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Mark’s Miscellaneous Monday – Musings on palettes and brushes

I’ve heard it said that lenses are like paint brushes. It’s a pretty good analogy really, just as serious photographers tend to purchase the best lenses serious painters tend to buy the best brushes as well. While the talent and art doesn’t come from the tool people who do this for a living tend to like the best tools they can get.

So if lenses are brushes then I guess the camera body is akin to the paint palette, again a fairly good analogy since different bodies and sensors tend to record colors and contrast just a bit differently from each other.

In this case my latest addition to the tool collection is a palette, and quite an unusual one at that.

See a few years ago I purchased a Canon consumer body, strictly to keep on hand as an emergency backup. While my wife has use the camera a time or two, it really hasn’t seen much use and since I’ve upgraded other bodies it became the 3rd or even 4th line of backup camera in case of emergency.

I figured there was something more unique I could do with this so I packed it up and sent it off to a speciality shop that would open it up, and replace a few parts, and return it to me – as a full time infrared camera.

So an infrared camera doesn’t see in the dark, what it does is capture reflected infrared light – which is a different spectrum than what cameras normally capture. Most cameras even have a filter to block infrared light so it doesn’t have any impact on focusing – the filters that did this are among those removed by the operation.

When processed as a b&w image all the greens tend to become white – most plants being highly reflective to the infrared spectrum, and things like blue skies go nearly black.

Over the last week or two as I’ve played with this I’ve taken it out to the countryside, photographed the church downtown next door to my studio, and took it on a wedding up to Dunafon Castle.

While this won’t become a frequent “palette” at most weddings I think it might make it out from time to time on those amazing outdoor venues we have here in Colorado.