Monday, March 19, 2007

Featured IR Photographer Showcase - Niek Haak

Most of Niek's fantastic IR work comes to us from around his home, Middelburg, Zeeland / Netherlands. Niek’s subjects are as varied as his talents behind the camera. His Gallery also includes some images from New Zealand. Be sure to spend some time browsing around his extensive Gallery.

When you finish, take a look at the Useful Links area here at the IR Blog. You will find a Link to another of Niek’s Galleries. In it you will see the full details of the steps he took to modify his Sony DSC-F717 camera for full shutter and aperture control, which he refers to in his Bio. Welcome Niek.

Bio: I started using photography around age 15, capturing moon images with my telescope and a Practica SLR camera. After a year of astrophotography I became interested in general photography - most of all because of the beautiful pictures I kept seeing from my uncle Bram. I learned the secrets of the B&W darkroom, started a big photography club at my local high school and taught many others the joy of photography. When the Practica gave up after about 15.000 shots I purchased the then revolutionary Olympus OM-2 SLR with some OM lenses. Photography (mostly nature/macro/landscape images on color slide film) became my most important hobby.

Because of university studies (biochemistry) and work life, photography faded to the background. In the late nineties I became interested in photography again as a result of the developments in digital imaging. I purchased an Olympus C-2000z digicam (totally unaware of its good IR capabilities) and became enthusiastic. The C-2000z was upgraded to a C-2500z, later followed by the Sony DSC-F707 and DSC-F717 cameras. The 717 proved to be so good that the OM-2 now stayed at home most of the time; I finally sold it after 25 years of faithful service. Early in 2002 I started experimenting with IR photography using the Nightshot mode of the Sony 707. I remember getting some good advice from people on the net, Chris Maher being one of them. I had experimented with IR photography on film when I was young, but found it too difficult to enjoy. Digital IR changed everything and I'm still enthusiastic about this new window on the world around us.

In 2004 I got very ill because of a tick byte (Lyme disease) and my life and photography hobby suffered badly. It took nearly two years to get diagnosis and start treatment for the illness. Last year I spent several months in hospital; I'm now slowly recovering. Staying at home enabled me to take a better look at the 717 and its limitations for IR in Nightshot mode (most of all the slow shutter speeds that blurred many shots, and problems with using wide converters). I decided to remove the internal hot mirror to make it an even better IR camera; you can see all details on my pbase website. I have considered switching to an IR-dedicated DSLR and would love to see a big sensor digicam specially made for IR. But until then I'm perfectly happy with the modified 717. It is SO easy to use for IR, and while the small 5 MP sensor has its limitations, with the right processing you can make beautiful 20x30 inch infrared prints. I look forward to taking IR pictures again this spring season with my modified 717 camera!












Copyright Statement: All Images and materials displayed and showcased here, are copyrighted and are the exclusive property of the artist. Images and material may not be reproduced or used in any way without the written consent of the artist.

Please Comment Freely to this Post.




Let Niek know how much you enjoy and appreciate his Stunning IR Work!

-=- Jerry -=-

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8 comments:

Bruce said...

Thanks, Niek, for allowing Jerry to share you with us. Your IR photos are most inspirational.

I looked with some interest at your gallery for "DSC-F717 full infrared modification" as I have a DSC-707 which could be a candidate, BUT I don't believe I could ever do that complicated, multi-step, delicate procedure on my own!! My esteem for you is now even greater.

Anonymous said...

Niek,

I hope you convalescence is progressing nicely and you're feeling better soon.

Your IR pictures are amazing. The composition & contrast totally make it work. I really enjoyed the way you included clouds in a lot of the shots.

Well Done!

Brad

Anonymous said...

Hi Niek

What a total joy it was to view another photographers perspective of IR photography. Great images.
Now my creative juices are flowing due to your keen eye of subject matter. Excellent IR.

boogie

Dani said...

wow... my sony IR's never looked that good!!! fantastic

Niek said...

thanks everyone for the nice comments!

lulalake said...

I wish to recommend a very high quality, extremely inexpensive IR filter seller on eBay

http://tinyurl.com/ywykms

The filters are roughly 10% the price of Hoya's and a great percentage higher quality. I recommend them on my Yahoo group. I have purchased more than a few for different lenses that I use.

Cheers

Jules

(I am not affiliated in any way with the seller other than a very satisfied customer)

Kort said...

Niek, looking at your work makes me realize how much more I can improve in my own work. Thanks so much for sharing it with us!
~Kort

John McDonough said...

Niek,

Your work is beautiful! In particular the townscapes (on your pbase gallery) - so many tones with magnificent contrast. You have an excellent eye for composition that makes the shots even more special. Well done.

The last shot here of the windmill and horses is magical...

Cheers - John