Día de Muertos

El GatoEl Gato Global TrekkerPosts: 367Registered Users Major grins

31/10/19

I spend some considerable time while traveling, plying the rural routes, blue highways, one lane turnoffs and just plain ol’back roads between point A and B and often times C. In doing so, I have developed an interest for wandering through the peace and quiet of a community’s cemetery. The older the cemetery the more unique and interesting are the stories of the souls at rest there.

Graves hold many secrets. Tombstones tell unusual stories of bygone days and of the people who lived the land. It is amazing the history of a village, a community, a country that can be learned from epithets and tombstones.

The final resting place of founding fathers, soldiers, statesmen and women, famers, shopkeepers, merchants, consorts and slaves. Discovering these often-solitary resting places, be they well-kept or forgotten and overgrown, comes the reward of finding intriguing, unique and sometimes amazing, headstones. And with those headstones, a history that cannot be found in a book.

There is something about the design, workmanship and architectural craftmanship of these headstones that draws me to them. To photograph them, study them, to read the stories albeit oft times brief, which have been carved into them. It is rare in today’s society to encounter such works of art dedicated to the deceased.

With respect to remembering and honoring our deceased loved ones on this Día de Muertos, I am sharing a few images, which I took recently, during trips to the East Coast and America’s heartland.

All of these images are infrared (IR) images, taken with my color IR modified D300. Post processing modification of HSL, curves and levels.

CC always welcomed an appreciated.

No. 1

No.2

No. 3

No. 4

Comments

  • StumblebumStumblebum I shoot, therefore I am Posts: 7,675Registered Users Major grins

    Wow! #4 is epic! Oh I so want to learn using and processing IR. Like will pay to learn!

  • sarasphotossarasphotos Major grins Augsburg, GermanyPosts: 2,288Registered Users Major grins

    Hi Gato, for the same reasons you named, my partner and also visit cemetaries while underway. Although IR is not su much my thing I really like #s 2 & 4.

  • toragstorags Major grins Posts: 4,348Registered Users Major grins

    Nice IR work Gato...

    Rags
  • black mambablack mamba Major grins Jacksonville, FLPosts: 6,608Registered Users Major grins
    edited November 1, 2019

    Nice IR work. I would like #1 more if the top of the structure was not chopped off. #4 is really, really good.

    If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
  • CornflakeCornflake Major grins ArizonaPosts: 2,529Registered Users Major grins

    El Gato, I'm not a fan or color IR shots, but these are well done. Cemeteries are indeed interesting places.

  • JuanoJuano Major grins Brasilia, BrazilPosts: 3,684Registered Users Major grins

    Awesome work. The first one made me think of a chessboard somehow. #2 and #4 are beautiful, however, now that Cornflake raised the issue, I'd be interested in seeing a BW version of them...

  • El GatoEl Gato Global Trekker Posts: 367Registered Users Major grins

    Thank you everyone for your comments, they are truly appreciated.

    I am back on the road again, traveling for business. I plan to upload more images as time permits. The IR BW images will be forthcoming.

    I am currently writing an article on basic IR post processing and the steps one would take to achieve this "IR look." Once it is published, I will post and share the link here for those who may be interested.

    Once again, thank you everyone for your comments!

  • bfluegiebfluegie Big grins IndianaPosts: 485Registered Users Major grins

    Really great shots. I also like #2 and #4 best. I don't think an artist could have painted in a better sky for #2, and I really like the perspective of the line of crosses in #4. Awesome.

    ~~Barbara
  • El GatoEl Gato Global Trekker Posts: 367Registered Users Major grins

    Barbara....

    Thank you for your comments. They are very much appreciated!

  • kurzvorzwoelfkurzvorzwoelf Stuttgart, GermanyPosts: 258Registered Users Major grins

    I'm in the line with declaring #2 and #4 some awesome shots!

    I have only heard about IR photography, but never understood the "why" and "what" behind it, tho. As a self-taught hobbyist, I'm probably lacking some theoretical background there. However, those really look interesting and I''d also love to see B/W conversions of the images as well as to know some more background info about IR photography, so eagerly waiting for your write up.

    Wise words from the Dog of Wisdom: If your ball is too big for your mouth, it's not yours.

    I'm here to learn and progress. Honest feedback and criticism on my images is warmly appreciated!

    My SmugMug site - kurzvorzwoelf.com

  • El GatoEl Gato Global Trekker Posts: 367Registered Users Major grins

    @kurzvorzwoelf said:
    I'm in the line with declaring #2 and #4 some awesome shots!

