Digital infrared photography is a fairly basic photographic technique that yields amazing images. There is a spectrum of light that can not be seen with the human eye, but it can be seen and captured through the lens of your digital camera.
Images captured with this technique have a surreal dreamy look. A picture of a green leafy tree against a bright blue sky taken with digital infrared photography becomes a picture of a brilliant white tree against a dark foreboding backdrop of sky.
This happens because visible light is ignored and only infrared light (light from the spectrum we can not see with the naked eye) is captured. The resulting compositions are stunning. However, the technique is not difficult.
Digital Infrared Photography Equipment
Infrared pictures can be really unique. Here is a resource to learn more about the technique and see samples of what can be done with inferred photography.
A digital photography course is a great way to learn this technique. There are even free digital photo classes offered online [http://www.mydigitalphotoclasses.com/digital-photo-classes.html].
Modern digital cameras differ in their ability to capture infrared light. To test your camera's infrared capabilities, point your television remote control at your digital cameras lens from 6 inches away and press a button on the remote. If you see a light in your camera's LCD coming from your remote, you're in luck. Your camera is capable of digital infrared photography. If you saw no light being emitted from the remote, your camera probably has an internal infrared filter installed by the manufacturer to preserve the camera's ability to focus on images in the normal light spectrum.
Now that you've tested your camera, you need only two additional pieces of equipment: a filter and a tripod. The purpose of the filter is to "filter" out visible light and only let infrared light through. Filters are fairly inexpensive (approximately $ 20). The Hoya R72 filter is one of the more popular filters and can be obtained from your local camera store. If your camera has a thread adapter (most digital cameras do not), you'll also need to purchase an adapter. If your camera does not have a thread adapter, you'll have to get creative to attach the filter. With gelatin filters, it's as simple as cutting the filter to size and taping it to your lens. Your local photography store should be able to help here, too. While you're at the camera store, pickup a tripod also. These are needed due to the increased aperture and reduced shutter speed required for infrared photography.
Once you've got your camera outfitted with an infrared filter, you're ready to go out and shoot. Landscapes with green leafy foliage and a bright sky make the best subjects when starting out. Portraits of people in sunlight also make interesting compositions. Every camera is different so you'll want to experiment with various settings and their effect. Some cameras are capable of taking good digital infrared photography in "automatic" mode, so try that first. However, if "automatic" mode does not yield good results, the following is a list of manual settings to use as a starting point:
- Flash Off
- Black & White Mode On
- Film Speed: ISO 400 (or the highest available)
- Shutter Speed: 1/15 of a second (slower is better)
Digital infrared photography opens up a whole new world to photographers. With just a few relatively cheap pieces of equipment, you can create stunning compositions from the world of the invisible light spectrum. This article just scratches the surface of what you can do with digital infrared photography . There is so much more that can be done within this area of photography and there is a whole array of other basic photography techniques that yield amazing results. The best way to learn how to take full advantage of your digital camera or expand your photographic skills is by taking a digital photo class. They are a lot of fun and with just a little instruction you can learn how to take amazing pictures.