Published on: 3rd Jan 2016When I travel, I like to create my own little private "projects". On a recent visit to George, we decided to beat the sun to the top of Montagu Pass and we almost loose the challenge because of the number of distractions (photo opportunities) on the way up.
By the time we reached the top, the sun just touched the top of the highest peaks. Although we were disappointed to only have blue skies without any clouds, we could not resist to just stay there and admire the wonderful view.
I decided to change to infrared as this is normally a life saver for a bland sky - at least it changes the ordinary into the extraordinary. I am not sure if I did it deliberately, or whether it is just the way I see the world, but once I changed, I find it very difficult to change back. My morning became an infrared morning - I could now only see in infrared.
Then luck strikes! The first clouds appeared around the mountain peaks. Soon it became a race against time to findthe correct angle to show off the beauty of the clouds as they appear and disappear in one spot just to appear in a different spot a minute later.
At some point I realised that these fast moving clouds are inviting me to do some long exposure photography. True to my nature, I did not want to use my normal Fujifilm X-T1 with the 10 stop ND filter - I was in Infrared mode. The problem was that my 10 stop filter only fits my 10-24mm lens, and the 10-24mm lens produces a very distinct hot spot and is therefore not suitable to be used on my Fujifilm infrared X-E1. I then remembered that I always mention in my infrared talks that you could use the camera's "natural" resistance to infrared photography to your advantage - using an infrared filter on a normal digital camera, will invariably require longer exposures as the camera's normal configuration tries to prevent infrared light to strike the sensor.I mounted the 14mm lens with a 720nm filter on my X-T1 and my first exposure was 26 seconds long. I was in business! I quickly created a custom white balance with the filter mounted from some green foliage and then manage to get some wonderful surrealistic colour long exposures.
My private project continued.
We only left once it was totally overcast. It was time to go back and have breakfast.
A few days later I used this setup again to take long exposures of the sea.
Back at home I saw that I took only 6 normal colour photos (except for two 150 frame time-lapse series) while all the other photos were taken in infrared. I decided to keep my small project to 9 photos, 3 "normal" infrared photos, 3 long exposures and 3 close-ups of the proteas against the sun. I used the 14mm and 35mm Fujinon lenses, and one photo in this series was taken with the 8mm Samyang fisheye lens (the one that was not taken in 720nm infrared).
(If you have read up to here and did not click on a photo yet, do so to see them in larger format and also to browse through the rest of this gallery)