infrared imaging

It’s a bit of a different world when you move into infrared imaging.

This is photography with a totally different look.

It used to be very difficult to capture infrared as the filters used to allow the non-visible light spectrum through were extremely dark making it difficult to see and frame your subject. The film was extremely sensitive and was quite susceptible to fogging ruining exposures before you even got them into the developer. In addition there was the need for focus adjustment as visible light focused on a different plane than the invisible spectrum which would often lead to out of focus images. And finally there was lots of grain in many of the captures.

Fast forward to today… I just received my Lumix G6 back from LifePixel after a conversion to allow the camera to capture infrared. It’s still not quite a piece of cake to create an infrared image but the capture sure got easy!


First infrared image from newly converted Lumix G6.

In this image the foreground area was in shadow so it wasn’t receiving the full infrared effect but the clouds, sky and rocks in the distance showed well. To combat this the image was triple processed. Once for the top half, and twice for the bottom to carry the infrared look through the image. Black and White conversion was made with NIK Silver FX Pro 2. Masks were applied to make the changes

infrared image straight out of camera

With the filter switched to a straight infrared filter you end up with a reddish sepia-tone image straight out of camera.

In order to have a better idea of what I was capturing as far as a final image of Black & White infrared I shot with a camera setting for Black & White. I then set the camera to capture RAW + Jpeg so I would have all the information presented to the camera but also have a quick BW in the jpeg.

There is another way to process the images (well probably as many ways as there are photographers) which I’ll share in another post using Photoshop Channels.

Yours in Creative Photography,       Bob

photography as an icebreaker

It is a lesson in asking.

When we are out and about we run across people who have character. People who have lived long and are happy to share about their lives if you only open the dialog. Over the years I have met or seen many people that I would have liked to have photographically captured an image of but was too nervous to ask.

I’m finding that I get more interesting conversations and life stories when I ask and share my wish to capture an image. People who know me might say, “Bob, SHY??! You’ve got to be kidding me?” But I have let situations go by where I just didn’t feel comfortable asking to create an image. usually it was all in my own head and I’m getting better thanks to spending time with Levi Sim. Levi is a wonderful person who connects with people in a great way. I enjoy his techniques for getting to know people and making them comfortable in front of the camera in a nano-second. When I was with Levi in Chicago I watched as he approached a guy on a motorcycle, in traffic, and had him maneuvering his bike in order to get a better background. The guy was happy to do it… Remember this is in traffic, in Chicago.

Here’s Gary…

gary at the bar

Met Gary at Bella Vita Ristorante in Sedona.

It was a wonderful conversation my wife and I had with Gary. He shared that he was born and raised in the desert. He loved tramping through the high Sierra Mountains where Ansel Adams created many of his iconic images. This came about because I had my camera (Lumix GX8) and after chatting with him asked if I might make a few exposures. He was flattered and we had a very pleasant time.

I had the 20mm 1.7 lens on and shot wide open. ISO 3200 This is a sweet piece of glass. I added just a bit of blur in the background to render the other people unrecognizable.


Word is eyes are the window to the soul. I find I enjoy seeing the results of the aging process on hands. Love the story I see here in Gary’s hands.

Yours in Creative Photography,         Bob

sunday photo/art quote 10/4

In seeking inspiration I will often head out of the photography realm and today is no different. Marcel Proust was a French writer of novels and essays. His quote that I share today has a lot to do with observation. And if we are to become excellent photographers we have to do more than just see what is around us. We need to be aware of possibilities that live around us all the time.

Many times when we travel we will get more creative because we are being exposed to new stimuli. What will help us be more effective image makers is being able to see the new among the apparent mundane around us all the time…

marcel proust quote

“The journey of self discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”    Marcel Proust

Proust’s quote obviously doesn’t deal with image making but I feel the sentiment that he expresses for self discovery can be applied to our vision.

Remember, there is looking.

There is seeing.

And, then there is vision.

Go deeper.

