Tag Archives: Fuji S3

Converting a camera to infrared

Last year I had a Fuji s3 converted to infrared.  https://www.lifepixel.com/ is the site that I visited and decided to utilize their services. I paid $275 for the conversion. Turn around was reasonably quick. It took about 10 days. There are a number of filter options available for conversion, If I remember correctly I went with a standard filter. I probably wouldn’t recommend using the Fuji S3 for conversion because its limited in doing a color balance once converted. The Fuji S2 cannot be converted due to the way the sensor is designed. You cannot use the original raw files to get the color effects wanted, unless you convert them to DNG files. Then by using Adobe’s DNG profile editor you can establish a profile for the Fuji camera and utilize the profile in camera raw. Results are good but the DNG file is not as large as the original raw file so you will be limited on how large you could print an image. The DNG files are around 17 mb when opened in Photoshop, Below are some sample photos taken this year.

Click on the photos to enlarge them.

In general my best results were on days with cumulus clouds and locations that included water. Water is cool and doesn’t reflect much infrared. Therefore it appears darker in the photos. Chlorophyll reflects a lot of infrared so trees and grass will appear light in black and white infrared photos and will appear in false colors when shooting images in color. Colors can be manipulated by adjusting hue and saturation. Infrared photos really need to include something which reflects infrared or the images will be very bland. You can include people in the photos but there colors will not be natural.

And now for something completely different- Digital Infrared

Joslyn Castle Omaha

Joslyn Castle Omaha

I’ve always been enamored by the false colors a photographer can get when shooting in infrared. Most modern digital cameras need modification in order to capture infrared.

The first thing you need to do is have a camera converted to infrared. The infrared filter in your camera is removed and a different filter is added. One company that is a leader in digital infrared conversions is LifePixel. I sent my Fuji S3 to LifePixel and a little over a week later I got my converted camera back.

Lake Wehrspann dog run

Lake Wehrspann dog run

I chose the Fuji S3 because its a camera I no longer use and it was on the list of cameras that could be converted. In order to get infrared, the camera has to be color balanced using a custom balance against green grass. Unfortunately the Fuji s3 doesn’t allow color balancing in this manner.

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When an image first comes out of a converted Fuji s3 it looks like this. The camera has to be set on raw. Then the raw file needs to be converted to a DNG file using Adobe DNG converter. The next step is to import the DNG file into Adobe DNG Profile Editor. There is a tab called “Color Matrixes” that you need to click on and slide the temperature slider to 0. Then you export the profile and give it your camera name.

Joslyn Castle Omaha

Joslyn Castle Omaha

The DNG file needs to be opened in Adobe Photoshop in camera raw. Then you click on the camera calibration tab and go to camera profile and select the profile that you just saved. Then you go to the basic tab and click on white balance and select auto. If necessary other adjustments can be made in the basic mode. The above photo should be your result. Anything in blue or cyan is  green foilage which reflects infrared.

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Colors can be manipulated by going to adjust Hue and Saturation and sliding the Hue slider back and forth until you get the desired color.

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Joslyn Castle Omaha

Joslyn Castle Omaha

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Joslyn Museum Omaha

Joslyn Museum Omaha

Con Agra Park Omaha

Con Agra Park Omaha

Ideally photos should be taken on a sunny day near the middle of the day to achieve maximum infrared. The variations you can end up with are quite interesting.

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ConAgra Omaha

ConAgra Omaha

Conagra Park

Conagra Park

Any color infrared can be changed to b&w by using the b&w adjustment in Photoshop. Using the color sliders you can determine how bright foilage will appear