A New Kind of Blog

There is a world of information about Ecuador. It is one of the most popular countries for people who want to retire to a place where the dollar goes much farther than in the US, a place for adventuresome families who want to experience a new language and exciting culture. However, much of what you read or hear does not touch on the practical, the problematic, or the local information necessary to make things work. There are many blogs which are basically daily diary’s from people who live here. But this blog will be different. We know how hard it is to get accurate and timely information. We have been through it. All of us who live here have learned step by step and we question whether it is necessary to have every newcomer reinvent the wheel. We hope this blog will help shorten the learning curve. There are many hurdles but all are surmountable. What is required is patience, an understanding of local ways, and a realization that you are going to live in a country which is not the same as the US, Canada, or Britain. Our choice was to live in the wonderful city of Cuenca in the Southern Sierra but this may not be your decision and you will therefore have to look further to find the answers you need for different areas like the coast or the Amazon. Please realize that all the suggestions and ideas are based on our experiences. Ecuadorian regulations change rapidly and must be checked before you make any investments or major decisions. Please email us at Sailorburr@gmail.com and let us know if you have any questions or comments.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Infrared photography

How about a Little departure from scenes of Ecuador to some infrared photography we did in North Carolina? Once you get hooked on this unusual style of photography, it opens up a visual understanding of your subject that your eyes never see. Infrared filters, like the R72 filter, block almost the entire visible light spectrum and allow only infrared light that is invisible to the eye to pass through to the camera’s sensor. The resulting images are ethereal, dreamlike and surreal. The skies will be dark and vegetation will glow a ghostly white. The image often looks like a northern snow scene.  

We have yet to take any Ecuador infrared photos as we no longer have an R72 filter but, once we get one, we will get back into it. The subject matter here is perfect because of the extreme contrasts in the vegetation and the cloud filled skies, all perfect for infrared photos. If you have a DSLR camera, you can make infrared photos like ours by doing the following. Set the camera on a tripod. Frame your subject. Take a color reference shot so you can see if the subject is in focus and the view is what you want. Being careful not to move the camera, screw an R72 infrared filter onto the lens. Cover the lens viewer with your finger or a piece of tape so no extraneous light gets to the sensor. Try a number of settings from ½ second to two seconds. Unfortunately, you will not see anything in the view finder because the filter blocks all visible light. Therefore, by shooting a trial and error variety of settings, you will find the setting that works best with your camera.  

Some camera manufacturers have built special blocks into their cameras that will not allow any of the infrared spectrum to interfere with normal photography. So, the only way to know if your camera will take infrared is to try no matter what the manual says the camera will do or not do. 

The way we have come up with these photos is by doing most of the infrared work with the camera and not messing around with image altering software. The exception has been an occasional crop with software.  For more detailed guidance there is a lot of information on infrared photography technique on the web. 

Try it. You will find Infrared photography is a novel and surprisingly interesting new way to use your DSLR camera and the photographs? Wow! What more can we say.

1 comment:

  1. I read in some of your older posts that you were from North Carolina. My husband and I are from Hawaii, living in WNC now and thinking about retiring to Ecuador. We would like to get to know some people who are expats before we get too far into this so we can know if it would be right for us. Would you be willing to correspond with us? You can e-mail me at kathleen_ashbrook@charter.net if you are. Thank you! Kathleen


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