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Most consumer digital camera CCD's allow infrared or near infrared light(NIR) to pass through the lens because the hot mirror (a filter for removing Infrared Light)is not of high grade quality,so equipped with a in-expensive filter such as the Hoya R72 or the Wratten 89b you can take dramatic shots using non-visible light from the sun or other light sources.

What you need for infrared photography:
•A camera that is sensitive to NIR/IR
•An IR Filter
•Image Editor
•NeatImage (not required but helps quite a bit - Demo Available)

The test
A quick and easy test to find out if your camera is even remotely capable of infrared photography is the "Remote test". Turn the camera on and power on the LCD. If you have an SLR then you don't have an LCD to look at, just take a photo and look at the photo on your computer. Turn off all the lights (closets & bathrooms work pretty well). And point the TV/VCR/Cable remote at your camera's lens. Press a button and see if the LCD displays a white/red/orange color coming from the remote. If there is something chances are your camera is capable of infrared photography.

Some cameras that are great for IR photography:
•Olympus C-2100UZ
•Olympus C-2000Z
•Olympus C-2020Z
•Sony 7x7
•Minolta cameras
•Older Nikon cameras
•And many more...

The technique
The general technique for infrared photography is hard to describe. The obvious suggestion is to shoot vegetation. Green healthy foliage is usually excellent. But it can obviously be almost boring as just about everyone tries to photograph greenery. Spicing up the photo with big/interesting structures makes the photo a little different. People can introduce an interesting element but they have to stand/sit still as the exposure for infrared photos is usually long.

Using a tripod is at times essential depending on the sensitivity of your camera. The big problem with shooting vegetation is that wind can cause movement of trees blurring your photos. To get around this it's best to shoot on calm days. Best IR is during the morning and late afternoon hours, it's when the lighting is most dramatic.

Depending on your camera it is possible that you will get different tints to your photos. For example, a C-2040Z will have a deep red tint to any infrared photo and the exposure time will be quite long (1 second or more). A quick and easy way of getting rid of the color cast is to use the B&W mode of your camera. A lenghtier process is to use an image editor such as Photoshop. The advantage of using an image editor is that you have much more control over the image manipulation. Playing with channels and gradients is a good way to alter the appearance of your image.

NeatImage can help you get rid of excessive noise in your photos caused by long exposures and warm temperatures in the summer. It's not required but once you see the difference you will ask yourself why you have not been using it all along.

To find more in depth information see one of these sites - Mostly Infrared Photography for Film users.
dpReview - Excellent resourse for information on Infrared imaging.

How to do IR with a D70
All You Ever Wanted to Know About Digital UV and IR Photography, But Could Not Afford to Ask

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by Sunsetstrip See Profile edited by Nick See Profile
last modified: 2005-12-04 13:31:27