What is infrared photography, in a nutshell, it’s film or an image sensor that susceptible to infrared light. What is infrared light? Infrared light is a type of light that we cannot see. Examples are x-ray, ultraviolet, microwave.
Okay, let’s get back to the topic at hand, why do we want to take IR photo’s well, for one thing, it’s another style of photography, it allows us to continue shooting when others head off because of the noon hour sun. Yes for me when the sun is high and shadows are harsh I pull out my infrared camera. HINT when I shoot in IR, I still take note of where the shadows are and try not to include them in my picture.
Where do we begin, you ask? There are two different methods, you can convert your camera to IR, (I used Lifepixels), or you can purchase an IR Filter. The filter is a good way to start experimenting with infrared photography. A) it’s cheaper, B) it’s easy to carry in your bag of tricks. So! What is the difference between the camera and the filter, why would you choose one over the other? For me, both have a place in the camera bag. Believe it or not, they each have pro’s and cons. I’ll start with the camera. Once converted it acts like a typical camera, most of the time. Remember it is now seeing infrared light. Therefore neutral density, Polaroid filters have no effect, long exposures are non-existence. Here is where
the IR filter becomes a better option, well not better, just different. Using your DSLR and any lens you can start taking infrared photos. What is the downside, well the filter is so dark that your exposure will take longer, expect it to be minutes, not seconds and finding that perfect exposure may take several attempts. Focusing is going to be another issue. You will have to pre-focus then I suggest you switch to manual and screw the filter onto the lens trying not to change the focus point. Dust and dirt is another issue, remember it is a dark red color, making it almost impossible to see them. Often time I only discover the dust spots when reviewing the images back at the office.
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