Yours in Creative Photography,    Bob

airline to atl and back part two

Yesterday I shared a few images from the window seat and today here are a few more. As a Panasonic Lumix Luminary (check out the Lumix Lounge) I get to work with a lot of different pro and advanced amateur camera gear. On this trip it was going to be very quick run to Atlanta, and back to Sedona, through Phoenix within 72 hours so I wanted to travel light. Camera-wise I couldn’t get much more compact than the camera I’ve dubbed the ‘Pro’s Point & Shoot’ the Lumix LX100. Lot’s of powerful features in a solid, easy to use piece of machinery. All images were captured with the LX100.

sunset window view

You need to change the exposure compensation quite a bit to make this sunset image work. Easy to do as the Exposure compensation is on a metal knurled dial right by your thumb. Up to three stops under or over.

cloud vista from above

I like this view of clouds from above. The layers feel like it might be some kind of lunar landscape. And who knows? It just might turn into one in an art piece…

jet wing over clouds with sun

Working the wing to silhouette over a cloud back with flare from the sun.

Sometimes you just need to push yourself by limiting yourself to find the capabilities of a camera. I hadn’t spent any quality time with this camera before this trip cause I had some other favorites always at hand. Because of this if you have any questions about which Lumix camera might be the best for your needs get in touch and I can share some ideas.

Yours in Creative Photography,          Bob

airline to atl and back

Love looking out from the window seat at 33,000 feet. The views and cloud formations can change at a moments notice! I am inspired now that I am flying quite a bit to capture images. Main inspiration comes from Julianne Kost and her book Window Seat – The Art of Digital Photography and Creative Thinking

On this quick trip to Professional Photographers of America headquarters in Atlanta for a committee meeting I was able to grab some pretty interesting images. Some can stand alone but I have a feeling that most will enter my files as textures and forms and vistas for my art creations.

Here’s a few of the captures…

sun rays over clouds at 33,000 feet

Sun rays over clouds

jet wing over clouds

Jet wing over clouds

 phoenix skyline from airport at sunset

Phoenix skyline from airport at sunset


I used the Lumix LX100 which I have dubbed the “Professionals Point & Shoot” camera. It has fast glass opening to f1.7-2.8. 25-75mm Leica DC Lens. Full video capability including 4K Photo capture. I really enjoy that all camera controls are ‘Old School’ in addition to the menu capabilities. All settings are available via dials on the exterior of the camera including aspect ratio, exposure compensation, focus settings, aperture and more. It’s a rugged little camera that is almost pocket size.

The LX100 was the only camera I brought with me on the trip and I wasn’t disappointed with what I was able to capture. It’s a sweet little machine.

Yours in Creative Photography,    Bob

jeordie at sound bites grill

I always enjoy the challenge of photographing musicians live on stage and the additional challenge of turning the images into art for the ‘Wall of Fame’ at Sound Bites Grill. Last Saturday night it was Jeordie and the Mixology Project. Mix together a sweet voice with some fun, and moving, original music, fine musicians and you end up with a great evening’s entertainment.

Heeere’s Jeordie and the band.

jeordie & the mixology project band

Jeordie right there front and center. Doktor Mo on drums. Chad on lead guitar. Philip on flute. Tony on bass.

Each musician was selected from their photo and placed in the frame. Adobe Photoshop was used for the extractions. Drop Shadows, Inner Glow, Textures and Layer Bend Modes were incorporated in creating the art look for the WOF image. Autographs and the message were signed the night of the performance with black marker on white paper. These were scanned then imported and sized. The signature layers were inverted then the Blend Mode of those Layers was changes to Screen to allow the black to disappear and allow just the ‘white ink’ be left for the viewer.

All images were captured with the Lumix GX8 and the 35-100mm f2.8 Lumix Vario lens. (That’s the 70-200 35mm Full Frame equivalent)

jeordie on stage at sound bites grill

A similar treatment in Photoshop of Jeordie by herself.

I also produce ‘straight’ images of the artists for marketing to the press in color with no artwork. I make the conversions to Black and White so there will be good solid contrast and definition. I’ll show you a couple of those tomorrow.

Yours in Creative Photography,        Bob

sunday photo/art quote 9/20

Wanna be a better photographer?

Don’t show people your less than stellar images.

Here’s the quote from John Sexton that inspires today’s photo/art quote…

john sexton quote

“A photographer needs to be a good editor of negatives and prints! In fact, most of the prints I make are for my eyes only, and they are no good. I find the single most valuable tool in the darkroom is my trash can – that’s where most of my prints end up.” John Sexton

I agree with this quote 100%! in places where you are trying to entice clients, or buyers of art to your work. The exception is in an instructional situation where you are looking for feedback. You can’t learn if you are not willing to make mistakes and learn from them. And many times there are mistakes to be made. Lord knows, I’ve made them and continue to do so. Where the problem is when you step out of the educational realm and share almost every thing you shoot with the world. For example, blog posts sharing a session with 20 images trying to show everything rather than 1-2 fabulous images from that shoot. Or web sites that have just too many examples of what you are trying to share with people. Volume does not necessarily equate with quality. As my friend Skip Cohen always coaches, “If an image is not an image that would get you a job all by itself it shouldn’t be on the web page.” OK that was loosely quoted but you get the idea! (check his web site for lots of marketing and photography ideas!)

