How Do You Do IR Photography?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by astrostu, Oct 6, 2006.

  1. astrostu

    astrostu Guest

    I've seen some incredible IR photographs on this site. My question is pretty simple: How do you take 'em? Obviously I'm assuming that there's an IR filter involved ... but is there a special camera that you need, or can I use my reg'lar Digital Rebel?
     
  2. Arch

    Arch Damn You! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Yea all you need is an IR filter.... the Hoya R72 is a good choice. Im quite sure it works fine with a 350D but just check that your lenses are ok to use too, because some can give a nasty flare to IR photog.... maybe someone here with a 350D can clarify.
     
  3. doenoe

    doenoe TPF Noob!

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    yes you can shoot with a 350D. I got one and it works great. It just doesnt work with the kit lens, cause you get a hotspot in the middle of your pic. I use my 50mm 1.8 mkII these days for IR photography, not hotspot whatsoever. Another great thing is, that on bright days you can use your auto-focus :)
    You can see some examples on my site (see signature)
     
  4. Shakti V.

    Shakti V. TPF Noob!

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    Doing infrared in film is a good venture. I encourage it. Wratten filter #25 would be a good start, but research on your own and don't limit yourself with this suggestion. There are different infrared films out there. Ilford has. You can start with that. Infrared films are very sensitive to light, so load the film in your camera in a totally dark room, or use a blackbag that is also used to load film into a reel. If you are new to photography, this blackbag is specialized for photography.

    If you're using 300V Canon, or other modern film SLR cameras, make sure to put thick black tape on the edges as some have experienced IR film fogging with these cameras. In fact, it will be best to put black tapes on the edges of the film back whichever camera you use, just for safety. Do not expose loaded camera to heat. When doing infrared photography, always think that infrared film is extra sensitive to light and heat. Because this is so, keep your aperture at the smallest possible setting. Also, with focusing, I stay on the manual focus setting. With the old SLRs, the fully manual cameras, there is a red dot near focusing. You can easily find it. When you get your focus, adjust it to the red dot. That's the focus for infrared. When using modern film cameras, keep your lens setting to MF(manual focus), find your focus, then move very slightly to the right. You'll know this when you've done infrared with the old SLRs.

    Don't forget to use an infrared filter, like the one I've mentioned above. Always bracket your shots with infrared because it is unpredictable. I usually bracket 2 underexposures, normal exposure, then 3 or 2 overexposures. (-1.5, -1, 0, +1, +1.5, optional +2). You can also bracket with just 3 shots: an under, a normal, and an over.

    When you unload your film, keep it light tight, of course. Make sure your tanks are super light tight too. Use black tapes on the edges if you want to be sure or if you're just obsessive compulsive. :D

    Experiment on different subjects. Infrared is magickal with daylight landscapes.
     
  5. rmh159

    rmh159 TPF Noob!

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    Really once you have a filter it's a lot of experimentation to figure out how to properly expose the shot (once the filter is on the cam you can no longer see through the viewfinder).

    You also either need to shoot in RAW or if shooting in Jpeg you'll need to put the filter on and set the custom white balance to a shot of live grass. If you shoot RAW you can skip that and do it in post processing.

    Once you have your shot with correct WB you'll load it into Photoshop and go into the Channel Mixer. Find the Red Channel and set the red to 0% and blue to 100%, then find the Blue Channel and set the red to 100% and blue to 0%.

    That'll get your IR shot. From there you can continue to mess with the colors to your own tastes.

    It's definitely not a hard process to figure out but there are a few steps to it.
     
  6. astrostu

    astrostu Guest

    Thanks for all the advice. Now I need to actually get a filter.
     

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