I Was Just Rummaging in my Drawers! | 35:Chronicle

35mm, black & white, close-up, infrared, nature, photography, ug-11

Experiment: UG-11 – UV =  ∼650-1250nm IR.

For well over ten years, I have enjoyed playing around with different wavelengths in my personal photography, most notably, with infrared wavelengths between around 700 and 850nm. These two frames were captured with the only equipment I have currently, that is able to record IR wavelengths, but it’s not ideal for the job as such. They were captured using a UG-11 conversion.


I. | 35mm • ISO 1600 • Infrared w/UG-11

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UG-11 blocks visible light from reaching the image sensor, allowing over 99% UV light transmission from around 235-410nm however, much less IR transmission from around 650-1250nm peaking at around only 30% transmission at close to 715nm. This makes UG-11 ideal for UV photography (think: flowers or forensic applications) but less ideal for IR shooting. Though there is no need for an IR filter to be mounted on to the front of the lens (because visible light is already being blocked) a simple UV filter is adequate in order to allow only IR wavelengths to pass. However, because the peak light-transmittance of IR wavelengths is only around 30% of a dedicated IR conversion, it does mean that unless one is happy to record their images at higher ISOs in order to shoot handheld, a tripod will still be required. (Shooting this configuration with a tripod at base ISO would render some fabulous cloud or water movement due to longer Tv necessities for accurate exposures, I would imagine.) Furthermore, good strong sunlight is a must if shooting (handheld) infrared in this way and, as I have discovered, duller daylight is far less forgiving when capturing IR with a UG-11 than it would be with a dedicated IR converted unit. 

I’m sure, not least because of my passion for alternative-wavelength photography, that I will be coming back to discuss this topic in a lot more depth in the future, but thought I’d share a couple of handheld frames captured recently with a 35mm UG-11 conversion that I rediscovered at the back of a drawer. I’m not sure I have a specific use for UV photography yet, but it’s fun to play around with possibilities, nonetheless.

This is just a little frippery so please, don’t judge me on composition.



II. | 35mm • ISO 800 • Infrared w/UG-11

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