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Welcome friends of Who Said Photography! We are back with a special episode with Don Komarechka who is in the process of finishing his book about Infrared photography.
How could we define infrared photography? I guess we have to explain what regular photography is to define what’s beyond it. Our cameras are designed to take pictures at the same visual spectrum that we see with our eyes, red to violet. A modern day digital camera can see beyond those limitations. Cameras are designed to limit what they record in the image. They capture what we like the world to look like and what makes sense. In a digital camera, the silicon in the sensor itself is sensitive to ultraviolet light which is beyond our visual spectrum. Past violet and infrared which is even longer wavelengths that we see and so if you create a camera or modification a camera that will allow it to see the infrared light then things become a little bit different, more ‘magical,’ and there are a few ways for us to accomplish this. Before we get into that, we can define ‘infrared photography’ as a type of photography using wavelengths of light that we cannot see with our own eyes. It makes the world looks different.
Let’s start with by going over some of the equipment required to shoot
Infrared. One of the least expensive is using IR filters the more expensive route is converting a camera to Infrared. Filters are attached to the front of the lens to modify the light, take note it will act like a 6-10 stop neutral density filter. In other words, you will have no way of setting your focus or previewing the image after the filter is attached to the camera. All your camera setting must be set before installing the filter. A modified camera functions the same as a non-modified, it only when clicking the shutter that any changes take place.
Once the shutter is pressed, don’t be surprised the first time you review or chimp the images, it will be red. After all, it is called ‘infrared photography” One of the tricks I use is to change my setting on the camera to Black and White. Why Black and White? This allows me to check the tonality of the image with my histogram. When using a filter be prepared to take several practice shots as you feel out the perfect shutter speed for the conditions you are shooting. Also, your white balance has to be set, if using a modified camera, it a set and forget scenario, but with the filter, it will have to be set each time you use the filter. I look for anything green, example grass, trees. It may be helpful for you to review how to set up a custom white balance on your camera before heading out to shoot Infrared photography.
Next week’s Blog will be on how to post-process your infrared images. There is a trick to this, after all, they start off red. Converting an infrared photo is not like a normal picture like I said the sequence is a bit different you will have to flip flop a couple of channels in Photoshop.
Get out there and give it a try, one of the best things is infrared photography will keep you shooting all day long.
Ta-Ta for now.
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