The chess board was installed in Hyde Park in 1972 (History). The board is located at the northern end near St James station. When I worked in the city I used to wonder over and watch during lunch hour. Generally people, I think, consider it slow game so I thought I’d try to capture some action by blurring the movement with a variable neutral density filter fitted to the camera’s lens.

See more images here: Portfolio.

Camera Fuji X-E1
Lens XF23mmF1.4 R
ISO 200
Focal Length 23.0 mm (35.0 mm in 35mm)
Aperture f/4
Exposure Time 1/6 second
Date Taken 2013-12-13 at 10:27 am



I settled for awhile in Mundey Place ( Jack Mundey)  in the Rocks, Sydney and waited for something to happen in front a relief motif of Jack. This is cropped quite a bit but I like the branch at the top which I think balances the lady on the seat. I’ve toned the dark areas in this a bit as well.

See more images here: Portfolio.

Camera Fuji X-E1
Lens XF18-55mmF2.8-4 R LM OIS
ISO 200
Focal Length 55.0 mm (83.0 mm in 35mm)
Aperture f/10
Exposure Time 1/60 second
Date Taken 2013-10-02 at 9:48 am

Seascapes in Infrared

Sunny, calm day down at Bilgola beach today so I thought I’d give the infrared (IR)converted X-E1 a go. All the images are shot with the 14mm lens. I added a 10 stop Lee ND filter to get slower shutter speeds. All are around the headland between Bilgola and Newport Beaches.

The X-E1 was converted to infrared by Camera Clinic  in Melbourne. They specialise in infrared conversions and are also authorised Fuji repairers.

There are essentially three options for shooting infrared:

A. Use infrared film in a film camera – not sure you can still buy it! It also had to be kept cool all the time and, of course, processing was chemical based – back to the darkroom!

B. Use an infrared filter on the lens of your camera, such as the Hoya R72. This is a cheaper option but is a slow way of working. Shutter speeds are slow, requiring a tripod and focusing needs to be done without the filter in place – as it’s too dark, usually, to see through. On top of all that your camera may not be very sensitive to infrared in the first place because it has an IR blocking filter over the sensor (most digital cameras do – though some are made without an IR blocking filter, or a modified one, for special applications e.g. Fujifilm X-T1 IR (crime investigation), Nikon D810A -really for astrophotography but has a specialized IR cut filter that captures the red tones of H-alpha emission nebulae – not really IR photography in terms of the this post. There are also industrial cameras used in manufacturing and crime scene investigation).

C. Have your camera converted to infrared. The camera’s IR blocking filter is removed and replaced with one that allows IR to pass through and blocks visible light. The wavelength of IR that can be passed can vary depending on what filter is chosen. I opted for 680 nanometres (680/1,000,000,000  (or 0.000000680 a metre). The Hoya R72 is 720 nanometres. With this option exposures are what you would expect with an unconverted camera. The references below deal with the different wavelength filters and also having ‘no filter’ – or a full spectrum conversion.

Having the right lens for IR photography is an issue. Many lenses exhibit a “hotspot” – a bright spot in the centre of the image that varies with intensity as the lens is stoped down. Lenses are made to work with visible light and the commentary I’ve read suggests that the coatings used on the lenses do not prevent flare, ghosting and internal reflections with IR light as they do for visible light. A number of the Fuji lenses have been tested here: Fuji lenses for IR. The 14mm and 23mm lenses work well. I’ve not been able to find anything that explains why, when all lenses have coatings, some do not show a hotspot. I guess it’s also a matter of the construction of the lens, in combination with the coatings.

A lot has been written about IR photography. Some specific references:

Life Pixel Infrared conversions (US based) has an extensive website about conversions, lenses and post processing etc.

Camera Clinic (Melbourne, Australia based) information on conversion, white balance settings and post processing.

Google search for Infrared photography with a digital SLR.

Google search for infrared photography with a mirror-less camera.

In The Bag

Gear, everyone always asks what your shooting with. It only matters when it’s relevant to what you intend to do with your images. It is important to know how to use your equipment, and shoot regularly. As Dorothea Lange said “A Camera is a tool for learning how to see without a camera”. All of our resources need to work together to make a photograph that holds interest. Arnold Newman summed it up as “Visual ideas combined with technology combined with personal interpretation equals photography. Each must hold it’s own; if it doesn’t, the thing collapses.”

So with that in mind… Continue reading