For our first IR Photographer Feature in 2008 we are traveling to Hong Kong to visit with Mr. Chun Lo. Chun shoots IR with a variety of cameras, and obtains some stunning scenes from his local, from which we have the honor of seeing what life is like in his part of the world. He favors urban images, and has studied, and is an artist in his own right with brush and knife. I'll just let him tell you about his accomplishments in his extensive Bio. Welcome Chun!
Bio: After living in mainland China, Japan and Australia, Chun Lo is now based in Hong Kong. As a young pupil in China, he studied Chinese ink and brush painting, choreography and traditional seal carving. He was later influenced by Japanese arts and crafts during his stay in Japan as a student.
Chun Lo was immediately hooked when he saw digital infrared photography for the first time in the end of 2003, and started a series of exciting experiments marked by trials, errors and exhilarating success. The otherworldly beauty of infrared images stems from its mysterious aura, with gloom and loneliness permeated in magnificence and grace. Chun’s favorite shooting sites are in Hong Kong, because the bustling urban surroundings would turn into strange yet familiar scenes of dreamy serenity in infrared photos, bringing out the nostalgia so deeply rooted in the urban dwellers.
Digital cameras have made this peek around the red end of the visible spectrum easier than ever before. Chun started out using a Nikon 950, then modified a Canon G2 as his main infrared camera. He also modified a Pro 1 subsequently. A Canon Powershot A640 is his main camera now, which can be used for both infrared and normal color photos. Each modification was a DIY effort. Chun has experimented with three ways of shooting infrared photography by a digital camera:
1. Use 2.0M pixel cameras like Nikon 950, Canon G1, Olympus 2020 etc. attach Hoya R72, keep the aperture fully open and highest ISO on a fiercely sunny day, the fastest shutter speed you can use is 1/30. The disadvantage is that the pixel is very low, and most of the time, a tripod is a must.
2. Use a Sony 7x7 series camera, in Nightshot mode and with R72 on, you can shoot at the fastest shutter speed on 1/60. If the sunlight is too strong, you have to add 1 or 2 ND4 filters. A moderate effect will be obtained when you manage the colors for your images.
3. To modify the camera, remove the hot mirror and replace with a clear glass, you can use full range of shutter speeds with ISO 50. The effect of producing color image is the best so far. However, once the camera is modified, it is pretty much infrared only although you can potentially add a screw-on hot mirror for color correction. Furthermore, you have to give up the original manufacturer guaranty and take the risk of malfunction of your equipment.
For alternatives 1 and 2, you only need to spend about US$50 for several filters. There is no risk but the equipment is not very convenient to use, and the image formation is not ideal. For alternative 3, you can shoot whenever and wherever as you please, and the results are almost perfect. However, you have to take the risk of losing a camera costing US$600. No pain, no gain.
Here are some of my favorite IR Images:
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.
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Let Chun know how much you enjoy and appreciate his fabulous IR Photography!
-=- Jerry -=-