my world of infrared

my world of infrared


Here are some tips on Infrared photography (IR)

First of all you will need a camera that is suitable for IR,  the only way to get good quality results is to get a camera converted to IR. All cameras have IR blocking filter in front of the image sensor, this has to be replaced with a filter that will let IR  wavelengths through and block most of the natural light from getting through. I would recommend a 720nm filter, but there is a range of IR wavelengths from  about 600 to 900nm. I suggest that Protech Cameras in Sussex for the camera conversion. A nice camera for conversion is the Canon EOS M,  these can be bought for £199 ,NEW! . I paid that price for one and its ideal, its the same picture quality as the Canon 60D, I have both and cannot see any difference in quality, Mine will be converted soon.

When you go out to take some IR shots, the first thing to do is  to take a shot of the grass in sunlight and use that to set your WHITE BALANCE, use your camera instructions to do this.  During the day you will need to repeat this at least  twice , as the temperature changes the amount of IR will change. I do this at least 3 times.

I set my canon slr  to take 3 shots , one shot at the correct exposure, one at 1 stop under and the last at 1 stop over. quite often  the correct exposure is OK, but at least 20% of my shots turn out better on the Overexposed setting. Its very rare for the underexposed shots to be used.

Now the part that can only come with experience, you have to set your mind to "see" what the scene will look like in IR, I know of someone who saw this white wall with nice dark red roses on it, above the wall was a big white cloud, so after processing he had a very white picture, a white wall, white leaves, white roses and a white sky, so what you see with your eyes is not what you will get, that is why you have to imagine what the scene will look like, I call it "seeing with your mind"

 You need to still use the same care in composition of the scene as you would for "normal " photography, use shadows in the foreground to make a base for the scene, use foliage to frame the shot, use reflections in water, once you get used to "Seeing" a good IR shot, try the scene from different angles

I always shoot in RAW mode, this gives you lot of control in the processing. If you do not have a RAW mode, use the highest setting with the jpegs settings.

Here is a link to a site that has a list of lenses that are suitable for IR work.  My Fuji IS-1 infrared  camera was  spoilt because of the "HOT" spot in the centre of the image. if you are thinking of getting a fixed lens camera turned into a IR camera, I would suggest that you go onto IR websites and forums and see if anyone has had the Hot spot problem with the same camera.

go to the next page for processing IR shots

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