Published on: 19th May 2016
As mentioned in a previous article about Taizhou, I do very often, when travelling, take photos with my infrared camera. This creates an extraordinary view on some ordinary subjects and scenes. In my article about long exposure photography with an infrared filter I note that only my 14, 35 and 55-200mm Fujinon lenses are successful for creating infrared photos without the typical hotspot you get with many modern lenses.
In Shenzhen I only used the 14 and 35mm lenses on my infrared camera (and once the 8mm fisheye). I have a converted Fujifilm X-E1 camera with a 590nm infrared filter. I also carry a 720nm and a 850nm screw type infraredfilters with me to get different effects. All the photos in this article were taken with the "native" 590nm filter, except for the "O.C.T Bay" photo which was taken with the 720nm filter attached. (O.C.T. stands for "Overseas China Town", but this name is very misleading as this is not what the rest of the world sees as a China Town. The emphasis must be on the "Overseas" as this is actually an area where you will find typical overseas restaurants, coffee shops and bars).
You will see in my Taizhou article that I also use my infrared camera to photograph people, but in Shenzhen my infrared photos are mainly landscapes.
While in Shenzhen I created a custom white balance for the 720nm filter which renders the sky a muted light brown to amber colour while light green foliage is rendered in a blueish off-white colour - the photos has a monochromatic feel.The photo called "OCT Bay" is an untouched example of this white balance. I then also used the camera with this white balance without the 720nm filter attached which created much more vibrant amber looking photos. The photo called "The Old and the New" is an example untouched photo taken in 590nm with this custom white balance.
In most cases I changes the colour in post processing by using the channel mixer. To get a more traditional look (blue sky) I will use the typical "channel swapping" technique where you change the red value of the blue channel to 100 and the blue value to 0 while changing the red channel's red value to 0 and the blue value to 100. "The Harbour" is an example of this typical channel swapping technique. But I very often just mix the colours in the channel mixer until I am satisfied with the end result - and I never beforehand know when I will be satisfied...
On a lighter note, look at the contrast between my photo of Dameisha beach and these ones taken on a typical summer public holiday in China - make sure you time your travels accordingly!
(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)