Tag Archives: Infrared photography

Revisiting Pyramid Lake in Jasper

This place is a super popular location for photographers and I meet some photographer whenever I visited this location. In early October, I don’t have to wake up 6 am to catch sunrise, but, for this location, I have be there by 6:30 to set up a tripod to get a good spot, otherwise it’s been taken.

The reason I kept trying this scene is I have not gotten the image I expect. Last year, it was raining, and this year, it was cloudy. I want to capture beautiful morning glow reflecting on the foggy lake. Well, I have to wait until next year. Having said that, I can still do something in cloudy morning. I knew the sun would come out and the light would hit the mountain so I stayed longer even after another photographer left. I set my infrared camera and filters. I waited for the moment. This is the shot I got.

Pyramid Lake - Infrared

Please click the image for the larger size. I tried a little different composition I usually do; everything line up on center from bottom to top.

Talking about tripod, I bought a new tripod, Gitzo 3541XLS, which is super tall. I can literally make a tent with this tripod. The newer version, 3542 was just released so I got this tripod for bargain price at the Camera Store in Calgary, Alberta. This is great investment since it allows me to raise view point much higher. That makes huge difference in composition. Please check my old blog about disadvantage of lower tripods as well.

Related post: Gallery show at Mount Royal University – Size matters, but be gentle (man)


Need your help (3) – Color or B&W – Bow Lake

Eventually, I have decided to put my images to Flickr and 500px. So I can share “okay” images which are not good enough to put in my web-site. So I need your kind help now! Please let me hear your opinion about which you like better between the 2 images below. I cannot select one for the portfolio in my website. Top one is color obviously; the unique part of this shot technically is shutter speed is fairly long, about 3 min achieved by Lee Big Stopper filter. The other one is Infrared B&W, one of my  photography styles. Please click the images for the larger views.


A melancholic snail 1

Melancholic – Bow lake – color

A melancholic snail 2

Melancholic – Bow lake – B&W

I will talk about the LEE big stopper filter some time.

Appeared podcast – Yeah! that’s big deal

I was kindly invited to podcast appearance by Al Del Degan and Andrew Bolton. I remember a note in a medical book, which says that a red face or nervousness was one of Japanese people national character. I am not exceptional, truly. What made me even more nervous was Al’s microphones, …3 microphones. I had imagined it would be recorded by iPhone or some sort of digital recorder. But his microphones were not even like ones used in Karaoke bars. They are condenser microphone used in music studios. Anyway, because of their welcome atmosphere, I had really fun time. But….I am still hoping everybody can understand what I am saying.

I met Al yesterday first time and I saw his wonderful portraits and nude photography in his room. I have known Andrew for quite some time. He is my type of photographer. He likes talking about Polaroid film or Yashica flex, rather than mega pixel or Canon 5D mk II. Please check out their interesting portraits in their websites. http://www.aduro.ca/ and ZOMBEI DARKROOM.

So I talked about why I started using range finder cameras and why I am keeping using them even for nature photography. The mystery has been solved. Then my strong opinion about HDR. The reason is found in my previous blog post about a tone in photography. However, this is also true that I like some photographers’ HDR works and I myself use HDR. Then I was FORCED to talk
about the photographer I admire. Being honest, I have to pick the photographer
since I wouldn’t have been interested nature photography if I had not attended
their SANP seminar 2 years ago. So who is the chosen one (or took me dark side)? Lastly, I talked about infrared photography which has became an important part of my photographic expressions. So regardless of my appearance, please take a look their podpost website, I am Aduro. Every show, Al and Andrew put so many interesting news and useful tips for photographers. Just find “Listen
Now” and hit Start mark in the webpage.

Since we talked about range finder cameras, I think I should place some street photos taken at the stampede 2011. So everybody, forget about “Numbers” like mega pixels or dynamic range. Attache ONE prime lens to your camera (ideally a film camera) and go happy shooting. Beautiful outside!

Cowboy boot - Stampede 2011 by Hiroaki  Kobayashi (Hiro-K) on 500px.com
Cowboy boot – Stampede 2011 by Hiroaki Kobayashi

Through garbage box - Stampede 2011 by Hiroaki  Kobayashi (Hiro-K) on 500px.com
Through garbage box – Stampede 2011 by Hiroaki Kobayashi

My Pose - Stampede 2011 by Hiroaki  Kobayashi (Hiro-K) on 500px.com
My Pose – Stampede 2011 by Hiroaki Kobayashi

Pairs - Stampede 2011 by Hiroaki  Kobayashi (Hiro-K) on 500px.com
Pairs – Stampede 2011 by Hiroaki Kobayashi

