Digital Infrared Photography With The Fuji S20 Pro
There's More To Life Than Color Image Files!
"Why not?"--Dayton Allen
Whenever I get a new digital camera from Fuji I run down to the family room and give it the "remote control test." What's that? One of the easiest ways to check if your digicam is infrared capable is to point a TV remote control at the lens and take a picture or look at the image on the LCD panel. If you see a point of light, you're ready to make IR digital images.
The imaging chips in most digital cameras are fitted with an internal infrared cutoff filter that is designed to reduce IR contamination. Many, but not all, consumer digicams let enough IR through to allow for what techies call near infrared photography. With digital IR imaging, if your digicam passes the TV remote test and, like the Fuji FinePix S20 Pro, has a black and white mode, you'll see the infrared effect right before your eyes.
The simplest reason for shooting digital infrared is that the technique has the power to transform the mundane into the unforgettable. Everyday scenes that you might walk by and never think of photographing take on a more dramatic look when seen as infrared.
Back in the bad old days of IR film, you needed to use special film and load and unload it in total darkness. To work with IR film you needed special, read expensive--that part hasn't changed--filters and then either process the film yourself or find an ever-dwindling pool of specialty labs to do it for you. When shooting IR film it's more click and hope, but with Fuji's FinePix S20 Pro, black and white IR images can be made in camera--and you'll see the results in its electronic viewfinder before you snap the shutter.
You can pull images directly off
an xD-Picture Card or CompactFlash Type II, which Fuji specifies as "Microdrive,"
that fit the camera's dual slots. Fuji provides a 16MB xD-Picture Card
with the camera and kindly lent me a 64MB card, and I was able to borrow one
of Hitachi's 2GB Microdrives (www.pexagontech.com)
so I could take lots of pictures. Why not a 4GB Microdrive? Because it's
FAT 32 and the S20 Pro is FAT 16 compatible. (See Sidebar: Get FAT, Like Atkins,