Remember I said I still make mistakes??

Time for me to tear apart my commercial web site apart and start tossing older and not the best images I have to offer.

How about you?

Yours in Creative Photography,       Bob

PS – John Sexton is a wonderful Black & White image maker. If you’d like to see 17 more quotes by John Sexton curated by John Paul Caponigro look here

wall of fame times two

Here are the ‘Wall of fame’ images for Sound Bites Grill from last Saturday night.

leroy miller wall of fame image

Leroy Miller Blues rocker

grant ferguson bues guitar

Grant Ferguson Blues guitar.

All files were captured with approximately the same settings on two different cameras with the Lumix 35-100mm f2.8 lens. Even though I worked with the Lumix GH4 for most of the captures I had brought the new Lumix GX8 to test in these lighting conditions and both of these were captured with the GX8… HMMMM food for thought.

Camera settings. 1/80th to 1/100th sec. f2.8 ISO 3200 Aperture Priority – 2/3 stop Exposure Compensation. Files then opened in Adobe Camera RAW and shadows opened a bit and highlights pulled down just a bit. The art effect was created using multiple texture images, Blend Modes and Layer Masks in Photoshop a process I call Photo-Synthesis.

Yours in Creative Photography,      Bob

hdr lumix gx8

Went to Sound Bites Grill, my favorite restaurant, to see some of my favorite musicians play and was not disappointed on either case. Food was great and the entertainment of Miller, Martin and Ki was stellar as usual.

And also as usual, even though I wasn’t working I brought my Lumix GX8 with the 20mm f1.7 lens to the party to try to push some features. The table I was at had a very tough view of the stage as far as the camera goes. Deep shadows in the corner and Sunlit rocks out the window behind. I thought I’d try the HDR setting to see how it would do. There are menu choices of bracketing by one, two or three stops but there’s also an automatic setting. Now there’s an additional part of this challenge we have moving people. I made a number of exposures with a few distorting features until I realized I needed to bump up the ISO to get faster shutter times and watch for moments ‘between the movements’ of the performers.

musicians live on stage

Finished image. But, what I’d like you to do is compare the two images below to see the difference.

musicians photographed in HDR

Straight out of Camera – 20mm @1.7 ISO 1600 Aperture Priority with auto setting for HDR capture


SOOC – 20mm @ f1.8 400 ISO Aperture Priority

Call for some more experimentation but I think the camera HDR setting handled a very difficult scene extremely well. A little additional processing in Adobe Camera Raw and Photoshop could tweak the HDR image to be somewhat better in taming the saturation and working tones a bit but I’m happy.

“Wait a minute Bob I thought the HDR feature saves images as jpegs. How are you going to process the file in ACR??”

If you have the image highlighted in Adobe Bridge using CMD R (mac) or Ctrl R (pc) will open the jpeg image in Adobe Camera Raw allowing you to use those controls. Very handy!

I also captured some 4K video that I haven’t had time to process. That will have to wait for another post…

Yours in Creative Photography,       Bob


silver medalist ppa

Received a nice piece of mail the other day celebrating the images from my Artist case at Professional Photographers of America (PPA). It was the certificate indicating that I was named a Silver Medalist in the International Imaging Competition.


The Silver Medalist certificate from the Artist Competition

There’s a new triangle on my ribbons. Once you have earned a degree from PPA you are charged to wear the ribbons and degree designations to all PPA and PPA Affiliated events. As former President Ralph Romaguera once said. “When you see people wearing these ribbons and medals don’t be intimidated, they indicate permission to ask questions and talk about photography!”

Earning the Silver Medal also made me an Elite Photographer for the following year because I have earned and Imaging Degree along with a Photographic Craftsman Degree and earned the Certified Professional Photographer designation. The Elite Photographer Award is only given to a few photographers in any year. I find myself extremely fortunate and thankful…

Here are the images from the submission…

 polo magazine art proofs

Sarasota Polo Magazine Designs

PPA image results

Keeping Watch


One Point One Five Seconds


Sandhill Cranes