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Author Topic: Heat Waves  (Read 5292 times)

awinphoto

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Heat Waves
« on: July 07, 2011, 04:05:22 PM »
This is an open question for anyone who has opinions/solutions... Given it's summer, this phenomenon happens more often, and especially in photography, it can be a blessing and a curse depending if you want them in your shots... These can be seen on roads, tarmacs of airports, desert scenes, etc...  the bouncing heat wave effect could make sharp in focus images look out of focus, especially if your shooting telephoto trying to shoot from a distance.  Anyone have any suggestions to beat mother nature and minimize this effect?  I've heard of photo filters that could cut through fog (even though I haven't used any) so i'm wondering if there is any photo filter or technique or whatever that could help.  I've had photoshoots that turned out not quite as I was expecting/hoping because of these waves so any help is welcome. 
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Heat Waves
« on: July 07, 2011, 04:05:22 PM »

kubelik

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Re: Heat Waves
« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2011, 05:02:18 PM »
well ... I hate to be the one to burst a bubble, but filters that can "cut through fog" are about as real as unicorns, until we have portable photographic equipment that can unrefract light or warp light around suspended particles in the air.  same goes with any filter that could counteract the heat waves you see coming off the ground.  your camera or filter would have to literally be interacting with light waves before they reach your lens in order to reassemble an undistorted image.

awinphoto

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Re: Heat Waves
« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2011, 05:10:16 PM »
The last I've heard about the fog filter thing was way back in my film days, however I've never seen or played with any filter that could do that... anywho I was just trying to find ways to "think outside the box" and find ways to work around this issue because I hate to just leave it as a limitation and I thinking I cant shoot around 9am through 5pm outdoors from may through october... perhaps a different angle view of a scene in relation to the sun reduces this effect?  Anyone have ideas?
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kubelik

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Re: Heat Waves
« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2011, 05:14:41 PM »
yeah, the fog thing is like a perpetual urban myth in the photography community, and it's one that filter manufacturers openly promote, which contributes to the myth's longevity.

certainly, the higher up you get the less noticeable heat shimmer becomes.  it's predominantly ground based because that's where the temperature differential is greatest.  if you shoot from a low vantage point, you are basically trying to shoot through a massive volume of heat shimmer at any given point.  if you are shooting down at the ground, you are only shooting through a thin layer of heat shimmer at any given point.

neuroanatomist

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Re: Heat Waves
« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2011, 05:46:01 PM »
until we have portable photographic equipment that can unrefract light or warp light around suspended particles in the air.

That should come along slightly before portable photographic equipment that is powered by cold fusion, and at that point the setup could be used to take pictures of a perpetual motion machine on a foggy day.   :P

On a more serious note, a software solution seems a more likely (although not completely effective) solution. 
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Re: Heat Waves
« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2011, 06:11:38 PM »
This is an open question for anyone who has opinions/solutions... Given it's summer, this phenomenon happens more often, and especially in photography, it can be a blessing and a curse depending if you want them in your shots... These can be seen on roads, tarmacs of airports, desert scenes, etc...  the bouncing heat wave effect could make sharp in focus images look out of focus, especially if your shooting telephoto trying to shoot from a distance.  Anyone have any suggestions to beat mother nature and minimize this effect?  I've heard of photo filters that could cut through fog (even though I haven't used any) so i'm wondering if there is any photo filter or technique or whatever that could help.  I've had photoshoots that turned out not quite as I was expecting/hoping because of these waves so any help is welcome.

Shoot early in the morning before things heat up.  Once those heat waves are there, distortion cannot be eliminated.  Getting closer does help, but I am assuming that you can't do that, or you would not be using telephoto.

dr croubie

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Re: Heat Waves
« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2011, 11:05:28 AM »
Who says you need to use a telephoto? just get closer to the subject, no heat waves at all...
http://www.tpoty.com/resources/images/winners-large/2010/oneshot/oneshot-com1.jpg
(i read the blurb under the photo at the exhibition in london, i think it was with a 17-40L lens...)


other than risk your life, or at least your camera, there's not much to do to get rid of heat shimmer than has already been said. Get up as high as possible, pick a different angle towards your subject (that doesn't go over a bit of hot sand/dirt/tarmac), and/or shoot early morning before it's too hot...
PP sounds possible, but you may as well draw the photo by hand for the amount of work i'm imagining, and IQ won't be as good...
« Last Edit: July 09, 2011, 11:09:32 AM by dr croubie »
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Re: Heat Waves
« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2011, 11:05:28 AM »

WarStreet

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Re: Heat Waves
« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2011, 11:57:59 AM »
Who says you need to use a telephoto? just get closer to the subject, no heat waves at all...
http://www.tpoty.com/resources/images/winners-large/2010/oneshot/oneshot-com1.jpg
(i read the blurb under the photo at the exhibition in london, i think it was with a 17-40L lens...)

the exif says D3 @ 40mm 5.6. If the photographer is still among us, I guess it was remote triggered with a piece of meat hanging on the camera ! Imagine explaining to the insurance company what happened to the camera !
« Last Edit: July 09, 2011, 12:00:25 PM by WarStreet »

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Re: Heat Waves
« Reply #8 on: July 10, 2011, 02:32:37 PM »
Thinking a little laterally here, the moving air causes variable refraction does it not? The degree of refraction varies with wavelength, and it looks like, for the classic prism example, red light seems to be refracted less. Would imagining in infra-red reduce the effect of it? Just be aware that IR is diffraction limited faster than at visible wavelengths.

On the lion photo, anyone got more info on where that came from? I can imagine many safe ways to get a shot like that while at the camera yourself.
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dr croubie

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Re: Heat Waves
« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2011, 07:06:00 PM »
I've just done some googling for a nice diagram that looks like the one that explained it to me from my physics book when i was in high school, came up with this, ok, it's talking about mirages but it explains the basic concept.

As for infrared refracting less than other waves, you've probably got a point that it would refract less. but then, you've got an infrared image, which i would like to try once or twice, but i wouldn't want it for every photo (not sure about the OP).

The lion photo i saw in London at an exhibition for the Travel Photographer Of The Year at the royal geographical society or something (just opposite The Albert Memorial and around the corner). probably finished now anyway. But i fully intend to enter next year, i've got over 20,000 photos from a few years in europe and asia, something's gotta be worth showing...

So i did at least remember that it was shot at 40mm, even if it was a nikon. the description of how he took it was from the back of an open-sided safari ute/truck thing, mounted to a mono/tripod upside down, holding by the feet of the tripod and either timer or remote/cable release (i think remote release). it would be nice if they put those descriptions on their website though...
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Re: Heat Waves
« Reply #10 on: July 11, 2011, 07:39:27 AM »
I know not everyone would want to shoot a lot of IR, but it was about the only idea I could come up with.

And thanks for the info on that photo. I kinda guessed it was either a zoo or somewhere more wild. I've got closer before in captivity but can certainly appreciate the increase in difficulty of shots in more open areas.
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Re: Heat Waves
« Reply #10 on: July 11, 2011, 07:39:27 AM »