Polishing a shue - Stampede 2011 by Hiroaki  Kobayashi (Hiro-K) on 500px.com
Polishing a shue – Stampede 2011 by Hiroaki Kobayashi

A big circle in dusk - Stampede 2011  by Hiroaki  Kobayashi (Hiro-K) on 500px.com
A big circle in dusk – Stampede 2011 by Hiroaki Kobayashi

Stampede 2011 by Hiroaki  Kobayashi (Hiro-K) on 500px.com
Stampede 2011 by Hiroaki Kobayashi

Stampede Wstern Gallery Show(3) – Photo finish “Direct Metal Print”

When having conversations with photographers, we tend to talk about equipments or photo editing software. But when I have chances to talk to professional or experienced photographers, I am often impressed by their care for photo finishing. Prints by major chain stores are fine for casual occasions. However, imagine if someone bought my photo and hang on a wall at their home, I would like to provide properly completed works. More importantly,  I believe photo finishing is still a part of artistic process. It is like chefs make delicious food but also serve on carefully selected plates and bowls.

For previous gallery shows, I printed on conventional Barayta or fiber based paper by my Epson photo R2400 printer. I really like their rich black and NATURALLY saturated color. But I wanted to try something else this time
for Stampede – Western photo gallery . After some researches, I found Quintaro
in Calgary, Alberta does “Direct Metal Print”. It is not metallic paper; an image is printed directly on an Aluminum metallic board. Quintaro has 3 types of finishes: white coated, white coated glossy and non-coated (brushed). I tried non-coated and brushed finish for my Infrared images.

Floating Root

Please note, I copied print images by taking picture of them by my digital camera so the quality is compromised. But you can see its uniqueness. Because of its shiny surface, intensity of high light changes depends on directions of illuminating light . This also changes impressions of image. You may understand if I would say…that it is like sun is moving behind the clouds. It is cool.

Enlarged image. Now hairlines of brushed surface are visible.

Possible downside of this photo finish you are thinking of now may be that the results of prints can not be predicated on Photoshop. However, it is not a problem since Quintaro provides free proof prints for a couple of times. Actually, I did not need 2nd proof prints for most of my entries.  Thank you very much, staff of Quintaro Imaging, for your wonderful services and professional suggestions.

Major advantage of the metal print is that I can print my images as large as possible since mats and a frame are not necessary. For the same reason, cost of the metal print is comparable with a framed photo. Now, I am just hoping viewers will like the displays.

One more info I have to mention, Samantha Chrysanthou and Darwin Wiggett‘s photos are exhibited at Baker Creak Chalets – Restaurant in Banff national park, Alberta. To be honest, I heard about direct metal prints first time in their lecture. (I admit I am a follower of them. I always find something new to learn in their blogs). Some of their display are metal prints as well, but their prints are white coated ones. So the photos have very different look from the non-coated brushed surface. Check them out if you have chance to visist Canadian Rockies.

Lastly,…I think it is okay to proud of myself… this image is the winning image in Stampede – Western Photo Competition in the nature category.  Next week of the same day, Calgary Stampede 2011 will have been opened. I am throbbing with excitement.

RELATED POST: Infrared Photography

Infrared for Urban photography

This time I tried infrared photos for urban photography, and the result is pretty good, I guess. The day I took was nice sunny day and a lot of lights, so this photo was taken for a handheld. The top photo is taken by the same camera, converted by Lightroom with “B&W orange filter”. The bottom one is infrared.  I adjusted contrast.

B&W orange filter - Vancouver

New years day of Vancouver - Infrered


Infrared one has very dramatic sky.  On the other hand, buildings of the regular B&W show more details.

I am not surprised if someone said he or she does not like infrared photography. It is fun to play with. IR photography characteristically achieves high contrast and dramatic images. But it is not magic tool. There are suitable subjects and light conditions for IR photography. Sunny day lights and interesting cloud patterns do not go wrong most of the times.

Related Post:Infrared Photography

Infrared Photography

Infrared photography has become one of the significant artistic expressions for me. Modern digital cameras are equipped with UV/IR cut filter inside of the camera body. Contrarily, older generation of digital cameras or my camera do not have the UV/IR cut filter. The IR is actually an enemy since it causes wired color cast. So I have to attach IR cut filter in front of the lenses.  However, by switching the UV/IR cut filter to an IR FILTER, my camera turns to an infrared camera. Some other ways to achieve  infrared photography are:

  • Modifying DSLR to remove the UV/IR cut filter from the camera. 
  • Some of Pentax DSLR achieve the IR images electronically.
  • Using IR films, Freestyle Photographic Supplies carry the IR films.

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This is the shot I took in Kananaskis, Alberta. You see very black sky and white clouds. Most characteristically, the forests on the lake shore turns white. It would be dark with regular B&W.

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