Shooting What You Can't See? Infrared Photography

May 03, 2023  •  Leave a Comment

Cape Lookout IR 2Cape Lookout IR 2www.MaxStansellPhotography.com Hey Everyone! Hope you're doing well this week! I'm doing pretty well. This week I want to talk to you about a type of photography that you can't see with your eyes. Thats right! You can't see. Infrared Photography. Infrared Photography has been around for decades and there is even film for just shooting infrared but we are going to talk about Digital Infrared. Now I'm not going to get into the Science of Infrared but what's cool about it is when its best to shoot it. Infrared is perfect to shoot in the middle of the day when the sun is the harshest.  Now if your like me if I go somewhere I want to shoot all day long not just in golden hour or when the light is perfect. I want to shoot all day. So infrared photography is perfect for the time of day that the light isn't great for other types of photography. What is infrared photography? Infrared photography is used to capture wavelengths of light that aren't visible to the human eye. What does it look like? Infrared has a strong appeal for fine art photography. It looks surreal and otherworldly, with trees taking on a bright white or yellow hue and skies a red or blue hue. Leaves appear frozen over, and skies take on dramatic colors in both black and white and color photography. There is a lot to infrared and the science but really its pretty simple to shoot. You can either use a camera that has been converted to infrared or you can use a filter on your regular camera and shoot infra red. Let Somerset Plantation House 2Somerset Plantation House 2 me go over both.

Having a camera converted. For a few hundred dollars you can send your camera into a company that specializes in converting camera into infrared only cameras. Thats right infrared only! So once you get the camera converted it can't take regular photo's anymore. So ideally it would be an older camera that your not using and have it converted and use it occasionally. After you have your camera converted you can use it like your regular camera but it will only take Infrared. This is great and its fun to shoot. If you don't have an extra camera you can buy a camera that has already been converted. Just make sure its in the same system of your Yates Mill Pond IRYates Mill Pond IR main camera so you can use all of the glass that you have for your main camera. Many years ago I bought a converted point and shoot camera. And I have had some success with it taking it with me on trips and shoot once or twice on a trip just to have something different.  The only problem with it is that its JPEG only and doesn't shoot in RAW which comes in handy because there are some special post processing stuff that you need to do which can strain the JPEG. Other than that it works great. I'm thinking about maybe buying another one but one that shoots RAW so I can do more with the images afterwards in post.

Using a Infrared filter on regular camera. I just bought a Hoya Infrared 72 filter. This filter make your camera an infrared for black and white. Although you can do some other edits with it. You have to buy it for the filter size of the lens your going to use so I suggest getting one that will fit the largest lens filter size you have and use step down rings to fit other lenses. Cape Lookout IRCape Lookout IRMax Stansell Photography This is the mistake I made. I had a couple of lenses that are 55mm filter size and that's what I bought so now I might have to buy a bigger one so I can use it on all my lenses. The filter looks like a ND filter very dark and you will have to do longer exposures to get the shots. A tripod will be a must and some way to trigger your shutter. And of course it there is wind you will get blurry leaves in the trees. So there are drawbacks to using this filter but it does work and you can get great shots and its a great way to see if you want to get into infrared more and maybe get a camera converted. And if you don't like it you've only spent 40 bucks on a filter. I guess the price depends on the size of the filter.

For me its something I can shoot while waiting for golden hour. Kind of like Macro photography is pretty good during harsh lighting. But the results you get can be fantastic and the responses you get from people is really mixed. Some love it some don't understand and some are wondering when did it snow by that lighthouse?  But for the price of a filter you can try your hand at shooting what others just can't see by shooting Infrared. So until next week get out and shoot!
 


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