Early last year (March time) I shot a roll of infrared (IR) Rollei 400 film at Lulworth Cove, with the recommended ISO setting of 12. Rollei is a black & white IR film, 1 of the few left on the market, with black & white now being the only option as there is no longer a company that develops colour IR film.
Infrared is a new area of photography for me, so this was very much a trial & error exercise. The best time to shoot this film is on a sunny day, summer being the most obvious season, to pick up the infrared rays. The end result should be a dream like effect when using this type of film with a infrared filter. I borrowed the Cokin P007 (8B) filter to use with the Olympus 24mm F2 lens and purchased a screw-in Heliopan ES 62 (IR 715) filter to use with the Olympus 35-80 F2.8 lens.
One thing to note with IR film is that it is very light sensitive so make sure you load the film in the most dark environment possible. I learnt this the hard way. I loaded a roll in broad daylight, shot it and then found on return and processing that the whole film had been fogged.
The other lesson that I learnt after processing the Lulworth roll, is that interchanging lens can open up the opportunity for light to get onto the film as well. Here’s an example, where you can see the light leakage on the left hand side of the photo:
This did not ruin the whole film, only the previous & next shot after the change of lens. Here is my best photo of Lulworth cove, Olympus 24mm F2 lens at F16.
The main reason for these not being posted sooner is that I struggled to get a decent scan at the outset (very grainy). In the end, after much searching and reading, I found that scanning in as negative & then converting to monochrome in post image processing worked best. I use Vuescan & the Minolta Dimage Multi Pro scanner for scanning, and Photoshop CS5 for post processing.
This is my work flow:
Vuescan settings (Copied from Danny on Talk Photography here)
Media- slide film
Bits per px- 48bit RGB
Scan resolution – 3200 dpi.
Number of passes – 1
Multi exposure – ticked on
All off (set to none)
Colour balance – None
Curve low & high- 0.001
Slide vendor – Generic
Slide brand – Colour
Slide type – Slide
View colour – RGB
Tiff file type – 48bit RGB
This will produce a large TIFF file which I then open up in Photoshop CS5, and
1. Create a new curve adjustment layer & invert your image (making it positive) by selecting the top right and drag to the bottom right, and then selecting the bottom left and drag up to the top left.
2. I find that I now have a strong colour cast, so I create a channel mixer layer and check the monchrome box.
3. Finally I adjust levels to alter the contrast.
4. Clean up the image (Note: The thinness of the film means it easily scratches so handle with care)
Here a couple more from the Lulworth cove walk, this time taken with the Olympus 35-80mm F2.8 lens & Heliopan ES 62 (IR 715) filter at F11.
Trees & gorse walking towards Mupe Bay.
a shot of Mupe Bay
and then finally a shot of the path on the way back to Lulworth Cove.