Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Port Orford Heads

In this blog I explore my first real photoshoot with my infrared-converted Nikon d5000 in a magical place. I probably talk about the awesome Panasonic LX5 I shoot with now too.
Secret Port Orford, Andrew D. Barron ©3/6/11
I didn’t know we were going to the most interesting stuff I have seen at the sea!

I am very pleased with the LX5. I am glad I took the time to learn to shoot with a normal lens on the dslr (50mm lens on a 35mm camera equivalent), and to get away from my older style of zooming in and out for all compositions. Humbug Mountain is prominent to the south, and barely discernable is a person in a sea kayak.
Secret Port Orford, Andrew D. Barron ©3/6/11
It is a steep cement stair descent to the old coast guard dock. I was very distracted with all of my cameras and the amazing scenery opening in front of me, so my guess of a 10-story building equivalent is just a number. It is probably less.

None of us have been to the Heads when the museum was open, so we put ours together to explain how it must’ve operated. The dork with three new cameras: the Hipstamatic in the Owle Bubo had a good day.
Secret Port Orford, Andrew D. Barron ©3/6/11
This one of my favorite shots ever.
Secret Port Orford, Andrew D. Barron ©3/6/11
Secret Port Orford, Andrew D. Barron ©3/6/11
There is little intention when shooting, other than what I like. When it comes to selecting images to share, I am true to that as well. I don’t know what my images mean. Often, I shoot what I see on a preconscious level, the best ones especially. Trained in geology, a story-telling science, and a troubador of sorts, I am much more interested in how real life, and secondarily, pictures, makes me feel, rather than what things are. Most folks I encounter have difficulty with ‘no identification’. I stride, perhaps arrogantly, with a notion that the names simply do not matter. Even when something has a name, it is often incommunicable anyway: neotectonicist, fluvial geomorphologist, paleoseismologist are titles I could snow people with, but fail to communicate that I care about landforms and earthquakes, and the considerable danger they pose to the wondrous human beings all over the planet. Philanthropy is dead. Long live philanthropy.
Secret Port Orford, Andrew D. Barron ©3/6/11
Here is an IR phototgraph as it looks before black and white conversion. This is an abandoned water works of some kind about 1/3 down from the upper level where we park. There are surely ways to recomposite the color bands, but there is a limit because the camera is modified inside. A normal color shot with the d5000 is no longer an option. Shooting with the d5000 after being neglected most of February is truly a comforting old friend. I really like that Nikon and have no regrets thus far.
Secret Port Orford, Andrew D. Barron ©3/6/11
IR Iris. Still learning what might work. ‘Green goes to white’ is one of the main attractions for me shooting in IR here at the southern Oregon coast where the colors are saturated with green. I am still waiting for Nik Softwares update for SilverEFEX. These IR as black and white images are thus far, converted with the default settings.
Secret Port Orford, Andrew D. Barron ©3/6/11
The LX5 grabbed a wave. The CCD sensor of the camera shares some characteristics to my beloved H1.
Secret Port Orford, Andrew D. Barron ©3/6/11
Secret Port Orford, Andrew D. Barron ©3/6/11
This mint is green with smallish purple diamond areas. The bugs seem to jump out of the plants when imaged in infrared. I would have liked to image in color for comparison. In my first real day of shooting with the IRd5k, I captured two of the most arresting black and white images thus far. Yay for impulses. Yay for photography.
Ants in mint, Andrew D. Barron ©3/6/11
I find the gradations of gray exquisite. This image would be great large so the ants could appear center stage. There is CMOS noise in the infrared images, inherited from the Nikon hardware. It is no more offensive than before conversion. For this image, I may have run a noise reduction, and this one was taken from the raw file, the NEF, and Unsharp Mask was ran in two stages while resampling.
Secret Port Orford, Andrew D. Barron ©3/6/11
And in infrared.
Ants in mint, Andrew D. Barron ©3/6/11
At my window, I could see the sky changing to beautiful hues over the sea. I raced out to the secret detour at Euchre Creek marsh. Here is the first into-the-sun for the LX5. Excellent!
Ophir sunset, Curry County, OR, Andrew D. Barron ©3/6/11
The lens flare on the 18-55 kit lens is a beautiful abstraction; it appears more susceptibe to flaring than before the IR conversion. I cheered out loud when I saw this in the preview screen.
Ophir infrared sunset, Curry County, OR, Andrew D. Barron ©3/6/11
I like the lens flare hexagons. To me, they give lens a voice: the glass elements within the lens a character. If not for the camera, this image would not exist, so should the camera always be transparent? I’m unable to control the flare much; a lens hood may help.

The LX5 shoots in RAW, but I have not found a way to get Adobe Camera RAW to open it yet. The noise character of the LX5 is simliar to the Sony H1 (both are CCD sensors), and much more pleasant that what I see in the CMOS images made by the Nikon d5000 and the point and shoot P6000. One really has to look at the images at full resolution to see this noise. The lens cap is a drag to deal with on the LX5. There is a cool exploding model. There are other things going into my bag though; the 52mm filter adapter for the LX5. It is my intention to standardize all of my cameras to 52mm and experiment with filters on the lenses, particularly for imaging black and white scenes.

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