Prepare for me going off the rails for a bit. But I will bring it back eventually… Kind of.
There are food stuffs that I… crave for lack of a better word where I cannot verbalize exactly why I like them. One example would be Johnny’s Hot Dogs on Central Avenue in Albany, NY. If asked I could not honestly say the hot dogs were good. My attachment to them comes from a ritual my Father and I had when I was a kid. Dad drove tractor trailer.
Sidenote Dadism: An important distinction is that my Father corrected me one time when I referenced him being a truck driver. He stopped me and politely stated, “My job does not define me. I am not a truck driver. I am a man that chose to drive tractor trailers to support my family.” I took this to heart. When I graduated college I was fortunate enough to get a job as an Engineer at the Steam Turbine division of GE Power Generation Engineering in Schenectady, NY. Someone soon after introduced me as Eric, the GE Engineer.
I corrected them as my Father had corrected me… minus the family part. That came later. This phrasing paid dividends later. As time went by in my few years there it got to the point that Neutron Jack and his minions were having layoffs a couple of times a year. Older long time Engineers whose self identity was interwoven with being a white shirt, black tie, and GE pocket protector cubicle dweller were stripped of this unceremoniously with every round. Reached a point where you wondered if it was better to be laid off and find another option rather than being a member of those meant to uphold the same workload with fewer workers. Heady stuff for someone in their early to mid twenties. The impact was such that GE set up a building for them to come to at the plant site with desks and phones from which they could try and find a new identity elsewhere if they were not able to retire. I watched this in horror as I thanked my Father for his wisdom. Had he not made the distinction regarding self identity teamed with the oft stated, “A job is meant to finance one’s life, not become one’s life” I may have been similarly distraught when it came time for me to part ways. But I was fine. I did my time and moved on without a second thought. Whoo! That was quite the bender. And we are back in 3, 2, 1...
As I was saying my Dad drove tractor trailers. He was home every evening, but he had long hours and traveled far from home. Mom worked locally and took me to most appointments, but Dad would always take a day off and take me for visits to the dentist. Why? Don’t care. Loved it. As a tradition we always stopped at Johnny’s Hot Dogs and got chili dogs with everything. It was great. Granted if novacaine was involved I would usually realize I mangled my inner jaw later but once again… I did not care. Any time I visited Albany I would try and make it back there. As an adult I realized their chili was not the best, but… You guessed it. I did not care. The taste was forever fused with fond memories. I am sure it must be closed by now. A subjective scenario.
On the flip side were the fish sandwiches from Kenneth’s near Arbor Hill. The homemade tartar sauce was phenomenal. The fish was delicious. No sentimentality was needed. Best fish sandwiches I ever had to this day. Objectively delicious.
Why do I bring all of this up?
Task at hand.
Dipped a toe into Infrared photography recently. Stuck to black and white for the first attempt. This was the fish sandwich.
- Low cost of entry with an affordable IR pass/visible light block filter.
- Ease of use.
- Images that looked interesting to me in EVF.
- Images that look objectively good once downloaded with quick, easy tweaks.
Then I saw color Infrared samples that looked intriguing online. Not quite good. Definitely interesting. But far better than the Mars hellscape all red photos I saw with the sd Quattro.
Then I slowed down and read this post in detail… Ah. Kolari IR Chrome filter. I will not even attempt to explain the science behind it, but it allows blue hues to be seen. (This post Hamish shared with me recently would have been a great help also.) Sold. Wait. How much for a 62mm (SIGMA 30mm f/1.4 Art)?… Fine. Found it at Kolari (showed back ordered), B&H Photo (special order), Adorama (special order), and the latter had the best price at the time. So I ordered the filter from Adorama figuring it will be a while. Adorama then emailed me that Kolari would be shipping the order and it was shipped and delivered to me in a few days. Cool. Slap it on the front of the camera and let’s give it a go.
Better. Took some more shots. I was underwhelmed if I am honest. Definitely more Johnny’s hot dog without that back story than Kenneth’s fish sandwich right now. More red than anything else. A little red is bleeding into everything. Did I just blow $130? Is that what just happened?
Let me slow my roll. I will do a little more reading. Nope. No big difference yet. Let me get out and about with it. Then two things happened.
- I found out that what you photograph makes a huge difference. Air, water, objects and objects that are in good light to offset the reds of foliage and grass and other objects that render red.
- Editing after the fact has a much larger impact here than with the black and white IR images.
So I had my doubts until I got home and briefly experimented with manual White Balance settings. Now?
That is more like it. We have had ourselves a proper backstory. Objectively enjoyable images.
Out and about.
That is more like it. We have a bit of back story now. Johnny’s hot dogs it is.