Archive for the ‘Astrophotography’ Category

One of the more technical things one can do to their digital camera is modify it to either expand or limit the wavelength that is recorded.  Although this can be a do-it-yourself project, there are companies that will do this and guarantee their work.

Modifications can be for ultra violet, infra red, or astrophotography.   Here, for example, is a movie that William Castleman made with his camera.   You can read how he made it on his website.  Basically, he used his Canon EOS-5D (AA screen modified to record hydrogen alpha at 656 nm) to record this and then assembled it in Quicktime Pro (available for either Apple or Windows computers).  Editing/assembly was with Sony Vegas Movie Studio 9.  Incredible work!

There is much published online regarding Infrared (IR) photography.  Photo Extremist has a well written article on The Complete Color Infrared (IR) Tutorial Guide Walkthrough‘.  You can see a variety of both color and black & white work there – including this photo:

Gold is the Sky

Much more common is the alteration of the digital camera for Infrared work.  LifePixel receives great reviews for a variety of conversions (as well as repair of scratched sensors!).  They have excellent discussions and photographs from their work on Flickr in the group ‘Converted Digital Infrared Cameras‘.  Other conversion locations include Spencer’s Camera & Conversion.   Conversion for a Nikon Digital SLR could run you $325 to $375.    Also, Spencer’s has cameras for sell that are already converted.  A Nikon D70, body only, with full conversion runs $600.  However, it does open another world of photography!  Check out these Flickr groups:  Digital Infrared and D300 Infrared.

For the more ‘technical reader’, Luminous Landscape has posted an in depth discussion here {although the work on that site was done with a modified Cannon D20}.  Luminous Landscape, by the way, is a great source of photography information.

One might ask, “Does this ‘artform’ make be a better photograher?”.  Not necessarily.  I would argue that someone who takes poor ‘regular’ photos, will take poor IR photos!  However, Alexandra Morrison, the Canadian Photographic ‘Artist of the Year 2009’, says it does!  I invite you to see her blog, and specifically her article titled ‘Dedicated Infrared Digital Camera Conversions: Why it makes you a better Photographer‘.

For me, I love photographic experimentation and intend to try it!


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