    I have only heard about IR photography, but never understood the "why" and "what" behind it, tho. As a self-taught hobbyist, I'm probably lacking some theoretical background there. However, those really look interesting and I''d also love to see B/W conversions of the images as well as to know some more background info about IR photography, so eagerly waiting for your write up.

    Thank very much for your comments!

    As I have mentioned here in previous posts, IR photography adds a new dimension to one's photographic arsenal.

    Getting started is fairly straight forward. You can either purchase an IR modified camera or take and existing camera, that may not be seeing a lot of use and if it is IR compatible, send it out to a third-party to have them do the IR conversion. Some decisions will be need to be made...such as what type of IR conversion you desire (there are several). My prime IR camera was modified so that is has a built-in Super Color IR Filter (equivalent to 590nm Filter). I can shoot IR directly through the camera and focus through the viewfinder, which would problematic if one were to affix a 590mm lens directly to the lens itself.

    I began my foray into IR photography with a Standard IR Converted D70. After a while I knew I wanted to try more vibrant IR work, so I acquired a slightly used D300 body, which I then had converted to a Super Color IR camera.

    Quoting from Life Pixel (www.lifepixel.com/infrared-filters-choices), the folks who did both of my camera conversions to IR...."The Super Color IR Filter provides for a super vibrant foliage and intensely colorful sky. With the red & blue channels swapped the foliage takes on a golden orange tone and sky a beautiful royal blue. This is most surrealistic, color infrared filter available. You may be surprised to know this IR filter is also great for black & white IR photography, especially if you want full control of all the elements and love tinkering in Photoshop."

    Once you have your IR converted camera in hand, simply head out and begin taking photos. Well, there are a few things one must do first. The most important, I believe, is setting the proper white balance that will become the default white balance for your IR imaging. There are an exhaustive number of articles easily accessible via the Internet on accomplishing this step.

    By default, I typically keep a UV filter on each of my lens, manly to keep dust out and avoid any potential wayward scratches. Typically this filter comes off when I am shooting color or I'll attach a polarizing filter, etc. When I am shooting IR, this UV filter comes off. I tried shooting with the filter attached and the resulting images showed distortions, wavy lines and just an unacceptable image.

    One very nice feature of IR photography, there is really no golden hour. Every hour is golden. One can take photos at high noon because IR is not affected by the harsh light. While one may take IR photos all year long, I find the best time is from the beginning of spring through the beginning of autumn. The color green is highly "reflective" thus images taken when foliage is at its peak, meaning full, leafy green, produces some of the best IR images to start off with. As you become more comfortable with both your newly converted camera and the whole IR imaging process, extend the "season" through autumn and even into winter. The resulting images and "effects" of the IR process, results in some interesting photographic outcomes. It's a learning curve, it's always a learning curve. 😊

    Post processing can become a bit tricky (or should i say interesting), depending on what it is you are aiming to achieve with the final image. I like BW as a medium and this aligns nicely with the Super Color IR Filter's ability to render excellent BW images in post processing.

    I have begun experimenting in post processing by tweaking the channel swapping process. You can obtain some interesting results by not only working with the red and blue channels but adjusting the green channel as well. I continue to experiment with adjusting hue, saturation, levels, curves, applying HDR effects to my IR images, artistically adding boarders to various images, using a reverse negative image to produce different effects and of course, converting some images to BW. There is more than ample room in IR photography for being creativity. If you enjoy not always playing by the rules (here meaning the rules of color photography), you will find sweet refuge in the world of IR photography.

    I am willing to send a draft of my article to anyone who may be interested. The article's focus is basically on the steps one would take to post-process an IR image. I will just need to figure out a way to send it. Not sure if this platform provides (or allows) uploading of a PDF or MS Word doc.

    Thank you again for your comments. I appreciate them.

    Oops...sorry folks for the long post!!

  • kurzvorzwoelfkurzvorzwoelf Stuttgart, GermanyPosts: 258Registered Users Major grins

    Thanks for taking the time to write that down, @El Gato ! It's a very interesting read, and I have bookmarked this post now also for later references :smiley:

    So if I understood right, it's a (probably non-reversable) camera modification, which then will work with any existing lenses you can fit on that modified camera, right? I think it's worth trying it out. Finding a cheap used body shouldn't be the problem (I'm in the m43 system so plenty of options I guess). For finding someone to modify that cam here in Germany might become more of a challenge, but I'll do my research! If I do everything right, expect some of my experiments to be posted here n the future.

    Thanks again for your explanations!

    Wise words from the Dog of Wisdom: If your ball is too big for your mouth, it's not yours.

    I'm here to learn and progress. Honest feedback and criticism on my images is warmly appreciated!

    My SmugMug site - kurzvorzwoelf.com

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