Photographing Cars & Coffee in Infrared

by | Dec 1, 2020

Today’s Post by Joe Farace

From time to time, I’ve written about what inspires me to make photographs. On our sister blog, I once wrote about how a friend’s work can also inspire me. In that case it was Rick Sammon, author of Creative Visualization for Photographers.

And so on a particular Saturday morning, I headed to the Parker, Colorado Cars & Coffee carrying my Panasonic Lumix G5 that was converted to Infrared by LifePixel and made the photographs you see here. It’s not that I never did this before but in the past I shot cars in IR at venues where there were lots of trees and grass (and sometimes I even hand-colored the results.)

This was different. I was shooting when the car show was scheduled, mostly in the morning and that’s not the best time for shooting infrared, which is mid-day but by then the show would be over.

How I made this shot: Panasonic Lumix G5 that was converted to Infrared by LifePixel with Lumix 12-32mm f/3.5-5.6 lens at 12mm. Exposure was 1/50 sec at f/11 and ISO 400. The RAW file was converted to monochrome with Silver Efex Pro.

The shoot was not without some issues caused by the time of day the shots were made. These were primarily due to flare from the Lumix 12-32mm f/3.5-5.6 lens. Panasonic does not officially offer a hood for this lens, although the third-party one that I bought on Amazon sorta kinda works. The problem would be mitigated when shooting closer to noon with the sun directly above, allowing you capture better quality IR images as well as virtually eliminating the possibility of flare caused by shooting with a wide-angle lens. Yes, I admit that using longer focal length lenses might have eliminated these problems too but based on my experience that’s not the best lens choice for Cars & Coffee events, unless you only want to capture details of the cars.

If I have any tips for shooting infrared at a Cars & Coffee event, it’s that I really liked the way silver cars photographed like the Nissan GTR at right, but other than that I suggest you give it a try and see what you discover. And as always, you can shoot infrared photography by having one of your old cameras that’s sitting around gathering dust converted to IR-only operation. Or maybe using filters.

How I made this shot: Panasonic Lumix G5 that was converted to Infrared by LifePixel with Lumix 12-32mm f/3.5-5.6 lens at 18mm. Exposure was 1/500 sec at f/11 and ISO 400. The RAW file was converted to monochrome with Silver Efex Pro.

 

 

 


Life Pixel does a great job with IR conversions and have done most of my Canon DSLRs and all of my Panasonic Lumix G-series cameras. This is not a paid or sponsored endorsement, just my experience.

My book, The Complete Guide to Digital Infrared Photography is available from Amazon for $14.49  with used copies starting at $3.50 as I write this. Creative Digital Monochrome Effects has a chapter on IR photography and is available from Amazon for $20 with used copies starting at around two bucks, less than your next Starbucks coffee .