Basic techniques for digital infrared photography

raw IR thumbnailAt the simplest, you just attach (or hold, if like my camera yours will not accept standard filters) your infrared filter over the lens and take your picture. The result will look like the photo at the right. You may need to turn on your slow-shutter-speed mode if your camera has one, turn off the builtin flash, and put the camera on a tripod. This is because you will get very slow shutter speeds, and your camera may well fire the flash, which is at best a waste of time for landscape shots, and if you are holding the filter in front of the lens, may result in reflections back into the lens from the filter. You may also need, or want, to previes the image and lock the focus before applying the filter, as it can be pretty hard to see what's happening on the builtin LCD screen with the filter in place. A tripod makes this easier.

B&W IR thumbnailThe image you get can be used as is, or by changing it to grayscale, you get something that looks like a standard B&W IR photo, like the image to the right.

That's only the beginning of the possibilities, though. While you have the camera on the tripod, I would suggest taking a second frame, without moving the camera at all, without the IR filter in place. You can use the unfiltered image, in combination with the filtered image and your image editing program, to do some really interesting things...

next--false-colour digital IR

back--experiments in digital IR

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