Night (IR) Flash

I’ve been very keen to head out at night with my digital IR flash setup and I finally got that opportunity last Saturday night (11 August 2012). I had my Casio Exililm EX-Z1080 plus my Olympus Trip 35 as backup though I don’t believe I made a single frame with the Trip.

My artist friend for many years, Colin, kindly invited me out for a beer and see the sights around Edinburgh during the festival. Having not actually been out on the town for around 4-6 months I jumped at the opportunity.

Photo-ops started early with three Chinese guys having an in-depth discussion about Tai Chi on Leith Walk that turned practical for two of them.

I’ve been practicing Tai Chi myself off and on for about 10 years so it was great to see (somewhat familiar looking) guys demoing the basic single hand push hand routine. I was in a hurry so I didn’t stop for more than one frame … one frame with a digital camera? Have you ever heard the like these days (“drrrrd – drrrrd”)?

Early experiments with flash weren’t good because even with a shutter speed of half a second and ISO 80 I still needed less light than what was available at the time (below).

Anyway. I met Colin and we wandered into town to drink pints of lovely nectar and chew the fat. This is what I saw …

The first 10 or so images I captured were purely to test my timing with the shutter button and setting the Mañuel focus to its maximum distance (1 metre) then judge if the light was low enough to maximise the effectiveness of the handheld IR flash gun.

To get anything that looked interesting or worthy (or not worthy but demonstrative) of posting was lucky because I was simply firing at will as I often do with digital cameras.

In the photo (below) we’d reached The Pleasance so there was more ambient light than on the street, thus requiring more testing …

On leaving The Pleasance to head home I simply snapped away at anything interesting, without chimping, to see what I could get when I got home. I was quite surprised.

By this point I was pretty much officially drunk so my inhibitions had somewhat dropped.

I did take a couple of photos of beggars or tramps. I wouldn’t normally do that though I truly can’t justify why. I was really pleased the one with the dogs came out.

Looking back on some of these images there’s little to no background which displaces the figures into a void with no context.

One way to possibly include more background detail is increase the ISO rating. These were all taken using ISO 80 so I could boost the ISO up to 400 or 800 but I’d need to photograph from further back. My next experiment I guess.

I’m pretty sure I didn’t manage to get any photos with the Trip 35 that evening because the flash was all taped up for IR but that roll of colour film is still waiting to be completed.

There’s an f-tonne of photos still to come – more than I think I’ve got time to filter through but one must try.

Until next time, may your photo experiments be successful.

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3 thoughts on “Night (IR) Flash

    1. It produces a very dim red glow so I’d say it is pretty stealthy. I actually added extra padding around the flash to minimise any other light spilling out from around the IR filter.

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