Infrared photography confusion. Just started this oddity...using filters, not modified camera.

Fezder

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Hello!
I'm 29 years old EE from finland, have been photographing maybe...2-3 years more or less. Now I decided to try infrared, to try something new.

I feel somewhat bad about starting my membership here by asking question, but still.

To try something new, I figured to try out infrared photography. For budget reasons, I wasnt going to send my camera (Canon EOS 1100D) to modification since It's my only proper camera, and modification would have been in vain if IR photography isn't my cup of tea (I drink coffee though).

So, I bought, IR filters which appear to function as intended; visible light is BLOCKED, and infrared is passed (tested against sunlight, various lightsources, leaves on trees, remote controllers, and laser pointers). Lower nm passes more infrared and higher, less so (Filters are 650, 720, 750, 850, 950nm)

I know that I need to focus, compose etc. when filter is not in place, just like with ND filter, but after that, I'm confused of overwhelming and somewhat differing information found on google. The first issue is about white balance. Since camera doesn't see correct (normal) light, but only infrared spectrum, getting correct white balance is causing me bit trouble;
-Just where is white balance correctly referred to, and with or without filter in place?

I shoot in RAW to get more playroom in postprocessing, and I gotta say, only adjustments I've made in post have been dust removing and adjusting exposure, very minimal. Programs I got now are digital photo professional, gimp, and RawTherapee.

More questions;
-Depending on filter, how picture should look like BEFORE starting modifications? I suppose this depends of filter used and white balance. I also presume foliage and sky are what should be looked most upon.
-How picture should look like after Red-Blue channel swap?

I really hope this Isn't doomed due uncoverted camera. I mean there are tutorials that show use of filters with unmodified camera and IR photography works just fine.
I think I told all I can about this issue.
Thanks in advance, sorry if this is wrong place to ask.
 
Hello!
I'm 29 years old EE from finland, have been photographing maybe...2-3 years more or less. Now I decided to try infrared, to try something new.

I feel somewhat bad about starting my membership here by asking question, but still.

To try something new, I figured to try out infrared photography. For budget reasons, I wasnt going to send my camera (Canon EOS 1100D) to modification since It's my only proper camera, and modification would have been in vain if IR photography isn't my cup of tea (I drink coffee though).

So, I bought, IR filters which appear to function as intended; visible light is BLOCKED, and infrared is passed (tested against sunlight, various lightsources, leaves on trees, remote controllers, and laser pointers). Lower nm passes more infrared and higher, less so (Filters are 650, 720, 750, 850, 950nm)

I know that I need to focus, compose etc. when filter is not in place, just like with ND filter, but after that, I'm confused of overwhelming and somewhat differing information found on google. The first issue is about white balance. Since camera doesn't see correct (normal) light, but only infrared spectrum, getting correct white balance is causing me bit trouble;
-Just where is white balance correctly referred to, and with or without filter in place?

I shoot in RAW to get more playroom in postprocessing, and I gotta say, only adjustments I've made in post have been dust removing and adjusting exposure, very minimal. Programs I got now are digital photo professional, gimp, and RawTherapee.

More questions;
-Depending on filter, how picture should look like BEFORE starting modifications? I suppose this depends of filter used and white balance. I also presume foliage and sky are what should be looked most upon.
-How picture should look like after Red-Blue channel swap?

I really hope this Isn't doomed due uncoverted camera. I mean there are tutorials that show use of filters with unmodified camera and IR photography works just fine.
I think I told all I can about this issue.
Thanks in advance, sorry if this is wrong place to ask.

Canon cameras tend to have very strong internal IR blocking filters, which will make things more difficult for you. I'd leave any filter with a cut off longer than 750nm right out of things till you've got to grips with the others. A 650nm filter filter will let through quite a bit of red that your camera will see reasonably well so may also prove difficult to get IR effects with (it will give dark skies but may miss out on the pale foliage).
720nm is probably the best filter to start with. With a non modified camera monochrome IR is really all you can do, because of this you can avoid white balance (& channel swaps) all together - simply desaturate the image totally.

If your camera supports live-view it's best to focus through the filter using live-view. The poor IR sensitivity of Canon cameras might make that difficult, but IR focuses at a different point to visual light, so focusing without the filter doesn't work.

Metering will be inaccurate on your camera (5 stops out for IR is not uncommon) so start using the highest available ISO, & widest aperture, then recalculate exposure time for the aperture you need & lower ISO once you've found settings that give acceptable results. Shutter speeds may well end up being several minutes!

I was lucky that my K100d (the first camera I used for IR) is fairly sensitive to IR. Shooting a fast lens at maximum usable ISO usually gave shutter speeds that could be handheld. After getting a newer DSLR I found tripods were needed to shoot IR with it, so continued to use the older camera.

Having got the IR bug heavily I tried a Sony DSC V1 camera with a switchable 'nightshot' (IR) mode that I brought for ÂŁ15. It wasn't long till I out grew that & brought a used mirrorless camera that had been preconverted to 'full spectrum'. That cost ÂŁ150 (body only) six years ago, I've shot most of my IR with this camera using both native lenses & a wide range of adapted glass, IR shots with this are typically similar exposure times to visual shots. Being so much more sensitive to IR it is practical to combine IR & visual to get false colour shots 590nm shots working well for the goldie look that makes use of a channel swap - white balance being important for that approach.

There's an album of some of my IR shots on Flickr at:
Infra Red

The earlier shots are with the unmodified K100d (including at least one showing the SOOC colour JPEG)
The greenish shots are with the V1 usually via a 720 filter.
Aerochrom type shots are using a Sigma SD14 (which has a user removable dust trap / IR filter) with an Xi filter & fluorescent WB.
Of the remainder the ones in the last year are probably from my latest full spectrum A7ii (not so cheap), & all the rest from my older full spectrum GF2.

IR sensitive cameras are frequently fairly affordable, if you know what to look for & don't mind it being 10 years old!
 
Thanks for your input. I'll use 650nm and 720nm for now as you suggested. Sort of good way that I can forget/don't need to bother with channel swap and white balance, since it should make this bit easier, but it eats "fun" bit away.
 
Thanks for your input. I'll use 650nm and 720nm for now as you suggested. Sort of good way that I can forget/don't need to bother with channel swap and white balance, since it should make this bit easier, but it eats "fun" bit away.
If the bug gets you, you may find yourself getting a modified camera, & gaining access to the extra fun of false colours. Even without extra expense, you should find IR gives an entirely new look to locations, which might leave you with quite a bit of fun. You'll have to cater with long exposures as well as quite different visualisation and all the technical difficulties.

It might not be the best time of year to try normal landscape IR in Finland, it's the sun is gloomy enough here in Essex at this time of year. If you have a flash, most(all?) of them as well as incandescent type lights give out quite a bit of IR. Opening up options for playing with IR indoors.
 
Yeah, there's winter right around corner now. Already much colder and need to start tackling with colder temperatures and moisture issues.
I suppose I could try using artificial (incandescent) lightning too.
 

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