Reflecting on a Wonderland

Digital cameras usually block most infrared light (since it can interfere with some camera operations); but a small percentage is still available for infrared photography - yay! With an infrared lens filter, the visual light is blocked and (due to the camera's IR blocker) most of the infrared, so the image looks totally black through the viewfinder. Unfortunately composition & focusing must be done without the filter first. (Kind of a pain, but the process of developing actual infrared film as I did in high school was much worse.) The extra long exposures needed for digital infrared images, even in daylight, act as a super ND (it's got to be about 10 stops), so you can get some really interesting water effects.

The water bubbles in this coy pond barely appear to move in real time, but at a minute-long infrared exposure, the patterns emerge! Sitting in this 'zen' garden actually lends itself well to this kind of long exposure shot because you have to sit quietly and observe to figure out how to compose an image. It's a different and refreshing mode considering most of my shots are composed rather quickly, based on initial impressions. I thought the swirling motion created by the water bubbles created an interesting effect on top of the glassy reflection of the dreamlike waterfall scenery. Couldn't help but be reminded of Alice in Wonderland. :)

I liked this site for tips on how to compensate for the IR images that come out of digital cameras:

Heavenly Falls in the Portland Japanese Garden
Portland, Oregon

Canon 50d
Canon 18-20mm Lens, 18mm
f/10, 60s, ISO 400
72mm IR Filter

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