varied career were spent managing a small team producing management information and it left me with a habit of playing with any data set however mundane. That has largely disappeared now along with most of my number-crunching skills but I still retain a small element of knowledge and an interest in categorising and looking at trends. So, here is a small table categorising the first 90 images of the Challenge.

Subject/Genre Number %
Urban morning 37 41%
Floral 10 11%
Landscape 7 8%
Natural history 6 7%
Urban afternoon 5 6%
Still life 5 6%
Portrait 4 4%
Abstract 4 4%
Urban night 3 3%
Urban 3 3%
Indoor 2 2%
Water Drop 2 2%
Interior 1 1%
Panel (of four) 1 1%

Had you asked me back in December I would have predicted urban and landscape as my main subjects with the emphasis on landscape images.  As it is 53% of my Challenge images fall into the urban category with just 8% in landscape. The reasons for this, largely my health, I’ve mentioned in previous posts and I expect to see the proportion of landscape images increase as the year progresses.

© Dave Whenham

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The big surprise in this month has been floral. From nowhere it has leapfrogged into the number two spot. Many of these have also been processed heavily including overlaid textures and much layering and masking. The focus of my relentless desire to learn new skills has been the use of textures this month and coupled with a recurrence of the chest infection I have spent more time indoors than I would have liked.

© Dave Wenham

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The majority of images have been taken with either the Nikon D800E (40%), the Fuji X-T20 (31%) or the ever-present Fuji X100t (17%). The drone still accounts for just one image in the 365 and the Fuji X-T1 has been used for just five so far. I expect both of those to increase throughout the second and third quarters, improved weather and increased mobility should enable me to get the drone out more often and of course the Fuji X-T1 is currently in Sussex for its impending operation.

© Dave Whenham

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So, there you have it, a few statistics, nothing strenuous, but of some interest to my inner geek and hopefully to one of you!

All of the images are of course on Flickr – https://www.flickr.com/photos/fatherpie/

Au Revoir: Fuji X-T1

© Dave Whenham
I am sat here following the journey of my Fuji X-T1 on the Royal Mail tracker as it heads its way down to deepest, darkest Sussex and the start of its new life. I’m not sad though as it will be working its way back to me next week hopefully following a successful conversion for “full spectrum” photography which of course will include infrared.
My previous IR camera, a Nikon D80, gave up the ghost last week with a terminal, mechanical malfunction which is beyond economic repair. I’m debating whether to put it out for recycling or plant it with a nice looking succulent.
So, it IS au revoir and NOT goodbye X-T1 and whilst I await your return here’s a reminder of the times we’ve already had together.