Getting Started with Infrared Photography

Today’s Post by Joe Farace

Ultra Violet (UV) light comes from the Sun but the Earth’s ozone layer protects us from most of this light but that doesn’t mean you don’t need a UV filter on your camera. While many photographers keep UV or Haze filters on all their lenses as protection, UV filters reduce the amount of ultraviolet radiation striking the image sensor and suppress atmospheric haze or dust.

Light with wavelengths from 700 and 900 nanometers is typically called infrared light. This band of infrared light is a thousand times wider than isible light and completely invisible to our eyes. Infrared film and some video cameras are sensitive to what is called near infrared. This is also the type of IR light that your television remote control for uses. (The old TV remote test—here.)

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My personal philosophy is that photography should be fun. Part of having fun is trying new things. Digital IR photography is lots of fun because it helps you look at your world in a new way and lets you create images that look unlike any other technique you’re likely to try. That alone is a good enough reason to try infrared digital photography.

What you see as red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet are really different waves of light. Shorter waves are blue and the longer ones appear red to our eyes. Every color’s wavelength is measured in nanometers or one billionth of a millimeter or microns that are a millionth of a meter. Red light begins at wavelengths of about 0.65 microns. Violet light has wavelengths around 0.4 microns and yellow light waves are 0.6 microns. Your eyes can’t see light with a wavelength longer than 0.7 microns. We also experience thermal infrared light when we feel the sun’s heat of the on our skin.

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One of the least expensive ways to experience infrared photography is by using filters but the most convenient is using a camera that’s been converted for IR capture. I like to use an older camera that’s just sitting around collecting dust, which is why my IR cameras are a Lumix G5 and G6.

Mark and I have found that Life Pixel does a great job with IR conversions. You can get $50 OFF with Priority Processing Upgrade by using coupon code: joefarace50-FrQ Don’t miss out on this soon to expire offer, order your conversion today!IR.book.cover

 

 

My book The Complete Guide to Digital Infrared Photography is currently out of print but you can get an affordable used copy or not-so-affordable new copies of the book from Amazon.com.